Tag Archives: currency

Big Trip Weekly Status Update – Two Weeks Left

This Week

  • Got my Chinese visa. So now I can legally do the entire trip.
  • Bought a few more things for my trip, mainly for security of my stuff.
  • Booked two more places I’m going to stay. Now I know where I will spend the first 16 nights, and 24 overall of my 45-day trip (I recounted: it’s 45 not 47 days), which is becoming more comforting.
  • Booked another tour: zip lining near Cusco.
  • Got some initial currencies for each country.
  • Rushingly signed up for an account with a debit/ATM card that offers no foreign transaction fee nor ATM fees. Still need to finish the process.
  • Started to test drive and practice living out of my luggage. Transformation isn’t complete yet, but it’s getting a little bothersome, partly because I have habits of using my regular stuff at home.

Next Week

  • Really need to book at least the majority of where I’m going to stay. That’ll make me feel much better about the state of my planning.
  • Get that debit card.
  • Get my emergency/contingency plan together.
  • Tying up loose ends for things that I’ve booked (arranging pick-ups, etc.)
  • Start prepping for “at home” tasks while I’m away (stop mail, pause subscriptions, etc.)

(11 days)

(Scotland is staying in the UK. After brief research, at least now I sort of understand the differences between England, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom. It still confuses me though when I look up the “country” in a drop-down list, I had to look three times with mix results.)

Big Trip Weekly Status Update – Four Weeks Left

Lots of progress this weekend (and this week).


  • Still a lot of things I feel like I need to get, but my bag is practically full already. So I need to decide which will make the cut.
  • I did finally got the two pairs of shoes I’m bringing to the trip (one hike/walking and one nice/night out) that I have started breaking in.

Tours and Accommodations

These things kind of go hand-in-hand. I had to figure what I’m going to do at these destinations to figure out where I should stay. And some of these activities I’m purchasing tours for and they need to know where I’m staying so they can pick me up. I had already booked the Machu Picchu and safari trip, but they were multi-day and took care of accommodations.

So this weekend I’ve finally started looking at the three day trips that I needed to do: Get admission to the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, going out to “chase” the Northern Lights and visiting the Great Wall. It’s also when I finally began relying on TripAdvisor, however confusing to navigate. After hours of shopping and agonizing over price and tour features, I’ve:

  • (Albuquerque) bought the tickets and confirmed an Airbnb request to stay near the event pickup/dropoff location
  • (Tromsø): booked a tour that should be a good deal and started looking at Airbnb spots near the pickup spot.
  • (Beijing): booked a tour for the Great Wall and reserved a spot at a hostel near city center and public transit.

If it wasn’t for my “Advanced To-Do List” I wouldn’t have been this organized to finally just suck it up and do it.

Flight Seats

I thought it was about time I select the seats on all my flights before all the good ones are taken. Well, the bad news is that because I made the reservation through the airline alliance and not individual airlines, I was only able to select seats for United and Lufthansa, which sort of heads the alliance. And also, I’m beginning to realize that more airlines are only allowing you to select your seats 1) if you pay extra, or 2) when you check-in. This is going to take more pre-planning and looking up Seatguru to make sure I get good enough seats for me to sleep on the longer flights. So for now, that’s almost everything I can do.


This coming week, I have many things I need to tackle:

  • Apply for the China visa now I have an address for where I’m staying to put on the application
  • Really buy as much of the stuff I need as I can online so they arrive on time; otherwise, I’d have to go out and buy potentially inferior and unreviewed products in person.
  • Start looking at places I want to say for the rest of the places. I heard Europe has more options and can be done later but still.
  • Start figuring out how much money I need in each country and go get at least some of that money before my trip.

(25 days)

(I heard recently that Lufthansa’s worker’s having a strike.)

(Hodor and Bran won’t be in Season 5.)