So many countries, so little time!
When we started talking seriously about a RTW tour we made a list of all the countries we wanted to visit. The list was long and unrealistic. We couldn’t possibly visit all the countries for long enough to enjoy and discover them.
One year is just not long enough!
We asked ourselves a few questions to help shorten the list and decide where we should head on our trip.
- What are the top 5 countries we really want to visit?
- What countries can we potentially visit easily and cheaply another time?
- When are the best seasons to visit our top 5 countries?
In the end we decided to choose fewer countries but stay longer to appreciate them more.
Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina.
Our next step was to find a great company specialising in RTW flight tickets and who would work with us to find the appropriate flights, matching the best seasons and at a reasonable price.
How does a round the world ticket work?
Simply, it is a cheaper way to buy multiple flights, flying to numerous cities and continents over a period of a few weeks to a year or so. By purchasing a number of flights on one ticket it normally works out cheaper than buying individual flights along the way.
The price of the RTW ticket depends on various factors such as mileage, the route you take and the number of stops. This is ultimately dependant on the provider who you chose to book the ticket with.
There are two main providers for RTW tickets, airlines alliances and specialist RTW agencies. Both options are good but we personally found the airline alliances worked out a lot more expensive, they were very fixed on dates and came with a lot of restrictions.
We chose to go through a specialist agency which made booking the flights a lot easier, the price a few £100s cheaper than an airline alliance ticket and they showed enthusiasm towards our trip. Our flights are extremely flexible; we can change them free of charge up to three days before the flight except for the very first flight, Paris to Singapore, and the small flights between Auckland and the Cook Islands and the Cook islands to Tahiti. Our main flights are with companies such as Emirates, Air New Zealand, Qantas, Air Tahiti and British airways.
We originally started looking for good companies online reading hundreds of blogs. We chose initially an English company who replied to our emails immediately and who seemed really enthusiastic. We went to their offices in London in person and chatted to a great chap called Martin about our trip. Unfortunately when we went back to them a few weeks later he had left and were given three different quotes from three other reps at the company all much more expensive than we were initially quoted and it felt much more impersonal. We also contacted a French company called ZipWorld at the same time and who, when they eventually replied (French always a little late!) were brilliant. No wondered so many round the world travellers recommend them. Everything is done online quickly and easily. A personal folder with all the information about your specific trip is set up privately on their website, accessible with login and password allowing you to refer back to flight information, previous correspondences, account details and where you can send private messages to the team who respond within a day. They didn’t try to force flights on us and in fact recommended we do certain things ourselves to avoid unnecessary costs. Once we finalised our trip they continued to contact us, organising our ESTA for the USA and even kindly offering us our 1 day Australia visa on the house so we can see our friends for a day on the stop over between the Philippines and New Zealand.
So far so good! We still have a year of flights to take but we feel if we have any problems during our trip they’ll be easily contactable to help us out.
Unfortunately due to my work we had to abandon Sri Lanka as our first stop. We are still a little gutted because it’s top of our top places to visit but we have agreed it will be one of our first destinations we go to on our next travels. Although a lot of places are now on this same list.
So as of 27th September 2015 we hope to visit the following countries in a Year! It will be tight but we will try to fit it all in…..
Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, New Zealand, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Central America, (Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Panama) Colombia and Bolivia.
Across South East Asia we will be relying on low cost airlines to travel between Singapore, Indonesia, Burma, and the Philippines. We aren’t quite sure how long we’ll be in each country but it’s cheaper and more flexible than if ZipWorld incorporated small flights into our RTW ticket!! Our trip is a little unplanned other than the main flights. We just want to go with the flow and will be dependent on whether we fall in love with places or feel we need to move on quicker than expected. Either way we’ll let you know!
Enjoy reading what we get up to!!!