With planning a 6-month hike with my Daughter for 2023… I needed something to do with my Son after he finishes High School… so I thought this would be a fun thing to plan for and save up for. We will launch a website and some socials for it over the next little while. I’m sure we will build it all inside Roadtrippers but have not paid the fee to allow us to expand our trips.
So right now we have some legs of the trip with the general direction here using the Road Trippers App.
We are building a website for our trip. You can click on the image below to jump over to it. It’s a work in progress as of March 2022
In 2014, I posted this Vimeo Staff Pick called “Somewhere in Vietnam” and that started it for me. Follow that up with Casey’s video called “The Vietnam Notebook” which he took with his son in 2012 to Vietnam to rent a motorcycle and travel the countryside. That video made me want to rent motorcycles and travel the countryside and not get killed with my kids and have them expierence a way different culture, beautiful sweet friendly people and eat food that is outside their comfortzone of pasta with butter.
This trip was to happen in the summer of 2020, but with covid… it just fell to the dumpster till the future. I would love to go soon but I have some saving to do with other trips… so will push it after two big epic trips happen in 2024 and 2025.
With what is happening in the world with the Pandemic virus, it would be wise to push this trip and keep saving for it since I’m planning the following:
– 2023 – Trip to Vancouver, BC to hike for two weeks as a larger PCT Shake Down Hike
– 2024 – 6 Month Thru-Hike of the Pacific Crest Trail with my daughter
– 2025 – 4-6 Month North America Road Trip with my son
So maybe in 2026 can be a month of Vietnam and Thailand. I’m excited to start saving for this trip.
I thought it would be fun to fly into the old formerly named city of Siagon, which is now called Ho Chi Minh City (map) (Kara & Nate Vlog) and sleep off some jetlag and venture out and see the busy city sights and taste some yummy food. This city is in the south of Vietnam and I thought it would be fun to travel up the coast to Hanoi in the North. We would have to do a sleeper bus for fun and also by train (YouTube Video) & more videos to watch. There are some beach cities along the way to stop and explore. By the time we get to Hanoi in the North, the kids will be a little more settled with the food. Before going on this trip, we need to dine at a Vietnamese and Thai restaurant in Toronto and sample some food and I don’t mean taking a bite. I mean eating 25% of four different dishes and we will do this about 5 times. I’m not going to force them to eat bugs and things on a stick that looks like they are still thinking inside. If you want to watch Kara & Nate’s Vlogs in Vietnam… you can find them here.
So travelling north along to the coast to Hanoi would be fun. Hoi Ann & Hue are two nice spots to explore. In the North, I would like to Hike in the mountains near Sapa before making our way to beautiful Halong Bay for a little cruise and explore the incredible bay and islands.
In Halong Bay, you have to do a little 3-day cruise and visit some of the floating villages in the bay and do some kayaking. Boats will shuttle you to beaches and also take you to some places you can hike and climb up the cliffs on paths to the top to see the views of the bay. I decided to post two Kara & Nate’s Vlogs showing the cruise they took in the Bay to give you an idea of Halong Bay.
Then move to Thailand to rent some motorcycles and do a loop in the northern part of Thailand.
We would then fly over to Thailand which is right beside Vietnam to the West. In the North in Chiang Mai. We will rent two motorcycles. Chantal will have one and Noah will be on the back of mine. We will buy and strap a pillow to make it comfortable for Noah. If he is sleepy like he was on our Europe trip then I will tie him to me so he doesn’t fall asleep and fall off.
The Mae Hong Son Loop can be done in about 4 days. This trip in total we would need about 3 weeks to do all the things we want to do. Flying there is the most expensive part. Vietnam and Thailand are super affordable for logging, eating and visiting things. After northern Thailand, we will fly down to Bangkok in the south and explore the city before going south to the incredible Thai beaches down near Phuket. Maybe I and the kids should have not watched this movie together. Hopefully, the kids don’t remember the opening scene of the movie (The Impossible from 2012)
After southern Thailand, it would be to fly home through Vietnam or maybe when booking we could come home via Bangkok back to Toronto. All I know is that it would be a wild trip and after taking the kids to Europe for 19 days last August… a trip like this to the other side of the world would be crazy fun and such a great experience for them and myself. I already have a Trip Planning Book all set for this trip to fill with ideas and information.
If you want to watch Kara & Nates Travel Vlogs filmed in Thailand… you can view them here.
Working for an airline, you get worked up about planes. The types and the specs of them. Some planes are easy to spot and understand the types of them. But some of them are super hard when just looking at them. There are little tips on figuring out what they are.
In Toronto, there is a couple of spots you can go watch the planes come in or take off. The most popular is Runway 23 where planes come in from the east and fly over the Petro Canada Gas station and land. Over by the Fed Ex complex you can watch planes on Runway 15. And you have planes landing on Runway 6L or 6R. It’s tricky since planes will be diverted to different runways depending on the winds and also the time of day. Runway 23 is Toronto’s longest, so that is where you see the big heavy’s come in and you can park your car behind the gas station and there is a Wendy’s if you need a snack. Quite not like LAX’s In-Out Burger where you can eat yummy food and plane spot. Download Flightradar24 to check out where the planes are coming in from. If they are coming in the other direction on runway 05 the vantage on Dixie Road is not the best like Airport Road.
Boeing 747 vs Airbus A380
This is the easiest of planes to tell the difference between these two “heavy’s”. These two planes have upper decks. The Boeing 747 has it for the first 1/3 of the plane. In the old days, Pan Am made this a popular plane since the first class passengers could go up the stairs and enjoy a drink in the bar and lounge in the upper deck for intercontinental flights. The Airbus A380 has an upper deck that goes the full length of the plane. YouTube has a great documentary on the Airbus A380 from National Geographic which is worth the watch. If you want to watch another documentary on the A380, you can view this 3hr doc here.
