Round the world flight tickets are a great way of visiting many countries in a trip. The cost of the ticket is normally much less than buying the flights individually. They might sound complicated, but they are not.
Round the world flight ticket basics
- Tickets are valid for 1 year.
- You must continue traveling in the same direction around the world. Most tickets do not allow you to back-track, but some do. You’ll either travel clockwise, or anti-clockwise around the world.
- Most tickets insist you actually travel right around the world.
- The cheapest tickets have the most restrictions.
- The time of year you start your trip will affect the price. January and February are normally the cheapest times to start your trip.
- Prices start from $1,500 / £800 (a UK to Australia flight costs about £700! ). More flexible tickets cost $2,000 / £900.
- Book at least a month before you intend to travel
4 flights per continent, 5 for North America.
Business and 1st class available.
|Unlimited, priced is per continent.||
USA: $3,900 – $5,300
UK: £1,179 – £2,048
Backtracking allowed within countries, but not continents.
Good for South Pacific Islands, North and South America, Africa.
|4 tiers available: 26,000 – 39,000||Between 3 and 15||
USA: $4,199 – $5,399
UK: £1,179 – £2,049
|Great Escapade||Business class available.||29,000, can buy more||Unlimited||UK: £860 -£1,210||Trip planner|
Most popular route
Below is the most popular route. This typically costs £1,000 / $1,900. The example assumes leaving from London, adjust if leaving from USA, Canada, Australia, etc.
- Cook Islands
- New Zealand (into Auckland on the North Island, out of Christchurch on the South Island)
- Australia (into Sydney, tour around Australia)
- Indonesia (fly into Bali) and make your own way overland through Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand flying out of Bangkok (Thailand)
- Back to London
The Great Escapade
The Great Escapade website has an excellent route planner, where you can select the destinations, and it tells you how many miles you have left. Perfect.
Details: Unlimited stopovers. 29,000 miles as standard, but you can buy more. From 10 days to 1 year.
You must: Cross the Atlantic and Pacific only once.
oneworld Explorer is a 4 continent package from oneworld. A unique package where the price is based on the number of continents visited, rather than the miles traveled. Good for exploring Australia. Offers economy, business and first class.
Details: Backtracking is allowed. Unlimited miles, price is per continent. From 10 days to 1 year. 4 flights per continent, 5 for North America. You may leave subsequent flights open-dated, and reserve them as you go along.
You must: Visit at least three continents, or four from the Southern Hemisphere and Africa where three-continent itineraries are not possible. Travel in a continuous westward or eastward direction, although you can backtrack. Book at least 7 days in advance.
Global Explorer is a 6 continent package from oneworld. This package uses a wider range of airlines meaning more destinations for you. Particularly good for the south west Pacific. The price is calculated on the miles traveled. Four options are available – for flying up to 26,000 miles, up to 29,000 miles or up to 39,000 miles in Economy class, or up to 34,000 miles for travel in any class.
Details: Between 3 and 15 stopovers. From 10 days to 1 year. You may leave subsequent flights open-dated, and reserve them as you go along.
You must: Cross the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, but only once. Travel in one direction only. Be away for minimum of 10 days, maximum of 1 year.
Round the world tips
- If you are nervous about visiting countries like Indonesia or Thailand, fly anti-clockwise. Visit the USA, Australia, etc. before getting to south east Asia. This will give you traveling experience before you get to the more difficult countries. You’ll also visit the most expensive countries first, which helps with budgeting.
- January to March are typically the cheapest months to start your trip.
- Tickets are normally flexible. So if you are enjoying New Zealand so much, then contact the ticket company, change you onward flight, and stay longer. Simple!
- Beware of ‘From’ prices. Always get the final price from the agent.
- Don’t visit too many destinations. Make sure you explore each destination properly. Most people don’t return to a destination. Next time they travel they go elsewhere. It is better to see 4 countries properly, than just a little of 8 countries. Also, if you spend all your time traveling, when are you going to enjoy yourself?
- There are now many cheap flights in Asia and Europe. You can buy these locally, so you don’t necessarily have to including all of your stops in your round the world ticket.
- You must get good travel insurance . Your possessions are not important, but your health is. If you fall ill abroad, and are flow home it can cost as much as $500,00 / £300,000. Seriously! Get good insurance .
How to book your ticket
- Make a list of the places you want to go. e.g. Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, etc.
- Work out how long you want to stay in each place. 2 months in Australia, 1 month in New Zealand, 1 month in Thailand, etc.
- Contact several round the world ticket specialists. Get quotes from them for your journey. Talk to them as they might be able to offer you some great deals. You must get a final price from them, including all taxes and costs. The agents might also suggest great destinations you haven’t thought about.
- Think about it…
- Book the ticket!
Trip planner tools
Here are some handy tools that let you plan you round the world trip. I wouldn’t personally use one to book my ticket, I would rather speak to a customer service representative on the phone, to ensure everything is discussed before booking. However, these tools are great for example itineraries, and establishing which airports you are able to use.
- airtreks.com trip planner – easy to use, but lacks surface travel options.
- The Great Escapade – great tool for planning Great Escapade trips
- BootsnAll – loads of travel information