Now that I have an idea of how I’m going to tackle the financial factor, I need to get a better idea of my route or lack of. Some people like everything planned out ahead of time. Some prefer to figure it out as they go. I initially wanted a one-way ticket and to go as the wind blew me. The further down the preparation path I have gotten, the more structure I can provide for myself, the more comfortable I am feeling with it, especially because this is my first time going abroad by myself and I have limited previous experience abroad period.
Cue the discussion of a Round The World Pass again. It’s great because I get most of my transportation costs out of the way upfront and there is a bit of structure to my year. I unfortunately don’t have the money together for it yet so an alternate solution is needed. As of yesterday, I decided that a one-way ticket to Barcelona was the solution. As of today, the plan may shift quite a bit.
A one-way ticket from Atlanta to Barcelona will cost me 60,000 SkyMiles. A roundtrip ticket from Atlanta to Barcelona, returning to Atlanta from Lisbon would cost me 75,000 SkyMiles. If I purchase a roundtrip ticket, I am all of a sudden eligible to book a SkyTeam Europe Pass. It requires a minimum of three segments but tons of flexibility and prices that rival Ryanair with the benefit of earning SkyMiles. This may be perfect for the first few months given the schedule I’ve outlined:
01 Jun – Atlanta > Barcelona
04 Jun – Barcelona > New York (Speaking at Internet Week)
08 Jun – New York > Barcelona (Resume voyage)
21 Jun – Barcelona > (layover in Madrid) > London (Wireless Festival)*
03 Jul – London > Paris (Bastille Day)*
07 Jul – Paris > Belgrade (EXIT Festival)*
14 Jul – Belgrade > Paris*
02 Aug – Paris > Oslo (Øya Festival)*
16 Aug – Oslo > Stockholm train or Ryanair
24 Aug – Stockholm > Dublin Ryanair
30 Aug – Dublin > Lisbon Ryanair
07 Sep – Lisbon > Atlanta (Obligatory RT return; I could always skip)
My friend Justin generously offered to give me (transfer) the miles I would need to fill the gap between the one-way ticket and the round-trip ticket. The Europe Pass would cost me $915.30 through Delta for the six segments*.
My next decision is whether to continue East or West after returning (or not) back to Atlanta. SkyTeam offers a continental pass for Asia as well that I could use with another roundtrip flight from Atlanta. I should have the finances together by this point to purchase a Round The World Pass and could begin a year’s worth of travel at this point beginning in other direction. (I can only be in the European Union for three out of six months from the point of entry.) I could wait until September to make this decision. Right now, I feel as though taking advantage of the Europe Pass will be the most beneficial for my immediate plans.
For those who have reached out to me about donating SkyMiles to my cause, THANK YOU! I am really so very grateful. I won’t have an immediate need for them but Delta is offering a limited-time offer for a 50% mileage bonus on transferred miles through June 30! That is a killer deal. If you would like to transfer miles to me, please take advantage of this promotion! (My SkyMiles # 2554638490) Please let me know if you do transfer miles to me along with your mailing address so I can send you postcards along the way!