We just booked a trip that will take us from California to Korea, where we’ll spend 2 weeks, and then from Korea to Germany (and wherever else in Europe), where we’ll spend almost 3 months. An around the world trip with a kid? How did this all come to be?
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It all started when Flying Momma wrote on her dreamline that she wanted to live in Europe. The reason Flying Momma wrote that she wanted to live in Europe on her dreamline was because Flying Dad and she had made a list of vacation spots and activities and on there were Oktoberfest, European Winter/Christmas markets, Switzerland, and the Loire Valley (specifically to visit Flying Dad’s friend’s new inn). So, rather than taking multiple trips to Europe, it struck me that we should just live there, temporarily.
But how to do that, affordably? Home swap! Just like that movie “The Holiday” with Cameron Diaz and Jack Black. Next thing you know we signed up on a home exchange website, homeexchange.com, and as luck would have it a couple of weeks later someone contacted us about trading our house in California for their house in Germany, for 6 months. After much careful consideration, we decided we’d do a 3 month home exchange, so now we’re headed to Germany, with a stop in Korea. Besides, we couldn’t stay longer than 90 days otherwise we’d be deported!
Let me take a minute to talk a little about the stop in Korea. This “trip” wasn’t exactly “planned”, so we’re doing our best to keep costs down, therefore we’ll be using our frequent flyer miles to get us to and from Europe. We had read on other blogs, like The Points Guy about tips and tricks for getting the most out of your frequent flier mile tickets so we tried it out for ourselves and it worked. On United you are allowed two open jaws and one stopover. The way it’s working out for us is we’re flying from SFO to Germany, with a stopover in Korea. And then we’re flying from Germany back to LAX. It wouldn’t work when we tried to fly back to SFO. I’m guessing because booking 2 open jaws is allowed, but booking a round the world ticket is a different thing. Anyway, we’ll figure out a way to get from LAX to SFO and we’ll tell you about it when we get home.
Well, we have much planning left to do before we leave. We need to prep our home for our exchange guests. We need to figure out if getting Eurail passes is going to be economical for these side trips we want to do. Everyone talks about how inexpensive it is to fly once you’re in Europe. We need to figure out what we’re doing in Korea. Right now the thought is we’ll use our Chase Ultimate Reward points and our anniversary nights to book a hotel room in Seoul and perhaps take a side trip from Seoul. Need to do some research there.
If you have any ideas or suggestions, we’re all ears. Thanks for the input and we’ll let you know as our plans shape up.