Have you ever checked out the map feature on your Facebook page and fantasized about traveling to each continent? I have. Thanks to my two very well-travelled parents, I was fortunate enough to visit a number of countries in my formative years – not to mention cultivate a travel bug of my own that has taken me to many more countries since.
So far I have checked off over two dozen countries in my quest to see as much as I can of the world. However, while I can say that I have set foot in 7 worldwide regions (North America, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania), Antarctica, South America and the Middle East still remain on my bucket list.
It was therefore with great delight that I recently read my colleague, Allison’s, guest blog on Vagabondish, which outlined how to visit all 7 continents in just 3 trips. Especially as one of the trips that she suggested packaged up Antarctica and South America together.
Here is how it can be done:
South America & Antarctica
They say you learn something every day. Earlier this month, I learned that Antarctica cruises from Argentina are becoming increasingly popular. So if you want to dance the tango and then hang out with penguins in the South Pole (like I do), it seems that this could be a great way to set foot on two very different and unique continents.
Allison’s Trip Tips:
- Trip Option 1: Fly to Buenos Aires and then spend a couple nights in town before catching an internal flight to Ushuaia on Argentina’s southernmost tip. Most of the smaller ships that sail to Antarctica depart out of Ushuaia. And taking a smaller ship (less than 100 passengers) is a good option if you are interested in shore landings.
- Trip Option 2: If you would rather enjoy Antarctica from the comfort of your cruise ship, several large vessels do “cruise-only” trips to Antarctica directly from Buenos Aires. With this option you avoid the cost of an extra flight to the port in Ushuaia.
- Travel in January or February because this is Argentina’s summer, as well as the tourist season in Antarctica.
Europe & Africa
Having traveled from London to Botswana a few years ago, I can tell you that flights from Europe to Africa can be extremely long. But thanks to some savvy planning, there is a way to drastically cut down travel time between these two continents – and best of all it requires just one roundtrip flight.
By packaging together Tarifa (Spain’s southernmost tip) and Tangier, Morocco, you are able to step foot in an exotic North African city and soak up some fabulous Spanish sun along the way.
Allison’s Trip Tips:
- Trip Option 1: Fly to Malaga, Spain (this will require at least one connection in Europe if you are using a major airline carrier). And then make your way to Tarifa where you can catch a daily 35 minute ferry to Tangier.
- Trip Option 2: Fly to Madrid or Barcelona and then make your way south to Tarifa for the ferry.
- Save money on both flights and accommodation by traveling outside of peak summer months. September and October experience warm temperatures, plus they typically offer cheap flights, better hotel deals and quieter Mediterranean beaches.
Australia & Asia
When I lived in Japan it was a no brainer to make the relatively “short” hop over to countries within Oceania – including Australia, New Caledonia and French Polynesia. And certainly, due to the long distance and expense of getting to Asia or Australia from North America, it certainly makes sense to combine these two continents into one trip if they are on your hit list. And the itinerary choices are virtually endless. Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam – anyone?
Allison’s Trip Tips:
- Check out some of the air passes that different airlines offer so that you can visit multiple cities and save on flights. Virgin Australia has an air pass that allows you to fly to several cities within Australia and Asia starting at about $100 per flight. The oneworld alliance also has a similar pass for travel within Asia. And, best of all, you only have to confirm the first segment of your so you can travel around at your leisure.
- You’ll find better airfare deals from the U.S. to Asia during the winter months, but keep in mind cities like Shanghai and Beijing will be quite cold. On the plus side you will be able to warm up in Australia afterwards, where the summer months take place from December-February.
Save Money Along the Way
One last piece of advice, when hopping from city to city, it is best to use Fly.com’s multi-city search. This allows you to essentially combine all the legs of your trip into a single booking. For one thing, it’s convenient, but more importantly, it can save you money. Many of Fly.com’s online travel agency partners are able to build these custom itineraries at a fraction of the cost of booking countless one way tickets on your own.
For example, in March, I built a trip from NYC to Paris, from Paris to Beijing and then Beijing back to NYC. When looking at separate one-way tickets, the total price came out to $1854 roundtrip including tax, but using the multi-city search, I was able to save $500 using the exact same travel dates.
Featured Image: Directions Sign Post Against Blue Sky (Shutterstock.com)