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Round The World Airline Tickets

Fly rtw with one world member airlines.

one world's Round The World tickets give you unprecedented access to hundreds of destinations in 170 territories. We offer three types of Round The World trips:

one world Explorer: a continent-based fare,

Global Explorer: a distance-based fare,

Circle Pacific: an inter-continental journey to explore continents that border the Pacific Ocean.

Where to first? The whole wide world is waiting for your Round The World trip.

Skyscrapers behind a clear blue sky in Doha, Qatar.

one world Explorer

Continent-Based Air Travel

No matter where business or pleasure takes you,  one world's vast network means your Round The World trip via  one world Explorer fare makes it easy to travel from city to city, and continent to continent. And, for every dot you connect, you earn more miles and points to spend across the  one world Alliance.

A view of a palm tree on the beach, overlooking the ocean with a vibrant sunset sky.

Global Explorer

Distance-Based Air Travel

For an even wider choice of where to travel, book your Round The World trip via Global Explorer, which grants you access to an even more extensive list of airlines, including Aer Lingus, Bangkok Airways,  one world  connect   partner  Fiji Airways , Jetstar, Jetstar Asia, Jetstar Japan, Jetstar Pacific, WestJet, and  Qantas  code-share flights operated by Air Tahiti Nui.

A mountain peak with a blue sky behind it.

Circle Pacific

Multi-Continent Air Travel

If you prefer to visit multiple continents without actually flying all the way around the world, our Circle Pacific fare lets you explore the continents that border the Pacific Ocean. You can choose to start and finish your journey in one of the following continents:

Asia  (Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam)

Southwest Pacific  (Australia and New Zealand)

North America  (USA and Canada)

South America

Contact a  one world member airline or your travel agent to plan and book your Circle Pacific trip now.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a round the world ticket.

The one world Alliance offers a way to visit many countries, around the world, all in a single itinerary.

On oneworld.com, you can choose to book either one world Explorer, where the fare depends on the number of continents you visit, or Global Explorer, where the fare depends on the distance you travel.

Circle Pacific, an inter-continental journey to explore continents that border the Pacific Ocean, can be booked by your travel agent and is not currently available for booking on oneworld.com.

Where Can I Fly With Round The World?

For one world Explorer and Global Explorer, one world member airlines and affiliate airlines cover six continental regions: Europe/Middle East (including Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Georgia, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen); Africa (excluding countries listed above); Asia (including the Indian subcontinent, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, but excluding countries named above); Australia, New Zealand, and the South West Pacific; North America (including the Caribbean, Central America, and Panama); and South America. Currently, it is not possible to begin your itinerary through Doha Hamad International Airport (DOH) through one world member Qatar Airways. Book both one world Explorer and Global Explorer on oneworld.com.

Through the one world Circle Pacific fare, one world member airlines and affiliate airlines cover four continental regions: Asia (including the Indian subcontinent, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan); Australia, New Zealand, and the South West Pacific; and North America. Ask your travel agent about booking a one world Circle Pacific fare. Routes are subject to change.

Where Can I Travel Now, Given COVID Restrictions?

View entry restrictions and COVID-19 travel requirements for countries around the world on our the one world Travel Requirements Information Portal . Use the map to get information on travel restrictions by country, including entry restrictions, as well as COVID-19 vaccination, testing, and quarantine requirements.

Is Round The World Ticket Business Class An Option?

Yes, Round The World tickets are available in Economy, Business, and First class. On our oneworld.com booking tool, there is a drop-down menu to select your preferred cabin class. Premium economy upgrades will show where available when you select flights.

Is Round The World Ticket First Class An Option?

How much does a round the world ticket cost.

Your Round the World fare is based on a few factors: the number of continents you visit or pass through or the distance travelled, the travel class selected, and the number of travelling passengers. Read on for more information about full fare rules and conditions [Note: Links open PDF in browser]:

What Are The Round The World Rules?

Read on for Round The World rules and conditions [Note: Links open PDF in browser]:

What Should I Know To Help Me Plan My one world Explorer Itinerary?

When planning your one world Explorer itinerary, here are tips to keep in mind:

Destinations are grouped into three zones and six continents:

Zone 1: North & South America

Zone 2: Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Zone 3: Asia and the South West Pacific

Your trip must be in a continuous forward direction, East or West, between Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 3. Backtracking within a continent is generally permitted, however some exclusions apply.

Your adventure can last from 10 days up to a year. Travel must be completed within 12 months of your original departure date.

Your trip must start and finish in the same city.

You must cross both the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean on your journey.

Your journey can include three to six continents, and anywhere between three and 16 flights.

Review complete one world Explorer fare rules and conditions .

Can I Change Or Update My Round The World Itinerary?

Yes, one world Explorer, Global Explorer and one world Circle Pacific itineraries can be modified to accommodate changes to your Round The World plans.

If you booked your Round The World trip through oneworld.com, contact the ticketing airline (the airline you are flying on the first leg of your journey) to make changes to your itinerary.

If you booked your Round The World tickets through a travel agent, please contact the travel agent to make changes to your itinerary.

Will I Earn Frequent Flyer Points On A Round The World Trip?

Short answer: Yes, you will earn frequent flyer points on your Round the World trip.

Long answer: Yes. one world works in collaboration with all of our partner and member airlines to ensure that you’re rewarded no matter where you travel. On all eligible flights, you will accrue points or miles toward the airline of your choice and toward your one world tier status .

How Can I Pay For A one world Round The World Trip With Frequent Flyer Points?

Currently, it is not possible to use frequent flyer points to pay for a one world Round The World trip.

Does Your one world Explorer ticket include checked-in baggage?

Two free pieces of 23 kilos each shall be permitted. Additional allowances may apply. Refer to individual carrier websites.

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Star Alliance

Round the World

Buying a multi-destination ticket has never been simpler.

