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Indie RTW Ticket Review

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

IndieOver the past year, BootsnAll has released 3 versions of its free, downloadable Around the World Airfare Report, where they shopped and reviewed multi-stop itineraries amongst 8 different companies.

Indie, the newest of the multi-stop flight options out there, released in January 2013, was not a part of the previous three reports (the next report, scheduled for release in late summer 2013, will include Indie).

This page gives customers the opportunity to review Indie until the release of the next report.

If you have used Indie for your round the world trip, we want to hear from you. Comment below to share your experience, and click on the stars below the comment box to rate.

Here are some reviews and customer testimonials from the first 6+ months of service on Indie:

  • “Wouldn’t you want to have control on choosing your actual departure and arrival times, to know what you airline options are, to know the cost impact of changing flights times and/or airlines? I’d love that…Enter BootsnAll.com (read as “boots and all”). Bootsnall was a great resource for my round the world travel. Lots of great tips… and imagine my delight when I saw they had the BEST tool that had everything I wanted in creating your itinerary!!” – Leo Castillo – Leo shopped for multi-stop tickets through 4 different providers and broke down his entire experience here.
  • “I had seen the RTW ticket option but didn’t browse tickets until we decided to purchase one for our trip home. I was hooked and probably tried 75 different trip / country combos over a month before purchasing.” –Jessica Thompson
  • “As someone who books a lot of multistop tickets – I am thrilled to have this on the market now and part of my travel planning tools.” –Sherry Ott, OttsWorld & Meet Plan Go
  • “If I hadn’t done it this way though, I would have likely used the newly (launched in 2013) launched Indie, a multi-stop search engine from BootsnAll. I love this site in general, and though I have not purchased a flight on the site, I love the interface and it’s flexibility…If you do buy a RTW ticket, I suggest starting your search with Indie; the BootsnAll crew is very responsive and helpful and the search tool is very intuitive.” -Shannon O-Donnell, A Little Adrift
  • “Around the world travel planning has never been easy. For years this has been a manual task. Bootsnall is a great answer for RTW fares in just a few minutes. I don’t know any other site that can do so many legs so quickly.” –Terry Jones, Founder of Travelocity.com
  • “BootsnAll’s Indie allows you to explore the possibilities of long-term travel in a way that actually reflects the flexibility of independent travel. It enables you to research international multi-stop and around-the-world flights with instant pricing, online booking, and none of the cumbersome rules and restrictions that come with airline-alliance bookings. If you’re only planning a trip from Point A to Point B you might not need Indie — but if your journey entails onward travel to Points C or D or Z, Indie is an essential research tool.” –Rolf Potts, author of Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel
  • “With all those weird and wonderful routes out there just waiting to be tried this has to be a good thing. Give it a try!” –Tony Wheeler, co-founder of Lonely Planet
  • “Indie can provide instant pricing that can be manipulated in real-time to see how different routes affect price. Being able to play around with a proposed itinerary to see what mix of destinations, flights, and overlands will provide the best bang for the buck is most certainly going to be one of the most visceral appeals of this tool.” –Nick Vivion, Tnooz
  • “…pretty slick — a very visual map-based display of the entire trip with a breakdown of all the carriers involved, simple editing tools to easily update the route and see revised pricing info, and one final price for the entire trip.” Pete Meyers, Eurocheapo
  • “We travelled around the world last year and are looking to go again in 2013… We have had a number of quotes again using Star Alliance, etc. (that we used last time), but this system [Indie] seems a thousand times easier and lets us get to exactly where we want to go without the usual restrictions placed on you with other round the world ticket companies.” –Brian Kelly, an Australian traveler taking his family of four on a round the world trip (now departing in July 2013).
  • “…Bootsnall is tackling a mammoth, complex battle for those leisure travelers who are set on exploring the world.” –Dennis Schaal, Skift

4.3/5 -
based on 1 reviews

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The Summer Version of the Around the World Airfare Report

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

When we first started talking about researching and writing a report on the state of round the world airfare, it excited us. Not because it hadn’t been done before, but because we knew that we were going to learn a ton about the industry by doing so.

When we published the first version back in March, we already had our eyes on the next version, which we just published this past week.

Download the free summer version of the Around the World Airfare Report

 

Your feedback – both positive and negative – drove us to create a bigger and better report this time around. One of the things most people liked about the report was that we searched real itineraries across a broad spectrum of companies, comparing not only price but customer service, search options, route flexibility, and date change flexibility.

