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  1. #1
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    Is it possible to tour internationally without a plan?

    I'm going on my first tour and want to take in as much as possible. I'm hoping it will last a year, but endurance and money will determine the length. I'm planning on starting on the north island of New Zealand and work my way through to the south island. From there maybe part of Australia/Tasmania, Morocco and through Europe.

    Most of these places require an outbound ticket if entering, so I'd have to plan at least a step ahead. I would have to figure out exactly where I'm exiting NZ and entering AU and purchase that ticket first. But I heard from a travel agent that NZ might actually want to see a ticket out of the region of AU (since they have close economic ties, i guess). So I would have to plan two steps ahead and purchase a ticket from AU to Morocco.

    Is there a way to do this in a flexible manner so I wouldn't have to eat the cost of a ticket if, say, I decided my third stop would be South Africa instead of Morocco? I know you can usually change the date of ticket, but destinations are usually forbidden. Would refundable tickets make sense, and is there a big cost difference?

    I don't think it would be fun to plan such a long journey in advance and trying to keep to an itinerary. Does anybody have tips on increasing travel flexibility?

  2. #2
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    hmmm... i can't help ya. i know that for my current tour in europe i just came in without a return ticket. they hassled me a bit when i landed in britain, but they didn't send me back.

  3. #3
    o.O Seggybop's Avatar
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    I was contemplating the same problem. All I could think of was to try to persuade them that my bike is equivalent to a ticket out.
    mi yu mi yu

  4. #4
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    how about purchasing an around-the-world ticket. i checked them out many years ago. as long as you are going in the same general direction (east-to-west or west-to-east) they allow a lot of flexibility as to destination and booking.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seggybop
    I was contemplating the same problem. All I could think of was to try to persuade them that my bike is equivalent to a ticket out.
    That might work on a land mass with more than one country, but i don't think an island country would accept that ;-)

  6. #6
    pel
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    Have you got no idea of the approx time you want to spend in each land mass?
    The European winter will surely impact. would suggest no earlier than April in north Europe. Hopping a train in Europe can certainly help to cover distance if you have a fixed destination/ exit point in mind. Perhaps also in OZ NZ and South Af.

    Round the world ticket worked for our recent 6mth tour of Europe with short stop over in South Africa and initial equipment pick up in USA. But we had fixed exit dates/places.
    You need a plan but be prepared to change based on what fellow cyclists advise on the spot. We did some wonderful totally unplanned routes in Europe on this basis.
    Recommend in Southern Germany Boden See to Koning See following marked bike route. Stunning. Also the Alps. Splugen and Albula passes - stunning.
    Check out the Bike line routes - amazing literature including excellent strip maps.
    Good luck

  7. #7
    vintage tourer
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  8. #8
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    Check with the couple from http://www.downtheroad.org/

    I bet they have dealt with this. I imagine it might take a little while to get an answer, but I bet they know what they are talking about.

    -D

  9. #9
    Member Eurostar's Avatar
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    Some countries issue a visa allowing you to enter without having an onward flight. I just did this for the US. Normally Brits enter the US without visas but we need an onward flight (and proof of having plenty of money) to get through immigration. I wanted to have the option of exiting the US over a land border without pre-booking any flights, so I applied for a visa. It lets me come and go for a year. I had to wait at the embassy for 6 hours but it was worth it. Study the fine print of the visa rules on the country's consular web sites.

  10. #10
    aspiring wannabe hoogie's Avatar
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    there are a heap of cheap deals from nz to aussie [pacificblue/virgin, air nz, qantas, freedomair, jetstar, emirates], so coming here without a forwarding ticket shouldn't be an issue, check with the nz customs website anyway ...

    due to the competition for the transtasman route, a one way ticket from christchurch to melbourne/sydney/brisbane is about NZD$179 [USD$120 roughly] ...

    not too sure about over in aussie, i have never been asked if i have had a return ticket yet, even though they love to see kiwis going back home ...

    i would come to nz without a forwarding ticket, or book one through the airlines above ...
    thought for today: "Does my ass look fast on this bike?"

  11. #11
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Besides tickets, I think my concerns would be with visas and with immunizations. You can get an Australian visa online (if you come from certain countries), but I'm not sure you can do that with all countries. If you have to apply for one in a country without an online method, it might take weeks.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    Besides tickets, I think my concerns would be with visas and with immunizations. You can get an Australian visa online (if you come from certain countries), but I'm not sure you can do that with all countries. If you have to apply for one in a country without an online method, it might take weeks.
    But some places require you have an outbound ticket whether a visa is required or not. According to the US foreign entry requirements, NZ does not require a visa, but does require an outbound ticket and a valid visa for the exit destination. For AU, the electronic visa is required as well as an outbound ticket. South Africa doesn't require a visa, but does require an outbound ticket. Morocco only requires a valid passport, and from there I can take a fairy to Spain.

