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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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world.


  1. Thomas poray

    October 28, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Take a look at your stay in Chang mai and make sure it’s the la meridian in Chang mai and not Chang rai! Otherwise your in for a 3 hr bus/taxi ride! Been to both places, you will have a blast!

    • Keri Anderson

      October 28, 2015 at 11:40 pm

      Good catch! Totally mistyped Rai instead of Mai 🙂

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