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Flying to Iceland then Colombia Travel Update

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A friend put the words “Iceland” and “deals” together in the same sentence yesterday. It made my wheels start spinning: why not Iceland?

I am going to take a bicycle/ climbing/ camping on the sly trip this summer, and have been pondering destinations: Canada? The Northwest USA? South America?

Why not Iceland?

I went searching for some of these “deals.” I found a flight from Boston to Reykjavik for $250 on Iceland Express.

No way, I don’t believe it. I proceed with booking the flight, I expect added fees, taxes, baggage fees to mysteriously jack the bill up by leaps and bounds. I pushed “purchase,” and only $252.50 was taken out of my bank account. There was an added 1% credit card use fee which is very much inexplicable to me — how else does someone pay for a plane ticket through a webpage? Smush the cash through the screen? — but at only $2.50 I was not going to bother challenging it.

Map of Iceland

So I bought a flight to Iceland, where to now?


“Where do you want to go? Bulgaria?”

I think of going from Iceland to Bulgaria to meet up with Chaya and Petra again to carry on together as a family through Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Yeah right, what wife wants to go to Bulgaria? No response from wife, she is pissed that I am taking a bicycle trip alone.

I select Colombia, land two $325 tickets on Jet Blue from Portland for August. Petra is going to lose all of her Spanish if she does not get back to a Spanish speaking country soon. The last time my wife was speaking to me she wanted to go to Colombia. It is paramount for us to spend at least a quarter of every year in Latin America or Spain for Petra’s bilingualism to proceed.

Colombia is a funny country to fly into. I have been monitoring the ticket prices there closely for the past year and a half, and have observed a pattern where the cheap tickets seem to go very fast, and are prone to doubling or tripling in price relatively quickly. I will not fly Spirit Air. When you find a reasonably priced flight to Colombia, you take it.

$325 from Portland, Maine is decent.

The flight paths from Iceland to South America generally go through the USA, to catch the Colombia flight I will return to Maine. In a very rare move and contrary to my usual travel strategy I purchased a return flight from Iceland in advance. I usually advise travelers to travel a one way multi-country path through  regions rather than jumping around between countries. But what region is Iceland in? What other countries are even near it? Greenland?

It just hit me that a $250 “deal” to Iceland lead to the purchase of four plane tickets in one foul swoop, totaling $1,230. I am unsure where the money to fill this newly dug hole is going to come from.

I better sell a lot of issues of Vagabond Explorer.

I am also looking a dim fact right in the face: our travel expenses will soon rise drastically as Petra turns two in August and I will need to pay full price for her seat on airplanes. In a relatively short amount of time, my airfare expenses have doubled and will soon triple. It may be at least another year before we will purchase flights again. This last flight purchase before Petra hits the dreaded age of two years old was decided quickly, but was very calculated: in Colombia we are putting ourselves at the northern edge of a very large continent. We will be at the starting point of a few classic paths of overland travel that lead from the Caribbean Sea to the Straight of Magellan.

Will somebody please buy a Vagabond Journey T-Shirt.

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Filed under: Air Travel, Colombia, Europe, Iceland, South America, Western Europe

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3134 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Zhushan Village, Kinmen, TaiwanMap