The A380 was launched in December in 2000 and basically 10 years later Airbus has decided to stop production in 2021. It’s the largest commercial airline in the world. Check out Sam’s channel and his video about the rise and fall of this incredible plane.
So with these two… you just have to see if it has an upper deck and you can easily figure out if it’s a 747 or A380.
I flew on the Boeing 747 with Lufthansa (Class / Seat: Economy / 37A | Aircraft Type: Boeing 474-430 | Aircraft: D-ABTL / 17 Years Old)
I really want to fly on the Airbus A380 and I will have to get my ass to a city to fly Lufthansa at a discount to experience this flight. (LAX, SFO, NYC)
Basics: Airbus vs Boeing Plane Spotting Tips
Let’s cover some basic tips before we start getting into some plane comparisons. Below you will see the nose differences and the cockpit windows. The Boeing windows have more of a “v” shape on the bottom and the Airbus is more straight and you will see the last window has a slanted edge in the top right corner.
Date: March 19, 2019 | Route: FRA YYZ | Flight No: AC877 / Operated by Air Canada | Class / Seat: Business / 8A | Aircraft Type: Boeing 787 Dreamliner / 3 Years old | Aircraft: C-FGEI
Airbus A340 vs Boeing 777
Flew on the Airbus A340 from Lufthansa from Toronto to Munich on my way to Lisbon. I’ve flown the triple 7 once on a flight from Frankfurt to Toronto on my way home from Lisbon on Air Canada. I was told at the last minute to get on the plane and I had no idea what I was boarding till later.
Airbus A350 vs Boeing 777
Wanna Try Plane Spotting?
If you want to try it. You can watch planes come in at London’s Heathrow Airport by watching this video on YouTube. I’m working on my personal notes and I’m going to update this post with more information and add some other aircraft that I didn’t mention. I’m looking forward to going plane spotting with my kids and see if I can get them to understand some of the differences. On our trip to Europe… Noah was making fun of me everytime I could hear a plane landing and I had to stop and watch it.
When planning my trip to Europe, I wanted to save on financial transaction costs and get a fair conversion rate on exchanging into Euro’s and Swiss Franc. When I did my research for which credit cards are the best for travel, the Stack Mastercard came up in the results. I poked around some more and found another card called the KOHO Visa Card. Both had an app, so I signed up for the two free cards. My Daughter also signed up for them to use for all our purchases on our trip.
Here is the information on both cards below. (open to view)
I arrived in Ajax the night before to meet up with the kids and talk about the trip and stress that we are packing light and using backpacks for this trip. I brought my tent and camped “stealth” in Ajax and the “Mom” brought them to the Go Train with their passports. Noah broke his arm a couple of weeks before the trip. Days before the trip he got a new swimmable cast. So with that and some travel insurance we were off to the Airport with our 3 backpacks.
Day 1: July 28th Plan
Get ourselves to the airport in time so we are not rushed for our flights
Fit the 3 of us on one of two different flight options
Try and get some “real” sleep on the flight
Arrive in Prague the next morning and book somewhere to stay the night
We took off on the GO Train from Ajax to Union Station in Toronto. We got out of Union and walked across the road to Movenpick Marche at Brookfield Place for some lunch. $50 later we were on our way on the UP Express that runs from Union Station to Toronto Pearson Airport that is always a reliable 25min trip. Kids are excited and so am I to finally be able to take them to Europe. On our way to the airport, I started to shoot some video on my iPhone to make a little travel vlog of the trip, since I’m sure it will give me something to do on the flight and late at night not sleeping due to the JetLag that was coming.
With my flight benefits at work, I decided to book us on Air Canada since the direct flight with Air Canada Rouge leaves Toronto close to 5PM. As a back-up, we booked on a credit card the 8:20PM Toronto to Munich flight with Lufthansa. I’ve been checking the flight load all week leading up to departure and LH471 to Frankfurt was at capacity and it looked like LH495 to Munich would fill up also. The space on AC1922 with Air Canada looked good all week. A night before the Air Canada app will show you how many people are on the plane for those who are flying “Standby” and it had about 80 open spots… so I knew we would be leaving on the direct flight at 5PM. Once we land, I would refund the Lufthansa ticket.
The configuration of the flight is a 2-3-2 for economy and we were put in the middle 3 seats with Noah riding in the middle. With the early departure of 5pm and us landing in Prague at 7AM local time… I knew it would be tough on the kids since it was only 1AM Toronto time and we had our whole day ahead of us so trying to get some sleep on the flight was important so after dinner I would force them to use the eye-mask and ear plugs I packed to try and get some sleep. At the airport we went through security with no issues. A bit of juggling since we took some stuff out of our main packs and had little bags for our personal items to distribute the weight. They didn’t weigh or measure any of our bags. We also asked the gate if we could get on first with Noah’s arm and that helped secure space in the overhead bin for our backpacks all together.
Below is the first episode of our travel vlog:
I’ve never flown Air Canada Rouge before. I’ve heard stories that the cabin in economy is tight. I also heard that there are no screens on the back of the seat and you have to download the AC App and you can stream movies on your device. I knew were would get food. I was hoping to fly with Lufthansa so the kids could experience our airline on a long haul flight. Maybe on the way back we will fly Lufty.
On the flight, I was really pleased with the food and the room. My legs fit… so I was happy. I just couldn’t enjoy a cold beer on the flight like LH471. The boarding and gate staff were great. Noah and Chantal tried to sleep and I think they drifted off for about two hours.