But where could it be?
Well, I’ve always wanted to visit Philippines at least once a year (or every two) ever since I moved in Hawaii and I was due for one. Hans has always said in the past that he wanted to see The Great Wall of China and Japan. Our Asia trip was slowly shaping up.
That was easy!
Then, the real planning began…
Since I am budget pal, I told Hans that our budget should only be $2000 EACH for the entire trip. Meaning, flights, hotels, tours, miscellaneous expenses, pocket money, etc. should only amount to $2000 per person. For E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.
How did I come up with $2000? Well, I am only willing to pay $2000 total for an international trip.
It seemed like impossible at first but when we checked our credit card rewards, our mileage (British Airways and Hawaiian Airlines) could actually cover our round trip tickets and we would only end up paying a total of $400 each in taxes for the entire trip. Sweeeeeet!
AND SO WE BOOKED!!!
Needless to say, we booked our tickets six months before the planned trip. It always is cheaper to book flights ahead of time when paying money or using miles. Another thing that could save you money when booking flights is the flexibility of your dates.
The trip came out as five days in Japan, seven days in the Philippines, and three days in China. Why only three days in China? Good question. Because I was only allowed two weeks of paid vacation, Hawaiian Airlines only fly on certain days from China to Hawaii, and China allows 72 hour transit visa FOR FREE. If we would have stayed in China for more than three days, then, we would have been required to have a Chinese visa that costs $140 plus shipping and processing fees. Uhmmm, NO.
As for the hotels, we still had leftover miles from our Europe trip which covered our Philippine and China accommodations and we used our Hyatt free nights at the Grand Hyatt in Tokyo (which is the BOMB btw). Total cost of accommodation: NADA.
In between the booking and the actual trip, we also included in the budget the Mount Fuji and Lake Ashi guided tour in Japan and a three day tour with an English-speaking tour guide in China (God forbid we get stuck somewhere in China and nobody knows how to speak English) which cost us $400 each. That left us $1200 each to conquer Asia. Well, at least parts of it.
To summarize, the actual cost of the entire trip would have been $6250 EACH! We only spent $2000! 🙂 🙂 🙂
I will be writing about the adventures, the ohhhs and the ahhs, epic fails, and downright funny experiences we had in each country on my next blog.