For us this adventure, deciding to organize a trip around the world that we will begin in just a few months, involves making The Journey (in capital letters and bold), the one we dreamed about and about which we have spoken many many times, perhaps many more than recommended and healthy. So it is not an illusion or sudden whim.
Already during our vacations along the west coast of the United States in 2011 we were commenting that “ what if we could continue driving without having to go home tomorrow? ” In 2013 that feeling of longing for freedom invaded us again when, during our last days in Indonesia, we asked ourselves ” what if instead of going back we could get on a plane to go anywhere? ”
If it was what we really wanted, we had to try so that the thought “what if … “ did not reverberate in our heads for the rest of our days. For us, 2014 was the time to shape all those “what ifs ” and turn them into a resounding “ yes ” . So we made the decision to go around the world with all its consequences.
[box type = ”info” align = ”aligncenter”] ”Because the typical two weeks of vacation (with her rush to see“ everything ”) do not reach me, because there are many places that I want to see, because she also wants to come, because I have always been a fan of reading travel blogs, La Lonely Planet and watching documentaries of travelers who enjoy doing what they like, because dreams are to fulfill them and because, because this is our moment … January 13, 2014 (23 : 55 hrs Madrid – Santiago de Chile) ”[/ box]
With these phrases I communicated on my personal Facebook that I / we are going back to the world next year 2014. I must be weird, I have just over 120 friends on the social network so the message reached them, and it will be disseminated by word of mouth.
How to organize a trip around the world?
Yolanda is self-employed and during 2014 she will stop practicing her profession as a tour guide. I work as an employee with an indefinite contract, I have the possibility of requesting a leave of absence taking advantage of the fact that the labor agreement establishes the obligation when it comes to being readmitted (or to proceed to the pertinent dismissal, which is also a possibility).
Round the world ticket
So many hours we spent looking at this topic, you should almost get an official title on the matter. Several options exist and all valid and viable. We will try to briefly summarize the various types of tickets offered by agencies and expand further on our choice. Such a trip can be done in the following ways:
Buying airline tickets while traveling and making as many land trips as possible. This type of trip is the most romantic and can even be the cheapest of those that exist. Who wouldn’t like the idea of traveling aimlessly? The truth is that the idea seduces us. The problem for us with this option is crossing the Atlantic and the Pacific. You can save a lot on the trip and spend several thousand euros to cross the oceans.
Going to companies specialized in tours of the world . These companies are usually found in Anglo-Saxon countries given their experience and history related to these trips (the so-called “Gap Year” is common, a sabbatical year that young people do after finishing high school and before starting university). It is a good option because you can find round the world tickets that are around 1,800 euros. In our case it did not compensate us, we contacted them but there was no way to square our route at an adequate price.
Round the world ticket. There are 3 airline alliances worldwide (Oneworld, StarAlliance, SkyTeam) that market this type of tickets in two main modes, based on miles (you buy a package of aeronautical miles and use them accordingly based on a series of restrictions) or based on Visited continents also have their restrictions (and many) so, depending on your route, it may or may not be useful.
And now? What option do we take? We write the route we want to take. This includes South America, Easter Island, Central America, and Asia. Europe is expensive and we will leave it for the future if health and work allow it and Oceania we will discard it due to its prohibitive prices. It is not a trip around the world as we could imagine but we will circumnavigate the globe. In other words, the important thing is the journey, not the destination .
The option that was most economical for us, taking into account places to visit and ticket price, was to purchase a round-the-world ticket. For a while we were very, very tempted to do the same route buying tickets as we advanced but some sections were especially expensive, what’s more, any section within South America has high prices (ground transportation is not compensated depending on which countries) and fly to Easter Island costs between 600 – 700 euros per person.
The first part was resolved: round the world ticket , is there a second part? Yes. Which alliance to choose and which company to buy the ticket? The choice of alliance was easy, Oneworld offered us to get to the places we wanted, it is the only one that reaches Easter Island for example. However, the choice of airline companies was somewhat more complicated.
Some did not reply to emails or were bored on the second exchange of emails. Others charge you in advance for the service or put conditions such as that you must make the first flight with them or at least one of the flights, this was the case with Qantas. As we did not fly any section with them (we had ruled out Oceania) it could not be. We finally contacted Iberia and despite what it might seem after many emails and calls, we got a route and price.
Regarding the restrictions, we can say that route changes have a surcharge of US $ 125 but date and flight changes are free. You must arrive and leave the same airport in any case and if you did not comply with this premise, I would tell you the segment as if you had flown, that is, in the Santiago de Chile – Buenos Aires – Lima section if you fly the first segment but the second you do it for your account by land counts you as if you had made 2 flights.
The maximum is 16 flights broken down, in our case, as follows: 2 flights in Europe, 4 in South America, 5 in Central and North America, 4 flights in Asia.
The thing was as follows: 15 flights (you have a maximum of 16 segments to use) for € 3,400. It costs us 226 euros per flight.
Travel medical insurance
At the time, we already recommended IATI travel insurance and although we have never had to give an account of their services, they deserve our utmost confidence. Here we are getting a good amount of money but traveling calmly and with all possible medical care covered (without having to advance a single euro) is priceless.