Do you want to travel the world? Are you excited to discover and experience different countries and cultures? Are you looking for the best value for travelling to the world’s top iconic cities?

Our Star Alliance Book and Fly tool helps you plan and book multi-destination fares online. Certain exceptions apply. Alternatively, contact a member airline or your travel agent.

One Star Alliance ticket. Limitless travel possibilities.

Imagine embarking on a journey that takes you all around the world. Picture all the places you will go, the sights you will see, the people you will meet. Now imagine doing all of that and more, with just a single ticket.

The Star Alliance Round The World ticket offers you a travel experience unlike any other.

Journey across the world and visit up to 15 cities, while enjoying the kind of seamless flexibility and outstanding value for money that only the world’s largest airline network can offer. Where will your Round The World journey take you? Imagine your trip and make it a reality—all in just a few clicks with our Star Alliance Book and Fly tool. Certain exceptions apply. Alternatively, contact a member airline or your travel agent.

  • Terms and Conditions

Book and Fly

  • Single ticket valid on all Star Alliance members
  • Every journey is different
  • Follow our tips and reminders while booking

How to Map Your Journey

  • Start and end in the same country
  • Follow one global direction (East or West)
  • Cross both the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean
  • Have a minimum of 2 stops and maximum of 15 stops
  • Travel between 10 days to 1 year
  • Transits must be less than 24 hours
  • Stopovers are more than 24 hours
  • Check the terms and conditions for detailed inclusions

Flexibility

  • Save your itinerary at any time
  • Contact support 24/7
  • Accrue frequent flyer points or miles
  • Upgrade your flight or entire itinerary at any time, subject to availability

Round The World in Just a Few Clicks

Select your destinations.

Start by entering your Origin City. Then add destinations by entering the city name or by selecting cities on the map.

Choose Your Flights

The system will automatically select the flights for each segment, but you may also pick flights from the Star Alliance network that best cater to your needs.

Enter Your Details

Provide the necessary travel details such as your contact information and identification documents to help us secure your booking.

Pay Seamlessly

Enter your payment details to complete the transaction.

Circle Pacific

Circle Pacific

The itinerary can be accessed and changed by visiting staralliance.com and entering the Itinerary Code under 'Open Saved Itineraries' in the booking tool. Thank you for using the Star Alliance booking site for your journey.

  • Planning: Please save your itinerary and copy the 20-character code for us to better assist you.
  • Booking: We kindly ask that you refer to the terms & conditions for further booking details and reservation requirements.
  • Availability: Please be reminded that pricing and availability is subject to change at any time without notice.
  • Payment: If you experienced a problem with completing your payment, please indicate this when reaching out to our dedicated team of specialists.

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Destinations

Experiences.

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Plan Your Trip

Plan your rtw trip.

Finding the right round the world trip planner can be difficult. This is first and foremost because many such tools on the internet are only for planning (and, in some cases, booking) RTW flights. The truly difficult part of planning a trip around the world is deciding where to go, how long to stay and how to arrange your trip, so the content deficit (let alone how rare it is to find a quality world trip planner) is frustrating for many travelers.

The good news? Whether you want to travel all around the world, or simply want to visit multiple continents during a single trip, this guide covers all the bases you’ll need to hit as you plan your trip.

Of course, I’ll also touch on the particulars of buying a RTW ticket, including a somewhat contentious recommendation on my part. I’m about to share a great deal of information with you, but I promise: Planning a RTW trip is much, much easier than it looks.

Booking Round the World Flights

Many a round the world trip planner (which to say, any airline alliance website create for the purpose of selling flights) will tell you that booking a single RTW ticket is essential for a round the world trip. However, I don’t agree with this. In addition to the fact that having a single travel the world for a year itinerary (even a flexible one) can lock you in on a trip that will be anything but predictable, it’s often more cost effective to book individual segments, particularly if you have some miles or points to play with.

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Let’s say, for example, that you live in the United States and want to fly around the world westward. After taking advantage of a rock-bottom one-way flight from the US to Japan or China , you can take advantage of low-cost flights as you explore Southeast Asia and Australia , then gradually make your way to Europe (and from there, Africa ), flying to South America before returning home, often for only a few hundred dollars per segment. A round-the-world ticket, on the other hand, which often only includes long-distance flights, can easily cost between $2,000-3,000. And that’s without the fees you’ll certainly have to pay to change it as your plans evolve.

How Long Does a Round the World Trip Take?

Whether or not you work with an around the world trip planner, you should keep in mind that as you plan a round the world trip, the issue of timing can be surprisingly far in the back of your mind, particularly if you’ll be traveling to regions of the world you’ve never visited. While two weeks traveling through Japan or Western Europe can allow you to cover a lot of ground, it’s woefully insufficient in places like India , Africa or even much of South America. In general, it’s safe to assume you’re probably underestimating how long you’ll need to devote to your trip.

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Broadly speaking, I’d say the best round the world holidays last a minimum of six months, though I have personally taken epic trips in a shorter amount of time than that. On the other hand, I’d caution against traveling for longer than a year at a time, as being away from your “real life” for such a period can have other impacts on your well-being, ones you might not be able to anticipate right now.

How Much Does a Round the World Trip Cost?

Another deficiency of many a round the world trip planner (which is once again to say a flight booking tool) is that it provides only a piece of the cost puzzle—your round the world trip isn’t only going to cost a few thousand dollars. Generally speaking, the average cost of traveling anywhere in the world is between 50-150 USD per person, per day, which means that a conservative estimate for the cost of the ultimate around the world itinerary for a six-month trip (without your “big” flights) is between $9,000-27,000. Not cheap!

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Of course, there are ways to decrease the cost of a travel around the world itinerary, whether you manage to find the cheapest round the world ticket, take advantage of opportunities for free or discounted stays (whether you couch surf or do some sort of volunteer program) or simply keep your dining out and shopping to a minimum. In general, however, I’d recommend over-estimating your budget than under-estimating it, if only so you don’t end up as a “begpacker.”

