Award Trips

3 Weeks In Asia: Planning & Itinerary

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Ever tried to to book a vacation when you desparately need a vacation? Sometimes it’s not pretty. But I didn’t realize the full extent until this year when I took a “vacation” shortly after switching jobs, helping with a big move, etc.

I’m just now finding time and courage to write the full trip report of my 3 week solo adventure in Asia this February. When I booked it little more than a month out, I planned an ambitious itinerary staying no more than a couple days in each location over 3 weeks. Days later I landed a big project which coincided with my travel dates.

So as you read the coming posts you’ll find out about some of the amazing experiences I had, the disappointments, and the mistakes that might leave some of you scratching your heads. But if nothing else, hopefully those anecdotes will serve as a useful reminder so you can avoid them if you’re ever in a similar situation.

I used both points and cash to pay for this trip. Most of the flights were booked with miles but at many of the hotels it was a better value to do a paid stay.

So here it is, my experiment to see if I could a). travel solo for more than 2 weeks b). work remotely from halfway across the world.

  • Washington, DC to Chennai, India with JFK-Abu Dhabi in Etihad First Class and Abu Dhabi-Chennai in Ethihad Business (90,000 American Airline miles)
  • 2 days/3ish nights in Chennai at the Park Hyatt Chennai ($115 a night)
  • Thai Airways Business Class from Chennai to Chiang Mai, Thailand ($450 cash instead of 60,000 United miles)
  • 3 nights Chiang Mai at the Le Meridien Chiang Mai (9,500 Starwood points)
  • Bangkok Airways from Chiang Mai to Bangkok (~$50)
  • 4 nights in Bangkok — 2 at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit ($175/nt) and 2 at the Grand Hyatt Erawan ($120/nt)
  • Thai Airways First Class from Bangkok to Hong Kong (35,000 United miles)
  • 2 nights in Macao — Sheraton Macao Hotel ($140/nt) and Grand Hyatt Macau ($213/nt)
  • Cathay Pacific Business Class Hong Kong to Dehli (30,000 American Airline miles)
  • 6 nights in Delhi visiting friends
  • Etihad First Class Delhi-New York (90,000 American Airline miles)

Cost of flights: 35,000 United Airline miles, 210,000 American Airline miles, and $697

Cost of hotels: $1,288 + 9,500 Starwood points

I still can’t believe this came together in under two months, and that includes me waiting until the last minute to apply for an India visa and not realizing I didn’t have any free pages in my passport…

So stay tuned!

Full Disclosure: I may receive affiliate credit from links in this post or on this site which will help fund my travels. Thank you for your support!

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