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Rapid Travel Chai: Extreme International Travel at FTU DFW 2015

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Rapid Travel Chai Extreme International Travel at Frequent Traveler University, Dallas, December 2015.

Explore the world’s eyebrow-raising destinations. Commemorate the Battle of Iwo Jima. Stand in the presence of mountain gorillas in D.R. Congo. See the Caribbean where cruise ships don’t dock. Ideas for going way off the beaten path and strategies for how to do it.

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Rapid Travel Chai: Extreme International Travel at FTU DFW 2015

  1. 1. The Black SandsThe Black Sands
  2. 2. Iwo Jima ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  3. 3. The Veterans ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  4. 4. The Charter ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  5. 5. The Memorial ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  6. 6. What It Took Delta or United award to Guam – 70k economy Military Historic Tours Charter $1535 Charter waitlist persistence Who’s in for Wake Atoll in December? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Delta or United award to Guam – 70k economy Military Historic Tours Charter $1535 Charter waitlist persistence Who’s in for Wake Atoll in December?
  7. 7. The Pacific TheaterThe Pacific Theater
  8. 8. Thin Red Line in Solomon Islands ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  9. 9. Yamamoto’s Bunker, Papua New Guinea ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  10. 10. Manila and Corregidor ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  11. 11. Extreme International Travel FTU DFW 2015 Extreme International Travel FTU DFW 2015 Stefan Krasowski Rapid Travel Chai
  12. 12. “You Went Where???” ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved - Rapid Travel Chai definition of Extreme International Travel
  13. 13. Or stop calling them ‘Dream Trips’ ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Just call them trips
  14. 14. Who am I? I lived in China for 8 years I work in international business I plan obsessively I travel fast I come back exhausted My wife is the opposite I lived in China for 8 years I work in international business I plan obsessively I travel fast I come back exhausted My wife is the opposite ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  15. 15. Where Have I Traveled? 131 UN Countries 193 Travelers’ Century Club Countries ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  16. 16. Itinerary Why How Where ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  17. 17. Why Extreme? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  18. 18. French Canada or France in Canada? St. Pierre & MiquelonMontreal, Quebec ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Photo by Gord McKenna ,flickr
  19. 19. How to Get to St. Pierre & Miquelon? United or Air Canada to St. John’s, Newfoundland Drive to Fortune and take the daily summer ferry ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  20. 20. Gorillas and Volcanoes in DR Congo Gorillas and Volcanoes in DR Congo ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  21. 21. Virunga National Park ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  22. 22. The World’s Largest Lava Lake ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  23. 23. The Lodge and The Camp ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  24. 24. The Village and Goma ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  25. 25. The Gorillas ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  26. 26. What It Took Wideroe $400+ fare on Delta/KLM United 35k award around East Africa on Ethiopian Virunga is a 3x FlexPerks charity! ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  27. 27. Cons and Pros ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  28. 28. Cons Red tape (visas) can be a hassle Some destinations unavoidably expensive Standards vary…a lot, especially at hotels Stress…especially with companions ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Red tape (visas) can be a hassle Some destinations unavoidably expensive Standards vary…a lot, especially at hotels Stress…especially with companions Andaman Islands, India
  29. 29. Pros Some places every day is off-peak Enjoy breathtaking sights without crowds No tourist industry = few tourist scams Authentic interaction with locals Make a difference with your dollars Learn ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Some places every day is off-peak Enjoy breathtaking sights without crowds No tourist industry = few tourist scams Authentic interaction with locals Make a difference with your dollars Learn Kyrgyzstan
  30. 30. Dominican Republic’s Tourist East ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Photo by Marlene lls, flickr Photo by Larry Armstrong, flickr
