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mfarmer

New Life Goal: Travel Around the World on CC Points

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Here's the goal: a 2-week (or more) Around-the-World trip.

Read the article this morning about this s̶t̶e̶a̶l̶ deal allowing you up to 22,000 miles of actual flight distance,12 flight segments with potential for 8 stopover and has to be one direction (East to West or West to East).

The deal depends on you trading 125,000 American Express points. I've currently got ~70k. Managed to catch a targeted offer, applied and was approved for an AmEx Biz Gold card awarding 75k after $5k/3mos. minimum spend. I *likely* already have enough free hotel nights.

The preliminary itinerary:
- Seattle to New York
- New York to London
- London to Vienna
- Vienna to Frankfurt
- Frankfurt to Hong Kong
- Hong Kong to Bangkok,
- Bangkok to Tokyo
- Tokyo to Seattle

Seems like a huge goal, mostly because I'm not exactly sure of the logistics of pulling this off; but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and seems well worthy of setting a goal around!

 

 

http://www.godsavethepoints.com/2018/05/19/around-world-business-class-amex-points-125k/

Edited by mfarmer

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The only one of those cities I haven't been is Bangkok.

 

Of course, air fare is less than half the cost of travel unless one plans on sleeping on the streets.

 

Spending points/miles can be difficult, but last year I used Expedia points and miles to pay for the hotel and air for a week in Berlin. I've also used miles for airfare to Europe twice before, plus a few North American trips. This summer I'm using AA miles for an open jaw LAX-Vancouver*Anchorage-LAX fare with a cruise in there that I'm paying for.

 

My suggestion is to plan a trip then try to use miles to help pay for some. Don't go to some remote location you don't want to go to just because points/miles will get you there.

Edited by Burgerwars

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After writing my last post, I read the article and saw that this is a business class deal. That's huge!

You could supplement this itinerary through purchasing tickets to other destinations in Europe and Asia on cheap regional carriers.

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Too much travel in too little time IMO. That itinerary would not be enjoyable for me, and I have the MR points to do it.

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I went around the world, flights on points, last fall. FWIW.

 

Not that hard. Lots of fun. Just take your time and see things along the way with 2 weeks youd learn about how airport security differs from country to country, and how surly the taxi drivers are, but thats about it.

 

Details are posted in the travel redemption stories thread, but it ran like this:

Seattle, WA => Almaty, KZ on United, 42,500 points.

Almaty => Sofia, Bulgaria on surface transport (train, bicycle, ferry). (About $1200 for 5000 kilometers travel and 50 nights lodging)

Sofia => Vancouver BC on British Air, 22,500 points + $200.

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Is there a credit card that comes with a time SUB?

 

That would be a no brainer.

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Spending points/miles can be difficult

 

While it may be getting more difficult to spend airline miles, programs like Chase UR are very easy to use and I have had no problem using UR points at all.

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For those without enough points (or those who have other uses for them), this site may be intriguing:

 

https://www.airtreks.com/

 

I've never used them, but I have it bookmarked for the future.

 

I agree that two weeks isn't nearly enough time for that many stops. I generally consider any day that requires flying to be a day that I can't do much (if anything) else.

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Too much travel in too little time IMO. That itinerary would not be enjoyable for me, and I have the MR points to do it.

There's also the issue of cancelled or delayed flights. I've had my share. A year ago a flight I took from Shanghai to LAX (on United) left over 24 hours late. Allow plenty of time for connections. Airports like London and Frankfurt are huge. London can be a huge maze of connecting buses between terminals and multiple security and passport control points.

Edited by Burgerwars

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That's an ambitious itinerary for two weeks. It averages two days in each city.

Less once you factor in flying time from each destination.

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Don't listen to the negative Nancys. If two weeks is the most you can get off work, then go bang it out and have a blast trying new foods and seeing a couple key sites or things you find interesting in each place.

 

Usually you only get one direction of travel. So FRA-HKG-BKK-TKY sounds suspect, but I don't know the particular rules you're looking at.

