The Plans Get Bigger And Better

Posted: October 24, 2013 in Round The World, Travel
Tags: , , ,

Suddenly my plans of a Southeast Asia trip are turning into what is called a mini round the world (mini RTW). How? Well the initial plan was to use my Aeroplan points for a round trip from either Ottawa or Toronto to Bangkok. This would have cost 75000 points. Before pulling the trigger though and booking flights I wanted to be sure that I was maximizing the use of my points. As it turns out Aeroplan allows  two stopovers. You need to do this over the phone with their contact centre (costs $30) as building a complex itinerary such as this cannot be done on their webpage. After speaking with an agent and talking about options I came up with two new possible itineraries with stopovers:

#1 – Home to Bangkok (stopover #1). I would do my planned two to three months traveling around SE Asia. Then Bangkok to Istanbul (stop over #2). Why? A city I’ve always wanted to visit and honestly I just want some baklava from there. From Istanbul to London or Paris (this would be the final destination). I’m leaning towards Paris as it would be a better jumping off point for the rest of Europe with the train system. Then from either London or Paris home.

This plan would cost 80000 points as that is the threshold for Istanbul whereas Bangkok is 75000. Still, 5000 more points to add all these extra cities, countries, regions etc.

#2 – Home to Melbourne (stopover #1) for about two weeks. I have a relative in Melbourne that I would love to see, and oh yeah, it’s Australia! From Melbourne to Bangkok (stopover #2) where I will do my original plans. Then Bangkok to London or Paris (final destination). Then home.

This plan would also cost 80000 points as that is the threshold for OZ. I’m leaning towards this itinerary, I’d love to see my uncle whom I haven’t seen in over 10 years and with two weeks I hope to make it to at least Sydney. I know two weeks in OZ does no justice but this stop will greatly increase my costs. OZ is not going to be as cheap as SE Asia, of course neither will adding some Europe to the plan. 🙂

Moral of the story kids? Do some research before finalizing anything. By not jumping the gun and throwing away 75000 on a simple round trip to Thailand, I’m using 80000 to see two more continents, cross two oceans, visit Australia or Turkey and who knows how many other nations in Europe.

I can’t speak for other flight reward programs and whether they allow stopovers like Aeroplan does. Aeroplan is by no means the best program out there but from what I’ve read online they are leading the pack when it comes to being able to build a mini RTW. Don’t forget that Star Alliance offers a full round the world for 200000 points.

Stay tuned, I’ll be providing some tips on cheap air, vaccines, more points stuff and visas.

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