Planning a Round-the-World Adventure: Joan Trip Part I

Follow contributing editor Ed Perkins as he embarks on a round-the-world "Joan Trip." (What's a Joan Trip? Find out in Take That Special Trip ... While You Still Can.) According to Perkins, "neither frequent-flyer miles nor people improve with age," so he's working off a bundle of miles seeing the world, combining places he missed over the years with some old favorites. Read the rest of Perkins' round-the-world-trip posts.

For my Joan Trip, I decided to burn up a chunk of my frequent-flyer miles on a round-the-world (RTW) trip in business class. The Star Alliance mileage program limits RTW award trips to six stops, which I decided to allocate between places I've previously missed and some old favorites. Because I hate trying to sleep on airplanes—even in business class—I planned to avoid overnight flights by going westbound. 

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My itinerary is as follows:

  • Seoul, Korea: as good a place as any to ease into the trip and recover from the inevitable jet lag of a 12-hour transpacific flight.
  • Beijing, China: Although I've hit Hong Kong many times, I've never been to the mainland, and Beijing seemed the obvious place to start.
  • Dubai, UAE: for a quick look at wretched excess—a place as over the top, in its way, as Las Vegas.
  • Istanbul, Turkey: one of the world's truly historic cities.
  • Krakow, Poland: on almost everyone's must-see list.

The old and familiar: Geneva as a base to visit some old friends in France, then veg out in Italy's Val d'Aosta. Geneva is my choice because car rentals on the French side of Geneva's airport are much less expensive than in either Italy or Switzerland.

If you were planning a round-the-world trip, where would you go?

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