So we did the same this time, coming up with two more routes – one a 6-flight RTW trip with a couple out of the way locations (Reykjavic and Moscow) and one an 11-flight (with 3 overland segments) RTW with a few out of the way places (Ushuaia, Sibu, and Ulan Bator).

The reason we chose these more difficult routes and far off or lesser traveled to places was to challenge each provider to see who was up to the task. Some passed with flying colors and had no problems getting us pricing on each route. Others wilted under the pressure and simply stopped responding after things got challenging.

In this version you can check out six sample routes with 30 prices checked, including a RTW provider scorecard. Like last time, we searched each route leaving from three different countries – USA, UK, and Australia. Unlike last time, we didn’t use the same companies for each departure city. Trying to simulate what a search would actually be like for a real traveler, we chose to only search companies in each departing country.

So go ahead download this free version of the RTW Airfare Report, and when you’re finished reading it, head on over to the RTW Report review page to offer your feedback so we can make the third version even better.

Thanks, and happy travels!

/5 -
based on 0 reviews

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Student Flights (Australia) RTW Ticket Review

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

After releasing our Around the World Airfare Report, we have received a ton of great feedback that is only going to make our quarterly updates ever better and more beneficial for you, the RTW traveler.

We know that there are many more providers who sell round the world plane tickets than the eight we reviewed, and the feedback has offered more options.  The providers being suggested will be in the mix the next time we update the report in June.

Even though we haven’t reviewed this company yet, we wanted to put up a review page in case you have shopped for or bought a RTW ticket with them.  If you have, we want to hear from you.

If you’ve shopped for or used Student Flights Australia for a RTW ticket, please write a review below and rate them based on the stated criteria.  And if there are any other providers that aren’t yet listed, let us know.

The basics of a Student Flights Australia RTW Ticket

  • RTW tickets through Student Flights are not only for students.
  • They have specials just for students.
  • A RTW ticket offers flights with anywhere from 3 to 20 stops.
  • Student Flights has a series of predetermined routes that they sell.
  • If you have a particular itinerary in mind, you can email or call Student Flights and have them put an itinerary together for you.
  • You can also build you own itinerary online (with a max of 9 stops) and have a customer service rep get back to you.

If you have used Student Flights Australia for your round the world trip, we want to hear from you. Comment below to share your experience, and click on the stars below the comment box to rate.

/5 -
based on 0 reviews

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Student Flights (New Zealand) RTW Ticket Review

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

After releasing our Around the World Airfare Report, we have received a ton of great feedback that is only going to make our quarterly updates ever better and more beneficial for you, the RTW traveler.

We know that there are many more providers who sell round the world plane tickets than the eight we reviewed, and the feedback has offered more options.  The providers being suggested will be in the mix the next time we update the report in June.

Even though we haven’t reviewed this company yet, we wanted to put up a review page in case you have shopped for or bought a RTW ticket with them.  If you have, we want to hear from you.

If you’ve shopped for or used Student Flights New Zealand for a RTW ticket, please write a review below and rate them based on the stated criteria.  And if there are any other providers that aren’t yet listed, let us know.

 

The basics of a Student Flights New Zealand RTW Ticket

  • RTW tickets through Student Flights are not only for students.
  • A RTW ticket offers flights with anywhere from 3 to 20 stops.
  • If you have a particular itinerary in mind, you can email or call Student Flights and have them put an itinerary together for you.

If you have used Student Flights New Zealand for your round the world trip, we want to hear from you. Comment below to share your experience, and click on the stars below the comment box to rate.

/5 -
based on 0 reviews

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Great Escapade RTW Ticket Review

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

After releasing our Around the World Airfare Report, we have received a ton of great feedback that is only going to make our quarterly updates ever better and more beneficial for you, the RTW traveler.

We know that there are many more providers who sell round the world plane tickets than the eight we reviewed, and the feedback has offered more options.  The providers being suggested will be in the mix the next time we update the report in June.

Even though we haven’t reviewed this company yet, we wanted to put up a review page in case you have shopped for or bought a RTW ticket with them.  If you have, we want to hear from you.

If you’ve shopped for or used Great Escapade for a RTW ticket, please write a review below and rate them based on the stated criteria.  And if there are any other providers that aren’t yet listed, let us know.

