In this latest, I will discuss my game plan to visit all 193 UN recognized countries on a per-region basis. In this article specifically, you will learn what my Oceania travel game plan is. You’ll learn which points and miles program I will use for flights and ideas for accommodations as well. You’ll also learn my criteria on which countries I plan on prioritizing to visit first. As a result, this first article will be longer since I am setting the parameters for visiting all the countries in the world.
VIDEO – Oceania Countries and Regions Travel Game Plan (Currently 3/14)
My game plan To visit all 193 UN recognized countries series:
When I plan to visit all the countries in the world, I put each country in three categories:
- Countries I really want to get to know
- Countries I want to see specific sites
- Checklist countries
For countries I really want to get to know, I have no problem staying for a month or longer and really explore the country. For example, when I travelled to Colombia, I was there for 38 days and travelled all over the place.
In some countries, I am happy to visit specific sites before leaving. For example, when I went to Peru, I was happy to see Machu Picchu. If I don’t go back to Peru ever again, I will be okay with that because I saw what I wanted to see.
The third category is checklist countries. For this category, simply getting the passport stamp, staying overnight, or even crossing the border and out is enough for me. I have no desire to visit any sites or to stay for an extended period of time.
When it comes to prioritizing which countries to visit first, I will definitely pick countries where age is a factor. Travel destinations where I want to do trekking, hiking, or other strenuous activities will come first. This is because as you get older if you get injured, the likelihood of a full recovery is much lower.
Since I am still relatively young, I want to take advantage of this fact. If I do get hurt hiking, trekking, or doing other strenuous activities, I have a much higher chance of a full recovery. I’ll also add travelling to places that require long transit times. Sitting on a long-distance bus or transport cannot be avoided for some travel destination. When you sit for a long time, your lower back starts hurting. I’ll definitely prioritize these destinations when I’m still young than when I’m much older.
Since I don’t have a family yet, visiting the more dangerous countries is higher up on my list. I don’t want to visit dangerous countries when I get married and have kids someday in the future. So it’s better I do them sooner; rather than later.
If a country has a touristy site that is a must-see for me, then it will be higher up on my list of priorities to visit that country. I’ll be making a mega-post in the future with a complete list of my current bucket list travel destinations.
Cost is another huge factor I take into consideration. For some countries, I might have a bucket list travel destination but it might be too expensive. In that case, I will defer it when I’m older and earn more money.
When I talk about cost, I’m talking about places you cannot use your points and miles to offset the cost of travel.
Some countries might not high on my must-visit travel destination. But, if it’s neighbouring a country I’m already visiting, I will strongly consider doing a side trip to visit that country that is close in proximity.
One thing I’m noticing as I get older is that my energy levels are not as high as it used to be. I need more time to recuperate nowadays and I’m scheduling more rest days during my travels.
One way I can preserve my energy level as I try and visit all the countries in the world is using my points and miles to book business class long haul flights and staying in hotels. Thankfully, there are many travel hacking methods that can be used to not only fly in business class but also get airport lounge access as well.
Recharging your energy when travelling fast is important because if you don’t, you will get sick. I’ve gotten sick before from travelling so fast and at this point in my life, I don’t think it’s worth it anymore.
Countries I have not visited in Oceania
As of now, I’ve visited 3 out of 14 countries in the Oceania region. Those three countries are Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Micronesia. Countries in Oceania that I have not visited are:
- New Zealand
- Solomon Islands
- Timor Leste
- Marshall Islands
My Oceania travel game plan
The main priority in my Oceania travel game plan is to visit the remote Pacific Island nations first.
Fiji is the major hub between these countries and the points and miles currency I need the most here is Alaska Miles. With 17,500 Alaska Miles, I can redeem those miles for flights with Fiji Airways on Economy starting from Nadi to several Pacific Island nation countries.
With this strategy, I can book flights to Kiribati, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Samoa. At the bare minimum, I estimate that I need at least 105,000 Alaska miles to visit those countries mentioned above. Some countries in the Pacific Island nations cannot be done with Aeroplan, British Airways Avios, and Alaska miles. For those places, I’ll need to use points from credit card travel points programs such as Aventura, HSBC, Avion, or Scotia Rewards. I will need at least 40,000 points from those programs for a round trip flight to some of these fringe countries such as Palau (round trip flight from Kiribati).
To reach Timor Leste, I need to go to Australia and redeem 11,000 British Airways Avios on Qantas to reach the city of Darwin. From Darwin, I can redeem some credit card travel points to fly to Timor Leste.
Going to New Zealand is straightforward as I can easily use my Aeroplan points to reach that country.
As for Palau and Marshall Islands, I need to take a flight from Manila using 30,000 Aeroplan to reach both these countries.
The thought of going to all these Oceania travel destinations is very exciting. I find strategizing on how to use points and miles to execute this plan to be part of the fun of going to these places.
In the next article, I will talk about my game plan to finish visiting all the countries in Europe.