Back in May, one of my friends posted on Facebook about this crazy deal on Priceline: you could get tickets from JFK to Europe and then on to Asia for a couple hundred dollars. He said to play around with the parameters to see what you could get, so I spend a couple of hours doing just that, worried that the deal would disappear the entire time.
My final itinerary was from JFK to Milan, and then from Lisbon to Bangkok, for $376.
To this I added a one-way ticket from Bangkok back to Spokane for $74 — and a lot of Delta air miles. I got to JFK on a paltry $5.60 fee and 12,000 United points. Mind you, the route was less than ideal, sending me through LAX and taking longer than all but the Bangkok-to-Spokane leg of the journey. From Milan to Lisbon I purchased a one-way Ryanair flight for $94. Total round-the-world flight price: $556.
I tacked all this onto the end of a work trip to Vancouver, BC. I leave in a couple of hours. All told, I’ll be gone for a month and a day, and I’ll travel eastwards the circumference of the globe and then some. My plan is to try to do the entire trip on a $1,000 budget, just to prove I can — and without resorting to sleeping on park benches and eating out of trash cans. More power to those who can do that; I’m too spoiled for such austerity.
As for the budget, it’s about what I’d spend in the month of November anyway on housing (as luck would have it, a friend called and wanted to rent for a month, so I’m getting out of my biggest bill), food, gas, entertainment and so on. So, really, if you look at it a certain way, the trip will be free. I’ll even be working remotely — appropriately, on an issue of our magazine that deals with how cloud-based technology is affecting global business.
I’ve never done anything quite like this before. I’ve traveled enough, I feel savvy enough. I think I can pull it off. But we shall see.