It’s March. Already. How did that happen? While usually the beginning of March is exciting because spring is almost here, this year for me it has much more significance: I can FINALLY buy my flights!
I have had the route planned and the timing planned for a while, but I haven’t been able to buy my flights yet because I can’t get them more than 11 months in advance. Since my last flight from Bangkok to New Delhi is in February of 2015, that means I’ve been waiting till March to make the big purchase. And now that it’s here, I’m simultaneously incredibly excited and terrified.
Buying my flights is the final commitment. I know telling my job that I’m leaving felt like jumping off the cliff, but as soon as I make this purchase that is it, I am going. And I am happy to say, I’m ready to do it.
I went through a few different options of how I wanted to buy my flights. At first I thought I would get a RTW ticket, so I played around on Star Alliance’s RTW site for a little while (I had already read about a few different RTW ticket providers before landing on Star Alliance). Ultimately I decided against this method because of a few things: 1) it has a mileage limit, and I kept exceeding the mileage; 2) it was more expensive than I had hoped it would be; and 3) it was too limiting. The RTW ticket really locked me into a final route – I had to move one direction within a certain number of miles, starting and ending in the same country. What if I didn’t feel like going home just yet? Or for some unforeseen reason I wanted to go eastward before continuing on west? With flexibility being as important as it is to me, this just wasn’t the way to go.
And then there’s the buying as a you go route. While this seems fun, spending hours on computers in hostels or internet cafes trying to search for the optimal flight prices and times didn’t sound like the best use of my time. Plus, as I’ve already said, I want to make sure that I keep moving to the next destinations. Not having that next big flight could mean I spend my entire trip in South America. While that doesn’t sound too bad, it’s just not what I’m setting out to do right now.
Then I discovered Indie. As I alluded to once before, BootsnAll is a terrific resource for all your RTW planning needs. It has articles on destinations, planning tips, links to other blogs – really anything you could want. And one of my favorite things about it is the route planner Indie.
Indie lets you play around with different options – you can change locations, sort by prices or length of trip, choose overland or flight between places – so you can find the route that works best for you. This is also how I ended up deciding to not have a return flight. Because you are searching individual legs as a package, there is no restriction on where you have to end. It’s the tool that helped me find my perfect combination of planned and flexible. And the price was right too.
For anyone who is planning a RTW trip, I highly suggest spending some time with Indie. I have saved a few route options and keep going back and adjusting them trying to find the right combination. I think I almost have it. As soon as I hit purchase, you’ll be the first to know.