As anyone who follows my tweets knows, I'm going to be doing the JetBlue All-You-Can-Jet promotion. Because I'm flexible, I saved $200 and bought the five day pass for $500, which means that I can't fly on Friday or Sunday. The pass entitles me to fly from September 7th until October 6th for free on all JetBlue flights. This includes all taxes in the US, but not outside the US. I've been thinking about the best way to use this pass, and I'm going to share my strategy with you, in case you bought one as well.
There aren't all that many places in the US I want to go. Within a month or two of the promotion I will have been to NY, Boston, Austin and LA, which covers most of my bases. So I'm mostly seeing this as a ticket to get HUGE discounts on international travel for a month.
There are two types of international travel: the type where you blow through and do the best you can to check somewhere out for future extended visits, and then there are the extended visits. Obviously, these trips will be the former. Here's where I'll be going:
I've never been to South America. I've been to Aruba, right off the coast, and I've been into the jungles of the Darien Gap between Panama and Colombia, but no farther. So it's time. Taxes for this are $267, which is about 45% of what I'd normally pay to go there from San Francisco. It's the worst deal of all the trips, but I'm excited about Colombia and South America, so I'm doing it.
Jamaica is only about $100 in taxes. I have a friend who is obsessed with Jamaica, so I'm hoping to get some tips from her and check it out. I know it's super touristy, but I really want to climb up that waterfall that all the tourists climb. Hey... I'm into that kind of stuff.
I'm not 100% sure I'm going to go here, mainly because I got robbed last time and I think that soured the experience a bit, but it's a good place to practice some Spanish and I'm already familiar with it so I won't need time to acclimate. I never got a chance to see Tres Ojos, some cool caves, so I'll do that.
I didn't love Costa Rica when I was there, but I was only around for a couple days and did pretty touristy stuff. There's a lot of awesome nature there, though, so I'll go check it out for a bit. Maybe I'll find some couchsurfers to go camping with or something like that.
Saint Lucia and Barbados
I don't know the first thing about either of these countries, but they're the two remaining countries that JetBlue flies to that I've never visited. May as well get them checked off the list and see what they're all about! That's four new countries total that I will hit within the month.
Less and Better Gear
I'm going to use this month as the final test for some new gear I have. Gear post coming afterwards (or maybe during), guaranteed!
Buy All Tickets Up Front
The pass stipulates that I can cancel any ticket as long as I give them three days notice. As soon as I'm allowed to book flights on August 27, I'll book every flight I intend to take, so that I don't get stuck somewhere I don't want to be. If plans change, I'll just cancel the tickets and rebook.
No Round Trips in The US
Round trips in the US are a waste of time and travel days, so I'm going to try to string all of my US cities along. For example, I'll probably go to Las Vegas first, then Seattle, then New York or Boston.
The Skateboard is Coming With Me
JetBlue has free checked baggage, which means that I'm taking my 30 pound electric board with me, at least in the US. I may stash it with a friend in NY when I head out of the country, and come get it later.
I haven't planned my full route yet, but I may try to end up somewhere near SF at the end and buy my own ticket for a week later. Then I could get an extra week, if I'm not totally burnt out. You could also do this in the beginning... buy a cheap one way from Boston to NY, for example, and then start flying from there.
Two reasons: first, I'm going to be spending another $500 or so in taxes on top of the $500 pass, so I want to keep my costs down. Second, short trips are WAY better with a local to show you around. I only spend three days in Haiti and I really got a solid feel for the country. I spent the same in Singapore solo and can barely tell you anything meaningful about it. If you want to host me in one of those countries (I think I'm covered in every US city), let me know!
If you want to meet up, send me an email. If there are a few readers doing this promo, I'll organize something for us somewhere. Let me know in the comments or by email.
I'm in Boston right now visiting family. My family from Texas thinks it's refreshingly cool here. I think it's refreshingly warm.
If you still have the Sprint SERO plan, hang in there -- they're about to allow you to pay $10/mo more and get any of the new devices. If only they'd make an Android world phone!
Well, this is post facto to say the least but I was just browsing some of your old posts and came upon this. I have been following your blog for awhile after picking up the link from http://ourtakeonfreedom.wordpress.com/. I am working on getting into an RV (Class B probably) and setting off on a full-time nomadic adventure. Your blog and a few others have been immensely helpful. (so thanks!)
But here is why I write this rather tardy comment. I did AYCJ 2010 too...a straight 30 days. It was great! And I came the closest I probably ever will to my 15 minutes of fame when I set up an (really it became THE) AYCJ meetup group that ended with almost 500 members. I became the "famous" Lisa G in the AYCJ meetups I attended along the way. It was very cool as there were probably over 100 meetups posted on the calendar for our 30 days of travel. I don't think you were a member but perhaps you did join the group that went to Colombia as I know there were about 30 that signed up and met up there during the 1st or 2nd week (forgot exactly when).