When to Take a Round the World Trip

When you travel around the world will depend upon where you want to go. While most of the sample round the world routes I’ll recommend in the next section are fairly evergreen, some destinations are better during certain months than others, and planning according to this can influence the rest of your travel trajectory.

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For example, let’s assume you want to see the cherry blossoms in Japan , probably the world’s most famous seasonal spectacle. Whether you choose from my round the world trip ideas below or commission a custom 6 month travel itinerary, you’ll want to arrange the rest of your RTW trip to optimize the weather in all your destinations. You might head to Nepal after Japan, for instance, to trek when the country’s famous rhododendrons are blooming, or visit Australia and New Zealand before Japan to catch the tail end of warm weather Down Under.

Round the World Trip Ideas

The best of six continents.

Most round the world trip planners will want to see the “whole world” on their trips—all six inhabited continents, and potentially even Antarctica. Regardless of where your RTW travel originates, the general path you will follow is North America-Asia (Australia/New Zealand)-(Middle East/India) Europe (Africa)-South America-North America, or maybe in reverse depending upon where you start and what time of year you’re traveling.

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In terms of a general flight path, this might look something like the following: Los Angeles-Vancouver- Tokyo – Bangkok – Sydney – Dubai – Paris -Cairo-Cape Town-London-Buenos Aires- Bogota -Houston. Needless to say there are countless variations, from a 6 month round the world trip to ones much longer!

Wonders of the World

Rather than taking a comprehensive approach (which can lead to a year or even longer on the road—again, not an option for the majority of travelers), you can start your world travel planner based on a finite list of world wonders, be it classic ones you find on an Asia trip planner like the Great Wall or ones you designate yourself, such as Barcelona ‘s Sagrada Familia church or Ethiopia’s “Door to Hell.”

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Assuming you take a more classic route for your around the world itinerary, you might go about planning a round the world trip between wonders as follows. From Chicago to Beijing (for the Great Wall), then to Delhi (for the Taj Mahal), to Cairo (for the Pyramids ), to Athens (for the Acropolis), to London (for Stonehenge), to Rio de Janeiro (for Christ the Redeemer) to New York (for the Statue of Liberty). Again, this is highly customizable!

The Backpacker’s Trail

I’ve taken great pains within this round the world trip planner to be honest and sober about the cost of traveling around the world, but this is still a sort of trip that people on the backpacking spectrum can take. Specifically if you decide to string together affordable destinations like Southeast Asia, India, Eastern Europe, Andean South America and Central America.

round the world trip adalah

For instance, if you’re seeking a cheap around the world itinerary, you might fly from Denver to Kuala Lumpur (via China, as Chinese airlines are the cheapest), then fly to Mumbai or Delhi for a month or two there. From there, head to Ukraine or Poland to begin a month or so backpacking Eastern Europe (I particularly like the Balkans ), before taking a flight (probably a multi-leg one) to Lima (where Peru and Bolivia await) or Cancun, from which can you head south to affordable Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Five-Star Frolic

On the other end up to the spectrum for a world trip itinerary, travelers without a set budget can enjoy a round the world business class (or even first class) romp that pulls out all the stops. Rather than focusing on a set range of destinations, you can plan your trip based on luxurious hotels and experiences, be it a Tanzania safari from the opulent Four Seasons Serengeti , sampling award-winning in-flight products and services from airlines like Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines or dining in foodie capitals like Tokyo and Paris.

round the world trip adalah

If you’re planning a luxury round the world trip, it makes sense to enlist the help of a professional (me or someone else), since the price of such assistance (usually between $100-200 per week of travel) is minimal compared to the overall cost of such a RTW trip.

Other FAQ About RTW Travel

How many stops do you get on a round the world ticket.

Whether you’re planning a 6 month round the world trip or plan to stay on the road for years, I am a proponent of piecemeal booking of air travel, rather than committing yourself to a RTW ticket. Therefore, I consider the number of “stops” permitted on such a ticket to be superfluous.

How do I plan a trip around the world?

Unless you are a very experienced global traveler, I recommend against trying to plan a trip on your trip. Rather, work with a professional (such as Yours Truly) to arrange a travel the world for a year itinerary. Or for longer than a year, or shorter—you get the idea.

Are round the world tickets worth it?

No! As I’ve expressed many times during this round the world itinerary, I am not a fan of RTW plane tickets. They rarely cost less; booking and changing them requires a pedantic phone call—or rather phone calls, since you’ll have to call in every time you want to make a modification.

Round the World Trip Planning

The best round the world trips are the ones where you get out on the road and go where the wind takes you, but that’s not realistic for most people. Whether because of finite funds or a “real life” you need to get back to, round the world trips require more planning than you’d probably like, even if you’re generally an adventurous and spontaneous traveler.

“So,” you might be asking, “can you plan my round the world trip for me?” The answer is yes, though there are a couple caveats. Because of the length and breadth of most RTW trips, many travelers want a more skeletal version of my typical “Travel Coaching” itinerary, which is typical extremely detailed and includes day-by-day recommendations. As a result, my pricing for planning RTW itineraries differs from what I’ve published on my Travel Coaching page , so I’d advise emailing me directly with any inquiries.

The Bottom Line

No matter how extensive a round the world trip planner you’ve been seeking, I’m confident that mine has met your needs. For most travelers, it’s simply a matter of learning your RTW flight booking options, assessing the cost of your RTW trip and deciding upon destinations and routing. However, others might want to hire a world trip planner (or a least a skeleton of it, which puts in place a broad trajectory) on their behalf.

round the world trip adalah

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Here's what you need to know to plan a trip around the world

Dec 29, 2021 • 7 min read

Cenote Suytun at Valladolid, Yucatan - Mexico

Don't start planning your round-the-world trip without reading this guide © Getty Images

In 1924, a team of aviators from the USA successfully completed the first-ever circumnavigation of the globe by airplane, a feat that took 175 days, 76 stops, a cache of 15 Liberty engines, 14 spare pontoons, four aircraft and two sets of new wings. This achievement ushered in an era of international air travel, and nearly a century later, travelers are still creating their own round-the-world itineraries. 

