Itinerary Updating: Why We Booked 6 Flights Today
Here we are in Thailand, and instead of exploring temples and street food, we’ve spent 6 hours flight hacking (check out Dan’s guide, if you’re curious on his method). The result is a slightly updated and, more importantly, concrete itinerary from now all the way until December 2013. Here’s what we changed, and why we booked:
Pre-booking multi-country travel vs. booking as we go
When we left Minneapolis, we had 6 weeks of flights and car rentals booked, and most of the accommodation for the same period. The rest of the trip we planned to book as we go, estimating we’d stay about 6 weeks ahead the whole time. The problem is, we haven’t stayed 6 weeks ahead, and the last few flights we booked were more like 1-3 weeks in advance. While we got pretty lucky with prices, it was risky since costs always increase closer to the travel date if a flight reaches a certain capacity (sometimes to over $100,000). The reason we got behind planning travel was because we were enjoying the countries we were in at the time. To me, this is how it should be. Lately our travel planning time was spent researching routes and fares, rather than attractions and experiences.
So, by booking the rest of our flights for the first half of our trip (until mid-November), we are freeing up our often-limited internet time to do more local research and posting photos. Plus, we are staying in each country an average of two weeks, which still gives us flexibility to decide where to go within each country.
Itinerary for the rest of the year | We’re headed to Amsterdam again!
Another reason we decided to book up our flights is because Dan found a massive Malaysia Airlines fare sale that gets us home in October from Shanghai via Amsterdam for HALF of what we had budgeted by going through Japan. We love Amsterdam anyway, so it worked out perfectly to spend three weeks there before flying direct to Minneapolis on Delta Airlines.
So with that flight booked, we shuffled around the route we had planned get to Shanghai in September, and still hit the countries on our must-see list: Cambodia, Vietnam, South Korea, and China. Check out the updated itinerary here, and let us know when you’re going to meet up with us!
Any tips on cities, attractions, or experiences we should check out in the next few months?