Later this year, Ed and I will be flying around the world on what promises to be an exhausting, exhilarating two and a half week trip. We will be making stops in Oslo, Norway; Cairo, Egypt; Moscow, Russia; Dubai; Beijing, China; and Sydney, Australia. Are we crazy? Maybe.
About two weeks ago, Ed said to me, “Delta has reinstated their Round the World program.” He had lamented never taking advantage of the program in the past, so my response was easy: “Then we need to do it instead of just talking about it.” Round the World lets you pay SkyMiles to circumnavigate the globe. You can make up to six stops along the way, but there’s one catch: no backtracking! Once you start heading either east or west, you have to continue in that same direction.
We picked our ideal destinations in less than an hour. Our goals included getting Ed to Africa for the first time, getting me to Australia for the first time, and stopping in Russia, a country we both really want to visit. Otherwise, we were pretty flexible.
Good thing, too. We wanted to fly east and stop in Morocco first, but we would have had to change planes in Paris. Paris is further east than Morocco, so that would have been backtracking. No worries: Cairo became our substitute African stop. (And yes, the “Are you crazy?” responses to that stop have already begun.) First, though, we’ll be visiting Oslo. Thanks to Epcot, I’ve wanted to visit Norway since I was a kid. Ed has always wanted to go, too.
Delta actually has a special phone number to call if you’re booking a Round the World flight. The agent who helped us was fantastic, and kept the options coming as we sorted through flights and stops. Three and a half hours later, we were booked.
Now the real work begins. We have to book hotels (hello, Marriott points!), get Visas for most of the countries, and start planning how we’re going to pack for the Norwegian and Russian winters, as well as the warm desert days in Cairo and Dubai. I’m supposed to wear long sleeves in Dubai, but do I have to cover my hair? Should we sign up for a group tour in Cairo, or hire a private tour guide to take us to the pyramids and other sites? And just how good will the vodka in Moscow taste? I’ll post more as our plans progress!