After much deliberation and hand-wringing you’ve finally made the decision to do it, to rent out your house, give the dog to Mom and not only see the world, but see it for longer than ever before.
Fantastic, it’s an excellent idea! However, now that you’ve started planning this gap year you’re realizing that getting a long ticket like this is not as easy as it first appears, and finding out a few things about how plane tickets work in the process.
Sorting the Details
First, are you planning a gap year for the whole family? If so, give this a read. Okay, now let’s get down to business.
Nearly all airline tickets are only valid for one year from your date of purchase, not the date of departure as you might think. Neither AirTreks (nor any travel agency for that matter) can take a payment for tickets we are unable to issue now or that would be issued later on down the road. What this means to you is that when you purchase tickets say, five months ahead of your departure date, it leaves you only seven months of travel time before the year window is up. There is another issue: airlines only release their seat inventory about eleven months ahead of the travel date, meaning it’s not even possible to set up a reservation more than eleven months out if you wanted to. This all leaves you with the dilemma of having to start your trip without actually having tickets set up to get you home again.
While this may be a nerve-rattling thought, AirTreks can help in this scenario. As discussed in a previous post, there are some real advantages with an AirTreks round the world ticket, the foremost being its versatility.
If you’re doing a gap year and plan on traveling outside of the 11-month window of availability and 12-month validity you would simply purchase your trip in two stages—that which you can buy now and the rest once they become available a little farther down the road. AirTreks can and does book flights for travelers while they’re traveling, setting up remaining or continuing flights by email or phone (or Skype). And you can get a ballpark cost for those later flights based on the current year’s prices.
A popular method in buying gap year plane tickets is to book the first stage of tickets four to six months before the departure, then the rest of the trip a couple weeks before you leave. This will not only allow for at least eleven months of uninterrupted travel but also give you the security of knowing all your tickets are secured and frozen before you get on your first flight. It’s a great option because it allows you to budget out your travels with accuracy and the confidence of having the bulk of your expenses done and paid for.
Above all, enjoy your year on the road. You’ve earned it!