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I've travelled to Mexico many times and I'm starting to feel the itch again but I think finding a cheap way there has become more difficult since my last trip 3 years ago.

I have some problems with US customs and immigration which makes getting a transit visa a serious pain so I cannot take any flight which stops on US soil, even to refuel. So all the obvious routes via Hawaii and California are out.

Another restriction is that I want a one-year ticket. It's much easier to find deals on two-week trips than long trips. Booking a few months in advance is not a problem however. Neither is having to travel within a small time window when the price is best.

The last few trips I've flown JAL via Tokyo and Vancouver and was very happy with the airline. I don't mind the long flights and I know how to turn a stop over into a feature of the trip.

But it seems JAL has cancelled this route since they've been haemorrhaging money and needed to make some cutbacks!

I've looked for other options but the airline comparison sites don't make it easy to add in the "avoid USA" parameter. I've looked at going via Canada, Santiago, Buenos Aires, and even London. But all these options work out about double my usual price of about $2,000! (AUD or USD are about the same right now)

I always expected it to be easier to get a cheap one year ticket to Vancouver and then a cheap one year ticket from there to Mexico City. But for some reason this doesn't seem to be cheap even though you can get two week tickets from Van to Mex for a couple hundred bucks.

Is there still any route I can take from Australia to Mexico, avoiding USA, for $2000 or less, for a one year ticket?

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I think CX to Hong Kong to Vancouver, maybe that'd be a similar situation+price to the JAL one via Tokyo? –  Gagravarr Nov 17 '11 at 9:19
    
Hmm is it easier to get a Hong Kong visa than a China one? –  hippietrail Nov 17 '11 at 9:23
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I believe they do international transit, so you may not need one. Certainly I don't think you need a visa on the London-HK-Aus route for example –  Gagravarr Nov 17 '11 at 9:46
    
But I like stopovers (-: I usually have anything from a week to two months when flying via Asia. But with flexible return dates it can be a pain getting a visa just to get back home. –  hippietrail Nov 17 '11 at 9:52
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I broke a rule twenty years ago which makes me ineligible for the visa waiver. This means there's a very real chance that I'd need to apply for a US transit visa from Mexico, which requires me to bring all my old passports, employment history, and education history to a personal interview at the US embassy booked a month in advance and costing $100 US whether the visa is granted or not! Too risky (-: –  hippietrail Nov 17 '11 at 11:33

3 Answers 3

The only thing I can think of is:

  • Air Canada has nonstops SYD-YVR (Vancouver) and YVR-MEX - that's the fastest way.
  • Korean Airlines has SYD-YVR via Seoul
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I would really love to go by Korean because they're my new favourite airline and I love stopovers in Korea. But last time I compared them with JAL they were at least a grand more expensive. Unless they have a different low-price window I haven't found. But I do also love Vancouver (in spring and summer). –  hippietrail Nov 18 '11 at 8:35

Ok, maybe not an actual answer, but this might be another option:

An ex-coworker who used to have a boat and told me that is quite easy to get a lift on a boat or yacht from Mexico towards (south-) west; so if you're on a budget and not in a hurry you could try to buy a one-way plane ticket to Mexico and then sail back towards NZ or AUS from Mexico. Right now i could only find this one offer, but you have better luck if you ask the locals at the marina in Mexico when you're there...

Plus you get a chance to see all the little islands like Fiji, Cook Islands, French Polynesia etc. on the way.

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You can't believe how badly I would love to do it this way. One problem is I won't be able to go on a boat that docks at any US territory, and they have a few in the Pacific. Others are the hurricane season, Mexico's tendency to check for onward tickets when you apply for a visa extension or do a visa run, and the difficulty of getting a boat into Australia. Oh and it's the expats you want to ask in the marina in Mexico (-: –  hippietrail Nov 18 '11 at 8:40

LAN Airlines now flies from Sydney to Santiago, as well as from Santiago to Mexico City. ITA Matrix gives an approximate price of $2600 for a round flight through Chile.

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Yes I mention the Santiago option in my question. $2600 seems a bit less than last time I worked it out but still a lot and over my $2000 upper threshold. And I bet it's not for a one-year ticket. I can't see a way to set the return date in the link you provide. But I think it's true that this is the best that can be done by booking the whole itinerary in Australia. –  hippietrail Aug 12 at 11:37

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