  31. 31. Dominican Republic’s Quiet West ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  32. 32. Where to Start? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  33. 33. UNESCO Sites Bhimbetka Rock Shelters and Sanchi Buddhist Monuments, Bhopal, India ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  34. 34. Traveler’s Century Club Anne of Green Gables & lobster suppers, Prince Edward Island, Canada ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  35. 35. Thorn Tree Forum for Destination Info Lonely Planet Thorn Tree forum ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  36. 36. Tips ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  37. 37. US Passports Large passport book and add 2x pages before 2016 Get a passport card for land & sea & backup ID Enroll in Global Entry/NEXUS/SENTRI and add to airline profiles for TSA PreCheck Have scans and copies Large passport book and add 2x pages before 2016 Get a passport card for land & sea & backup ID Enroll in Global Entry/NEXUS/SENTRI and add to airline profiles for TSA PreCheck Have scans and copies ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  38. 38. Second US Passports Great for frequent travelers who need visas Easy process Only valid for two years ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  39. 39. Visa Requirements for US Citizens 166 countries Visa Free or Visa on Arrival Sources: Henley & Partners, Wikipedia ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  40. 40. Visas for US Citizens Check embassy websites Check travel.state.gov Specialist visa agents vs big generalists 10-year China & India and 3-year Russia tourist visas Must pay Argentina reciprocity fee online in advance Yes, you need a visa for Australia Check embassy websites Check travel.state.gov Specialist visa agents vs big generalists 10-year China & India and 3-year Russia tourist visas Must pay Argentina reciprocity fee online in advance Yes, you need a visa for Australia ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  41. 41. Money – Cash Cash is still king Traveler’s checks are dead Carry a cheat sheet or app for fx rates Schwab debit card – no fx fee + ATM reimbursements Avoid anything Travelex!!! Cash is still king Traveler’s checks are dead Carry a cheat sheet or app for fx rates Schwab debit card – no fx fee + ATM reimbursements Avoid anything Travelex!!! ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  42. 42. Money – Credit Cards Logo in the window may only mean local cards Chip and Signature cards work most of the time Chip and Pin cards for heavy EU travelers (Diners Club) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  43. 43. Handy Credit Card Benefits Chase & Citi – trip delay coverage Discover – accepted in China via UnionPay, Japan via JCB ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  44. 44. Tech Unlocked phone + local SIM card T-Mobile – unlimited data & text to 120+ countries Encrypt – TrueCrypt Get a VPN – WiTopia Unlocked phone + local SIM card T-Mobile – unlimited data & text to 120+ countries Encrypt – TrueCrypt Get a VPN – WiTopia ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  45. 45. Insurance Insure yourself, your trip, or your stuff? Credit cards often insure your trip and your stuff I insure myself – GeoBlue Trekker Choice annual plan Annual or per trip? insubuy.com, travelinsurancecenter.com ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Credit cards often insure your trip and your stuff I insure myself – GeoBlue Trekker Choice annual plan Annual or per trip? insubuy.com, travelinsurancecenter.com
  46. 46. Health CDC Yellow Book @ cdc.gov/travel Know scientific names of your meds (aspirin = acetylsalicylic acid) Plan ahead for vaccines Malaria pills pros and cons International Certificate of Vaccination CDC Yellow Book @ cdc.gov/travel Know scientific names of your meds (aspirin = acetylsalicylic acid) Plan ahead for vaccines Malaria pills pros and cons International Certificate of Vaccination ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  47. 47. Yellow Fever ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Source: CDC Yellow Book 2014
  48. 48. Safety Don’t be: Drunk Drugged Debauched Especially when you don’t speak the language or know the legal system The Rapid Travel Chai ‘3 Ds’ of Travel Safety Don’t be: Drunk Drugged Debauched Especially when you don’t speak the language or know the legal system ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  49. 49. ISIS ISIS is rapidly shifting the travel map Anyone can be a target Closely monitor local conditions with local sources ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  50. 50. Miles and Points Beyond Cathay J to Bali Miles and Points Beyond Cathay J to Bali ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  51. 51. Some Offbeat Star Alliance Awards Ethiopian from DC to Africa Copa in Latin America Turkish flies to more countries than any airline, 100+ United now partners with Azul for Brazil Ethiopian from DC to Africa Copa in Latin America Turkish flies to more countries than any airline, 100+ United now partners with Azul for Brazil ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  52. 52. United Micronesia Island Hopper Join missionaries, military, dignitaries and islanders ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  53. 53. Pohnpei ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  54. 54. Palau and Peleliu ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  55. 55. Some Offbeat One World Awards Avios, Avios, Avios – fill in gaps on itineraries Use for Canada, South America, Africa, Indian Ocean, Australia, Pacific and Russia Example: Sri Lankan several daily flights to Maldives Avios, Avios, Avios – fill in gaps on itineraries Use for Canada, South America, Africa, Indian Ocean, Australia, Pacific and Russia Example: Sri Lankan several daily flights to Maldives ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  56. 56. Always Check Non-Alliance Partners, Too + ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved +
  57. 57. British Airways Avios are Awesome Redeem for short, expensive flights Fill in gaps on itineraries Africa, Canada, Pacific, South America flights ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  58. 58. Check Non-Alliance Partners, Too + ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved +
  59. 59. British Airways Avois.com Account Use UK address to register Book Air Aurigny flights to Channel Islands ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  60. 60. Guernsey, Channel Islands ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  61. 61. JAL Awards on Bangkok Airways Long-running discount promo Transfer from SPG (processed once weekly) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  62. 62. Some Offbeat SkyTeam Awards AeroMexico for Latin America and even to Europe/Asia Gol in Brazil and to Brazil from Orlando Air France to Madagascar and Indian Ocean China Eastern/Southern + China Airlines to Asia Virgin Australia to Solomons, Christmas & Cocos Islands Saudia for…a Saudi experience AeroMexico for Latin America and even to Europe/Asia Gol in Brazil and to Brazil from Orlando Air France to Madagascar and Indian Ocean China Eastern/Southern + China Airlines to Asia Virgin Australia to Solomons, Christmas & Cocos Islands Saudia for…a Saudi experience ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  63. 63. Fernando de Noronha, Brazil ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  64. 64. Air France KLM Caribbean Hopper Visit Caribbean on the way to Europe British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have hoppers, too ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  65. 65. French Guiana and Suriname ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  66. 66. Air Where the Awards Don’t Go ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  67. 67. Air – Research Wikipedia’s airport and airline pages ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  68. 68. Air – Booking Find flights on ITA Matrix for most airlines Locate booking options on Hipmunk ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  69. 69. Air – Book Local Check airlines websites & local ITAs Check residency requirements (Latin America) Use for China, Vietnam, India, Indonesia & more ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  70. 70. Air – Budget Airlines skyscanner.com and whichbudget.com Price all the extras Know the airport – where in ‘London’? Know the terminal – Malaysian remote LCCTs Air Asia is awesome skyscanner.com and whichbudget.com Price all the extras Know the airport – where in ‘London’? Know the terminal – Malaysian remote LCCTs Air Asia is awesome ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  71. 71. Air – Obscure Airlines OneTravel for hard to ticket airlines Get reservation record AND ticket number ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  72. 72. Ideas ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  73. 73. Americas ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  74. 74. Moonscapes in Bolivia ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved La Paz
  75. 75. How to Get to Bolivia? Avianca or LAN to La Paz Santa Cruz has AA and more but no Uyuni flights Overland from Peru at Lake Titicaca ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Lake Titicaca
  76. 76. Bolivia Practicalities Visa on arrival at all points of entry ($135) Land transport is very rough – fly to Uyuni Uyuni tour is high altitude and physically difficult ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved La Paz – Uyuni bus breakdown
  77. 77. Otherworldly Salar de Uyuni ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  78. 78. Jesuits and Germans in Paraguay ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Deserted UNESCO Jesuit missions German yerba mate farmers Itaipú Dam + +
  79. 79. How to Get to Paraguay? AA nonstop from Miami, or Latin American airlines Overland from Argentina (Iguazú Falls or Posadas) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved American Airlines Miami – Asunción inaugural flight
  80. 80. Paraguay Practicalities Visa required – on arrival for air only ($160) Major cities have safety issues – stay in German towns Need land transport – only domestic flight is Asunción to Ciudad del Este (Brazil border) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Visa required – on arrival for air only ($160) Major cities have safety issues – stay in German towns Need land transport – only domestic flight is Asunción to Ciudad del Este (Brazil border) Asunción Airport
  81. 81. Europe ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  82. 82. Divided Cyprus ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved 4th-century BC Tombs of the Kings, Pafos
  83. 83. How to Get to Cyprus Larnaca and Paphos served by many airlines Turkish-controlled Ercan served mainly from Turkey ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Onurair Istanbul-Ercan
