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Round the world ticket

Runcorn UK
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Round the world ticket

We're just starting to think about doing a round the world trip next year but don't know where to get impartial advice. That is, from people who have done it, not just travel agents, although we have happily used Trailfinders in the past and will do again. We're retired and in our early sixties- sounds older than we feel. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated. We've done a couple of long haul three-centre trips to America and another to the Far East and enjoyed being away during Jan / Feb. We'd hope to have some 'wow' moments plus some R and R beach / pool time. I wasn't even sure which forum to post on but as it is based on a round the world ticket, thought this would be a good place to start.

Many thanks for any any suggestions on where to begin.

Houston, Texas
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1. Re: Round the world ticket

I haven't done it, but a good place to start would be the MANY posts on this forum which have asked about RTW - here is a link to those posts. I recall at least a couple that were posted in the last month.

www.tripadvisor.com/SearchForums…

London, United...
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2. Re: Round the world ticket

A round the world ticket is just that's,it's a type of airline ticket. You need to decide where you want to go, when and for how long, then decide if it's more cost effective to do a round the world ticket or return tickets with point to point in between, open jaw or multi city. You need to look at everything from where you want to go, to what is the most obvious flight routes to get there.

Your ticket type is absolutely not the dictator here, nor is it your starting point, it's simply no more than a ticket type. Plan your vacation, then decide the most cost effective method of travel.

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Round the world ticket

I generally buy a business-class RTW ticket every other year, and use the frequent flyer miles/points earned in the course of the RTW to pay for my travel during the "off year." I've also proselytized RTW tickets to friends and acquaintances who travel a lot, some of whom have become addicts like me.

As Froggy says, the key really is to decide where you'd like to go. However I think that looking at the airfare products can help with that - some places might be (financially) unreachable using conventional tickets but easily included in an RTW ticket. My favorite example of this is Easter Island. It's difficult and expensive to reach as a stand-alone destination, but included easily in a RTW.

My advice to RTW newbies is to start by treating it like you would any other investment costing thousands of pounds or dollars. Read reviews, look at product descriptions, reports from users, etc. I sometimes think people put more effort into shopping for an electric kettle than they do for air tickets costing a lot more.

I also suggest that you develop something like a "strategic plan" for your leisure travel. Sounds boring or un-fun, but it can really help you budget and clarify your priorities. If you take off on a round-the-world trip, are you going to land in SE Asia during monsoon season, or when the stingers off the Queensland beaches could put an abrupt end to your holiday? Tornadoes in Texas or June Gloom in California?

Write down your bucket list - what could you do on land, where do you want to go that's only accessible by air - when's the best time (not just locally, but for YOU) and all that. Get a big world map and a sticky-note pad, and go to work.

A couple of general comments about RTW tickets. First, they're priced VERY differently depending on where you buy the ticket and begin/end the trip. It's often the case (particularly if you want to travel in business or first class) where the price is so different from home that it's cheaper to fly to some start point just to capture the savings. Example, a 4-continent Oneworld Explorer bought and started in the UK is £5998 plus (a lot of) taxes and fees. The same ticket bought and started in Egypt is £3802. Can you fly to Cairo and back for less than two grand? (And you wouldn't even need to leave the airport - you buy the ticket online before leaving home, and just jump on the first RTW flight - could be the flight home - an hour later.)

Second, they're good for a year and allow up to - but not more than - 16 flights. Most tickets are priced on the basis of how many miles you can fly, with various tiers, while one (the Oneworld Explorer) is based on the number of continents touched, 3 to 6, in the course of the trip.

Because of the year's validity, it's quite common for RTWers to start someplace besides their home country, use part of the ticket, then intentionally use it to fly home partway through the trip, go back to work or recharge the batteries (or more likely the bank account) and then resume and finish the trip later. Doing this leverages two, or even three separate "holidays" out of the one investment. But without a plan...

