Getting to Paris

It’s always in the back of my mind when we’re not in Paris – how are we getting back there THIS time? Given the cost of ever-escalating air ticket prices, I’ve tried all sorts of ways of ‘getting around’ the higher prices. My latest scheme in the past few years has been to buy round-the-world tickets. There are other round-the-world programs such as Sky Team (which includes Air France) and One World, but I’ve used the Star Alliance program twice now (which is particularly handy if you’re planning on going to Australia or New Zealand as we did in 2003.)

Be sure to read the reviews of all three alliances RTW plane tickets:

If you’ve used any of the above alliances for your RTW ticket, you can leave your own review, too.

I couldn’t figure out why friends who visited us in Paris
kept getting these great flight deals like $450 round trip while we were paying for often between $600 or $750. Then the light bulb went off – they were only staying for two weeks. If you plan on staying for the full three months tourists are allowed, or if you are studying in France and planning on staying for the semester, you’re going to get socked with a ticket which now is over $1000 if you try buying a ticket in the conventional manner.




That’s when I started thinking about buying RTW tickets. First of all, you have an entire year to use the ticket – which means that if you’re studying in Europe, maybe you want to finish off your studies with grand finale, or who knows, you might meet a student in one of your international language classes who invites to his or her home country. The possibilities are endless. The funny thing about RTW tickets is that it’s kind of big mystery when you start asking about fares. If you check out the Star Alliance site for example, they want you to fill out your itinerary first. Now here’s where you have to be careful. You can change your dates of travel, but once you set down your itinerary, it costs money to change the actual stops on your RTW ticket. There are also different definitions of ’round the world’ mileage. If you don’t travel in a straight line, you may use more mileage to get around the world and have to pay a higher fair. With 29,000 miles we were able to get to from Paris to Los Angeles, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Tasmania,Melbourne in Australia, Bangkok and back to Paris.
The second time we went from Paris to New York, Santa Fe, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seoul, Korea, Saipan, and Paris. The first time we paid 2000 Euros plus 200 Euros in airport taxes (this was a 2003) so of course the prices have increased since then.

My suggestion is that you should try to speak to a international trip planner and first of all get the actual price before going through the entire booking process. Don’t forget to ask about added airport taxes. Then map out where you think you will be going and usually you can leave the dates open for the majority of the stops. You need to list three stops minimum and five stops maximum.

This is the first year in a while that we won’t be buying a RTW to get back to Paris. (We’ll wait to use a RTW ticket when we get to Paris). Instead, I bought a round trip ticket last November from Paris and only used half of the round trip. We’ll be doing the same thing most likely when we go back in the spring. It seems crazy but you’re still paying less than you would for buying a round trip that includes a more than one month stay over. This is particularly harsh for students.
Happy ticket hunting.

Be sure to read the reviews of all three alliances RTW plane tickets. There are plenty of other options for purchasing RTW plane tickets, so be sure to educate yourself on those as well:

If you’ve used any of the above companies for your RTW ticket, you can leave your own review, too.