It may cost you your time, but possibly not much else. I went to Palmer Station as a volunteer on an oceanographic research cruise and was able to use my travel stipend to stay in Chile for a few weeks afterward. For all my hard work I also received the Antarctic Service Medal . (Not exactly sure why since I was not affiliated with the Military!). Definitely one of the best deals of my life.
From the old Antarctica FAQ on working there:
First time is for the adventure,
Second time for the money,
And third because you can't work anywhere else
“Remove the ice sheet that covers Antarctica and you reveal it for the archipelago it really is, not the single land mass it pretends to be. And, to complicate matters, the largest of these Antarctic Islands is smaller than Australia. So if you want to keep calling Antarctica a continent, then there’s a bunch of other islands that might want to be continents too. Islands like New Guinea, Borneo, Madagascar, Baffin Island, Sumatra, and Honshu.”
Here are the details for the economy itinerary, which was $1730 for 6 Continents. We're working with the expert of the business class itinerary to see what details he's happy for us to post.
JFK 18-Oct-2012 GEO 18-Oct-2012 Delta (New York, US to Georgetown, Guyana)
GEO 25-Oct-2012 JFK 25-Oct-2012 Delta (Georgetown, Guyana to New York, US)
JFK 14-Nov-2012 TXL 15-Nov-2012 Air Berlin (New York, US to Berlin, Germany)
SXF 29-Jan-2013 AGA 29-Jan-2013 EasyJet (Berlin, Germany to Agadir, Morocco)
AGA 05-Feb-2013 LGW 05-Feb-2013 EasyJet (Agadir, Morocco to London, UK)
LTN 26-Feb-2013 SAW 26-Feb-2013 EasyJet (London, UK to Istanbul, Turkey)
SAW 18-Mar-2013 IKA 19-Mar-2013 Pegasus (Istanbul, Turkey to Tehran, Iran)
IKA 29-Mar-2013 KUL 30-Mar-2013 AirAsia (Tehran, Iran to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
KUL 02-Apr-2013 PER 02-Apr-2013 AirAsia (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Perth, Australia - YAY!)
PER 07-Apr-2013 KUL 07-Apr-2013 AirAsia (Perth, Australia to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
KUL 09-Apr-2013 BKK 09-Apr-2013 AirAsia (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Bangkok, Thailand)
BKK 18-Apr-2013 KBP 18-Apr-2013 Aerosvit (Bangkok, Thailand to Kiev, Ukraine)
KBP 18-Apr-2013 JFK 18-Apr-2013 Aerosvit (Kiev, Ukraine to New York, US)
I feel the rough cost should be promoted up front, I remember the last time you did one of these promo contests (or at least the last time one was on HN) I found it interesting, then was put off by the fact that you didn't allow viewing of the winning itinerary, and the fact that information on the service didn't seem to be as accessible as it could have been... I then completely forgot about you.
This time I clicked around, entered some information and saw the prices - and signed up to pay for a search. If the results are good, or even suggest promise for the future, I'll be sure to remember you. But I'm not sure I would have done any of this if a.) I wasn't sat here watching a football (soccer) match that's boring the hell out of me and b.) Next week I need to go on a trip to two cities in hopefully a single day, i.e. good timing
Edit: More feedback, would be nice to have more flexibility in requesting flight details. For example my trip next week, I don't care what day it's on (any of Mon-Fri would be fine), but I don't want to put +/- 3 days because I don't want one flight Monday and the next on Friday. Additionally I want to go to two cities, I don't care in which order. Maybe you could take a look at my notes on http://flightfox.com/contest/23238 and tell me a.) If it's OK that I specified them there and b.) If it might be possible to be able to specify them somewhere more efficient rather than just writing prose
We can't enable public viewing because the experts don't want to divulge their most prized tips and tricks to the wider public. This is their livelihood, and we are mostly holding these contests to test their skills and proving something more interesting that the typical simple return trips.
Glad you're giving us a go. Please let us know if you have any issues or questions.
As to the reasons for not enabling public viewing... as you've publicly shared here on HN, could you not at least share that much on the site? Alternatively could you not offer an option for people to "buy it now", to use an ebay phrase? Or would the necessary price tag be too high for most people to be interested?
p.s. The 5 was attached to the number of minutes, not my name! ;D
That said, we need to make this more obvious and probably tease out more adventurous use of this feature. Thanks for the feedback.
My total was $2617. I know flight prices change over time, but I'm guessing that whoever found this took advantage of some promotions or booking methods other than buying directly from the airline?
I'm not sure how amazing that is really. That's also 4 months of living on the road, hotels, meals, etc.
If you wanted to visit all 6 continents, it seems like you could do it for a cheaper overall rate by just book 6 individual flights over time taking advantage of various promotions.
What I'm saying is that it's kind of impractical for a lot people. I would expect a "contest" like this to have a winning result that was a little more practical from a total travel time perspective, or at the very least have 2 winning options, one for "Total trip time of 2 weeks or less" (granted this might have to be 3 or even 4 weeks if you're going to be spending at least 12 days away anyway) and one for "Lowest cost overall regardless of duration".
Doesn't sound like very much fun to me.
For people who would actually book an around the world trip, 4 months is probably a much more realistic duration.
If you were actually making an itinerary for someone, you'd probably have even more pressing questions than trip duration, such as "Where would you like to go?" Do you even want to go 6 continents? :)
I think for most people, if they could afford 4 months off work then they wouldn't be too concerned about finding the cheapest possible flights.
It's still interesting in a theoretical way, but far less useful than the headline makes it sound.
