How to Plan a Trip Around the World
An around the world trip or RTW is an incredible experience. For some people, it is a dream come true, and for others, it's a once in a lifetime endeavor. I’ve been around the world twice, once for work when I was working in New Zealand. And the most recent was with my husband and two children.
Without a doubt, traveling around the world has many benefits. You’ll live to tell many stories of the people you’ll meet and the places you will have visited. However, getting the most out of your trip requires thorough preparation.
Here’s your step by step guide
Length of travel
Decide how long you can be away from work, school, or business.
What’s your budget
Figure out how much you can spend on your trip. Budgeting is one of the most important factors to consider besides the length of your stay. The amount of money you have will help you decide on the destinations (affordable or expensive destinations), where you stay, and types of airfares.
Take into consideration the following items when you’re figuring out your budget:
- Land transportation
Choose your destinations
Here are a few tips to help you choose your destinations:
- Starting and ending destinations
- Choose based on your interests
- When you are going - low, high or shoulder season
- Affordability of the destination/s
- Physical ability
- Airlines flying to the destinations
The above tips are essential when planning where you want to go for your RTW trip. Those who love wildlife will enjoy Borneo
, Sri Lanka
, or African countries like South Africa
, and Zambia
. For endless sand, sun and surf, choose destinations like Los Angeles, Fiji, Costa Rica, Bali or Australia. You may want to go to India or Bali for spiritual enlightenment. South America offers an endless amount of trekking experiences and natural wonders. And of course Europe for art and architecture.
There are three main travel seasons in every destination. In Europe, low season is from November through March (not including Christmas and New Year), shoulder season is from April to mid-June and September and October. High season is from mid-June through August. However, in the South American Patagonia region, peak travel season is from October through March. The quietest season is from April to August, which is also the coldest season in the southern hemisphere. While in countries like Belize and Guatemala, the rainy season from May to October is considered the low season. So, weather plays a significant role in determining the travel seasons of a region or a destination.
It’s easy to use airline booking sites like Expedia, Kayak, CheapOAir or Momondo to book round trip tickets or up to five sectors multi-city tickets. But when it comes to around the world tickets, you need AirTreks or other reputable air travel consolidators who specialize in multi-stop airline tickets or RTW tickets.
AirTreks is the world’s number one online site for multi-city airfares. AirTreks has been around since 1987, the pre-online booking site days. Use their free TRIP PLANNER
to plan your trip. You can use AirTrek’s trip planner to customize itinerary/route, fare quote and get advice from an AirTreks travel expert.
Or choose one of AirTreks
’ featured multi-stops sample itinerary:
- The Grand Escape: NYC - Milan - Dubai - Johannesburg - Mahe - Mumbai - Bangkok - NYC
- Circle the Globe
- The Navigator
- Circle the Pacific
- Natural Wonders of the World
- And much more
STA Travel also provides RTW tickets.
Another way to save money on airfares is to choose from one of the airline alliances:
SkyTeam offers 1,150 destinations in 175 countries, according to its website. Use their round the world planner to plan your route and get flight prices and recommendations. Star Alliance has 1,300 destinations in 193 countries. One World claims 1,100 destinations in 180 territories.
The possibilities are endless. Each of these airline alliances has its own set of rules and benefits. Check it out.
Travel gear to buy and pack
What you need when traveling will depend on:
- Your travel style
- The activities
- The season
- Length of travel
Must haves for all seasons, all activities and all travel styles:
Functional personal bag
Walking shoes with traction
First aid kit
Ziploc bags (quart size)
Extra pair of glasses (if you wear glasses)
Travel insurance and credit card
Travel insurance is a must if you’re traveling around the world. Make sure your travel insurance includes travel medical and accident coverage, emergency evacuation and repatriation, trip cancellation and theft/lost coverage.
Get a credit card without foreign transaction fees.