You might not have the same worries as those early aviators, but planning a round-the-world trip has never been a more complex process. As COVID-19 continues to alter world travel , heading out on a multi-country trip might be more complicated than it has been in decades. While it might not be the right time to hit the road, luckily it's never too early to start figuring out the logistics of a trip around the globe. After all, who doesn't have a lot of pent-up wanderlust at the moment? 

When it comes to booking your trip, there are several options for booking your airfare, as well as flexibility on timing, destinations and budget. But don't let that overwhelm you – start here with our handy guide on how to plan that round-the-world trip you’ve always dreamed of.

Where and how to get a round-the-world plane ticket

The most economical way to circumnavigate the globe is to buy a round-the-world (RTW) plane ticket through a single airline alliance. These are confederations of several different airlines that make it simple to maximize the number of places you can travel and pay for it all in one place or with points. There are three primary airline alliances to choose from: Star Alliance, OneWorld and Skyteam.  Star Alliance is a coalition of 26 airlines that fly to 1300 airports in 98% of the world’s countries.  OneWorld includes 14 airlines traveling to 1100 destinations in 180 territories.  Skyteam is made up of 19 airlines that serve 1000 destinations in 170 countries.  

Read more:   How to save money when you're traveling

Once you pick an airline alliance, whether because of a loyalty program you’re already a member of or because you like its terms, conditions and destination list, you can purchase a single RTW airline ticket made up of several legs fulfilled by that alliance’s partners. The RTW ticket rules vary between each of the airline alliances, with particulars like Star Alliance’s rule that a RTW ticket can include two to 15 stops. But there are some general principles that apply to most RTW tickets, no matter which airline group you go with. 

You typically must follow one global direction (east or west – no backtracking); you must start and finish in the same country; and you must book all your flights before departure, though you can change them later (though this could incur extra charges). Typically you have one year to get from your starting point to the finish line.

How long do I need for a round-the-world trip?

You could whip around the world in a weekend if you flew non-stop, especially with the advent of new ultra-long-haul flights that can clock in at 20 hours of flight time. However, the minimum duration of most RTW tickets is 10 days – still a breathless romp. To get the most out of your round-the-world ticket, consider stock-piling vacation days, tagging on public holidays or even arranging a sabbatical from work to take off at least two months (but ideally six months to one year). Because most airline alliances give you up to a year to use your ticket, you can maximize your purchase if you plan well.

A hiker approaching an archway on a mountainous trail in Nepal

When should I travel on a round-the-world trip?

The weather will never be ideal in all your stops, so focus on what you want to do most and research the conditions there. In general, city sightseeing can be done year-round (escape extreme heat, cold or rain in museums and cafes), but outdoor adventures are more reliant on – and enjoyable in – the right weather.

Research ahead of time if any must-see destinations or must-do activities will mean facing crowds. For example, if you’re hoping to be in Austria for the famous Salzburg Festival, you’ll want to plan ahead and book your tickets months in advance. If you’re hoping to fit a shorter thru-hike into your round-the-world trip, you’ll want to make sure you’re going in the correct season and starting in the right spot. You won’t get far or have as enjoyable an experience if you’re, say, attempting the Tour du Mont Blanc during the dates of the annual winter marathon or headed northbound on the Pacific Crest Trail in July, missing most of the warmer months. 

Accept youʼll be in some regions at the "wrong" time – though this might offer unexpected benefits. For example, Victoria Falls has a dry season each year , which means a slightly less thunderous cascade, but it does open up rafting opportunities and a chance to swim right up to the lip of the falls in The Devil’s Pool. Going to Venice in the winter might mean grayer skies but fewer crowds. Heading to Kenya and Tanzania in April is likely to mean fewer humans, but not fewer chances to spot wildlife, all while saving money on safari.  Also keep in mind that mom-and-pop locations have their downtime and holiday seasons as well; don't be too surprised if your local bakery in Paris is closed for a holiday week or two in August.

Where should I go on my round-the-world trip?

The classic (and cheapest) RTW tickets flit between a few big cities, for example, London – Bangkok – Singapore – Sydney – LA . If you want to link more offbeat hubs ( Baku – Kinshasa – Paramaribo , anyone?), prices will climb considerably. The cost of the ticket is also based on the total distance covered or the number of countries visited.

A train crossing a bridge curves through lush green hillsides in India

Remember, you donʼt have to fly between each point: in Australia you could land in Perth , travel overland and fly out of Cairns . Or fly into Moscow , board the Trans-Siberian railway  and fly onwards from Beijing.  Pick some personal highlights and string the rest of your itinerary around those. For instance, if youʼre a keen hiker, flesh out a Peru ( Inca Trail ) – New Zealand ( Milford Track ) – Nepal ( Everest Base Camp ) itinerary with stops in Yosemite , Menz-Gauassa and the Okavango Delta .

If budgetʼs an issue, spend more time in less expensive countries and plan budget city breaks along the way. You’ll spend more in metros like Paris, Dubai and San Francisco than in Nusa Tenggara , Budapest  and Buffalo . 

Tips, tricks and pitfalls of round-the-world tickets

Talk to an expert before you book a round-the-world ticket: you may have an itinerary in mind, but an experienced RTW flight booker will know which routes work best and cost least. A few tweaks could mean big savings in time and money. Hash out a budget well ahead of time, not only for your RTW ticket, but also for the whole trip. Reach out to friends or travel bloggers who have done a round-the-world trip or are full-time travelers because they can offer tips on how to budget for a trip around the world .