Edit: clarify expenses, not income; so utilization is <100% of a 40HWW.
Los Angeles LAX to Sydney SYD
Sydney SYD to Bangkok BKK
Bangkok BKK to XXX
XXX to XXX
XXX to Cairo CAI
Cairo CAI to London LHR
London LHR to XXX
XXX to Bogota BOG
Bogota BOG to XXX
XXX to Los Angeles LAX
We built Flightfox after living across 6 continents and learning this for ourselves. Often we'd save thousands just by spending a few hours on routing. Like most people who travel wide when they're young, the costs of flights became a primary expense. But even after we'd traveled for a while, it didn't get easier because for the most part, local knowledge is what makes the difference. Always traveling somewhere new meant we were always starting from scratch. Then it hit us... crowdsourcing.
A guy on flyertalk would maintain a list of ex-various *A RTW prices. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuTBktAWbGhwdHd...
This seems like a useful service. I wonder how often it produces results this good.
It's very common to go traveling the world for basically the same amount of money you spend just going to work.
Travel slowly, immerse yourself in the daily in-and-outs. Rent apartments, do housesitting. Stay at least a month in a big city, use it as a "home base," and make shorter excursions out from there.
At the same time, there's adventure to be had coding and traveling at the same time... had to mute myself in a Google Hangout daily standup once because the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lohri drums from the Delhi streets below were drowning me out. Brushed death on a Bangkok mototaxi in rush hour traffic en route to a give a meetup talk. Most exciting of all: found novel timezone bug in an app once by working in a zone (India Standard Time) with a 30-minute offset.
I'm a software engineer, so I work online too, irrelevant of the country I happen to be in.
If you seriously think about driving (you should!), you'll find http://wikioverland.org very helpful.
Everything you want to know is on my blog. If you have any specific questions, feel free to post a comment there, I'll reply. I really like to help out others doing the same thing in any way I possibly can.
I'm dead serious when I give the offer of help in any way I possibly can.
Also, there is no need to be jealous. It's not expensive, or overly difficult. It was also by far and away the most rewarding thing I've ever done in my life. If you want to do it bad enough, change a few things around in your life and you can do it!
I want to travel anytime in late October or November (5 week window vs the 6 day window the site allows).
I have 2 adults and 1 lap infant.
I am going one-way from Berlin, Germany to Orlando, Florida.
When would be the best time to submit this trip?
Is it even worth it given the best price I can find online is about 1200 EUR total?
The best time to submit is sooner rather than later since, for the most part, fares go up, not down. 1200E is a fairly good price. However, if you want absolute rock bottom prices, make sure you say that in your contest and our experts will really go to work.
As you can imagine, not everyone wants the lowest price, especially traveling with an infant. But I highly recommend you give Flightfox a go and see how our experts can help you.
The great thing is it's often just $20 or $30, which is not a lot compared to the price of your trip. At worst, we can refund your fee, but more likely, you'll see how the experts work and may save a couple of hundred dollars.
I really like how you can talk back and forth with the experts via the comment system.
What I was hoping for is some way I could book the "winning" itinerary through some means. I was ready to buy 2 of the business-class trips instantly, but it seems this is more of a "bragging" site (in a good way), showing how cheaply you've managed to book a given itinerary?
So, how exactly would I use the site for my benefit (honest question from someone who books about 50-70K flight miles per year)?
A more high level explanation is that Flightfox is a marketplace for freelance travel agents (and flight experts). We're bringing human travel experts online with a new crowdsourced model. Because customers pay a fixed fee upfront, we hope to remove the dependence on commissions. With diminishing commissions on flights, it's difficult to find agents who'll take the time to find you the best flights. That's what we're aiming to fix.
For frequent flyers like yourself, we're currently building out features to also earn/spend miles. I'm not sure if you do mileage runs or book award flights, but this is where we could become much more interesting for you.
I mean I know it says in your FAQ: "Our experts provide detailed booking instructions for you to buy those flights."
But I am just not totally clear on how this works and how the prices listed are provided. Could you elaborate? Also, is there potential for price differences when an agent finds prices for someone in another country?
What I'd really like is if they could take into account FF status, and also hotel pricing (at the particular chain I like, Starwood).
Book me a 3-8 week trip visiting as many places as possible from a set of N cities (plus transits anywhere) staying at Starwood properties (as nice as possible), using CX preferentially, with at least 20k miles on Star Alliance carriers, and avoiding UAE transit or stops, and willing to pay certain multiples for business class flights or upgraded hotels (St. Regis vs. Aloft).
Combining hotel and airfare bookings would make the whole thing a lot more valuable for multi-stop itineraries. E.g. spending $500 more for a BKK transit (and 3-5 day stop) vs. a SIN transit, since BKK has 5 star hotels for $120/night vs. $300/night.
I went from SFO to HK, and then hopped all around Tom Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and was planned to go to Sydney for the last stop, but had to come back early.
I spent five months total, most of the trip was in hostels and beach bungalows, I stayed in a hotel in hong long and spent nearly $3,000 there over two weeks.
I spent over a month on Koh Phangan in Thailand, at Haad Yao beach - all my meals, drinks and bungalow for that month, as well as all the meals and drinks for a girlfriend from germany who stayed with me a week: $250.
I'd love to do this again, but now I have kids and it will be until they are in their teens before I can take them on a similar trip.
Also, in terms of experts guarding their tips, what's to stop users sharing/comparing/aggregating their contest and tips/tricks behind them elsewhere? Eg if someone asks on quora and several customers answer with details of their bookings...