RTW Advice

Old Dec 24th, 2011, 01:14 PM
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RTW Advice

Hi everyone,

I'm currently planning a year-long around the world trip and am looking for some advice. My mom passed away a few years ago, while I was in college, and among the things she left me were about 160,000 American Airlines miles, and instructions to use them wisely. I've decided that now is the time and over the past few weeks I have been doing research into volunteer opportunities abroad in the places I would most like to visit. My plan is to take as close to a year as possible to do the trip (although I know that because of the way award tickets work, realistically this will be less).

My tentative itinerary looks like this:

Los Angeles - Lima
Lima - Santiago
Santiago - Punta Arenas (to explore Patagonia)
Punta Arena - Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires - Iguasu Falls - Rio De Janeiro
Rio - London
London - Nairobi (to try and do Kilimanjaro and a Safari, if it's not too expensive)
Nairobi - Amman
Amman - Mumbai (I'd spend about a month in India and Nepal)
Mumbai - Tokyo
Tokyo - Beijing
Beijing - Hong Kong
Hong Kong - Bangkok (2 months in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia)
Bangkok - Sydney
Sydney - Los Angeles

Has anybody been to any of these places and have suggestions for stuff to do, or should I avoid any of these spots? Also, my goal is to volunteer a lot, as well as find some WWOOF farms to work on... anybody have experience with that? I know there's a lot of volunteer organizations preying on naive tourists... definitely want to avoid that whole scene, obviously.

I apologize in advance if these are stupid questions, feel free to jump on me if they are. But thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!

- Alex
FrankReynolds is offline  
Old Dec 24th, 2011, 01:32 PM
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Congrats on your RTW be sure miles have not expired and might book fairly quickly as AA.com is now Chapter 11.Oneworld is an alliance of 12 of the world's leading airlines – American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia/www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/programInformation/oneworld/overvieWill have specialists to help you with RTW details.As a budget backpacker bootsnall.com boards hospitalityclub.org 2 good local sites to review.Reverse your route for less jet lag. check weather2travel.com travel.state.gov and columbusdirect.com for insurance.Careful research will yield
better experience.WOOFwill not work well in most areas cheap
hostels hostelbookers.com works better. onebag.com good packing tips.

Good luck!
qwovadis is offline  
Old Dec 24th, 2011, 02:08 PM
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For info on volunteering and WWOOF you'll get more help at Lonely Planet's thorntree. I think Lonely Planet and Rough Guide also have books on RTW, and I highly recommend Hasbrouck's "Practical Nomad".

I have done three RTWs using AA FF miles (I wouldn't worry too much about the bankruptcy). Start here: http://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/pr...view.jsp#using

You probably want the oneworld Explorer award. Note that with that award it's a lot cheaper than usual to fly business class, which makes a huge difference on long haul flights. You have enough miles to do that, perhaps with one open segment.

I notice that you're short-changing Europe - any reason for that? Also, you'll get better help with info on places if you post on the continent-specific forums.
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Old Dec 24th, 2011, 02:09 PM
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BTW, you say that you inherited those miles "a few years ago". Are you sure they haven't expired?
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Old Dec 24th, 2011, 02:13 PM
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The only thing I would add to qwovadis's post is that you would enjoy the UAE or Bahrain more than Jordan.
My son the ex-Marine made a port call in Bahrain before Iraq.
He also passed through Hong Kong on his way to Taipei. He prefers Taiwan.
Good luck on your epic journey!
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Old Dec 24th, 2011, 02:29 PM
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RTW gets quite complex so check with AA.com experts first.
I lost a bunch of miles with AA they were 2 years old was told they had expired and I would have to buy them back.Do
not do that.The 11-member Oneworld alliance offers two types of RTWs The unique OneWorld Explorer is based on the number of continents visited (from three to six) and has no maximum mileage limit. Up to 16 segments, as opposed to stopovers, can be included — in any class of service. However, because of that flight (or "segment") ceiling, this fare can be more limiting than it first seems. (Also, only two stopovers are permitted in the continent of origin.) On the other hand, routings that require major backtracking (ie: from Europe to Africa) are more easily accommodated here, than they are in mile-centric fares. Travelers are free to change the dates on their ticket at no extra charge. Global Explorer is Oneworld's more conventional, mileage-based RTW (26,000, 29,000 or 39,000 in Economy class only; 34,000 in Economy, Business or First class). While the OneWorld Explorer is limited to the full members of Oneworld, several non-Oneworld alliance airlines (including Aer Lingus, Air Pacific, Alaska Airlines and its affiliate Horizon Air, Gulf Air, S7 Airlines and Kingfisher and affiliate Kingfisher Red (for its domestic Indian flights only). Qantas code share flights operated by Air Tahiti Nui, Jetstar, South African Airways and Vietnam Airlines can also be used.) can be used with the Global Explorer. For this reason, travel to certain regions -- e.g. many South Pacific islands -- is easier with Global Explorer than with Oneworld Explorer. Surface segment rules are particularly rigid and constraining on the Global Explorer, and the 16-segment restriction applies. As with the Star Alliance mileage-based RTWs, all miles are counted, including surface segments. Each surface segment also consumes one of the 16 permitted ticket segments. Regions with good coverage: North America, South America (including the Galapagos and Easter Island), the Caribbean, Easter Island, Europe, Middle East, Eastern Asia, parts of the South Pacific (Global Explorer), Australia, India and Russia. Weak Areas: Intra-Africa, India, the South Pacific (OneWorld Explorer).

Might also xpost over on Air Travel forum smart folks over there especially GardyLoo knows a lot. www.flyertalk.com
good specialists on this also might post up over there.

www.airtreks.com for RTW good values for me in the past if you end up getting shafted on those points by AA.

Have fun!
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