Be flexible: moving your departure date by a few days can save money. Mid-week flights are generally cheaper, as are flights on major holidays such as Christmas Day. Avoid days and times popular with business travelers to escape higher prices and more crowded cabins.

Think about internal travel: it can be cheaper to book internal flights at the same time as booking your RTW ticket, but with the global increase of low-cost airlines, you may find it better (and more flexible) to buy them separately as you go.

Be warned: if you donʼt board one of your booked flights (say, on a whim, you decide to travel overland from Bangkok to Singapore rather than fly it) your airline is likely to cancel all subsequent flights.

You might also like: 10 destinations perfect for solo travel Can visiting lesser-known places offer a better travel experience? 6 things I learned from flying 6 days in a row

This article was first published Mar 20, 2012 and updated Dec 29, 2021.

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Thrifty Nomads

Round the World Tickets: The Ultimate Guide (Updated 2024)

round the world trip adalah

Y ou've probably heard about round the world tickets, a one-stop shop approach to cross-continental flying. But let's be real: it's never been easier to book flight tickets yourself, and round the world tickets are pricey. So why do people book round the world tickets, and are they  actually worth the cost?

The quick answer is, it depends . If you're pressed for time, have a seriously fixed itinerary with many international stops to make, it can be cost-wise. However, if you have a whimsical, budget-conscious trip in mind, or are focusing on just one part of the world, there are cheaper options out there that you should know about  (like finding fares yourself on Skyscanner on Kiwi.com ).

So, here's everything you need to know about round the world tickets, followed by our DIY approach that could save you even more money!

  • 1 How do Round The World tickets work?
  • 2 How to book a round the world ticket
  • 3 What are the restrictions and/or setbacks?
  • 4 The alternative: book separate flights yourself
  • 5 How to book your own round the world trip
  • 6 So, what's the cheapest option?
  • 7 A Thrifty Case Study: A Round the World Trip from New York City
  • 8 What are the alternatives?
  • 9 So, is a round the world ticket worth it?

round the world trip adalah

How do Round The World tickets work?

Round the world (RTW) tickets are flight packages that let you visit a number of destinations around the world for one price. These tickets are offered by airline alliances like SkyTeam, Oneworld, and Star Alliance. All the flights in your itinerary must be served by airlines within the chosen alliance.

RTW tickets require you to select your destinations and departure dates in advance. This means you prepay for the pass and book all of your flights before your trip. Note: you don't have to actually fly “around the world” with these tickets , they're also sold as multi-city flights, continent-based travel, or by miles.

The perk of RTW tickets is the ability to book all flights at once at a discounted price, plus ensures a mass accumulation of frequent flyer miles since you'll only be flying partner airlines. You can even purchase part or all of your RTW ticket with relevant miles, where permitted.

Round the world ticket airport

How to book a round the world ticket

Round the world tickets can be purchased directly with airline alliances or via  travel agents .

Airline Alliances

  • OneWorld Alliance
  • Star Alliance

Each alliance offers an online trip planner that allows you to put in every stop of your itinerary and get a price quote. It also makes it easy to work around the restrictions of round the world tickets, warning you when your planned route doesn't meet the requirements. All alliances offer online booking, or you can call one of the participating alliance airlines directly.

Travel Agents

  • AirTreks (U.S. – our top choice & has 32+ years experience in RTW planning)
  • Liberty Travel (U.S.)
  • Flight Centre ( Australia , U.K. , Canada )
  • RoundAbout Travel (Australia)
  • Student Flights (Australia)
  • A travel agent local to you

Travel agents have exclusive access to flight deals, plus receive discounts accessible only via their IATA code. They also save a great deal of time and money whilst adhering to your budget and needs. Find an agency that specializes in round the world tickets, so they're aware of the restrictions and can secure the best price.

What are the restrictions and/or setbacks?

RTW tickets often more expensive than a DIY approach (covered later), especially given they exclude budget airlines. Furthermore, there are restrictions to follow, so ensure you've read the fine print. Such restrictions typically include:

  • A minimum number of flights to book (typically three), as well as a maximum
  • Flights usually must be within the same airline alliance. This can sometimes result in obscure stopovers to stay with partner alliances.
  • Restrictions on the direction of travel (e.g. East to West only) and/or requiring you to cross both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans at least once
  • All flights must end in the city you started from and connect from city-to-city (i.e. you can't fly into London, then take a train to fly out of Paris)
  • A minimum number of stopovers
  • Additional surcharges for itinerary changes and/or flying to certain destinations
  • Missing a flight in your itinerary could result in the remaining flights being cancelled, even if days or weeks away

Whew! Though there are many restrictions, most will come up when making your booking . Simply use the round the world ticket planners provided by each alliance, put in your desired destinations, and the options and costs will be presented automatically.

The alternative: book separate flights yourself

The value of a round the world ticket depends on the route you're taking and the flexibility needed. More often than not, you'll find it's cheaper, easier, and more flexible to book your own round the world trip online across several bookings using multi-destination flight search engines like Kiwi.com  and Skyscanner . You also can mix and match airlines, and aren't confined by the restrictions that accompany an actual RTW ticket.

Credit card points programs also allow multi-city flight bookings, effectively allowing you to book your own round the world trip via points or a combination of cash and points. You can readily rack up a significant amount of miles just by hitting the minimum spend within a set time. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is our top pick as a beginner card. On hitting its minimum spend, you can earn up to 60,000 points worth $750 – more than enough for an international flight .

Flight deal subscriptions like Scotts Cheap Flights compile discounted airfare to your inbox, based on the desired departure airports. Whilst this doesn't include RTW flights, this could help you cover some of the legs of your trip, as it has majorly discounted international flights departing the U.S. For those outside America, similar services exist in the U.K. ( Jack's Flight Club ) and Canada ( Next Departure ).

