What is a Round the World Ticket?

Written by: Sam Willan

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 take you round the world (although contrary to popular belief you don’t have to travel in a full circle – more on that later!)

A Guide to Booking a RTW Ticket

  1. 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.
  2. They are usually valid for up to 12 months.
  3. You can travel into one airport and out of another (so you can make your own way overland).
  4. They have flexible date changes, which are usually free of charge, although airline fees do occasionally apply.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

What is a round the world ticket?

Ok, I’m in… where do I start?

  1. 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 still stuck, then get a map, close your eyes and point randomly. Boom! You’ve just got your first destination.
  2. 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!)
  3. Call or email one of our travel consultants, and speak to someone who can take your plans and make your dream come true.

On your gap year you'll see some of the world's most stunning sights

Sounds great, but how much is this going to cost me?

This really comes down to 2 main things:

  1. Where you’re looking to travel to: taking four flights will work out cheaper than taking 12!
  2. 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!

Tips for booking a round the world ticket

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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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