Just the ticket

by Ant Stone on May 8, 2007

in Pre-Trip Planning

My head sank this morning. I awoke and immediately formed the intention of booking the £168 flight to Moscow I’d seen a couple of weeks back. Click click click. Tap tap tap. £223. “Noooo!”. I tried every flight scraper out there and was continually bombarded with that figure. Two two three. Two two three. It haunts me to this minute.

But fear not fellow fans of The Trail, as “Son of Maureen” I had another trick up my sleeve; I phoned the White Knights at STA and coyly requested their best fare. My tip on this is to always smile when you’re on the phone, I know they can’t see you but it comes across, believe me. So I smiled at ‘Nick the Knight’ and he regaled me with tales of being treated like a film star while in China. One seven seven. ONE seven seven. £177!? You beauty! I snapped his hand off and did a little jig in my living room while booking the ticket.

This finally linked me with Moscow and ultimately with Beijing. The Trail is coming together quite nicely now, the next major thing to consider is insurance. While on the phone to ‘Nick the Knight’ at STA he gave me a quick quote which alarmed me somewhat as it was £795 per year! That’s totally caught me off guard so I’ll be spending the day hunting out better prices. The problem I have is I’m taking my SLR camera which is valued circa £600 so it bumps the price up by a couple of ton which is weighing me down.

Continuous thanks to the kind words I’m seeing about the site, it’s really encouraging. I know the site’s been running slow at times, I’ve been speaking to my host and hopefully it will iron itself out.

I’ve also updated the Green Travel page in the Backpack and will duly be heading there to offset the flight I’ve booked to Moscow. I’ll then be ringing Climate Care to confirm a massive debate I instigated with friends at 4am about the relevance of it all. The crux of their point was that “there is no such thing as global warming” and “offsetting the carbon doesn’t get rid of it so we’ll choke eventually anyway”. The latter will be easily dispelled I’m sure, but the former is but an opinion and one which I’m not prepared to challenge single handedly!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan May 8, 2007 at 11:51 pm

You might find that it is actually cheaper to buy tickets O/S for the simple fact developing countries can’t charge as much as Western ones and still fill their aircraft. Plus you won’t be locked into dates for departure or anything if you find there are actually more or less things you want to do there.


Ant May 9, 2007 at 2:36 pm

Thanks for dropping in Dan. Great advice. The ‘London-Moscow’ flight is the only one booked, but it’s purely to get me to Moscow to start the Trans-Mongolian through to Beijing. I’ve repelled the traditional RTW ticket in favour of “winging it” although, morally I’ll be abstaining from flying as much as poss.


Dan May 11, 2007 at 1:51 am

Ah, that makes more sense. It’s definately the way to go. Mongolia, I dunno how to describe how much that place awes me.


Darcy May 12, 2008 at 7:07 am

Hey Ant,
I just started reading your blog but I think I’d drop a comment all the same. It’s really entertaining (and distracting!) to read all about your planning stages, and your writing style is superb. keep up the good work!


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