  84. 84. Cyprus Practicalities No issue going in/out Turkish-controlled territory Bringing rental cars across is difficult – rent on both sides ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Divided Nicosia
  85. 85. Soviet Land in Transnistria ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Batman Lenin
  86. 86. How to Get to Transnistria? Fly to Chisinau, Moldova on Austrian, Tarom, Turkish Bus to Terespol (avoid Russia through-trains) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Transnistria border
  87. 87. Transnistria Practicalities Moldova permits tourists to visit with no hassle Visa on arrival process subject to whim Extremely little English spoken ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Wedding Party
  88. 88. Africa ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  89. 89. Zimbabwe – Zambia – Botswana Triangle ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Victoria Falls
  90. 90. How to Get to Victoria Falls? BA Avios to Victoria Falls or Livingstone from Johannesburg Star Alliance: South African or Ethiopian Day tour to Botswana’s Chobe National Park ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Everything but the lions
  91. 91. Victoria Falls Practicalities Zimbabwe’s tourist industry is fine, despite the economy Visa on arrival for Zambia & Zimbabwe, free for Botswana Colonial Victoria Falls Hotel & Royal Livingstone ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Victoria Falls Hotel
  92. 92. Bargain French & Lemurs in Madagascar ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Luxury for $100/night
  93. 93. How to Get to Madagascar? SkyTeam: great availability on Air France & Kenya Airways ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Lemurs in Andasibe
  94. 94. Madagascar Practicalities Visa on arrival (free) Road network is dreadful Great value hotels and French cuisine ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Countryside around TanaThe capital Tana
  95. 95. Middle East ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  96. 96. Iran Loves Americans ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved At least the people do!
  97. 97. How to Get to Iran? Europe and Middle East carriers fly to Tehran and more Land entry from Turkey (US/UK may have issues) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Lake near Shiraz
  98. 98. Iran Practicalities US/UK citizens must book agency tour with guide Expect 2-3 month visa process, apply at Pakistan Embassy Iranians are cosmopolitan and very friendly to Americans Watch Rick Steves Iran Lecture @ bit.ly/1lgelmT ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved US/UK citizens must book agency tour with guide Expect 2-3 month visa process, apply at Pakistan Embassy Iranians are cosmopolitan and very friendly to Americans Watch Rick Steves Iran Lecture @ bit.ly/1lgelmT Home decoration expo
  99. 99. Iran Mosaic ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  100. 100. Iran Mosaic ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  101. 101. Asia Pacific ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  102. 102. Serene Bhutan ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Tiger’s Nest
  103. 103. How to Get to Bhutan? Get to New Dehli, Kathmandu, Bangkok, Singapore Connect on national carrier Druk Air ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Druk Air
  104. 104. Bhutan Practicalities Must book with tour agent who arranges visa on arrival Government all-inclusive rates based on group size Peak months single person tour US$290/day Last (departure) day free ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Must book with tour agent who arranges visa on arrival Government all-inclusive rates based on group size Peak months single person tour US$290/day Last (departure) day free Guides in required traditional dress
  105. 105. Himalayan Idyll ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  106. 106. Turkmenistan the Wacky ‘Stan ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved The Gates of Hell
  107. 107. How to Get to Turkmenistan? Star Alliance Lufthansa and Turkish; OneWorld S7 SkyTeam China Southern from Ürümqi for Silk Road trips Azerbaijan by ferry, Uzbekistan by land ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Neighborhood MiG in Mary
  108. 108. Turkmenistan Practicalities Tourist visa requires guided tour and long process Transit visa is guide-fee but lots of restrictions Average summer temperatures 100⁰F+ ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved My guide in 130⁰F+ heat in non-AC Soviet jeep to Gonur
  109. 109. Edifice Complex ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  110. 110. My Head Hurts, Just Send Me to the Caribbean My Head Hurts, Just Send Me to the Caribbean ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  111. 111. Then Go Where the Cruise Ships Aren’t ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  112. 112. Saba ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  113. 113. Montserrat ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  114. 114. And I Leave You to Figure Out How to Get There! And I Leave You to Figure Out How to Get There! ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  115. 115. Thank You stefan@rapidtravelchai.com @rapidtravelchai rapidtravelchai.com ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved

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