When one is fortunate to take an annual three-week vacation, where to go is obviously the biggest decision. Many people return over and over again to their favorite spots. They know what to expect and/or they’ve created relationships with a particular hotel or resort. To each his own, but the hubby and I are not those folks. Every year we try to go where we’ve not yet been for at least the majority of the trip, with possibly a repeat stay somewhere to how the trip is routed.
This year as the title suggests is to SE Asia to four new countries: Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia. On other trips in the region, we’ve been to Japan, China, Thailand, Singapore and several times to Hong Kong. At some point we’ll go back to those spots, but not now.
Planning this trip was challenging as there’s a lot of geography to cover and no cruise ships involved. And, unlike previous trips to Europe, there’s no train travel nor driving involved. So it’s all about flights and more flights — mostly short ones. For the long flights, I do feel “victorious” having once again secured them via my AA miles: LAX-Hong Kong on American (biz class for 70K per person). The even better one (and it does feel like a victory!) is Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong (with a 10-hour stop providing ample time to visit the tailor) and then continuing on to LAX — this time on Cathay in biz class likewise for a total of 70k each. Long-range planning and perseverance, my friends, is what this is all about. Our spend becomes on the ground instead of in the air, which is why I commit so much time “achieving” these tickets. By the way, the hotels where we’re traveling are so much less than the same brands charge in other destinations. So if I’m sounding deliriously happy, there’s a good reason for it!
The first flight was a flawless one — on time, smooth, slumber achieved. The hubby’s seat was dysfunctional requiring a total system reset, but I was asleep. His new bestie attendant was very kind — even awarding us each 10K miles for the “inconvenience.” That’s what I call service and a great way to reward loyalty.
I hadn’t thought about checking the bags all the way through to Taipei as we changed airlines in Hong Kong from American to EVA. That change was flawless as well — the transfer desk simply took our documents, handled finding and re-ticketing our luggage, then gave us new bag tags, boarding passes and lounge access all in about 40 minutes.
So stay tuned — next post after our couple of days in Taipei and enjoying baseball in a fifth country!