You wouldn’t expect someone who only traveled with a carry-on (filled to capacity before the trip even started) to collect many souvenirs. You’d be right.
My worldly possessions:
The damage (trying to stay spiritual as I add this all up):
Airline tickets, plus travel insurance: $ 3,200
Lodging in South Africa, Maldives, India, San Diego, Las Vegas, Los Angeles: $ 1,750. I used Expedia for accommodation in South Africa and the Maldives, as well as some lodging in India.
Word-of-mouth led me to a residential hotel in a great San Diego neighborhood that was a reasonable $800 for a month.
A roommate ad led to an apartment share in LA that cost $350 for two weeks, including a washer and dryer. Even with a roomie following me around and picking up lint in my wake, that was a good deal for that part of LA.
And Airbnb led to the yacht on my old street in Marina del Rey.
The rest was the kindness of friends and acquaintances.
Transportation: Rental car, California: $ 700 (ouch). Numerous auto-rickshaws in India: $30. Amtrak train from San Diego to LA: $36 (cheaper than Pennsylvania to New York City.)
Souvenirs and necessities like the camera and Skype and WetOnes: $ 350.
Wasted money: $12 for mosquito-repellant wipes not needed. I’d much rather have it this way, believe me.
Food: Let’s not go there. Probably more than the rest of the trip
Minor computer problems: $80 for Verizon back-up wireless when my wireless connection started getting cranky. Fortunately, I was back in the U.S. by the time this happened. Plus $60 for a new electric cord adapter. Stands to reason, my computer had traveled the same 34,000 miles, and was just as beat.
Total: Around $7,000, give or take, with the food. Trust me, it could have been much worse if I’d had gone with regular airlines (thanks again, AirTreks) and didn’t put the brakes on the car rentals.
Sponsorship: $1,500, plus encouragement, support from humans and dachshund, courtesy Skype. Also worked my regular news job.
Weight gained: 12 pounds
Miles traveled: Almost 34,000; only about 9,000 were on an airline that was a member of my frequent-flyer program.
I thought the other airlines would not qualify because they weren’t members. But now I’m finding out I may be entitled to some miles. Will be getting into that in next post.
If you want the miles, AirTreks can generally accommodate with any airline of your choice. In my case, saving money was more important than booking more-expensive routes with certain airlines just for the miles.
Continents visited: Four, including North America.
Seeing places I’d never been, along with old friends: priceless
Note: Keep in mind that I had a very extended stay in southern California. If you were to do this, you wouldn’t have that expense.