Finally, RTW tickets can be a rich source of frequent flyer miles. In my case (and I admit I'm probably on the extreme end of the spectrum, but certainly not in contention for any titles) I usually accumulate around 100,000 - 120,000 (American Airlines) miles in the course of an RTW (counting bonuses etc.) which I then "burn" in the off year - two or three trips within the US in first class, or a business-class trip from the US to Europe, or Asia, or South America... whatever. In dollar terms, I end up flying around 22-23 flights (counting the 16 in the ticket and the mileage flights later) in business or first class for around $275 - £175 per flight over two years. This works for me, not for everyone, but I throw it out there as an illustration of what CAN result.

So my recommendation is to hit the books, as we say. Trust me, it's a worthwhile exercise.

Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: Round the world ticket

Wow......fantastic information ibgardyloo!!

Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: Round the world ticket

I should clarify that the prices I cited for the UK and Egypt were for BUSINESS CLASS RTWs. Economy-class will be (typically) around half the cost of business class. (One of the rare cases where the difference between the back of the bus and the pointy end is only 100% - usually it's a lot more.)

Runcorn UK
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6. Re: Round the world ticket

Thanks for replies, especially ibgardyloo. A big part of the joy of holidays, for me, is in the planning and research. This is going to be fun!

Helsinki, Finland
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7. Re: Round the world ticket

We are dreaming of a trip to Australia sometime in future but the tickets are really expensive. This thread gave me the idea to do some googling. They really have a system for these rtw-trips and the combination ticket was CHEAP! Like one roundtrip from Europe to Aus and one to US but you can see everything!

So thank you for the tip!

This was a handy tool: https://rtw.oneworld.com/rtw/

UK
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8. Re: Round the world ticket

Hi

I agree decide what you want to do, where you want to go, first then join up the dots with a multi city flight.

I have done a few

Highlights?

Definitely New Zealand

Hire a campervan

Bay of Islands and this overnight " cruise"

We too are in our sixties and retired and we were the oldest on the boat but it was fantastic fun,

http://www.rocktheboat.co.nz/

Mix up your accomodation as much as you can . All hotel rooms are based on the same floor plan! And get a bit samey and boring and you don't get to meet people. We did a Campervan, motels , and apartments and for some real treats booked into one or two fabulous but surprisingly not that expensive top hotels in say Hong Kong or Bangkok.

A great example ,

we stayed three nights in

Shangri-La hotel , Kungthrep Wing in Bangkok, picked up at airport in hotel limo, great room overlooking river, free drinks and canapés every evening. And just jump on the water taxis to visit the temples on the riverside.

This was a package offered by the hotel which I booked direct and was great value considering the location and service.

Back to Air Travel

Try out the interactive multi city functions on the major airlines websites to get a feel for who flies where etc.

You can quickly get acquainted with all sorts of possibilities. If you then do use a Travel Agent

Upgrade your flights if you can.

Take less luggage than if you were going to Spain for a fortnight.

Yes my wife got fed up of wearing the same clothes but you will be lugging it onto boats, trains, buses and up and down hills and along streets for say six weeks, again you won't regret packing light and no matter where you are you can buy most things you need.

I used Tripit App to compile an itinerary, it drops email confirmations from flights and accomodation into a itinerary/diary and is a useful tool

Good luck

Edited: 3:00 am, March 27, 2014
Columbus, Ohio
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9. Re: Round the world ticket

I have done around the world, it can be done with multiple airlines. How about Air New Zealand from UK to US west coast to Auckland, from Auckland to Sydney. From Sydney to Far East on any airline, from Sydney you will have a greater choice of diff airlines, if not on one ticket than try to avoid connecting flights on same day. Also in my opinion does not have to be around the the globe, but definitely you will touch many continents.

Air NZ does have sale few times a year, if you enjoy travelling in Jan/Feb than a good time to purchase ticket will be Oct, when ticket prices usually goes down after busy summer travel, or try Emirates or Eithad from UK to UAE to Far East to Australia and Air NZ to US and than to UK.

Edited: 10:54 pm, March 27, 2014
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10. Re: Round the world ticket

good advice, I am going to buy the map and decide on locations.