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Appreciate that Korad. That's exactly the idea. And I'd be all for taking a few months off for the trip... if I can get Mende to front me $20k to cover taking the time off ;)

 

 

I generally consider any day that requires flying to be a day that I can't do much (if anything) else.

 

 

 

There's also the issue of cancelled or delayed flights. I've had my share.

 

 

Excellent points. I'll factor it in.

​For me this is a bucket list item - round the world trip (NOT "retire and travel" or "take 2 months off"... I'd like those too, but those are separate bucket item) and the possibility in this exchange 125k points for 22,000 miles of actual flight distance,12 flight segments with potential for 8 stopover in one direction sounds a grand adventure... even it means only a day in some of the destinations.

​But... I'll save all the fretting about how many days and layovers and "too much travel" until I've actually earned the points. Plans in sand; goals in concrete.

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I suggest that any stopover less than 3 nights be omitted (I assume that coming away with stamps in your passport isn't the primary goal here ;). Even with adequate up front prep, my first day in a new venue is an largely an orientation day. That leaves 2 days to explore a city/area that you're unlikely to return to, unless you take a strong liking to it (in which case you'll wish you had allocated more time, in any case).

 

Further, somewhere around the 7 to 9 day mark, I'd pad a stay with an extra day to do nothing but lie in the room reading, watching movies, whatever. I don't generally manage a 2-week trip without an interim day to "recharge my batteries".

 

Indulging myself and adapting your planned itinerary to my "taste", I'd omit the stop over in NYC (don't detract from other destinations for a weekend trip you can book anytime). So, day flight to NYC, overnight to London (1 night traveled). 3 nights each in London, Vienna, Frankfort. Hong Kong (prep a shopping list for you/friends!). Skip Tokyo, other than as a flight change for HK/Seattle -- Tokyo deserves more cultural immersion than 2 or 3 nights permits.

 

With the return to Seattle, 14 nights have been accounted for. I would hope you can time the travel so that you bookend with weekends, permitting 16 nights. Add on a rest day Frankfort.

 

As far as Bangkok, you might substitute this for the stop for Hong Kong (and pad to 4 nights). But I suggest instead that you "bucket list" a future 10-day itinerary limited to Bangkok and Tokyo. (Such a trip, alone, would be a trip of a lifetime, especially if you permit time to explore the Thai countryside.)

 

Be aware that travel in the far east might be time constrained by the available flight schedule. My experience with this is dated, but some itineraries don't run daily, necessitating some accommodation when planning.

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If you do this over a few months, that would be great! Doing it in a way where you are in the air as much as you are on the ground seems like a waste to me.

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^

IMO that would be an exhausting itinerary and you would only scratch the surface of what these locales have to offer. As mentioned Tokyo and the surrounding sights alone really requires several full days to visit. I have been to all of the destinations and upon leaving each your regret will be I wish I could stay longer.

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You'll need to visit spots where speed is legal, otherwise you'll see two weeks worth of toilets, beds, and cabin seats.

 

Enjoy.

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Do it just to get a taste of the locales so you can identify places that you want to spend more time at later. I would do it just because I could and it sounds like an awesome memory/story to refer to over drinks! Besides it's not like this is the last trip you will ever be able to take.

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Here's the goal: a 2-week (or more) Around-the-World trip.

Read the article this morning about this s̶t̶e̶a̶l̶ deal allowing you up to 22,000 miles of actual flight distance,12 flight segments with potential for 8 stopover and has to be one direction (East to West or West to East).

The deal depends on you trading 125,000 American Express points. I've currently got ~70k. Managed to catch a targeted offer, applied and was approved for an AmEx Biz Gold card awarding 75k after $5k/3mos. minimum spend. I *likely* already have enough free hotel nights.

