Posted by Amy:
I thought it would be good to give a little planning update. It is now mid –June. We leave in just under two months. The kids have two more weeks school and have camp still ahead of them. David continues going to work. I have camp packing and end of the school year craziness on my mind. I think it is fair to say that the trip still seems a bit intangible to us. I am not sure when it will fully hit us. When we get our shots? When we are on the plane? When we say good-bye to the Katz’s and Aunt Susan who are traveling to Israel with us? When we lose our credit card or passport in some remote location?
Our plane tickets are set. We have purchased Round the World (RTW) plane tickets from American Airlines. They call them the OneWorld ticket. These tickets have many rules and regulations that I was actually happy to hear about since they gave me some framework for planning, instead of simply being overwhelmed by options. The fee is determined by how many continents you plan on traveling to. That is five for us.
The rules are as follows:
1. We get 16 flight segments. Layovers and connecting flights count as their own segment. Arriving in one city but flying out of another is considered a land connection and counts against us. (The strategies begin to unfold, how to make the most of these 16 segments.)
2. We must cross the Pacific and the Atlantic each once.
3. We must go in one direction, either East- West or West-East. This turns out to be a big round the world traveler’s dilemma. But we chose East to West for the simple reason that we wanted to go from more familiar cultures to more unfamiliar cultures.
4. Finally, within the continent, we can go any direction, but only 4 flights per continent.
5. And also, we can change dates without penalty, but to change destinations incurs a fee.
So… here is what we came up with.
Beginning of August – Leave for Chicago, by car.
Aug – Fly to Tel Aviv, Israel, with a short layover in London
End of August– Fly to London, England (for some unknown reason, OneWorld considers Israel part of Europe and not Asia. Don’t know why, but it works for our advantage here.)
End of Oct. – Fly to Hong Kong, China – Here we will add on plane or train to mainland China
Mid November – Fly to Bangkok, Thailand
End of Dec. – Fly to Delhi, India
Mid Jan. – Fly to Sydney, Australia , with a layover in Hong Kong
Feb – Fly to Auckland, New Zealand
Mar – Fly to Santiago, Chile
From here on the dates are not set because we can only book flights 330 days in advance
Fly to Lima, Peru
Fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina
Fly to Bogotá, Colombia
Fly to Detroit!!!