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My good friend and coworker recently returned from a fifty-day backpacking adventure through SE Asia. He initially planned to be there only half as long, but had so much fun that he extended his trip. He filmed most of his escapades on his GoPro Hero4 Silver, and upon return, he made a video to summarize the trip. Enjoy…
Change YouTube settings to 1080p HD during playback for full experience!
He booked this journey through a group called Free & Easy Traveler. The specific tours are A Backpacker’s Dream (25 days) and A Dose of Paradise (20 days). The price of the tours include transport and lodging within SE Asia, along with some food and drink.
To take these tours, you must first get to Bangkok, Thailand. OneWorld offers the best award redemption options via Cathay Pacific Airlines booked with AAdvantage miles. The AAdvantage award chart lists Bangkok in the Asia 2 award zone, which costs 35,000 miles each way from North America. (31,500 if you have the AA Platinum Select MasterCard). To find availability on Cathay Pacific, use the award search function on the British Airways website. This site only allows you to search specific dates. If you prefer to search flexible dates, use Quantas to search availability. Once you locate open award seats, note the flight numbers and dates. Then call American Airlines customer service to book the tickets using your AAdvantage miles.
If you need AAdvantage miles, consider the following options:
- Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard – 30,000 mile bonus/$1,000 spend**
- Citibusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard – 30,000 mile bonus/$1,000 spend**
- SPG American Express Personal – 25,000 point bonus*/$5,000 spend**
- SPG American Express Business – 25,000 point bonus*/$5,000 spend**
*SPG points transfer to American Airlines. 25,000 SPG points = 30,000 AAdvantage miles!
**If you need help meeting the $4,000 spending bonus, see our guide to manufactured spending.
Before or after your backpacking journey, you may want to unwind with a luxurious hotel stay. The Aloft Bangkok is a category two Starwood property, which only required 3,000-4,000 points per night! This gives an excellent redemption value around 3 center per point.