  13. #13
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Have a little chat with American Express. Not the credit card, the company with that name. It deals with business and travel all over the world. Or did when I was in Africa.

    EDIT: they still do. See if they will still hold packages for your arrival in various countries. handy for resupply and staying connected with friends.
    This space open

  14. #14
    arm me, audacity! garden_lark's Avatar
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    $$$

    proof of a bank account with at least 10 grand in it is often as good as a ticket out.

    the other thing that can help is the name and address of a hotel where you're going to stay. (or where you can tell customs that you're going to stay).

  15. #15
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    When I spent a year traveling in '97-'98 I didn't want to be tied down by an itinerary, so I bought plane tickets as I went. However, I had heard that New Zealand enforces the ticket out policy, so that was the one time I booked a ticket out beforehand. In Australia I booked a ticket to New Zealand, and one from New Zealand to Thailand.

    When I was checking in at the airport in New Zealand for my flight to Thailand, the agent wouldn't check me in, because I didn't have a ticket out of Thailand. Having spent time in Asia, I knew that Thailand didn't enforce this rule, but I couldn't convince the agent of this. Since I was changing planes in Singapore, I convinced her to check me through to there, since I would then have a ticket out of Singapore. In Singapore I rebooked my ticket to Thailand, and flew there two days later without an onward ticket with no problem.

  16. #16
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Send a quick email to the relevant national embassies to get an exact answer for each country you intend to visit. I would imagine however that the countries you fly into will be the ones wanting to see a means of exit. I would guess pointing to your bike would be good enough.

  17. #17
    Member Eurostar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by becnal
    Send a quick email to the relevant national embassies to get an exact answer for each country you intend to visit. I would imagine however that the countries you fly into will be the ones wanting to see a means of exit. I would guess pointing to your bike would be good enough.
    You think embassies answer emails? And immigration officials regard bikes as equivalent to plane tickets? Superb! What are you on?

  18. #18
    Velocipedic Practitioner
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaffedsaddle
    Morocco only requires a valid passport, and from there I can take a fairy to Spain.
    But is it strong enough to support you AND your bike on its tiny little wings?
    Other forms of transportation grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. - Iris Murdoch

  19. #19
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    I would say it is difficult to travel without an itinerary backed up by ticketing (see at end of post). The around-the-world ticket sounds like the best plan. When you look at your booking options, ensure you go through the conditions with a fine toothcomb to determine what costs you might incur for changing itineraries.

    The trouble is that immigration officials in western countries are disinclined to allow free movement into a country without evidence that the traveller will depart by or on the expiry of whatever visa arrangements are made. Officials are particularly suspicious of anyone who they suspect may overstay their limit, and in particular work outside the arrangements that the visas permit (usually under-30s can work in NZ and Australia without hindrances, but over-30s face a monumental hurdle).

    In order to establish that this overstay won't occur, there has to be evidence of ties to the home country such as family, property ownership, on-going job or study, etc... or a ticket. Finally, they may (will in the case of NZ) ask for substantiation of funds to cover the period your visa will permit you to stay in the country.

    There are a wide number of countries that allow entry without a specific visa under an international agreement. Effectively, you are visiting with a tourist visa, but it is never issued as such, and you don't have to make application for it.

    I don't know for sure, but I suspect that all arrivals on air flights have their ticketing details forwarded to immigration by the airlines for computerised perusal for such things as visas, and any foreign national without a departing ticket will be asked to step aside to explain why. It's one of the reasons why land entry is somewhat more difficult.

    I am sure NZ, like Australia, has an immigration and travel page that on the web that provides you with information on what is needed.

    Oh! Indeed! Go here for a booklet that does indeed confirm you need a ticket out of the country if you wish to have a Visa Waiver as a Visitor (I really don't know why people can't spend five minutes doing their own dirty work with google seaches for up-to-date information).
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  20. #20
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eurostar
    You think embassies answer emails? And immigration officials regard bikes as equivalent to plane tickets? Superb! What are you on?
    1. I'm on a computer. They have a funny way of obtaining information, for example, through email programs, or even by browsing webpages.

    2. There are other ways of traveling besides airplanes.

    3.
    Last edited by becnal; 10-26-06 at 02:38 AM.

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