Search This Blog

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Spring 2015 Asian Escapade

Yes, I know I haven't finished my last trip report... but I wanted to give you a heads up that I just came back from another trip. As you can see below, we hit a lot of places in a short amount of time. I call it "run-and-gun" but it's definitely not for everyone.

I enjoy maximizing the return on value to visit cities I normally would just connect through; I previously wrote about utilizing stopover privileges, and how you can flex them to your advantage.

Read more: Maximize the Layovers on Your Itinerary

As the real-life example here, I was able to stretch out a simple trip to Vietnam to include stops in Tokyo and Kyoto during cherry blossom season, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Chicago.

The map of my flights:
Image source: Great Circle Mapper
What you see above is actually a combination of paid and award bookings (and another example of why it's so worth it to pay attention to miles!). The foundation of the whole trip is a purchased double open-jaw roundtrip, which had us flying Seattle (SEA) to Tokyo-Narita (NRT), then as the return Saigon (SGN) to Los Angeles (LAX). By flying back into LAX instead of SEA, I was able to save a couple hundred dollars in airfare, even after counting the cost of buying a separate one-way flight LAX-SEA.

Sidenote: You'll probably see me refer to "we" a few times. I'm fortunate enough to be able to travel with my wife and some friends of ours, so when you scale the savings up, it starts amounting to a lot!

To get from Japan to Vietnam, we cashed in some miles and flew in comfort while maxing out how much we could fly.

So I have a full report for you: flights, hotels, ground transportation, and experiences.  Our complete itinerary, so that you can visualize it and either envy or pity us:
  • Alaska Airlines, from Seattle to Los Angeles
  • American Airlines, from Los Angeles to Tokyo-Narita
    • LAX Admirals Club
    • Hyatt Regency Tokyo
  • Shinkansen, from Tokyo to Kyoto
    • Ryokan Ryokufuso
    • Hotel Nikko Kansai
  • Japan Airlines, from Osaka-Kansai to Taipei-Taoyuan
    • KIX Sakura Lounge
    • Grand Hyatt Taipei
  • Cathay Pacific Airways, from Taipei-Taoyuan to Hong Kong
    • TPE Business Class Lounge
    • Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui
  • Cathay Pacific Airways, from Hong Kong to Saigon
    • HKG The Bridge Business Class Lounge
    • Lan Lan 2 Hotel
  • Vietnam Airlines, from Saigon to Danang
    • Hyatt Regency Danang
  • Vietnam Airlines, from Danang to Saigon
    • Lan Lan 2 Hotel
  • Phuong Trang/FUTA Buslines, from Saigon to Can Tho
    • West Hotel
  • Japan Airlines, Saigon to Tokyo-Haneda
    • SGN The Bamboo Lounge
  • American Airlines, from Tokyo-Narita to Chicago-O'Hare
    • NRT Admirals Club
    • Conrad Chicago
  • American Airlines, from Chicago-O'Hare to Los Angeles
  • Alaska Airlines, from Los Angeles to Seattle
So stay tuned!

No comments:

Post a Comment