Join me for ‘Westward bound’ – my upcoming trip to the Asia, Europe and Middle East – Strategy and Planning

I'm getting ready to leave on Thursday for my upcoming trip to Asia, Europe and the Middle East. There are a lot of new locations and hotels awaiting and I'll have lots of updates coming up here.

But I can already share the strategy and planning stage. Instead of flying to Europe directly I always prefer going through Asia as this transforms the eastbound jetlag into a westward one for me. That simply helps my biorhythm a lot and things will get less blurry.

I had 135,000 Aeroplan points to burn. Aeroplan allows two stopovers and an open-jaw and mini-RTW routings. However they slap on high fuel surcharges for
many Star Alliance carriers for award tickets. They do not for United, US Airways and Singapore Airlines though. I quickly found United business class availability to Asia and from Europe to teh West Coast and also found Singapore Airlines business class for their flights to IST. I wasn't sure which place in Asia I'd like to stop-over in but realized Asiana flies to Siem Reap (Angkor Wat) a place that has been on my list forever.

There isn't a lot of flying from REP at least on Star Alliance so I opted for a cheap one-way from REP to KUL with Air Asia and to continue my trip from Kuala Lumpur. I spent five weeks in 2010 in KL and I got to love the city and Malaysia – everyone speaks English, they have great food and prices are very reasonable. So I'll enjoy being back for a little while.

I also realized that Air Berlin has daily flights to Tel Aviv from Berlin. It's just 10,000 Avios for the one-way per person and minimal taxes & fees. I have never been to Israel before but heard all these fantastic stories. After visiting Tel Aviv/ Jerusalem and Eilat I'll be flying back from Amman on Lufthansa. This one is a red-eye in Economy to Frankfurt. I'm not really looking forward to that particular flight but options from Amman to Germany are quite limited. After 2 more days in Berlin and London I'll be heading back to the West Coast.

It's gonna be a total of just over 25,000 miles flown 95% in business. Total costs is 135,000 Aeroplan, 10,000 Avios, 17,500 United miles and ~$500 in taxes and fees and Air Asia I'll be staying mostly in Intercontinental and Starwood properties along the way.

If you have any tips to share for the places I'd appreciate your comment very much.