26 May
Days adrift.  Click here to see our best and worst experiences so far.
Number of flights.  Click here to go to the itinerary page.
Bus, train and taxi rides.  Click here to see all posts relating to transport. (56 posts)
Miles walked.  Click here to see all posts relating to walking and trekking. (43 posts)
Countries visited.  Click here to see what we think of them. (14 posts)
Number of species spotted.  Click here to go to our wildlife page.
Photos taken.  Click here to go to the photo gallery. (105 posts)
Rainy days.  Click here to find posts relating to the weather. (50 posts)
Number of times scammed.  Click here to read all about it!  (2 posts)
Otters spotted.  Click here to go to our website about otters: amblonyx.com
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

RTW tickets

This is how we chose which RTW tickets to buy for our trip around the world. You can see our final itinerary here.

To start with, we were not so keen on RTW tickets. The freedom which comes with buying tickets as you go along is very appealing. Very early on, we went through the exercise of estimating the cost of air travel using single onwards tickets and found it very expensive. For our itinerary, which included several inter-continental flights, it would have cost approximately £2000 more per person.

With advice from Lien at Travel Nation, we settled on the OneWorld explorer ticket because it allowed more flexibility. Unlike the other fares, it is based on the number of continents visited (4 in our case), with no maximum mileage limit. You can have up to 16 segments of travel which might be a flight or overland, and you can change flight dates at no additional charge. OneWorld has an itinerary planner on their website which is useful for trying out different routes.

The other type of ticket we considered was the Star Alliance Round the world Fare, which is done by miles, with up to 39,000 miles possible. Unfortunately, although Star Alliance has good coverage almost everywhere, it doesn’t have much of a presence in South America at the time we looked into it (although Brazil’s TAM is joining some time in 2010).

There are a number of other RTW tickets available but none had the coverage for our particular itinerary. The combination of Africa and South America seem particularly awkward!

In the end, we paid £3,400ish each for our tickets. We were advised to get the tickets quite far in advance, because some flights are very busy and get booked up months in advance, the Auckland-Santigo segment is one of these. This is another way in which Travel Nation were great: we could “hold” the tickets with a £75 deposit six months ago, and only pay three months before departure; if you arrange the RTW ticket yourself, you need to pay the whole amount up front to secure your tickets.

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