Booking flights can be an ominous thing. Oh it’s easy enough if all you are planning is a quick romp over to a European city for a week, but what if you are planning multiple stops over an extended period and ultimately not ending up in the location that you began in? What would you do then? Where would you start? These were questions that dominated our thoughts as we moved closer and closer to our upcoming adventure, and I am pleased to say that we found an answer. It might not be the best option out there, might not be the cheapest (although we certainly felt it was more than affordable) but it was the one that worked for us, the one that, in the end, we chose. Our decision was to enlist the services of a company called Air Treks. Based out of San Francisco, California they specialize in exactly the kind of package that we were looking for, multiple-stop round-the-world tickets! Their website has several great options of prepackaged tickets for very affordable prices that has caused me to think very differently about my future travel plans. Why just fly return to the US or England when you can fly around the world and stop off in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Tahiti for the same price. They also have a nifty flight planner that allows you to plot customized travel ideas and get an estimate in under five minutes. If you would like a more precise quote, a short form can be filled out and the good people at Air Treks get back to you in less than 24 hours.
When it came time to book the flights, our Air Treks consultant Glenn scheduled a phone call and we worked through our itinerary together, booking each flight in chronological order. Along the way we discovered options that had not occurred to us, flight connections that didn’t suit our method of travelling, and flight times that were not congenial to a two-year-old’s sleeping schedule. Through all this Glenn was patient, kind and a wealth of knowledge; even looking into whether we could split up connections by a couple of days to allow extra time in cities that we originally didn’t intend to visit. This is how we are now spending time in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi; my wife is going to have a major Sex and the City moments when we arrive in the U.A.E. I hope she understands that we will not be staying in anything that remotely resembles the hotel that the girls stayed at in the 2nd film.
And cost? Our tickets span 9 countries, four continents, comprise of 9 separate flights over a period of almost three months and cost approximately $3,300 per adult. Now I have been flying internationally for years and have paid close to that sum for return tickets to Australia from New York in the past, so to us it was very affordable.
Ultimately this service worked for us, which is not to say that it would work well for everyone. In another life I was an itinerant backpacker. You know the kind. It seems that in most countries you can find a group of Australians living in a small apartment, hot-bunking and eating cheap noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Travelling on the cheap like this is often better served by purchasing travel legs one at a time, locally and shortly before departure. This, obviously, is not the best choice when dragging a two-year old along for the ride. So those days are gone, buried in hangovers and nights spent sleeping in parks. To be honest I’m not sorry to see them go, there’s still plenty of adventure left unwritten, even with a predetermined flight plan. You never know when Lily is going to shit her pants in the middle of a nice plate of pasta in Rome.