The only major drawbacks with booking a RTW ticket yourself is the time and patience needed to make the booking. Additionally, you may end up with frequent flyer miles spread across a variety of programs, without enough miles in any program to use them. Most likely though, you'll come out ahead financially doing it yourself.

How to book your own round the world trip

Kiwi.com  and Skyscanner are the two flight search engines we recommend for booking your own tickets for a round the world trip. They include budget airlines and let you search multi-destination flights, letting you see prices for your entire itinerary at once.

The key difference between the two is that Skyscanner prefers results from partner airlines , while Kiwi.com will always  mix and match airlines (including budget airlines) for the cheapest price . Either booking site can be beneficial depending on your trip, so to get the best price, be sure to compare results and follow these tips:

  • Experiment with  the order of your destinations for the best price. Just because a flight is shorter doesn't mean it will be cheaper.
  • Experiment with the  dates of each flight . This can be time consuming, but if you're dedicated, you can shave hundreds of dollars off your total cost by simply finding the cheapest dates for each flight.
  • Multi-city and  return flights are often better value than booking many one-way flights when they can all be fulfilled by the same airline/alliance. For example, Virgin Atlantic has routes from New York to London, London to Shanghai, and Shanghai to New York, so making one multi-city booking with this single airline will be cheaper than several individual bookings with different airlines.
  • Skyscanner prefers partner airlines that can fulfil the entire itinerary you submit, which doesn't always get you the best price on complex itineraries. So if you have a lot of destinations, split your searches into 3-4 destinations at a time . For example, instead of submitting New York > London  > Paris > Beijing > New York as a single search, try searching New York > London > Paris as one search, and Paris > Prague > Beijing > New York as a second search. You don't have to worry about this on Kiwi.com , which always mixes and matches airlines to get the best results.

Round the World Ticket Airport

So, what's the cheapest option?

In our tests, the DIY approach is always cheaper, but it depends on the kind of trip you're taking. Round the world tickets can cost anywhere from $1,500 USD to $20,000 USD . The price varies greatly, and depends on your departure point, number of flights, distance flown, continents flown to, and flight class.

On the other hand, regular flight ticket prices are all over the map, dependent mostly on supply and demand. Sometimes a flight across continents can be even cheaper than a flight within your own country. Since regular flight tickets include budget airlines , sale and error fares , and you can still take advantage of discounts with partner airlines,  booking your own flight tickets has always been cheaper for us .

The only way to know for sure is to compare. Use the links provided in this guide and see what gives you the best result!

A Thrifty Case Study: A Round the World Trip from New York City

As an example, let's find the best price for the following round the world trip:  New York City > London > Paris > Prague > Beijing > Hong Kong > New York City . We want to go in  April and May , and we are booking now in  January . We'll start on Tuesday, April 10, and schedule each consecutive flight for the following Tuesday.

Option 1: A round the world travel agent

round the world trip adalah

Booking with AirTreks also gives you a team with over 32 years of experience in RTW planning, all your tickets in one spot (instead of many confusing separate bookings), 24/7 support, and better routes (less layover time, more baggage, etc.) If you do find a cheaper fare yourself, let them know – AirTreks tells us they're confident they could beat it!

Option 2: A round the world ticket booked directly with airline alliances

Putting in the same itinerary into each of the airline alliances' round the world trip planner gives us the following totals:

  • OneWorld: $3,738.86 USD
  • SkyTeam: $3,904.28 USD
  • Star Alliance: $4,543.84 USD

Not exactly thrifty, and up to 3x the advertised price of the travel agent! True round the world tickets require strategic planning, so using a travel agent's expertise can save you time and money. But let's take a look at booking regular airline tickets yourself…

Oneworld

Option 3: Book your own tickets using Kiwi.com and Skyscanner

Using the Kiwi.com multicity search feature, we enter our full itinerary, and within minutes, we have a variety of options from $1,390 – $1,434 USD .

round the world trip adalah

As we mentioned, Skyscanner usually just shows results from  partner airlines that can fulfill a ticket for the entire route. This route is pretty complex, and it's unlikely one airline alliance could fulfill it all, so let's  break it up .

After half an hour of trying different combinations of multi-city and one-way searches, the cheapest combination I could find for these dates was

round the world trip adalah

  • New York City > London > Paris > Prague: $390 USD
  • Prague > Beijing: $283 USD
  • Beijing > Hong Kong: $119 USD
  • Hong Kong > New York City: $493 USD
  • TOTAL TRIP COST: $1,285 USD

This is the cheapest option, beating Kiwi.com by only $105. What's going on here? In short, trial and error. The first batch of airlines aren't partners, but Skyscanner sometimes lets you mix and match airlines by using Kiwi.com for booking. And although there are partner airlines to fulfill the rest of the route, Hong Kong Airlines is an independent budget airline with competitive pricing, so it ended up being cheaper to book the flights separately in order to include their fares.

You can take this even further by testing different dates in your itinerary, as well as the order of your flights. As you can see, the process can be time consuming, but a little time rewards you with hundreds or thousands of dollars saved!

Airport Round the World Ticket

What are the alternatives?

Regional flight passes.

While not a round the world ticket in itself, this type of flight pass might be more sensible for your trip, depending whether you'll be flying a lot in one region versus globally. For instance, if you are planning to take more flights around South America than across continents, then you may be better off investing in one of their regional passes (check our guide here ).

Some examples of regional flight passes include:

  • OneWorld single-continent passes: available for Africa, Asia, Japan, Australia & New Zealand, Malaysia, South America, Europe, North America, Middle East, South Asian Sub-Continent
  • OneWorld multi-continent passes: rather than flying all the way around the world, these passes let you fly in a circle around one smaller area of the world
  • SkyTeam regional passes : available for Asia & Southwest Pacific, Africa, Asia, Europe, Greater China, Russia, and USA & Canada
  • Independent airline passes in South America : these work within specific South American countries (check our comprehensive list and guide here )
  • Qantas Explorer pass : a flight pass for exploring Australia and New Zealand

Building your own stopover

A stopover – that is, an extended layover where you can actually leave the airport for 1 or more days or weeks – can be added for cheap or free to any trip, all by yourself. Our how-to guide here explains exactly how to do this.