After AYCJ was over, I let the meetup group run for another month so that everyone could post their pics and catch up, etc. Then one of the members set up a facebook group which is still active today. There are 145 members who transferred over from my AYCJ meetup group and still plan trips together, share travel bargains etc. (I'm not sure if this link works http://www.facebook.com/groups/148835305159568/301894869853610/?notif_t=group_activity)
Just thought I'd pass that on to you since it gave me a kind of instant connection to the guy whose blog I have been reading.
We'll be bouncing around for AYCJ as well. A meetup would be cool. Current itinierary: NYC on the 7th, Miami on the 11th, ... wide open ... ending up in LA Oct 4th for a day before flying out to Asia. Ping me if you organize something along the Jetblue route.
Fly into Montego Bay, not Kingston. It will be relatively safer. Make sure to go to Negril and head to Rick's (Cafe? Bar?) for some cliff diving! Also Margaritaville in Mo'Bay has some trampolines out in the ocean that are really cool.
Feel free to email me if you'd like any more specific suggestions, like cheap cheap accomodation.
FYI, Sun Country (based in MSP) is offering a similar deal that ends tonight.
Here are the details:
Are you going to international places only?
I'm still planning my trip, but a meetup would be wicked cool!
what a deal right? I'm unable to partake this year, but I'm hoping Jet Blue will do the same promotion again in the future.
Also, I had no idea that JB flies international, good for you man. Enjoy!
And I can't wait to check out the new gear post. That post, along with T.Ferriss's new book are my 2 most anticipated releases!
Costa Rica - if you really want to see Costa Rica, go to the Osa Peninsula and hike into Corcavado National Park and stay at the ranger station. It's a demanding 8hr hike that weaves through dense jungle and coastal beach. You have to cross two rivers on the way in and timing them for low tide crossings makes you keep the pace up. Otherwise you could be crossing with alligators and hammer head sharks that come up into the mouth of the river. I did the trek with my girlfriend and we didn't see another person the entire 8hrs but did see tonnes of wild life, howler monkeys, wild boar and others that I can't recall the names of right now. At times it looked as though we had reached the end of the earth and my imagine expected dinosaurs to pop out of the jungle and onto the beach at any moment. It was Jurassic Park like. A must see.
If you want more info or to see some of my pics, email me.
Oh hey, I'll be in Boston Thursday - Sunday.
Where are you flying to Columbia from? I've been looking at cheap entry points to South America for an upcoming trip and the cheapest I've found is Logan to Puerto Rico to Caracas.
Also, I'm just starting a blog, partially about travel. I was going to kick it off when I backpack around South America, but I've been wondering whether it would be a good idea to get the Jet Blue pass and hit a bunch of different US cities first. That way I get some content on there before I leave for South America. Any thoughts?
When I lost my sequined hat, which I wore nearly every day for three years, I felt out of place. I was the guy who wore the sequined hat, and now part of my identity was most likely in the hands of an unscrupulous backpacker in Panama. But really, I had been getting sick of the hat. It wasn't overly functional, had shed enough sequins that it was starting to look ratty, and was a vestige of my clubbing days. All that didn't change that it had become part of my identity, though. The same could be said about my recent decision to stop being a vegan. It was a comfortable identity for me. Some people saw me as a positive example of veganism. Deciding to eat meat would be an admission that I had been wrong and had given suboptimal advice to my readers. That's a bitter pill to swallow, and I could feel my subconscious fighting to maintain its identity; the battle for consistency over optimization.
Fortunately I've been able to couple my identity to a few key values, rather than staunch positions on issues. I value doing the best thing for myself and others, I value finding the truth over being the one who had it to begin with, I value health, I value independence and freedom, and I value productivity. My means of expressing and embracing these values are different now than they were a few years ago, and I have every reason to expect that they'll continue to morph as I progress through my life.
Staying exactly the same is the opposite of growth. If you want to develop yourself, you must be willing to have a fluid identity, deriving your value and satisfaction from what you're currently doing and planning on doing, rather than from what you've done. It's not always easy, which just might be an indicator that it's the right thing to do.
In 2013 I have some ambitious goals. I wanted to write them out and share them with everyone so you can help encourage me. Publicly displaying my goals, while nerve wracking, also serves a method to keep me accountable. Don’t let me slip.
1) Record an album of 10 songs, orginals and covers
I've been playing guitar since my Sophomore year of college. Armed with GarageBand, my acoustic guitar, and a microphone this year I want to record an album of songs. Mostly covers however I do have a few originals I borrowed the chords and melody from other songs and added my own Spanish lyrics.
2) Fluency in Spanish