The Itinerary. Well, it started big, really big: Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Jakarta, New Dehli, Istanbul, Cairo, Amman, Venice, Zurich, Geneva, Strasbourg, Bruges, Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris, London, New York, Mexico City, Rio De Janeiro, Johannesburg, Singapore, Sydney, Auckland, Nadi, Papeete, Honolulu, Los Angeles. For Practical and of course budgetary reasons, I have identified and booked two more manageable itineraries, each of which I’m completing in around 18 days.
Itinerary 1: San Francisco, Hong Kong, Singapore, Cairo (via Dubai), Istanbul, Venice, Zurich, Strasbourg, Bruges, Amsterdam, London, Paris, Washington DC then back to home base in Portland, Oregon. I was shooting for landmark value, cultural diversity and scenic diversity, and I believe I have just what I am looking for with this first itinerary. It’s compact, manageable, affordable and exciting!
Just a couple of days/nights in each location might not be enough for many people, but for me, well, I’m on a deadline, and I do a lot of advance planning, particularly with regard to landmark locations, hotel locations and view/photographic opportunities. As I’ve stated, my goal is primarily to capture and experience diverse cultures and sights. I have used Priceline.com, Expedia.com and TripAdvisor.com as well as Google Maps® to help me make my decisions on where to shoot, where to stay and where to visit during my short stays. These tools provide you so much information, it does help to have some goals or benchmarks in mind.
We’ll talk about hotels first. I am on a budget, but not restricting myself to the cheapest, more focusing on a middle ground balance of cost, convenience (location), and potential view. My checklists include available Internet access (free being a bonus), balcony or view, roof garden/pool/terrace, and last of all, trying to keep said choices to just under the $200 (US) per night mark. With all those considered, then it’s on to TripAdvisor to digest guest reviews of shortlisted hotels that meet the criteria. Interestingly, one of the most difficult places to make my decision has been paris. there are thousands of hotel choices, and as a result, many that meet my criteria fall way down the list of traveler reviews. I’m still working on that!
Next Post: A complete list of hotel choices, and reasons why, which, while I travel, I can compare with the TripAdvisor Reviews, and write my own and see how they stack up. Happy travels!