Least Expensive Around the World Airfare

Visiting all continents in the world for at least one week, including the two most populous countries in the world (both in Asia)

Outline

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1.  Method

2.  Influence of travel dates, places visited

3.  By Air

4.  By Bus and Air

5.  Bus Graphic

6.  Airfare graphic    

7.  An Idiot Abroad

Method

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For this project research, I used two types of flight search websites. The first type of website was an alliance of various airlines throughout the world. I chose SkyTeam and AirTreks. These companies offer a special around the world ticket that have restrictions on the travel itinerary. Some of the restrictions include length of stay, direction of travel, and distance traveled.

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The second type of websites are basic websites that search each airline for the best price. These are traditional methods of booking flights over the internet. Websites that were used were Expedia, Google, Orbitz, Kayak, and official Airlines’ websites. 

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Influence of Travel Dates, Places Visited

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I tried different days of the week and searched many different destinations. I tried many countries within a particular continent. Prices varied widely. Many times a midweek departure would result in a lower price, but not always. In a few instances, a Saturday and Sunday departure was less expensive than a midweek departure.

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Duration of travel tended to have an impact on price. Some of the most expensive flights had the shortest duration of travel time. If a traveler was willing to spend two to three times longer to travel to a destination, he or she could save money. I also found good values in overnight flights. I tended to stick to larger airports because of better deals. Distance traveled has a huge impact on price. I tried to visit all continents in a way that kept the flights as short as possible, in terms of distance. As the professor suggested, I tried to fly in as straight of a line as possible. I didn’t try to fly too much north or south.

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By Air

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I discovered the least expensive airfare flying from Omaha to all continents was by booking individual one way tickets to most of my stops. The AirTreks and SkyTeam websites, while convenient to use, produced the highest prices by far. For example:

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SkyTeam quoted $4493.00 for the trip

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The least expensive option was to seek out one-way tickets to isolate the best values. I used a round trip airfare in two instances: JFK to Aruba and Madrid to Tangier.

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The total cost to fly around the world, including visa costs, is $1859.20.

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Screenshots:

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AirTreks estimated between $2097.00 and $2745.00

Omaha to New York

New York to Aruba (round trip)

New York to Madrid

Madrid to Tangier (round trip)

Madrid to New Delhi

Shanghai to Omaha

New Delhi to Shanghai

By Air and Bus

A slightly less expensive way around the world involves taking a Greyhound bus to Los Angeles and New York. A one-way bus ticket from Omaha to New York is $179.50. Travel by public transit from the bus station to JFK is around $8.00, totaling $187.50. To get from LAX to the Greyhound Terminal by train and ride sharing is $17.75. A one-way ticket to Omaha via Greyhound is $205.50, for a grand total of $223.25.

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To travel by air and bus around the world is estimated to cost $1830.30. This includes all connection fees to and from the airport and bus terminal. To travel by air and bus is not a substantial savings — only $28.90. This is method is probably not worth the savings in this instance.

Bus Graphics

Air and bus itinerary cost breakdown

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Omaha to New York by Greyhound

Advice from a travel website on the on the cost of transit from the Greyhound bus station to JFK airport

Train from LAX to Union Station

Lyft from Union Station to Greyhound

Greyhound Bus from Los Angeles to Omaha

Airfare Graphic

Shown above is a map of my planned around the world flights.

An Idiot Abroad

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1) In the first episode of An Idiot Abroad, the main character, Karl Pilkington talks about an old proverb about a toad in a well. The toad in the well is a proverb about a toad stuck in a well. The proverb says that a toad in a well can only see out the small opening at the top of the well. Pilkington uses this proverb in the television show in regards to travel. A person who does not move out of his or her comfort zone by traveling only sees a small portion of the world. A world traveler sees the big picture of what the world has to offer. Just like the toad in the well, a person who never leaves home only sees a small circle of the world.

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2)  Pilkington sees a good portion of what lodging India has to offer. In the first location he inspects is behind a small business front. In at the back of the store there is neither beds nor toilets. Many people sleep on the ground in extremely small quarters.  Another location, near the Taj Mahal was a honeymoon suite. It was better, but was dirty and smelled. When Pilkington stayed in more expensive lodging that had more amenities (such as toilet paper) similar to western Europe, he appreciated what he may had taken for granted in the past at home.

The hotels that were more expensive sheltered Pilkington from the experience of authentic India. 

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Submitted by Stuart on March 15, 2019