You’ve seen round the world (RTW) fares advertised at travel agents, online or in brochures. You want to go on an epic adventure but the price tag of 15+ flights is putting you off. Fear not. It’s cheaper than you think!!! I’m here to show you how you can build your own RTW ticket, save yourself a tonne of cash and travel longer than you would have on a standard RTW fare.
A RTW ticket may sound tempting at first and it is exciting to plan your trip out in it’s entirety before departure but… booking everything in advance has it’s downside. What other aspects of your life do you ever plan out a year in advance? If you’re on a 12 month trip I can guarantee at some point you will change your mind about what you’re doing, where you’re going and how long you want to stay somewhere. Flexibility is key and, while you can make changes to a RTW ticket, it’s easier and cheaper to avoid this altogether by simply booking point to point tickets.
Here’s how to start building your own RTW ticket:
- If you have an idea about where you want to go, map out a route and look at where your long haul pricey flights will be. Start checking prices for these in advance. Know what legs of your journey are going to be the expensive ones and work on making these cheaper.
- Book yourself a one way ticket to a major hub in your starting continent of choice. If you’re Asia bound, look for flights to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. If you’re starting in Europe, go for London or Paris. Generally, these big transport hubs are cheapest to get to and have more options for onward travel.
- Get yourself to the region you want to travel within, then start looking at flights within the region. If you’re starting in London, where can you fly next in Europe for a good price? Use sites like Skyscanner or Adioso that allow you to put in a starting point and leave the destination blank. This way you can easily choose where your afford to go next. It might only cost £30 to fly to Madrid but cost over £100 to fly to Barcelona. Making decisions based on price is a lot easier this way.
- Think overland. Work out what parts of your journey can be managed overland. Bangkok overland through Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and on into China is pretty common. Overland travel in South America is much more affordable than flying. Travel in Europe can be done easily by train or bus (although budget airlines may be even cheaper.)
- Look at what points you need to pass through to get to your next destination. If you’re starting in Europe with the intention of next heading to India or South East Asia, look for the cheapest point in Europe to make that next long haul flight and work your way there. Or look at where you could break up that long haul flight into two shorter flights on budget airlines like flying from Istanbul to Dubai and the Dubai to Delhi.
- Get to know budget airlines and what routes they fly. Sure, you can fly Sydney to Los Angeles on Qantas direct but you could actually do it cheaper by flying to Hawaii on Jetstar first and then on Allegiant to LA… who wouldn’t want a stopover in Hawaii?
- Think outside the box. Go to destinations that are intriguing and off the course of a standard RTW ticket. Belgrade will be much cheaper than Amsterdam, Tel Aviv might be more exciting than Dubai.