Our first international trip since returning home from our previous trip almost a year ago. In fact, I started planning this tip almost immediately upon returning home, which was later than I’d ideally start. As such, I was a little more limited in award space than usual.
I first looked at maybe going back to Australia, but that was just not doable. I also considered South America or South Africa, but there were not too many options for that either. Plus, the idea of planning/figuring out a new destination at the time was just not appealing after all the planning that went in to our RTW 2013 trip.
So looking for something more relaxing, we settled on a return to the Maldives – for 8 nights this time. That was easy, required little planning and had great flights available (Cathay Pacific First Class, Etihad First Class). We’d even get to spend a couple days in Kuala Lumpur on the way there and 4 nights in Paris on the way home. And the trip was set…or so we thought.
Between now and then, we got a pleasant surprise and learned that Alyce was pregnant. She would be unable to Scuba dive in the Maldives, plus we would be a flight away from any sort of decent medical services in the unlikely event that there was a probem.
We considered just abandoning the trip altogether, but we came up with an alternative plan that would let us spend some more time in Europe and still be able to put to use some of the flights already booked. Basically, we’re going to Europe the long way – heading West.
We fly to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific and spend one night there then connect to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and spend a night there. From Malaysia, we connect through Singapore to London and stay for 4 nights. We’ll catch a quick flight from London to Paris and finish up with 5 nights there. We’ll return on the normal route from Europe – crossing the Atlantic.
But don’t feel too sorry for us with all that flying…It will all be in First Class on some really nice airlines. We’ll also mix in some nice hotels. For anyone who is interested in that, here is our final flight/hotel itinerary:
MSY-ORD (New Orleans – Chicago) on American Airlines First Class
ORD-HKG (Chicago – Hong Kong) in Cathay Pacific First Class
HKG-KUL (Hong Kong – Kuala Lumpur) in Malaysia Air First Class (A380)
KUL-SIN (Kuala Lumpur – Singapore) in Singapore Airlines regional First
SIN-LHR (Singapore – London) in Singapore Airlines Suites Class (A380)
LHR-CDG (London – Paris) in British Airways Economy
CDG-???-MSY – I’m still waiting out for a Lufthansa First Class flight to open up on this, but I have a United business class flight booked as a backup.
Hong Kong – Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui
Kuala Lumpur – Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
London – Hyatt Regency Churchill
Paris – Park Hyatt Vendome
Travel – 1
Hong Kong – 1
Kuala Lumpur – 1
London – 4
Paris – 5
So it will be a much shorter trip than the last one, but it’s still plenty to do and see. This will be our first time to Europe, so we are very excited about that.
We’re going to try to stay on top of blog posts this trip, but I don’t know that we’ll do as good of a job as the last one.