Today was a big day- all of the arrangements for my trip to Uganda were made.

First, I reserved my hotels. I had to make sure that hotel rooms are available on the dates I want to travel.  I needed to make sure that the hotels were set before the flights were booked since the airfare is non-refundable.  During my journey I will stay at three different hotels in two different countries.

Second, I booked my flights.  I had two paths to choose from to get to Uganda – one goes through England while the other goes through the United Arab Emirates.  It was a tough decision, but I decided to travel through Dubai. Here is my tentative travel schedule:

Friday, March 8, 2019
Depart Houston (IAH) at 7:00pm
Emirates Airlines flight #212
Aircraft type: Airbus A-380
Seat: 68J
Flight time: 14 hours 35 minutes

Saturday, March 9, 2019
Arrive Dubai (DXB) at 7:35pm

My first overnight stay in Dubai, UAE is at the Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai.  Once I clear customs, I’ll head to the hotel.  Then I plan to take some time to explore the city that evening.  Dubai is home to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.  There are observation decks at the top, but I don’t have the guts to go up there.

Sunday, March 10, 2019
Depart Dubai (DXB) at 9:25am
Emirates Airlines flight #729
Aircraft type: Boeing 777
Seat: 46K
Flight time: 5 hours 25 minutes
Arrive Entebbe (EBB) at 1:50pm

My hotel in Entebbe, Uganda, Marriott Protea Hotel Entebbe, is just across the street from the airport.  From one side of the hotel you can watch the planes take off and land, and the other side has a view of Lake Victoria, the world’s third largest freshwater lake.  I will spend six nights here.

Saturday, March 16, 2019
Depart Entebbe (EBB) at 4:35pm
Emirates Airlines flight #730
Aircraft type: Boeing 777
Seat: 46K
Flight time: 5 hours 15 minutes
Arrive Dubai (DXB) at 10:50pm

On my 2ndtrip through Dubai, my hotel is actually inside the airport.  The Dubai International Airport Hotel is more convenient since I land so late.  This makes things much easier because I won’t have to leave the airport, or go through customs and security.

Sunday, March 17, 2019
Depart Dubai (DXB) at 10:05am
Emirates Airlines flight #211
Aircraft type: Airbus A-380
Seat: 68J
Flight time: 16 hours 35 minutes
Arrive Houston (IAH) at 5:40pm

You may have noticed that I leave Houston on Friday at 7 pm and don’t arrive in Dubai until the same time the next day.  But, on the return trip, I leave at 10 am and arrive in Houston that same afternoon.  This is because of the many time zones I cross during the trip.  Going east, I lose hours because the clock moves ahead, so it seems like it takes longer.  When I head back home, the time zone clocks move backwards.  The trip still takes the same amount of hours, but I arrive earlier on the clock.

So what does all this cost? Here’s a breakdown of the expenses for everything listed above:

Airfare – $1188.65
Seat upgrades – $180
Dubai hotel on 3/9 – $120.81 (AED 443.74)
Dubai hotel on 3/16 – $220.12 (AED 808.50)
Entebbe hotel – $1439
Travel insurance – $352

TOTAL COST OF TRIP SO FAR: $3500.58