Where I’m going tomorrow, and a Travel Tip to save 60% on airfare
“Why would you want to go to Venezuela? Haven’t you heard how dangerous it is?” That’s the question asked by my friend, Nonspecific Character.
There are the reasons I listed a few posts back but one of the main ones I didn’t go into is that Venezuela is just…different. It’s a different model of government, a different model of society, a different history and a different present. And an unpredictable future, hinging on a crucial period right now.
I’m not going to get into my political views, because at this point, with regards to Venezuela, I’m trying not to have any. Preconceptions and prejudgments (ie prejudices) are blinders for the brain, mental cataracts. But I have another example of how Venezuela is just…different. And a Travel Tip, to boot.
Searching airfare to Venezuela from San Francisco gave me two initial options: nightmarish 35+ hour itineraries for about $2000, or a reasonable itinerary (11 hours) for about $3000.
Both of those are rubbish; I don’t want to pay twice as much for the flight as I did for the trip.
A bit more clicking, and I found roundtrip flights to Bogota or Panama City were under $700, then a second roundtrip from there to Caracas was $500. Result: by splitting the ticket I saved 60%. I fly to Panama tomorrow, spend the night, then onward to Caracas, same on the way back.
Why? Well…it’s hard to talk about Venezuela right now without getting political, but suffice to say, several airlines have pulled out of the country, though I can’t imagine that’s the whole story, since clearly the tickets are there; I found them, so why couldn’t the search sites?
That’s one of the more minor questions I’m taking with my to Venezuela, though it blends with a hundred similar queries to form a coalition asking “Why is Venezuela so…different?”
I’ll let you know if I find any answers. I leave tomorrow.
(I’ll try to have blogs posting every three days or so while I’m gone, as I did when in Cuba, but don’t expect to be online again until the last couple days of the month. Happy July!)
Happy travels and will wait to hear your take when you get back.
Amazing the difference a little digging can make to an airfare…
I kept running into articles about airlines refusing to fly to Venezuela, but the weird thing is that both my tickets were through Copa, yet breaking it up made such a difference. Sneaky companies!
Also? The “blanket” on my first Copa flight was about the size of a pillowcase. Almost funny…if the air conditioning hadn’t been on full blast.
Thanks; it turned out to be another case of either exaggerated danger, or luck, hard to tell! (Probably both, actually.)
This is interesting. I have some Venezuelan colleagues and as Venezuelan citizens, they say they can get much lower airfares. Like, less than $500 from Venezuela to the US.
My ticket back to Panama actually thought I was Venezuelan, not sure how that happened. There’s a frequent piece of advice that buying one’s ticket on the Spanish-language version of many airline’s sites will save you beaucoup bucks, but I wouldn’t want to chance a ticket that claimed I was another nationality; some of those border guards LOVE that sort of thing.
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