The basics of a Great Escapade RTW Ticket

  • use three airlines to piece together a RTW trip – Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic
  • use up to 29,000 miles
    • pay more to add more miles (130 GBP for 1500 miles up to 4500 miles)
  • cross the Atlantic and Pacific only once each
  • can make use of unlimited stopovers
  • has an online route planner and calculator (you cannot book online though)
  • must contact Virgin Atlantic, Air New Zealand, or a travel agent to book
  • have to leave from either London or Manchester, UK
  • overland segments count against your mileage

If you have used Great Escapade for your round the world trip, we want to hear from you. Comment below to share your experience, and click on the stars below the comment box to rate.

/5 -
based on 2 reviews

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Introducing the Around the World Airfare Report

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Hopefully by now you’ve probably seen and read the RTW flight reviews we published back in January. If not and this is all news to you, let me give you the story of how we came to publish our free Around the World Airfare Report.

About six months back we were discussing round the world plane tickets and all the options available for travelers wanting to take a long-term trip. As someone who has taken a RTW trip myself, I knew all too well the frustrations that come with trying to figure out the best option for traveling around the world.

Do I buy a RTW ticket from one of the alliances? If so, what are all those pesky terms and conditions all about? Do I go with a company like AirTreks who doesn’t have as many rules and conditions but makes you set your itinerary in advance? Are there any more companies out there who sell RTW tickets? Maybe I should just buy one-way tickets as I go? But that’s sure to be much more expensive than going with a traditional RTW ticket, right?

All are questions I had back in 2008 when we were planning our own RTW trip. Fast forward three years – I’m back from my trip, working for a travel company who also sells RTW tickets, and I honestly still didn’t know the answers to those questions.

Around the World Airfare Report

After discussing it more with colleagues, it seems that there aren’t many people who do know the ins and outs of RTW flights. Since we own this site called Round the World Ticket, shouldn’t we be the ones with authority on the subject? Shouldn’t we be the ones to provide these resources for travelers wanting to go on a RTW trip?

The answer was a resounding yes, so the research began. We started by coming up with three fictional itineraries. One was a super simple, 4-leg hub city RTW trip. One was a more complicated, 13 segment (9 flights, 4 overland) RTW trip. And the last was an extremely complicated, 17 leg (12 flights, 5 overland) RTW trip.

After coming up with the itineraries, it was time to shop them around.  We didn’t do this as employees of BootsnAll, we instead posed as customers for the most accuracy.  We spent the better part of two months emailing, calling, chatting, and compiling prices and information on the shopping process for these three RTW routes.  We shopped these itineraries among eight different companies, including one in the UK for our British friends and one in Australia for our friends down under.  We also wanted to see how the DIY model of purchasing a series of one-way tickets compared, so we searched via Kayak as well.

We began by publishing short reviews breaking down each company based on 5 criteria – price, search options, customer service, date flexibility, and route flexibility. We even asked you for your input on each company, so be sure to read through the comments to see what other customers had to say about each. And if you’ve used any of these yourself, please feel free to contribute your own review.

But we always had something bigger in mind. We had so much more information to share. So we organized it all and put out our Around the World Flight Report today. This 18-page report shows what ticket providers are cheapest for shorter or more complex RTW routes, offers nine sample routes with 60 prices checked, and includes a RTW provider scorecard, among other great information.

So if you are contemplating a RTW trip or in the middle of planning your own RTW trip, this is something you want to read. Taking 20-30 minutes to read through this report will save you literally hours, maybe even days of research. Our goal here isn’t to sway you one way or another – it is simply to provide the information. If it’s one thing that we learned from our research, it’s that there is no one best option for everyone. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing. Every traveler has different needs; it’s just a matter of finding out which one is best for you.

So go ahead and download the report, read it over, and please feel free to get back with us in the comments section of this post with any feedback – both positive and negative. Because the travel landscape is ever-changing, we plan to update this report 4 times a year, so any input you could offer to make the next version better, we’re all ears.

Thanks, and happy travels!

/5 -
based on 0 reviews

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Special March 2012 Fares for RTW Tickets

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Many travelers consider themselves budget travelers, but what exactly does budget travel mean? Does it mean spending the least amount of money? Does it mean staying in hostel dorms and always cooking your own meals? Does it mean always traveling in inexpensive, developing countries? Does a term like budget travel really have to even be defined?

