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.
Overall, my Joan Trip was a great experience. I loved both seeing the new places and returning to old favorites. Now, I'm paying the price: Even in business class, 20 hours from first departure to final arrival takes its toll in jet lag.
Although the trip was an overall success, two tests I carried out were less than satisfactory:
- Prior to leaving, I got a SIM card for my wireless phone that provided low-cost calls to and from the U.S. The costs were, in fact, low, but the voice quality was very bad. The card system worked through a call-back principle: The SIM card's number is based in the U.K., and when I called the U.S., calls were routed through a callback center in the U.K. Although I maintained communications, hearing was difficult. Next trip, I'll test some other approach.
- I also obtained one of those chip-and-PIN cards pre-paid in euros from Travelex, and that didn't work at all. Each time I tried to use it, I got some sort of "that card is not accepted here" message. Travelex hasn't responded yet to my inquiries. I'll report back when I learn more.
Have you been on a round-the-world trip? Share your experience in the comments.
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