After an amazing trip to Japan and Taiwan last year with Steph, we were toying around with the idea of going again for the holidays. But this time, we’d bring our brothers! Not only did our family in Taiwan want to see our brothers (the last time they were back in the motherland was 5-6 years ago), we thought it would be fun for Clay and Neil to go on a little international vacation with us. We started brainstorming places we could go, and we thought Hong Kong would be a great place to check out before Taiwan.
The perfect opportunity actually came up when Steph’s friend Allen told her he was going to have his wedding reception in Shanghai. Going to a wedding that requires international travel? Sign me up! I started looking up flights to Shanghai/Hong Kong/Taiwan, and we waited and waited. By the time they finalized the details of the wedding, we had already went with our back up plan of going to Japan/Hong Kong/Taiwan. If you know me… I get really anxious waiting around. When the total for our flights to the three countries was $1,500 (for the holidays, which isn’t too terrible in my opinion), I wanted to buy before they went up. To be fair, we did wait a couple of weeks before we pulled the trigger, and I’m glad we purchased when we did because the flights only increased after August. By September and October, the cheapest flights were $2,250 – $2,500, and the times weren’t ideal.
When it comes to transportation and lodging, Steph and I usually try to find the best deals so we can splurge when we’re actually vacationing. This year, we looked a little harder because we offered to pay for Clay and Neil’s flights. Poor college students and the such. Do we win the best sisters of the year award? After the flights were purchased, I went straight into my travel planner mode. I booked all the airbnbs, ordered all of the pocket Wi-Fi’s, and created a fourteen day itinerary. Some people may hate all this, but I thrive on it! I get such a high doing researching on new places and putting little bits and pieces together. 🙂
With my new job, weeks and months flew by. In a blink of an eye, the holidays were upon us, and a week later, we were at San Francisco International Airport and on the way to Japan! Although the four of us have traveled together, we’ve never traveled internationally before. I can’t say it was perfect, cause it wasn’t, but it was definitely a learning experience. Even for four siblings that get along great and are as close as we are, spending time with each other 24/7 for two weeks can be tough at times. Steph and I have similar travel styles, while Clay and Neil have similar travel styles. Steph and I love waking up early, going home late, and packing in as many sightseeing places and restaurants in our day as we can. Like most guys, Clay and Neil like to chill more, so my itinerary definitely tired them out in Japan and Hong Kong. Thank goodness Taiwan was the second half of the trip because everyone was enjoying everything in Taiwan. Nothing like being back, right? 🙂