Travel Planning: Fall in Asia
Review: LAX Star Alliance Lounge
Review: Singapore Airlines Suites Class LAX - NRT
Review: Park Hyatt Tokyo
Recap: Time in Tokyo
Review: HND JAL First Class Lounge
Review: JAL Business Class HND - GMP
Review: IP Boutique Hotel Seoul
Recap: Time in Seoul
Review: ICN Cathay Pacific Lounge
Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class ICN - HKG
Review: Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui
Recap: Time in Hong Kong
Review: HKG Cathay Pacific “The Wing” First Class Lounge
Review: Cathay Pacific First Class HKG - SFO
As of January 1 this year, my total country count is at 21. I've been aggressively crossing countries to visit off my list since I graduated from college and I'm really fortunate and proud to have seen all that I have so far. But if you looked at a map of where I've been, you'll notice the entire Eastern Hemisphere is completely blank. I'm so excited to finally be changing that in September!
I usually plan one big trip a year and some of my traveling friends and I joke about my "two country minimum". If I can't hit at least two countries in a given trip, I'm not going. It's actually the sole reason why I went to Bolivia last year. We knew that we wanted to go to Machu Picchu, but I couldn't possibly plan a trip and only see one country. We thought about Ecuador, but a trip to the Galapagos is insanely expensive! For Brazil, you need a visa, but I noticed that Bolivia was close by and might be interesting (ergo, my blog's header of Salar de Uyuni). The rest is history!
This year, we haven't completely hammered out the details, but I know for sure we're going to Tokyo and Hong Kong. We're undecided about where we are going in between, but we're considering Seoul, Taiwan, and Singapore. I really could not be more excited, especially because this has all come up so fast!
The best, best part of this whole trip though will be the flights to and from Asia. Chris and I are about to experience the best that travel hacking has to offer - the international first class award ticket. Our flights were a huge coup and we couldn't have done it without Alex over at Points Pros. Side note: did you know that you can actually pay people to book award tickets for you? You might ask why anyone would ever do that. The answer is, award booking is actually really hard for things like this. Most airlines don't release much award availability and they certainly don't make those awards easy to find. Then, there's the fact that you often need to transfer points from multiple accounts in order to actually use them for the airline you've chosen. It's a real mess, but Alex made it a total breeze!
Anyways, here is what we managed to get:
LAX > NRT (need to get to LAX from SFO)
Singapore Airlines, A380 Suites
First of all, I have never flown on an A380 and as much as it pains me to say it (former Boeing employee here), I have been dying to! Second, Singapore Suites is supposed to be absolutely amazing. We landed middle seats in Suites and while the middle seat is usually the worst spot on the plane in any other situation, on Singapore Suites, it transforms into this:
HKG > SFO
Cathay Pacific, First Class
Cathay was actually just named the wold's best airline for the fourth time. As the only airline to receive that honor four times, I expect great things! I think what I am most excited about is the pajamas they give you on the flight:
LOVE the look of these PJs and I hear they are super comfy!
Anyways, there will be tons of content on the blog once we're back from our trip and I'll be sure to take lots of pictures! Now that the flight's out of the way, I just need to plan what to do when we get there! If you have any thoughts on must-dos in Hong Kong or Tokyo or on which of the other cities we shouldn't miss, I would love to hear them in the comments!
Just a twenty-something with a full-time job and a full-time obsession with traveling. It's best to LiveTraveled.