Essentially, you find a flight fare that includes a layover, but instead of rushing to your connecting flight, you spend days or weeks in the layover destination, visiting 2 destinations for the price of 1. Whether you go round the world or not, it's a great way to squeeze more travel value out of your flight costs.

So, is a round the world ticket worth it?

In short, for most travellers, the answer is probably no. There are a certain set of criteria where it could be more cost-effective, and some travellers may prefer the ease of having all of their tickets booked in one pass anyway. However, the fixed timing, many restrictions, and high price are likely to be unappealing to those who are seeking a thriftier approach, especially when it's so easy to book yourself for less with Kiwi.com and Skyscanner .

The Thrifty Gist

  • Round the world tickets are usually pricier than self-booking, but offer peace of mind and a pre-set itinerary
  • A dedicated RTW agent such as AirTreks can save you a lot of time, with the added benefit of 24/7 support, having all of your flights in one place, established airlines with shorter routes, and over 32 years of experience in RTW planning. AirTreks tells us they're confident they could beat the other prices in this post, so if you find a cheaper fare yourself, let them know!
  • Round the world tickets can be booked with airline alliances or travel agents, while self-booking regular flight tickets can be booked using the multi-destination features of Skyscanner and Kiwi.com
  • Self-booking is usually the cheapest approach to a round the world trip, but can also be more tedious
  • Reasons to self-book include the abundance of available error/sale fares , budget airlines, the ease with which self-booking can be done, and that stopovers can easily be added to any trip

Our website contains some affiliate links in relevant areas. This means we get a small commission, at no extra cost to you, for recommending a product we personally use, trust, and own.

trying to fin d the cheapest country to start a Oneworld 4 continent ticket July 2022, it used to be South Africa or Jordan, any update links?

Please send complete information for my round the world travel for 2 – up to a year.

Skyteam RTW tickets are not available currently, and haven’t been since the start of COVID. The Star Alliance RTW business ticket I just booked was half the price of using the DIY method.

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Round the World Travel Planner

What is round the world planner and why should i use it.

The Round the World Planner is a tool that will assist you in creating Round the World (RTW) flight itineraries where you start and end in the same city, always traveling in the same direction (East or West). Such type of travel implies adhering to complex rules. Round the World Planner hides the complexity of such rules and helps you optimize your itinerary, saving your time and effort.

What are the benefits of booking a Round the World Trip with SkyTeam Round the World Planner?

With the SkyTeam Round the World Planner tool, you can tailor your Round the World Trip yourself, at your own pace. You can add/delete as many as cities as you want and choose your flights yourself. It gives you total control over your travel plans.

You can compare any number of routes and evaluate all the options. You may start planning an itinerary, save it, retrieve it and compare it whenever you like, and in a variety of formats. This lets you complete an itinerary in multiple sessions.  In addition, the interactive  Map View  lets you review your itinerary on a world map. It helps in checking the exact position of any city, explore regions and identify the best airports to visit them.

How can I access the Round the World Planner?

Follow this  path :  skyteam.com >Round the World Planner.  Click Plan your trip around the world to get started.

Can I add a city which is not a valid SkyTeam destination?

You cannot add a city that is not a valid SkyTeam destination. It has to be an airport that is part if the SkyTeam network: that being said, you can use the  Search destination  option at the top of the screen in the  Map view  to search the valid SkyTeam destination that is nearest to your desired destination. 

Where can I select the number of Passengers and cabin?

You can select the number of passengers and cabin on the home page of the Round the World planner as well as the prefered payment currency.

What are the fare levels for Go Round the World?

There are four different Go Round the World fare levels determined by the maximum mileage based on IATA standards permitted per trip as follows:

- Go Round The World Fare 1 up to 38,000 miles

- Go Round The World Fare 2 up to 33,000 miles

- Go Round The World Fare 3 up to 29,000 miles

- Go Round The World Fare 4 up to 26,000 miles.

When can I view my fare estimate?

After your route is complete, you will automatically be able to view the Fare Estimate on the bottom of your screen.

What is an Alternative transportation option and how can I add it in the itinerary?

round the world trip adalah

How to view and eliminate any error that occurs while creating the itinerary?

If your choices do not comply with the SkyTeam Round the World rules and policies, an error message with a red warning triangle will appear. Click on the icon to see the reason for this error and how to rectify it.  Mostly, you will need to make a change to your itinerary such as deleting segments that are violating the rules, adding correct cities or changing the sequence of the itinerary. In order to view the list of all rules, click on  Rules  at the very top of the screen.

In which cabin classes is the SkyTeam Go Round the World Pass available?

The Go Round the World Pass may be purchased in Business and Economy classes of service. A per sector buy up is available to purchase from Economy to Premium Economy and from Business to First class (When Available). For more information please refer to the RTW Quick Reference Guide here .

Can I request for assistance with my booking instead of booking the trip directly online?

You can plan and book the round the world ticket directly on the  Round the world Planner  tool online. However after choosing your flights and at the time of reviewing your itinerary, you can also click on  Request Booking Assistance  option to directly request the respective SkyTeam airline for assistance with the booking.

Are there any discounts for children and infants?

As per round the world rules, children aged 2-11 years shall be charged 75% of the fare. Infants aged under 2 years not occupying a seat shall be charged 10% of the applicable fare. Infants under 2 years occupying a seat shall be charged 75% of the fare.

Note: Unaccompanied children and infants cannot travel at Go Round The World fares. 

Can I make changes to my round the world booking online?

