Travelling around the world used to be a dream that would take a lifetime to achieve. One could only imagine seeing all of the great treasures and wonders on offer. However, today, budget airlines and easy communication have made international trips much more commonplace. Plenty of wide eyed travellers plan a trip as part of a gap year adventure or take some time off from their careers.
So, dust off that suitcase, say goodbye to your friends in your cosy hometown vale, and get planning. Here’s how you can plan a great round the world trip that will give you a lifetime’s worth of memories.
Think about how much time you have
Although the classic round-the-world trip may last for a year or more, there’s no reason why you can’t plan one lasting a month or two. Airline deals have made round-the-world a viable option even for relatively shorter trips. If you have more time to play with, think about a flexible ticket in case you fall in love with a destination and want to spend more time there. A brief trip can be harder to plan because you want to be able to really explore each place you visit, but don’t be afraid of limiting time at some stops in favour of places you are more passionate about. You can always go back!
Learn about carrier alliances
Carrier alliances have increased the availability and affordability of round-the-world tickets by linking together airlines from multiple continents. Some of the most popular include StarAlliance (incorporating Air China, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines among others) SkyTeam and OneWorld (American Airlines, British Airways and Qantas among others). Each alliance fare covers a different area and has different restrictions so check out the tickets available for a trip which best meets your needs.
Think about weather patterns
Do you want to spend your time away as a sun seeker, snow chaser or both? A round-the-world trip gives you a chance to experience whatever climates and environments you desire, but careful planning is required. Researching the best time to visit each destination on your list can help you arrange the perfect itinerary for your interests and preferences. By taking into account season changes between the Northern and Southern hemispheres, you can even create for yourself a continuous ski season or endless summer.
You can always work out the details
Thinking about all the details of a long trip before you’ve even renewed your passport can be overwhelming, so remember that you don’t have to plan your entire itinerary at once. The key elements to put into place are the long international flight legs which will make up your round-the-world ticket. Domestic or intra-continental travel can often be organised closer to departure without additional expense. For example, if you know you want to see South America, you can book an arrival in Buenos Aires and a departure in Lima without knowing exactly how you’ll make your way between them. The freedom to find your way is part of the adventure.