A recent article on BootsnAll challenged that exact question. The author wrote about the difference between budget travel and cheap travel. Based on all the comments, most of the readers agreed that there is indeed a difference, and budget travel doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to spend the least amount of money. In fact, most agreed that budget travel is all about getting the most value for your money, and value really does depend on the person.

The one thing that budget travelers do is take advantage of ways to save money and add value to his or her trip. Learning how to take advantage of services like Couchsurfing and traveling during shoulder season are both great ways to maximize your funds during any trip. What are your favorite budget travel tips?

If you’re planning an extended trip, then you want to start keeping an eye on airfare specials. BootsnAll has monthly deals that can take you all over the world, so be sure to check out the following deals, which are good through March, 2012:

  • RTW Sample -New York – Beijing – Hong Kong – Singapore – Bangkok – Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City – Paris – OVERLAND – London – Reykjavik – New York from $2498 plus taxes.
  • Hoofing It Around the World – New York – Bogota – OVERLAND – Sao Paulo – Johannesburg – OVERLAND – Nairobi – Istanbul – OVERLAND – Athens – Cairo – Dubai – OVERLAND – Muscat – Cochin / Kochi – OVERLAND – Calcutta / Kolkata – Bangkok – OVERLAND – Singapore – Yogyakarta – OVERLAND – Bali (Denpasar) – Hong Kong – OVERLAND – Beijing – New York from $3873 plus taxes.
  • Canuck’s Classic RTW – Vancouver – Beijing – Delhi – OVERLAND – Bombay / Mumbai – London – Rome – OVERLAND – Paris – Vancouver from $2525 plus taxes.

If you are looking for something a little different in your round the world trip, then start planning your trip of a lifetime with our RTW trip planner And don’t forget to sign up for BootsnAll’s RTW newsletter, delivering special deals, RTW trip planning advice, and resources via email every single month. We also have a Facebook fan page and Twitter page, so be sure to like and follow those to keep up to date on all your RTW travel needs.

/5 -
based on 1 reviews

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Designing Your Own Round the World Itinerary

Monday, February 20th, 2012

We recently completed a research project where we shopped 3 round the world itineraries from 8 different companies who sell RTW tickets. The following is a guest post about the DIY method of buying plane tickets as you go for your RTW trip.
 
In January 2010 I quit my job, sold everything I owned, and bought a one way ticket from Los Angeles to Bangkok. It was the beginning of a year-long round the world adventure that brought me to 20 different countries on 4 continents.

When I left on my trip I had a vague plan of the destinations I wanted to visit, but it was very important for me to have flexibility as well. I considered buying a pre-packaged round the world ticket, but decided to go the DIY route instead.

The main reasons I chose DIY were the flexibility and the price.

Flexibility

Most round the world tickets limit your travel time to 12 months. In my case this was an immediate deal breaker. I knew I may be gone for over 12 months. Even if you are planning a shorter trip, you never know what might happen.

You might take a job at a bar on the Mekong and linger in Laos for a few months. You may discover your new-found love for ice climbing in Norway and want to stay through the winter. The point is that with extended travel, flexibility is key.

The other main downside to round-the-world tickets is that by and large they require you to pick an itinerary including dates and destinations in advance. Having that kind of structure can only hurt a traveler’s journey.

Price

My trip around the world trip included 12 flights connecting South East Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the United States. I covered a total of 38,000 miles at the bargain price of $3,256. That’s only 9 cents per mile—cheaper than driving! I have yet to find one round-the-world airfare quote for the same itinerary that can beat that price.

My DIY Round-the-World Itinerary

I booked this itinerary using only one-way airfares found by searching the web. While I racked up a lot of frequent flyer miles on the way I paid for all of these trips out of pocket. On average I bought the tickets I used about 2-3 months in advance for long haul flights and up to the very last minute for shorter flights.

The table below shows a summary of my flights. The mileages listed include the stopovers as indicated.

All said and done I took 12 flights and visited 4 continents. A little over half of these flights (7 of 12) were on budget carriers and were short distances. All of my long haul flights were on standard carriers. My most expensive flight on a cost per mile basis was my flight from Bucharest to Kos, Greece. This was probably due to two factors: one, I booked the flight evening before it left; and two, the leg from Athens to the island of Kos was on a tiny prop plane.

Looking back on it I flew a lot, and some of the time it wasn’t necessary. Had I wanted to save a little money I could have easily gone overland throughout South East Asia (skipping the Bangkok-Krabi and Bangkok-Phnom Penh-Bangkok flights and the flight within Indonesia from Denpasar to Yogyakarta). Had I skipped these flights I would have saved $245 on airfare.

