Surface sectors explained

What is a surface sector?

A surface sector is any part of your round the world trip that involves flying into and out of different airports, making your way between them by other means - over land or over water. By building in the right surface sectors you can get even more from your trip!

  • The Indian Pacific train, Australia

Surface sectors enable you to see much more of the world - and not just cities with airports. They usually don't cost any more than single stops, so you end up getting more destinations for the same price. Overland travel can also be a great opportunity to visit other regions/countries that wouldn’t otherwise be possible at the fare you have paid, as well as being more environmentally friendly than completing your entire trip by air.

In this example you could visit 5 cities, or for a very similar price visit 9 cities by including surface sectors (plus a whole lot more in-between!):

Adding surface sectors increases your stops

Our consultants have lots of experience in over land (or sea!) travel and can help you arrange your surface sector travel segments, including adventure tours, hotel accommodation, bus, rail and campervan hire. There are a number of different ways you can make your way between airports – all of which we can help arrange and plan for you.

Dangerous surface sectors - those to avoid

Here are some examples of inadvisable surface sectors, due to border restrictions or too dangerous to attempt:

You should always check the FCO information for a country before you travel – check the latest Foreign Office advice for your destination.

Classic surface sectors - see more!

These are some of the classic surface sectors we recommend to get more value from your flight itinerary - we can help you with any route you just ask us for ideas!

  • Bangkok / surface / Singapore
  • Bali / surface / Jakarta
  • Nairobi / surface / Victoria Falls
  • Victoria Falls / surface / Johannesburg or Cape Town
  • Mumbai / surface / Kathmandu
  • Hanoi / surface / Beijing, Hong Kong or Ho Chi Minh City
  • Lima / surface / Rio
  • New York / surface / San Francisco
  • LA / surface / Mexico
  • Queenstown / surface / Auckland
  • Cairns / surface / Sydney
  • Moscow / surface / Beijing at a stately 40 km/h using the Trans Siberian Railway!

Easy ways to cover these surface sectors