Determining “where” to go and “how” are paramount and the hardest part of any trip. Especially if you have limited time and budget. For long distance trip, the minimum duration that I believe suitable is two weeks (14 days). I consider flight above 6 hours to be long-distance, since 6 hours difference could start messing around with your metabolism and biological process (just my common sense, I didn’t refer to any medical article or anything). Say you spend good 4 days just for moving from one place to another. That leaves you with 10 days to explore and experience the “new” world. It would never be enough for sure, but in two weeks (with good planning) you get to see many things, not too rush, a bit home sick, but fulfilling enough as a traveler.
We lucky to have 18 calendar days to explore Peru including flight days. The flight days to Peru and going back to Indonesia take 4 days (includes transit). So we have 14 days left. Since the main propeller of the Peru trip was Machu Picchu, of course we spend good 3 days just to get there and explore macho Picchu. That left us with 11 days to spend. It was either going north or south. And since Peru point of interests are mostly on the south part, we set cuzco, puno, chivay and Arequipa as the next cities to be visited. Each cities plus the mobilization takes about 7 days. The remaining 4 days were dedicated to explore Rio de Janeiro in Brazil including flights from Sao Paolo to Rio de Janeiro v.v where our flight back transiting.
From Indonesia, there's no direct flight to Peru (obviously). You can choose though, to go to Peru via Pacific Ocean, or Atlantic Ocean. We chose via Atlantik Ocean. Why? because if you choose flight via Pacific, it requires transit to Australia and an Australian Visa is required (No visa required to enter Peru if you're from Indonesia).
The second choice you have to make, is to select flight that transit in United State, or flight that transit in another country in South America. That time, we chose flight that transit in Sao Paulo. Why? because of the economic comparison between making US Visa Versus Brazil Visa. It also happened that during that time, flight from Kuala Lumpur to Sao Paulo was the cheapest, so we took it immediately.
Having compared departure flights from Jakarta (Indonesia), Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), it was clear that often times (not just this particular trip) flights that depart from Kuala Lumpur are the most economic. So it will help to check skyscanner, other flight-hunter site and set Kuala Lumpur as your departure point. As an effect, of course you have to find a transit flight from your city to Kuala Lumpur. It the flight price from your city to KL is cheaper than going directly from Jakarta or Singapore, than it's worth considering.
A few tips for long-distance flight ( for those in economic seats) - in no particular order:
1. It may be hard to sleep, but try your best to do so
2. Take a few minutes to walk around (in that narrow alley) just to enable blood circulation in your feet and body
3. Go the bathroom (even if you don't need one) - [this is if you have watched all of the movies]
4. Talk to your neighbor [This is if you know she/he's just as bored as you are and you're not afraid to talk to stranger]
5. Prolong your breakfast/lunch/dinner
6. Bring tabs with loads of movies/song/e-book
7. Try to sleep again, even if you can't
8. Go to the bathroom again
9. Open and close the window (when passenger are permitted to do so)
10. Stand up and walk around the alley (again)
Guarantee, time will fly and you'll realize that you have reached your destination. Should you have any question, just post a comment and i will be more than happy to answer.
Have a wonderful flight and travel! ;)