How to book the right round the world tickets?

Wondering how to get to 3 different continents and visit 22 countries during a 10-month round the world trip? Though you can of course buy your airline tickets as you go, this method can end up being quite costly and inconvenient. To save money and make your travel planning easier, purchasing a round the world ticket can be a worthwhile option.

Carefully plan your round the world travel itinerary

Before you begin flight hunting, make sure you already have a very accurate idea of your travel itinerary. If you change your route once you have begun your trip, you might indeed have to face high airline ticket change penalties. Which countries would you like to visit? Which cities are on your must-see list? Which are not on your priority list? How much time would you like to spend in each country? Answer these questions in order to build a coherent and realistic itinerary.

Where to book your round the world ticket

There are different ways to book a round the world ticket. To select the right option, take your itinerary, budget and flexibility needs into consideration.

The budget option: airline alliance flight

Instead of buying many airline tickets one by one, take a look at the special "round the world fares" offered by airline alliances like Star Alliance, Sky Team or One World. Booking all your tickets at once allows you to get a yearlong air pass (valid starting from the date of departure) and a better price. For instance, the Star Alliance RTW pass provides access to 27 different airlines and over 1,300 destinations in 193 countries. Airline alliances often have online booking tools which help you build your entire itinerary and figure out how much your trip will cost.

Each alliance has its own terms and conditions; you cannot always plan your itinerary exactly as you wish. Generally, you can make between 3 and 15 stops and change travel dates at no extra cost. You must follow one global direction (east or west) and charges apply if your change your itinerary.

The personalized option: specialized travel agencies

Is your round the world trip itinerary rather offbeat? Are your seeking advice to optimize your travel plans? Would you like to have a dedicated contact person throughout your trip? To book your round the world ticket, get in touch with a specialized travel agency such as Air Trecks or Round the world experts. Agencies usually allow you to select a specific package or get a quote for an almost fully personalized trip. This means the prices can vary widely.

Precautions you should take when selecting your RTW ticket

When booking your round the world ticket through an airline alliance or an agency, you must take several precautions:

  • Take time choosing your RTW trip departure date. Prices can indeed soar during high seasons.
  • To reduce the cost of your round the world ticket, use the major air routes and transit through world’s busiest airports.
  • Remember to check the trip cancelation insurance conditions and take out round the world travel insurance.
  • Check what penalties might be charged if you change your itinerary or travel dates.

To find out more about around the world tickets:

Take a look at the major airline alliances’ websites: Star Alliance, Sky Team, One World.

Learn about other specialized travel agencies: Travel Nation, Round the world flights.

Date of publication Feb 9 2015

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