It all started with a goal. To be part of an exclusive group, the Traveler’s Century Club. The only requirement? Visit 100 countries/territories based on their list. We’ve been checking off countries for the past few years and we are getting very close to our goal. As fate would have it, I was lucky enough to be given 30 days of leave. Since I’m always earning and burning my leave, this was new as I’d be able to plan for a much longer trip with a lot more destinations. For this trip, we tried to add as many check marks to our tally. As usual, we used a boatload of miles and points to fund a big chunk of our travel. We used a lot of our Chase Ultimate Reward Points and transferred it to United. We also used some Hilton Honor points for our accommodations.
For the first part of our trip we booked the following itinerary with 37.5k United miles.
This itinerary would give us a short stop in Los Angeles where we can spend time with family. It also gives us long layovers in El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama. Finally, we arrive in Puerto Rico for some fun in the sun. We booked some tours for all the destinations to maximize the short amount of time. We use these short trips to get a feel for the country so that we can return later if we want to. For our accommodations, we booked the DoubleTree by Hilton Cariari for Costa Rica and the Hilton Caribe for San Juan, Puerto Rico. We also took advantage of an Amex offer that takes $70 off a Hilton stay.
After Central America, we booked this itinerary for 20k United miles per person:
We would be spending a night in Colombia and Sao Paolo, Brazil before arriving at our destination, Iguazu, Brazil. We will use this as our base as we explore the Iguazu Falls and the border towns of Argentina and Uruguay. For our accommodations, we booked the DoubleTree Hilton Bogota, Sleep Inn Garaulhos and Pousada Sonho Meu in Iguazu.
After Central America, we head back north. Our itinerary would take us:
We are flying from Iguazu to Lima, Peru and then onwards to Toronto, Canada where we have an overnight layover before we continue on to Honolulu, Hawaii via Washington DC. For the YYZ-IAH-HNL legs, we were lucky enough to snag cheap first class tickets. Since the travel time would be more than 13 hours, this is definitely a welcome treat! We booked the Hilton Toronto Airport for our layover and then the Hale Koa, a military resort, for our stay in Honolulu.
Next up, we booked the following trip because of the “Island Hopper” flight with 35k United miles. This flight takes you all around the different Pacific Islands and eventually lands in Guam. The crazy itinerary looks like this:
After our overnight layover in Guam, we continue on to Japan where we will spend a night and stay close to Shibuya Station. Finally, this part of the trip ends when we land in Manila for some much needed time with the family.
After spending a few days in Manila, we would then head to Amanwana in Indonesia. Since our honeymoon, we’ve been talking about staying in an Aman Resort again so we decided to splurge on the last portion on this epic trip. Our itinerary would take us:
On the way to Amanwana, we will have a short layover in Taiwan and an overnight in Bali where we booked the Hilton Garden Inn Bali. We will then board our seaplane and spend 3 nights in Amanwana. For our return, we will have an overnight in Manila before heading back to South Korea.
Overall we used, 175k United miles to fund a big part of the trip, we also used around 40k HHonor points for some of our accommodations. When the dust settles, we would have taken 27 flights and added 13 new countries/territories to our list which brings us that much closer to our goal. Oh, and did I say we were bringing our 20-month old daughter with us? This trip should be epic.
Stay tuned for more!