Myths abound for why traveling long-term is impossible. The difficulty of planning a trip around the world often discourages people before they even get started, particularly when it comes to airfare.
“It takes too long. I don’t have the time to plan it.”
“There are too many rules. Who has the time to figure them all out and decide on the best option?”
“I’m a planner, so I don’t want to just buy a ticket and go. It makes me anxious not to have plans.”
“I hate planning. I just want to do it my own way.”
Ever since my wife and I decided to quit our jobs, sell our crap, and take a trip around the world way back in 2007, I have heard a variation of all the above concerns more times than I can count.
I have always tried to soothe people’s anxiety by saying that the planning wasn’t too bad, or that figuring out whether to buy a round the world flight or point to point wasn’t as angst-ridden as you think, or that it doesn’t really take that much time. But honestly, I was kind of lying.
The planning process can get overwhelming at times. Making important decisions regarding flights, the most expensive part of your trip, did make me anxious. It really did take a lot of time. We spent the better part of 18 months planning all the specifics and logistics of our trip.
With the advent of Indie, BootsnAll’s multi-country flight finder, one part of the planning process – the flights – just became a whole lot easier. Up until now, there was nowhere on the web where travelers could search prices for and book a trip completely online longer than 6 legs.
Before, you would have to submit inquiries, wait for travel agents or companies to call or email back, or abide by the fickle rules of the alliances – and that was just to get a price! If you wanted to make a few changes to your initial request, the whole process would start over again.
With Indie, we have given you back your time by abiding by three simple rules:
- There are no rules.
- Instant pricing and booking.
- Do it your way.
Indie has been in beta testing mode for several months now, and we have sold quite a few tickets during this trial period. So don’t take it from us, take it from the people who have already used Indie for their multi-country trips.
There are no rules
Here are a sampling of Rules from the Star Alliance
- Your journey cannot exceed 27,000 miles.
- On your Round the World journey, your travel must follow one global direction only (East to West).
- The maximum number of stopovers for this fare is 15.
- The Atlantic and Pacific must each be crossed exactly once.
- Your journey has to start and end in the same country.
- Travel through the city of origin is not permitted.
AHHHHH! If you’ve ever tried to decipher the infinite number of rules and regulations that alliances put on their round the world fares, you have probably run away from your computer screaming and pulling your hair out. Those rules just keep piling up. [We do recommend an Alliance RTW in our Around the World Airfare report if you want to spend miles to get it - in others words, it is FREE)
With Indie, there are no rules.
- “This system…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 RTW companies.” - Brian Kelly
- “I was hooked and probably tried 75 different trip / country combos over a month before purchasing. - Jessica Thompson
- “Your site is awesome. My wife and I can’t believe we have finally found it after trying for so long, especially with different travel agencies telling us there is no such way to book your own round world tickets.” – Brian Kelly
We all know that just buying one-way tickets solves the “rules” dilemma as well, but it may or may not be as cost-effective (so many factors go into getting the lowest price – NO one can claim their price or method is always lowest, including us), and even if you can find a comparable or lower price (which on many routes, you’ll be able to), think of how much your time is worth.
- “I did do a comparison of prices that I was getting…against what I paid about a year ago…and this trip that I’m doing with you is more flying, more distance, and barely, barely more costly, so once I saw that…no way I could match going through building my own route what could be arranged through Round the World Ticket.” - Jim Kaplan
- “It helped when I was juggling cities, if I changed my itinerary by dates…I could plug in multiple dates and get multiple quotes on completely different routes on the long hauls…there, your mechanism, the software permits doing some real comparison.” – Jim Kaplan
Instant pricing and booking
The “No rules” rule was a vital part of Indie, but instant pricing and booking was equally important. We were surprised, as you may be, too, that this type of flight booking engine didn’t already exist. There are a few sites where you can search and book online, like Kayak, where you can search up to 6 legs, and Star Alliance, where you can search and book online, but you have to abide by all those pesky rules and regulations.
Indie is the first of its kind where you can fly from anywhere, to anywhere with no restrictions, get an instant price, then book your ticket. Not only is it efficient, it’s fast.
- “I was stunned that I got a quote from you in 2 minutes.” - Jim Kaplan
- “I really like your site, it’s the best way to plan a trip like the one that I’m taking. I don’t have to sit on a zillion websites looking for low fares. You also offer flights to more destinations than some of the other similar sites out there.” – Tim Bueckert
- “I was getting a book to read while my search started, and bingo! There was my price.” - Jim Kaplan
One of the coolest aspects of this instant pricing feature is that it allows travelers to daydream about their trips. It’s quick and easy to plug various destinations and dates in, get a price, make adjustments, get another price, make more adjustments, get another price. You get the idea.
- “It was great. I did a lot of back and forth experimenting over the course of a few days — trying different dates, different stopovers. It was nice to be able to save various potential itineraries” – Jamie Boud
- “Check out BootsnAll. If not to book, at least to daydream.” – Jamie Boud
- “Although I’ve never done an ‘around the world’ trip, it’s something I think about often. It’s fun to plot out various trips just to see what the prices are, and then day dream about putting it all together.” - Jamie Boud
- “We budgeted $4500 and were shocked that we were able to find a ticket for significantly less! Indie helped us find a ticket within our budget, completely unexpectedly!” - Jessica Thompson
Do it your way
All this talk of no rules and instant pricing may have you thinking that we’re missing an important aspect of any product – customer service. Indie was built with the independent traveler in mind, one who enjoys doing things on his or her own and putting the pieces of the puzzle together.
But BootsnAll has always been about helping people realize their travel dreams and providing the tools to do so. Indie is no different. If you’re the kind of person who would prefer to search and book without having to email or speak to a single person, that’s your prerogative, and you can do that.
- “Indie’s prices came in better than when I tried to reconstruct my route on Travelocity, by the way… I might’ve been able to get to the same number on Travelocity, but it just felt like more work. Now, maybe that was an illusion because I was spending a lot of time checking various sites, trying to work out all the details that I started to get burnt out. But that’s a big reason I appreciated Indie’s clean interface.” – Jamie Boud
You can also go the opposite route if that’s what you prefer. We have staff on hand around the world to help you with your booking. You can email, call, or chat if you need help planning your trip.
- “Booking was a snap. No issues…I got the sense that there were real people out there, actually paying attention.” – Jamie Boud
- “Price was an issue, but trumping it all was <BootsnAll employee> David.” – Jim Kaplan
- “Your customer service is excellent and the chat feature is very convenient. Overall: Great site. I’ve already told my friends all about it.” - Tim Bueckert
- “Thanks <BootsnAll employee> Chris for the IM suggestion of midweek travel; it looks like it will save us some serious money.” – Adam Shore
Tomorrow, learn 10 reasons how Indie changed the future of round the world tickets.
Photo credits: ToGa Wanderings