You have taken the first step – you decided to take the plunge to take a career break to travel. Now comes what should be the fun part – the actual planning. If you are like many career breakers, you might be thinking about booking a round-the-world flight itinerary including multiple stops around the world. Unfortunately, you may find that pricing out such an itinerary can be extremely time consuming. It can quickly chip away at the time you need to take care of everything else on your to-do list before leaving. Even frequent world traveler Chris Guillebeau has said it can take as much as 40 hours to get a handle on planning a multi-stop trip.
Indeed, planning a trip with five or more stops often requires the use of a travel agent – search engines like Travelocity and Expedia don’t let you book trips with so many stops. Using a travel agent, it can sometimes take days just to get a price quotation in a particular itinerary – and if you want to change that itinerary before booking, count on more time to get a revised quote.
Wouldn’t you rather spend your time thinking about what you’re going to do once you reach your destination instead of sweating out how you’re going to get there?
Never fear – BootsnAll is here to help. The well-known independent travel website has just launched Indie– the first airfare booking engine that offers instant prices, no rules and online booking for multi-stop itineraries. While most search engines like Travelocity or Expedia allow you to book a trip with up to 5 or 6 legs, Indie lets you plan a trip with up to 25 stops. Even better, Indie helps you do it quickly – you can plan and book your entire itinerary in just an hour!
“The idea for this new web app was spawned from actual travelers’ feedback,” Sean Keener, co-founder and CEO of BootsnAll, says, “to give travelers the ability to search and book a multi-stop or round the world ticket in minutes. We’ve been serving RTW and long-term travelers since 1998, and one of the biggest pain points we have heard, thousands of times, is the difficulty in planning the airfare component. Indie solves this problem.”
Using Indie is easy – simply enter your proposed route and then view it instantly on a map. You can drag destinations around to change up the itinerary and even add a combination of overland travel and flights. Better yet, unlike other round-the-world booking engines, you can travel in any direction you want and there is no limit on the mileage you travel. As soon as you are ready, you can get an instant price quote for your itinerary and book it on the spot.
Meet, Plan,Go! editor Katie Aune was curious and decided to test Indie out for herself. Having recently returned from a 13-month career break, she plugged in all of the destinations that she flew in and out of – an itinerary that looked like this: ORD-HEL-MOW-VVO-TBS-ROM-IST-TBS-TAS-FRU-RIX-BCN-ORD. Within seconds, she had a price quote for just under $6,000. Since she actually traveled overland between several of those destinations, she altered the itinerary to account for the overland travel and quickly received a revised quote of $3,764 – which was pretty close to what she actually spent on the flights that she had booked as she went along. Her only complaint? She actually flew into Dushanbe, Tajikistan rather than Tashkent, Uzbekistan as she eventually plugged in, but Indie didn’t recognize Dushanbe as an airport (editor’s note: after notifying Bootsnall of the issue, they added Dushanbe to Indie within 24 hours).
Indie has received positive feedback from travelers so far. “I might’ve been able to get to the same number on Travelocity, but it just felt like more work,” says Jamie Boud. “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.”
“We travelled around the world last year and are looking to go again in 2013,” explains Brian Kelly. “We have had a number of quotes again using Star Alliance, etc., that we used last time, but 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.”
To try out Indie for yourself, visit indie.bootsnall.com. And once you’ve booked your dream trip, we’d love to hear how Indie worked for you!