Having won First/Business RTW tickets, I was seriously wondering how to possibly use them effectively? For those that are unfamiliar, a RTW airline ticket basically lets you fly a particular alliance around the world with a limited number of stops, governed by routing rules, and at a cut rate from buying individual one way tickets. I won equivalent award miles to book the tickets within the Star Alliance. Unfortunately, their award RTW tickets carry more restrictive rules over paid ones.
Aside from this, both my partner and I being full time working techies with limited vacation had the question of how long we could go for. I could take a 12-week leave of absence on top of vacation. My partner despised his job and was going to quit and get something different after returning. We decided 15 weeks total, leaving 1 week after returning home to “adjust”. We like major cities and their gay scenes, so 14 weeks of ManAboutWorld’ing, definitely mandates downtime after.
The routing rules I knew of were 6 stops with 1 open jaw (arriving/departing different airports). When booking time came however, I discovered award RTW tickets required saver-award availability, routing across the pacific was simply not available, and either was all first class segments. The clever “family” customer service rep servicing us at the RTW alliance phone desk saved us though, and for similar miles and less restrictions, we booked individual saver awards with carefully selected business and first segments instead of a single first class RTW award.
Focusing on fewer stops and more immersion within our time frame, and easy hopper flights and trains for side trips, as well as the airline routing availability, we came up with the following. We will start in San Francisco, travel westward for easier jet lag, and encompass April through June to follow Spring/Fall.
Argentina: The food is amazing, the nightlife is crazy, and the gay male reputation is hot! We chose 2 weeks in Buenos Aires.
Japan: It’s unique, the gay scene is completely different, and a culture shock for sure. We opted for 1 week in Tokyo.
Australia: We love our Aussiebums and all things down under. We picked Sydney and Melbourne for just under 2 weeks total.
Thailand: It has tasty food, inexpensive luxury, and is The Gay Asian Capital. We wanted Phuket for beach time and Bangkok for partying, 2 weekends total.
Europe: Roam about via train and hopper flights for 6 weeks. (Elaborated in my next posting)
Sweden: Scandinavia for some northern boys, and it might even be warm in June for our 5 nights in Stockholm.
Netherlands: Experiencing Amsterdam for two nights before, It will be a great gay end to the trip for 4 nights.