23 days. 3 different airlines (read why below). Time on the ground in 4 countries with wildly different cultures. Here we go.
- Thursday May 25: GoBus from Boston > NYC
- Friday May 26: Egypt Air from NYC (JFK) > Cairo, Egypt
- 35 hour layover in Cairo (more on long layovers later)
- Sunday May 28: Egypt Air from Cairo > Entebbe, Uganda
- 2 days in the capital of Kampala before reporting to the program on June 1
- Thursday June 15: Ethiopia Air from Uganda > Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- 18 hour layover in Addis Ababa
- Friday June 16: Ethiopia Air from Addis Ababa > Cape Town, South Africa
- 3 days in Cape Town before departing back to Boston
- Monday June 19: Emirates Airlines from Cape Town > Dubai (quick stopover) > Boston
GoBus to NYC: $18
Flight NYC > Entebbe (booked as one trip): $584 (from Boston would have been $756)
Entebbe > Cape Town (booked as one trip): $499 (back to Boston would have been $765)
Cape Town > Boston: $581
Total of all travel: $1,682
**Donations to GoFundMe were raised explicitly to cover travel expenses to and from Uganda, and for the program itself (includes meals and accommodations with the host agency). I have personally financed the remainder of the expenses and accommodations outside of Uganda**
To me, it’s most important that word gets out and people can follow along and be a part of this trip, so THANK YOU to everyone who’s shared the story or taken the time to read through. So far over 150 people have read my story, and this is only the beginning!
My GoFundMe page has raised just over $2,200 of my $3,000 goal, which is insane! Reminder that 100% of proceeds beyond travel to and out of Uganda, and to pay for lodging and food with the program are being used to pump into the local economy. At the end of my time on the ground I expect to have a clear understanding of where capital can best be applied in the local economy and based on the needs of my hosts.
Travel Tips & Tricks:
I’ve learned that just a little extra legwork can go a long way in planning travel. Here are a few things I learned this time around:
When to fly/What site to use:
Don’t waste time with Orbitz/Expedia (unless they’re giving you a deal!). Google Flights can be your best friend, showing you the cheapest one way tickets, and showing you the way that prices fluctuate departing/arriving on different days. This is especially helpful if you have flexible travel dates. It is [generally] cheapest to fly mid-week, avoiding the majority of business/vacation travelers.
CheapoAir can sometimes be challenging to navigate but can help you find some cool stopovers or cheap ways to fly on discount carriers. Just be sure to read carefully! Sometimes it gives you fares that involve switching airports!
To Round Trip, or not to Round Trip:
It may be advantageous to book legs individually instead of all together. Google flights may be the golden tool when it comes to finding cheap air travel, but it isn’t able to piece legs together on competing airlines.
Example? Booking my fly-tinerary as one complete trip would have cost $2,126 vs the $1,682 that I paid.
How to book a long layover:
After years of watching The Layover, I knew exactly what I would do if I had 24 hours in various cities around the world, but I never learned how it was possible to have enough time to even leave the airport.. Here’s how:
Find a flight with a stopover you want. If you book a one-way flight to Uganda from NYC that has a “stopover” in Cairo, you can likely book a layover. Find the cheapest rate, and remember the dates for the next step.
When you book the flight, instead of selecting as a “One Way” ticket, select “Multi-City,” and input your destinations and dates as they were on your “One Way” flight from the prior step; the rate will be exactly the same.
Now you can experiment with different dates to travel from Cairo to Uganda, many of which will leave you with a final fare just marginally above your original one-way quote!
Example: NYC > Cape Town, South Africa
One Way: New York City to Cape Town on June 12: 1 stop in Dubai for $1,006
Multi-City: New York City to Dubai on June 12, to depart for Cape Town on June 14 or 15 (24-48 hour layover): $1,029