The preliminary itinerary:

- Seattle to New York

- New York to London

- London to Vienna

- Vienna to Frankfurt

- Frankfurt to Hong Kong

- Hong Kong to Bangkok,

- Bangkok to Tokyo

- Tokyo to Seattle

Seems like a huge goal, mostly because I'm not exactly sure of the logistics of pulling this off; but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and seems well worthy of setting a goal around!

 

 

http://www.godsavethepoints.com/2018/05/19/around-world-business-class-amex-points-125k/

You can do it! In your mind, you already have.

 

Put your mind and your all into it, and you can achieve anything.

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Minimum spend completed, travel points awarded.

 

Starting to lay out the logistics:  choosing final destinations, Time off, arrangements for what needs to be handled at home to free me up for this trip, planning award hotel stays as I'd like to keep the cost to as close to free as possible.

 

Anyone have experience with out-of-pocket expenses for something like this?  Food / local transportation / local entertainment? 

 

Thanks for those sharing what worked for them; thanks for those who "get" what I'm trying to do here: bucket trip, within *my* real-world limitations.

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12 hours ago, mfarmer said:

Minimum spend completed, travel points awarded.

 

Starting to lay out the logistics:  choosing final destinations, Time off, arrangements for what needs to be handled at home to free me up for this trip, planning award hotel stays as I'd like to keep the cost to as close to free as possible.

 

Anyone have experience with out-of-pocket expenses for something like this?  Food / local transportation / local entertainment? 

 

Thanks for those sharing what worked for them; thanks for those who "get" what I'm trying to do here: bucket trip, within *my* real-world limitations.

Not sure if this is helpful with your expense question, but I kept detailed records of what we spent/saved on a three-week trip to Europe in 2015.

 

Summary:

 

 

Edited by cv91915

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On 7/28/2018 at 4:52 PM, mfarmer said:

 

Anyone have experience with out-of-pocket expenses for something like this?  Food / local transportation / local entertainment? 

Those figures are highly subjective.  Most of the places listed you could eat cheap if you wanted to. 

 

New York - pizza and beer

London -  fish and chips and mushy peas and warm beer

Vienna - coffee, pastries, Käsekrainer and beer

Frankfurt - Rahmschnitzel, Königsberger Klopse and beer

Hong Kong - the world's least expensive Michelin starred restaurant is a dim sum place called Tim Ho Wan or you can get typhoon shelter spicy crab and beer

Bangkok - street food stalls with Pad Thai, boat noodles, green papaya salad and beer

Tokyo - ramen, sushi, yakatori and beer

 

Absolutely nothing on that list needs to be expensive to be extremely delicious. And everything is endemic to that locale. 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Konrad2012 said:

Those figures are highly subjective.  Most of the places listed you could eat cheap if you wanted to. 

 

New York - pizza and beer

London -  fish and chips and mushy peas and warm beer

Vienna - coffee, pastries, Käsekrainer and beer

Frankfurt - Rahmschnitzel, Königsberger Klopse and beer

Hong Kong - the world's least expensive Michelin starred restaurant is a dim sum place called Tim Ho Wan or you can get typhoon shelter spicy crab and beer

Bangkok - street food stalls with Pad Thai, boat noodles, green papaya salad and beer

Tokyo - ramen, sushi, yakatori and beer

 

Absolutely nothing on that list needs to be expensive to be extremely delicious. And everything is endemic to that locale. 

 

 

Agree, even if I would sub out any drink for the beer ;)

 

Recently in Seoul, I had Korean BBQ in an airport neighborhood that was rated as "average" by the hotel concierge.  Because "average" Korean BBQ in Korea is almost always going to be better than any Korean BBQ found in the U.S. (there are likely exceptions, but I guarantee they are not in Charlotte, NC.)

 

Some of the best sushi I've ever had came from a hole in the wall in Tokyo station.

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Pam said:

 

Some of the best sushi I've ever had came from a hole in the wall in Tokyo station.

 

 

I remember one real dumpy hole-in-the-wall near Shinjuku Station that was outstanding.

 

For those of you who have never been to Tokyo - beer there is not cheap.

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