Tips for Keeping on Budget

The best thing you can do to stay on budget is to be flexible. Flexibility in time and precise destination will go further and save you more money than any number of hours of searching the web for the cheapest fare.

One possible pitfall to booking independently is the trend towards egregious markups with long haul one-way fares. I found this was the biggest problem with flights between the US and Europe. You can usually find a way around it if you keep looking. Sometimes if you buy a refundable round trip ticket with plans to refund the second leg you can save some money.

While packaged round the world tickets may be perfect for some travelers, nothing beats the flexibility of relying on your own creativity and bargain hunting skills to create a round-the-world itinerary on the fly.

This was a guest post by Briana from Roll Global. For further reading you can look at her monthly budget for the entire trip here. You can also read more about her adventures, traveling, rock climbing and bicycle touring around the world on her website RollGlobal.org.

/5 -
based on 0 reviews

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Shopping for RTW Tickets – Route 1 Dates and Itineraries

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

During our RTW flight research project, we came up with three different round the world routes to shop among eight different companies. If you haven’t seen them already, here are the the RTW Plane Ticket Reviews from our secret shopping project.

Below you will find the itinerary and dates for the first route we shopped to give you a better idea of our findings. Remember that we posed as customers for this project in order to get the most accurate experience of what it’s like to shop for RTW plane tickets. We also shopped all three itineraries leaving from three different cities around the world – New York, London, and Sydney.

Route 1 – 4 leg Hub City RTW

Dates: We searched all three of these routes using the same dates. We shopped each route between mid-November – mid-December 2011 – about 3.5 – 4.5 months before the first flight.

  • Flight 1: 04/01/12
  • Flight 2: 05/01/12
  • Flight 3: 06/01/12
  • Flight 4: 07/01/12

Routes

  • New York — London — Delhi — Bangkok — New York
  • London — Delhi — Bangkok — New York — London
  • Sydney — Bangkok — Delhi — London — Sydney
/5 -
based on 1 reviews

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DIY (Do It Yourself) RTW Ticket Review

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

We shopped prices for RTW plane tickets from eight different companies and rated each company based on five criteria – price, search options, customer service, date flexibility, and route flexibility.

Below are the three routes and dates that we shopped:

For the DIY option, though, some of these ratings criteria don’t apply. Since we were doing it all ourselves, we didn’t deal with any customer service reps. We used Kayak exclusively for searching these one-way flights, and because you can’t book directly through Kayak, we did click through to the site necessary to book to make sure the price was accurate and there were still seats left.

Note: Keep in mind that we searched these flights all at once. In a typical Round the World scenario, the traveler would be booking flights as he or she went, and we all know how prices fluctuate, so use this only as a guide. We also only searched Kayak, so there could be better deals to be had on smaller, regional airlines that Kayak doesn’t cover.

Price

Pricing for doing it all yourself and buying one way tickets as you go was very competitive to other options. For the simplest route that only had 4 flights to major hub cities, the DIY option was cheapest leaving from New York and London. It came in 7.2% higher than the lowest price leaving from Sydney. For the second, more complicated route, DIY was on average 9.13% higher than the lowest options. For the most complicated route, DIY offered the lowest price from London and was an average of 9.03% higher than the lowest price from New York and Sydney.

Search Options

We stuck to online searches using Kayak, which we’ve all most likely done before. Because you can’t book directly through Kayak, we did click through to the site offering the lowest price to make sure the price was accurate and the flight was still available.

Customer Service

Not applicable.

Date Flexibility

This option obviously provides the most flexibility in terms of dates because the traveler ultimately decides when he or she wants to book. The main downfall is that if you wait too long, the price could go up dramatically. But on the flip side, you can also find last minute deals.

Route Flexibility

Again, choosing this method gives you the ultimate flexibility in routes. But it pays to do some research before leaving. For example, getting from South America to Southeast Asia or Australasia can be complicated and expensive even when you do it on your own, so it pays to know ahead of time which routes/destinations may be pricey.

If you have used the Do It Yourself method for your round the world trip, we want to hear from you. Comment below to share your experience, and click on the stars below the comment box to rate.

4.4/5 -
based on 7 reviews

Posted in RTW Flight Ticket Review | 7 Comments »

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