Flights for trekking
Finding out about the availability of flights to even the most exotic destinations has never been easier. The traditional information sources - such as your local travel agent, classified advertisements in the travel supplements of weekend newspapers and the many free travellers' magazines - have been supplemented and largely superseded by the internet. There are countless websites offering cheap deals, but in order to safeguard your money be sure book with an accredited AITO, ABTA or ATOL bonded agent.
To safeguard your money be sure book with an accredited AITO, ABTA or ATOL bonded agent
Booking an international flight may be relatively straightforward, but if you are going trekking you will often also need to book an internal flight in your destination country. This is much more problematic, and best done for you by a tour operator with ground staff in the country.
Mountain flights are frequently fully-booked months in advance, and the actual departure may be delayed or even cancelled due to bad weather. Agents used to dealing with the regular holiday trade often have no grasp of the complexities of internal flight bookings. Book as early as you can to get a confirmed reservation and reconfirm 48-72 hours before your flight, especially with 'third-world' carriers, as they routinely over-book their flights.
Some airlines are generous when it comes to granting trekkers and mountaineers excess baggage, some are quite uncompromising. Be aware that mountain flights are usually made in small aircraft, and that your baggage allowances will be less. Excess baggage may be problematic even if you offer to pay, simply because the plane cannot physically carry the weight! Many commercial trekking companies offer flight-booking services, and most will freely offer advice to independent travellers.
Much has been made in the press of the risks of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) on long-haul flights, but in truth the chances of contracting this condition are very slim. Minimise them by walking about during the flight and stretching your legs. if you are seriously worried about it, take a dose of aspirin beforehand to thin your blood. Those suffering from travel sickness should consult their GP to obtain suitable medication.
Steve Razzetti is a freelance guide, photographer and journalist. He has travelled extensively in the Himalaya on foot and by mountain bike and journeyed to Africa and South America. Steve has been with KE Adventure Travel as a mountain guide for almost 30 years.
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