October 26, 2010
New York City
Elevation: 80m

I will be heading back out to roam the globe in a week. In the past I have a tendency of keeping my travel plans somewhat of a secret. I am not sure where that habit comes from but I am making an effort to change.

People tend to think that it is expensive to travel. It can be but how much it really cost depends upon your sense of adventure. I am going to tell you how I have arranged for this trip in details and then I have a fun little contest for you. 

Spain, Morocco, Egypt (kind of) and India are the countries that I am hoping to add to the list of Wok the Dog over the next 6 weeks and then I will return to Taipei to spend some time with my mom. A little mom and home comfort will be much needed after you see the travel plans I’ve ahead of me.

From JFK, I will fly for BCN (Barcelona) via Delta with a layover in Atlanta. I will be in Barcelona for 3 days before I take a direct fly (the only one direct flight) to CMN (Casablanca). I will be on the ground in Morocco for 2 weeks before heading off to India via Cairo. The cheapest flight I could find from CMN -BOM involves a 16 hour layover in Cairo. Since I have yet to see Egypt, I thought this could be a great opportunity. I know its only for 16 hours but it also has the added benefit of getting me into Mumbai during daylight hours instead of middle of the night. Traveling as a single woman I tend to be weary of arriving in strange cities in the middle of the night.  I have nearly 3.5 weeks in India and I will have to cover the distance between Mumbai and Delhi in that time frame. From DEL I will fly onward to TPE via HKG for 2 weeks with my mom. I will return to JFK via DTW after you unstuck Santa from your chimney.

I traded in 150,000 miles on Delta and paid $1221 in real money for all of my flights. How?! ….Here is the break down:

I used 60,000 sky miles for a one way ticket from JKF – BCN. There really was no cheaper way short of paying real money for it and this was an easy route on Delta so I went with it. I ended up using 90,000 sky miles for TPE – JFK – TPE on a round trip which means that I have a return ticket to TPE if I wish to use it. I could have bought an one way on this but that actually would have cost me 30,000 more sky miles. So even if I don’t use the return on the round trip, it still seemed like a better deal.  BCN – CMN is a one way ticket on Air Maroc for $129. Casablanca to Mumabi is another one way ticket via Egypt Air for $524 and Delhi to Taipei is on Air India / China Air for $562. I searched for all of my flight options via Kayka and American Express travel.

I did look into a Round the World ticket via two different agencies, one of them I found online and the other is Star Alliance. The agency returned with a price tag of $2700 for this route (minus the Cairo option) while Star Alliance came in at at whopping $4500.

Now here is the fun little contest.

I will be traveling around in Morocco for two weeks via trains / buses, 3.5 weeks in India (3.5 weeks) doing the same. Last year I clocked over 167+ hours on buses in Central America + Colombia (11 weeks). Can you guess how many hours I will clock on buses and trains in the next 6 weeks? The person whose guess is the closest plus/minus 3 hours will win a 8×8 print upon my return.

email me your guess at charlie [at] gmail [dot] com.

In the mean time, you can track my progress as I get ready to leave and up to date tally of hours on the bus via the blog. 

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