Key items from the long-term travel checklists I keep in Evernote:

One Year Before Trip

Taiwan's EVA Airways, United miles partner

Taiwan’s EVA Airways, United miles partner

  • If using miles, flights often need to be booked 11 months in advance to get economy reward seats. Before booking, I pore over guidebooks and travel forums to craft an itinerary and plan flight routes. I prefer to arrive and depart from different cities in order to avoid backtracking. This is easily done by booking two one-way reward tickets; they can be with different airlines.
  • Check passport expiration date and visa requirements for the countries I’ll be visiting

Read More

In November and December 2015 I spent three weeks in Taiwan visiting Taipei, Xincheng (Taroko Gorge), Kaohsiung, Tainan, Lukang, and Taichung.

Itinerary

DayDaytimeSleep
1Arrive in Taipei from OsakaTaipei
2TaipeiTaipei
3TaipeiTaipei
4TaipeiTaipei
5TaipeiTaipei
6TaipeiTaipei
7Xincheng (Taroko Gorge)Xincheng
8Taroko GorgeXincheng
9Train to KaohsiungKaohsiung
10KaohsiungKaohsiung
11KaohsiungKaohsiung
12Train to TainanTainan
13TainanTainan
14TainanTainan
15Train and bus to LukangLukang
16LukangLukang
17Bus to TaichungTaichung
18Train to TaipeiTaipei
19TaipeiTaipei
20TaipeiTaipei
21Flight back to U.S.
Read More

In November 2015 I spent three weeks in Japan visiting Tokyo, Matsumoto, Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Kanazawa, Uji, Nara, Kyoto, and Osaka.

Itinerary

DayDaytimeSleep
1Arrive TokyoTokyo
2TokyoTokyo
3Visit Kamakura - Day tripTokyo
4TokyoTokyo
5TokyoTokyo
6Bus to MatsumotoMatsumoto
7MatsumotoMatsumoto
8Bus to Kamikochi, spend half a day, then bus to TakayamaTakayama
9TakayamaTakayama
10Visit Hida-Furukawa - Day tripTakayama
11Bus to Shirakawa-goShirakawa-go
12Bus to KanazawaKanazawa
13KanazawaKanazawa
14KanazawaKanazawa
15KanazawaKanazawa
16Train to Uji via Kyoto, spend half a day, then train to NaraNara
17NaraNara
18NaraNara
19Visit Kyoto - Day tripNara
20Train to OsakaOsaka
21Flight to Taiwan
Read More

Itinerary

DayDaytimeSleep
1Arrive London from USLondon
2LondonLondon
3LondonLondon
4LondonLondon
5Train to BathBath
6BathBath
7Day trip - Cotswolds tourBath
8Day trip - BristolBath
9Train to London, then train to CambridgeCambridge
10CambridgeCambridge
11CambridgeCambridge
12Day trip - ElyCambridge
13Train to YorkYork
14Day trip - North York Moors tourYork
15YorkYork
16YorkYork
17Train to WindermereWindermere
18Lake DistrictWindermere
19Lake DistrictWindermere
20Train to LondonLondon
21LondonLondon
22Day trip - BrightonLondon
23LondonLondon
24LondonLondon
25Fly out of U.K.
Read More