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A Couple Of Questions Round Trip Vs. One Way And With Return Trip

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by astrid, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. astrid

    astrid New Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I wanted to know if it is wise to purchase a round trip or should I just get a one way then purchase one way there as im getting close to Santiago. I live in the southern part of the US. Should I go back to Paris or fly from Spain? Where from Spain? I've gotten a lot of questions answered so far from the threads. You all give thorough answers. I will have between 35 to 42 days and I do want to go to Finisterre. Thank you in advance for your help.
     
  2. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Astrid - Based solely on price, you're better off buying a RT ticket. Purchasing a return ticket near the date you're flying could be very expensive. If I were you, call the airline you're planning on using and chat with them about an open ended ticket where you keep your return date open, but you pay for it in advance. It will be more expensive than a RT ticket, but less than two one-way fares.

    However, I think you can plan out your trip pretty closely to the day so a RT ticket would work for you. If you follow Brierley's stages, build in 3-4 rest days, travel time to SJPP, and your return from SdC to your departure city, I'd suggest that a 42 day total Camino would be pretty close. At that pace, you wouldn't have to be rushing! Many pilgrims, particularly after a long overnight flight from the US , appreciate a day in SJPP to rest before starting over the Pyrenees. It is also common to take rest days in Pamplona, Burgos, and Leon. At the end of your Camino, you'll want a full day or two in Santiago.

    When I traveled to the Camino last year, I flew into Paris and returned out of Madrid. Upon arrival in Paris, I took the TGV (the high speed train) south to Bayonne and then on into SJPP. My early morning arrival into Paris allowed me to get to SJPP the same day. Long and tiring, but doable! For the return trip, I found it easier to train to Madrid where I then spent the night and flew home the next morning. Travel to and from the Camino went very smoothly.

    So, lay out your trip including days on the Camino, rest days, and travel days to and from, and I believe you can estimate very closely your return date so as to buy the less expensive RT ticket from The States.

    Buen Camino!
     
  3. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    I have now walked quite a few Caminos and have always booked round trips with flights well in advance as apart from cost; I also had work commitments to consider, so needed to be back in the UK on a certain date.

    Therefore, the trick was always to plan a realistic trekking schedule and add some “Just in case” days in – Then, as long as you have kept pace with your trekking schedule, you can utilise these “Just in case” days by doing things like extending your pilgrimage out to Finisterra and/or Muxia.



    Also, as mentioned by Willy, there are the cost implications if you book a return ticket then this tends to be cheaper than a single followed by, what is in effect a last minute single + in the UK, when I go to the airport, I travel by train and the train tickets that I buy as a fraction of the full priced “Open Tickets” because I am booked on a particular train on a certain day.



    This system has worked well for me over the last 16 years, so as long as you aren’t too ambitious with how many km you are planning to walk each day, then I don ‘t see any reason why it won’t work for you too.



    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
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  4. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Astrid, the first camino for my wife and myself was late Sept / Oct of 2015. Our home is in Indianapolis. We booked a flight to Madrid. We spent one night there, took a train to Pamplona (pre-booked tickets over the internet), spent one night there, then took a bus to SJPDP, spent one night there. We followed the advice in John Brierley's guidebook and allowed 35 days to hike from SJPDP to Santiago. We then spent two nights in Santiago. After looking at travel time and expense option to travel back to Madrid, we flew Ryanair back to Madrid (one way flight was only $26 each, direct flight that only took one hour flight time). Then we spent the day / evening in Madrid, then flew back to Indpls. So from start to finish we allowed approx. 6 weeks.

    We are walking the camino again in September with my brother and his wife. We are slowing things down a bit to "smell the roses" and are allowing 38 days start to finish, plus the same plans to/from in transit.

    I encourage you to frequently check round trip air fare. I began checking in mid-2015. The cost per person was consistently $1,200. In late November, the round trip price dropped to $405 / person which is incredible. I just checked expedia and the round trip price from Indy / Madrid is now $900 which is a pretty good price. Buen Camino. Bob
     
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  5. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    I have a question here and it is: since you took the bus from Pamplona to Saint Jean, did it follow any part of the roads that we hike on when crossing the Pyrenees?
     
  6. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Unkle Hanny, the bus route from Pamplona to SJPDP is N 135 in Spain then becomes D 933 in France. The road is mostly adjacent to the Ruta Valcarlos, so is different than the hike up Ruta Napoleon. During our bus ride, I was becoming increasingly anxious as the bus navigated up and down hills/mountains and around many curves, as I worried whether we were prepared to hike on foot the next day. We did fine.

    Having experienced the Napoleon rute once, we'll hike the Valcarlos route this time. My wife has mostly healed from the two stress fractures she developed during the last camino. We'll also send her backpack ahead each stage via Jako Trans. If the weather is nice, I will encourage my brother and his wife to take the Napoleon route, then we'll meet them in Roncesvalles. Bob
     
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  7. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Bob - An excellent suggestion regarding the route your brother and his wife should take if the weather is agreeable. Because the weather was so glorious when I crossed the Pyrenees, that day in the mountains was my favorite of the entire Camino. Hopefully, just as you did, they, too, will get to experience those views offered by way of the Napoleon Route. Buen Camino!
     
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  8. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Thank you
     
  9. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Astrid, just an alternative to think about. I got RT flights for the first 2 Caminos - the first in and out of Madrid, the second in and out of Paris. Both worked fine - I just stuck to the schedule I'd planned and used a few bus-ahead options.

