You’ve finally made the decision to rent your house and go traveling for a year. But unfortunately booking tickets long in advance for gap year travel is not as easy as you first thought.
If you’re looking to travel for a year or more keep in mind nearly all airline tickets are only valid for one year from your date of purchase, not the date of departure.
Neither AirTreks (nor any travel agency) can take a payment for tickets we are unable to issue at that moment or that would be issued later on down the road. What this means 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, even if you wanted to it’s not possible to set up a reservation more than eleven months out. This all leaves you with the dilemma of having to start your trip without actually having tickets set up to get you home again.
That said, AirTreks can help with booking travel for more than a year.
If you’re doing a gap year and plan on traveling outside of the 11-month window of availability you’d 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 even get a ballpark price for the non-purchased 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 gives 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 the confidence of having the bulk of your expenses already paid for.