Sunday, June 9, 2013

Tickets are booked

Hi all,

It's been a while and have a lot of news...

After Claudio told his employer that we are leaving in April, I decided that I should say it as soon as I could. It was becoming so difficult to lie to my colleagues at work. So, I told my boss last Thursday, roughly 10 days ago. I entered his office with a pounding heart and a flushed face and with all the courage I had (I talked to myself in the mirror in the bathroom to calm my nerves ;) ). To my surprise, my boss was super nice! He even asked me where I wanted to travel, and after I told him everything, he suggested we had to go out for dinner for a client... Awesome :-)
So, we agreed that I can leave in November, taking holidays for one month, and 5 months of time credit. So I can start working again the 5th of May. I also took the option to take time credit for another 4 months , which my boss approved as well strangely enough. This is because there is a chance we might move to China for 4 months, for Claudio's work. But this is not sure yet. So I won't elaborate on it, cause we don't know yet if and how this will happen.

So, now, everybody knows! Finally, after 9 months of planning and silence, I can tell everyone! Such a relief...

Since my work approved of my time credit, we were finally able to look for plane tickets. We had a discussion last weekend about the destinations, because I was not completely convinced yet. The planning was, as explained before, to go to South America, then Mexico, and from there fly to New Zealand and the SE Asia. I had some destinations that I wanted to include, such as Rio de Janeiro, Cuba, Miami or Hawaii. After a somehow heated discussion (Claudio is very stuborn :D ), we decided to see how much it would cost to include some of these destinations. So, that weekend, I started performing some research on the cost of plane tickets. You all probably know, but there are special round the world tickets (RTW). This is offered by alliances of airlines, but also travel agencies. For example:

Star Alliance:
One world:
World Walkabout :
See also some others :

Travel agencies:
Travel nation:
Round the world flights :

In general, RTW tickets are cheaper than booking one way flights. A great website is Skyscanner (, where you can select whole months to see the cheapest prices or where you select different airports to leave from. In this way, it becomes easier to find the cheapest tickets. Also the app is really good (even better than  the website in my opinion).

We started looking for flights on Skyscanner, but it seemed to be very expensive to book one way tickets. Usually, return flights are even a bit cheaper than just booking a one way flight. I was not able to find a decent itinerary on Skyscanner, so I decided to get some quotes for RTW tickets.

Star Alliance and One World were very expensive, so I decided to contact two travel agencies, Travel Nation and Round the world flights. Travel nation gave us a really good quote! We were appointed a "travel consultant", and this guy was super! I asked for different destinations, changing it 20 times, and he was really friendly and helped me organise my trip. We planned the following itinerary:

03/11  London - Lima
15/12  Lima - Miami
18/12  Miami - Mexico City
13/01  Cancun - Mexico City
14/01  Mexico City - Honolulu
01/02  Honolulu - Auckland
27/02  Auckland - Singapore
28/04  Singapore - London

I asked to include Hawaii (Honolulu) in the itinerary and it did not seem to be super expensive! Then, first, we had a connecting flight from Lima to Mexico City, transit in Miami. We were able to postpone the connecting flight with 3 days, so we could stay a couple of days in Maimi -> perfect!
We were very satisfied about the price, the help of the agency, and our itinerary. So we decided to book all the flights. One part of the payment was done on Friday and this Monday we will booked the second part of the trip!

We also booked two flights in South America with TAM airlines. Through the agency it was very expensive, so we looked ourselves and found a formula which is called "multicity":

02/12  Santa Cruz (Bolivia) - Buenos Aires
13/12  Buenos Aires - Lima

This formula is a lot cheaper than booking a single flight Buenos Aires - Lima (700 EUR cheaper!!). So we booked these flights as well, as we noted that a lot of dates were already not available anymore (due to the holiday peak season).

So all our flights are booked :-) What a relief!!!!! And, I'm happy we included Hawaii and Miami in our plan. Hopefully when we are in Miami we can see an NBA game, let's hope they're playing then!

After this intensive week of planning and booking, we need a break, wow... Luckily it's sunny, so it's time to go outside and lay in the sun :-)

Hope you enjoyed my post, and if you are thinking about travelling, I hope the info is useful! If you have any more questions, just leave a message or email me!

Marj & Cla