    This next time, I'm using TAP Portugal's ONE-WAY option, which flies through Lisbon and goes on to Madrid. They fly out of MIA, which might help you in the south. They fly out of JFK, EWR and BOS in the north, all easily reachable on AMTRAK up north. There is an ALSA bus from Santiago back to either Porto or Lisbon - taking 4:15 m or 9:45 m respectively (it would kill me to be on a bus for 9:45m - I'll break things up by getting off in Porto and then going on by train a day or two later). There are flights, buses or trains between Porto and Lisbon that are very convenient. The train between Santiago back to Madrid takes somewhere around 8 hours, just for comparison.

    They charge the same if you book 2 days ahead as they charge 4 months ahead, so there is no cost disadvantage to booking as it suits you. You might have to wait to get a seat on a return flight, but I'm seeing available seats even 2 days ahead when I check (maybe because it's winter, though). Most OneWay flights are under $400, making them a cheaper option. Some of the people on the Facebook site always use them and like them. Their flights out of JFK work well for me, but if they weren't, I'd still be fine with some inconvenience for the flexibility. It couldn't be worse than the inconvenience encountered using 2 long-scheduled Vueling flights last year. Best wishes for a wonderful Camino!
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
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  10. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Suzette - That's great information about TAP FLIGHTS. I'm going to definitely check those out for future trips.

    We plan to take the ALSA bus from Santiago back to Porto in April. As you said, it's a 4h15m trip, but after walking north, I think we'll enjoy the ride back! The only thing I haven't been able to do is buy bus tickets online. Hopefully, I'll buy them when we arrive in Porto and use them two weeks later returning from Santiago.

    The only thing I want to mention about the trains to Madrid is that there appears to be a number of them and the travel time varies significantly. Last year, I took the 6 am high speed train that got me to Madrid in just 5 hours. For anyone traveling Paris - Bayonne and then Santiago - Madrid, train travel can be equivalent providing you pick the high speed trains. Buen Camino!
     
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  11. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    I think I swiped the ALSA bus information to Porto from Santiago from YOUR post about it awhile back:0))). I appreciate the information, and it was what prompted the discovery of the TAP information.

    I took the 6 hour express train from Santiago to Madrid the first time and it was very easy - just couldn't find it again this time and didn't want to mislead anybody. That would be the way to go if it's available. Unlike the medium-range ALSA buses, they have bathrooms, and the one I took had a food car, which was nice.

    Thanks, Wily!
     
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  12. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Suzette - In addition, and something that I'm leaning towards next time, is to fly from Santiago to Madrid on either Iberia or Ryanair. Flights, at least when booked in advance, are no more than a train ticket and maybe even cheaper.

    My train to Madrid was equally nice and had the food car as well. After having been on the Camino for 31 days, it was a nice break from walking. It was a most pleasant ride across Spain! Although I got up early to catch the 6am train, it put me in Madrid before noon giving me nearly a full day to explore the city before flying out the next morning. For anyone interested in the train, it arrives at the Chamartin station in Madrid, but you are then entitled to a free transfer on to the Atocha terminal. Ah, travel!
     
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  13. astrid

    astrid New Member

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    Thank you Wily this is very helpful
     
  14. astrid

    astrid New Member

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    Thank you.
     
  15. astrid

    astrid New Member

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    Thank you.
     
  16. astrid

    astrid New Member

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    Thank you
     
  17. astrid

    astrid New Member

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    thank you
     
  18. astrid

    astrid New Member

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    Thank you
     
  19. astrid

    astrid New Member

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    thank you
     
  20. astrid

    astrid New Member

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    Thank you everyone. I was trying to post a personal thank you but I do not fully know what the heck I am doing. I hope you all see this. I appreciate you all answering the same questions over and over again for all of us that can use your expertise.
     
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  21. astrid

    astrid New Member

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    Thank you
     
  22. astrid

    astrid New Member

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    Thank you
     
  23. astrid

    astrid New Member

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    thank you
     
  24. Lonnie Hawkins

    Lonnie Hawkins New Member

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    I try that last time and they wanted $1800 to fly from Santiago back to San Diego.
     
  25. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    WOW, I flew round trip from SFO to Madrid for 1300. My wife found something on Travelocity.
     
  26. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    I may be wrong Hammy, but I think Lonnie is referring to a last minute one-way ticket? To do such a trip on either Iberia or BA, it's very expensive. That's why, simply from a fare perspective, it's better to figure out your itinerary and buy a RT ticket.
     
  27. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    I had a RT ticket, when I had to return early it cost me less than 300e extra to fly home. The RT ticket helped me. I was flying on Iberia.
     
  28. oldman

    oldman Oldman Donating Member

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    Hi Astrid.
    Check out a return to Dublin Ireland with Aerlingus, (they are offering good value flights to the USA. ) then Dublin to Biarritz's ,local transport to SJPP .Santiago to Dublin .
    I just checked Dublin to Orlando return 1st to 31st May for example it was less then 600€ ( 638 $ )
     
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  29. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Astrid - Oldman is correct that there are some reasonable fares out of Dublin to Orlando. Not quite so good for Altanta, but it depends where in the southern US you are traveling from. I was just checking around on Kayak.com for last minute one-way fares and it looks possible to piece together something. Still, regardless of how you slice it, you will be paying significantly more for a OW ticket than for a RT one. ALL the pilgrims that I met had definite return dates home. I'd still encourage you to try to lay out your Camino itinerary so as to buy the more economical RT ticket. Build in some buffer days along The Way or at the end of your trip so you don't feel rushed. Even if you just follow the Brierley guide for stages, you'll get a good approximation of when you will arrive in Santiago. Buen Camino!
     
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