What is a Round the World Ticket?
A guide to booking a round the world ticket
So, after the months of dreaming and saving up, you're finally ready to take the plunge and book your round the world ticket. For the first timer especially, the seemingly baffling array of combinations of routes and flights can be pretty daunting. However, in reality, they're really simple, and we're going to show you exactly what a round the world ticket is and how it works.
A round the world ticket does exactly what it says on the tin - it's a series of flights that takes you round the world (although contrary to popular belief you don't have to travel in a full circle - more on that later!)
Tell me more, tell me more!
- Round the World tickets are a series of flights booked with an individual airline or group of airlines which work out significantly cheaper than booking individual one way flights.
- They are usually valid for up to 12 months.
- You can travel into one airport and out of another (so you can make your own way overland).
- They have flexible date changes, which are usually free of charge, although airline fees do occasionally apply. However, if you book with Round the World Experts you'll never be charged any admin fees through RTWE's Travel Butler service; it's pretty unique.
- They will generally allow you to re-route your flights (for example if you decide that Singapore really isn't for you and you want to go to Bangkok instead... no problem!) Although you'll usually be charged for doing this, it's a lot cheaper than buying a new flight.
- You don't have to travel all the way round the world. Many multi-stop tickets allow you all the same advantages of a round the world ticket without forcing you to visit anywhere you don't really want to.
Ok, I'm in... where do I start?
Decide where you want to go. We recommend making a list of your 'must see' places (these are the places that you won't compromise on and simply must see) and your 'would like to see' places (these are the places that you would like to see if they fit into your time frame, and, of course, your budget).
If you're looking from ideas and inspiration, then head to Round the World Experts or check out our article gap year ideas.
If you're still stuck, then get a map, close your eyes and point randomly. Boom! You've just got your first destination.
- Plan roughly how long you would like to stay in each place (don't worry; you can change the date - more on that later too!)
- Call or email a specialist RTW travel consultant, (if you hadn't guessed it yet, we recommend Round the World Experts - trust us, they're the best), and speak to someone who can take your plans and make your dream come true.
Sounds great, but how much is this going to cost me?
This really comes down to 2 main things:
- Where you're looking to travel to: Obviously taking four flights will work out cheaper than taking 12!
- When you're looking to travel: All ticket prices are based on the date you leave the UK... keep on reading for the insider's tips on when to leave!
To give you an idea, one of the most straightforward and popular routes is the Mini World Experience which is currently from £879 and, as the name suggests, is a great introduction to travelling the world.
London > Singapore > Sydney (make your own way to) Melbourne > Los Angeles > London
If you're feeling a little more adventurous, try the Hikers Trail from £1279.
London > Beijing (make your own way) Hong Kong > Melbourne (make your own way) Sydney > Auckland > Los Angeles (make your own way) San Francisco > London
Or go the whole hog for something completely different, try the Southern Dreams from £2839.
London > Rio de Janeiro (make your own way to) Buenos Aires > Lima > Santiago > Easter Island > Tokyo > Hong Kong > Hanoi (make your own way to) Bangkok > London
The options really are endless and all of the routes that you see advertised are designed to inspire you to create your own route... it's your trip after all!
Sold! Any more tips?
Everyone loves a bargain, right? Here goes with our top tips for making the most of your round the world tickets:
- If you find your trip is going over budget, think about flying into major airline hubs (think big cities like Singapore) rather than small municipal airports and making your way overland... you'll experience a lot more and save yourself a lot in flights.
- Pick your dates carefully. Generally the cheapest time to leave the UK is mid-April to mid-June, closely followed by mid-August to the end of November. Prices can vary by over £200 from one day to the next and travelling over the busy Christmas period can almost double the cost of your ticket.
- Student or youth? Many airlines offer bonus perks if you are under 26 or a registered student... these include cheaper tickets and completely free date changes. Just ask your consultant!
- Travel logically. Although some tickets do allow you to 'backtrack' on yourself, you'll find they're cheaper if you travel in a continuous direction.
- Plan ahead... but not too much. Having a plan will help you get the most for your trip, but having flexible flights will allow you to change your plans as you wish. The best experiences are often those that you didn't plan for.
- Read the details! Cheaper tickets can sometimes have less flexibility... if paying a £100 more saves you £200 further down the line, it may just be worth it. As always, ask an expert!
- And lucky number seven, the most important tip, make sure you have fun! You're about to start the trip of a lifetime; enjoy it!
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