Round the World: Dry Run to Rome

I’m going around the world in March (and parts of February and April) and I’m trying to detail the whole ordeal. Here’s what I’ve got thus far:

Who, Where, When…and Why?
How?
Eye of the Storm
Choosing what to do (Part 1)
Immunizations
Dry Run to Rome

I’m not sure a trip to Rome has ever been referred to as a “dry run”, but there’s no reason it can’t be.

On Wednesday, the Flight Deal announced $640 roundtrip tickets from Washington DC to Rome good for next weekend. This deal also came up about a month ago, but because of the Iranians need to keep your passport for an indeterminate amount of time, I didn’t want to risk booking the trip and not having my passport back in time.

I’ve mentioned that one of the most important factors for me in traveling is getting a good deal on the flight. Since the amount of Citi ThankYou points needed to book a flight is directly related to the cost, I usually use Citi ThankYou points for a good fare deal. Most award tickets are tied to a fixed-point amount (e.g. the 9,000 Avios roundtrip flight I take from DC to Nashville), but flights booked through Citi are revenue tickets, which means that not only do I get the ticket for free, but I also earn miles on the actual flight.

So despite the fact that I had to travel to South Carolina last weekend and will travel to south Florida next weekend, I’m wedging a trip to one of the greatest cities in the world in between. As much as I travel, this will actually be my first trip to mainland Europe. That makes this perfect opportunity to test out some of the gear, communication strategies, and applications that I want to use on the longer round-the-world trip.

I’m a firm believer that the best way to get good at something is to do it and fail at it. Preparation is important, but it can only take you so far. Sometimes it’s necessary to test out what you do and see where the holes are. While calling a trip to Rome a dry run is ridiculous on almost any level, it does afford me the opportunity to test out some of my round-the-world strategies in a relatively safe and easy-to-navigate environment. Man, this hobby is the best.