After your ticket has been issued, you can only request for a change or cancellation online. Enter your booking number and last name on the Home page to manage a booking. After your itinerary is retrieved, click on  Change Flights, Cancel Flights or Add/Delete cities  buttons to proceed further and submit the request. One of our agents will then contact you to process the required changes.

Can I accrue my frequent flyer miles on Round the World Ticket?

You can accrue miles with any SkyTeam member airline on your Round the World Ticket. At the time of creating your booking, you can enter your frequent flyer number on the Traveler details section.

Please refer to step 6 in the Demo .

What are the rules for making changes/cancellations to my booking?

Note: A fare, including taxes and surcharges, is only valid if the flights are flown in the sequence provided on the issued Round the World ticket. Any change requested to the routing and/or sequence of flights might result in recalculation of the fare, based on the actual flight routing and sequences.

In case of no-show or reissue of the first flight coupon (flight from the Country of Origin), a fee of USD 125 will apply, unless this is due to illness or death of the passenger or his family. In case of rerouting, the fare difference, if applicable, based on recalculation of mileage and/or stopovers will be added.

In case of cancellation of the Round The World journey, a fee of USD150 will apply. Any change of travel dates, time, carriers or flights other than the first flight coupon, will be free of charge, subject to availability, However, a local service fee may apply.

Where can I find more detailed information about the Round the World Planner?

A more detailed demo of the Round the World planner can be found  here . 

Can I redeem my miles for a Round the World ticket or cabin class upgrade?

You can use your miles to purchase a Round the World ticket by contacting the airline you have your miles with. This applies only to Aero Mexico, Korean Air and Vietnam Airlines. You can also use your miles to upgrade selected sectors of your trip by contacting your airline.

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Round the World in 30 Days

The Ultimate Guide to Planning the Round the World Trip of a Lifetime

Bucket List Pyramids Egypt

After planning 10 around the world trips, I’ve learned a few things. Here’s how to plan your dream RTW vacation, from Round the World flights to choosing your Bucket List itinerary.

Let’s face it, the pandemic was a punch to the gut for travel lovers around the world.

Never did I think I’d see a day when I couldn’t just bebop onto a transatlantic flight. Or just, say, leave my own home. But there we were.

When I (literally) dusted off my passport in early 2021, the thin layer of dust accumulated was borderline soul crushing.

But thankfully, the pandemic era is finally in the rearview mirror and international travel has rebounded with a heart-warming zeal in the years since!

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to book through these links, I receive a small commission, which I will undoubtedly blow on more flights (it’s a vicious cycle).  All of this internet voodoo takes place at no additional cost to you. 

So now what?

You’ve got some lost time to make up for, that’s what.

And there’s no better way to do it than with a life-changing, Bucket-List-crushing, dream vacation around the world .

Take my word for it…I’ve done 10 around the world trips, visiting more than 175 countries on all 7 continents along the way.

And you can, too.

But I probably don’t need to waste my time selling you on the idea of a trip around the world. You found this site. I suspect you’re on board.

So let’s start with the basics.

Pyramids Giza Cairo Egypt

What is a Round the World Trip?

Simply put, a Round the World (RTW) trip is a circumnavigation of the globe, either in an eastward or westward direction. Start in one city and continue east or west until you get back to it. That’s all there is to it!

Tip: West is best for combatting jetlag, while East saves time and hotel nights ($$) with overnight flights. (I’m cheap and usually short on time, I fly East. )

Read More: 8 Reasons to Stop Dreaming & Start Planning a Trip “Around the World in 30 Days “

Of course, while the concept of round the world travel is simple, the variables are far more complex.

For example, you may be wondering…

How many days do I need for a Round the World trip?

What you’ve probably seen on YouTube and Instagram from round the world travelers is true.

Most quit their jobs, sell their possessions, and hit the road for a year or more with big dramatic flair. Of course, that kind of nomadic commitment is not for everyone.

And I’m living proof that there are other options.

My first 9 RTW trips were approximately 30 days each. The lone exception was RTW #10, my honeymoon , which clocked in at a pretty incredible 3 months.

I’ve also done 30-day trips focused on various regions of the world like Europe , Central America , Oceania , the Balkans , and the Himalayas (a great option if there’s a specific part of the world that interests you or you just hate jetlag).

For me, a month is the ideal amount of time to travel.

Machu Picchu Peru

Long enough to truly disconnect and explore.

Yet short enough that I’m unlikely to throw my carry-on (we’ll get to that) suitcase out the nearest train window because I’m tired of every single thing in it.

There’s no right answer to how long your round the world trip should take. I know someone who went around the world in 5 days (zero stars, do not recommend) and someone else who started 10 years ago and is still going strong.

So, two weeks, a month, or even 6 months to travel around the world? It’s totally up to you.

The bottom line: Take as much time as you can, anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months will do. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that you never know if you’ll have the chance to do it again.

World Trip Dream Vacation Around the World

A trip around the world sounds amazing, but how do I get the time off?

When I wrote the first edition of The Grown-Up’s Guide to Globetrotting 12 years ago, this topic was a central focus and the largest hurdle to taking a career-friendly trip around the world.

After all, most Americans are stuck with a measly 2 weeks of annual vacation leave (the horror!).

So, how do you travel around the world without tanking your career?

Amazingly, on this front, the COVID-19 pandemic gifted us with one gleaming silver lining:

WORK. FROM. HOME.

Yes, even the stuffiest of Fortune 500 corporations have finally come around to the idea that work from home can (and does) work – with the right employee.

This revelation is especially thrilling to me as someone who has been working from home (combined with business travel) for more than 20 years.

In fact, my friends will tell you that my life mantra has always been:

If you can work from home, you can work from Rome. Jenny McIver Brocious

Or Paris. Or Bangkok. Or wherever floats your boat.

You get the idea.

There’s a lot more to making this work successfully from exotic locales – time zone challenges, reliable internet, etc. (I go into that in detail in the book) – but I can assure you, it can be done.

And it beats the pants off working from your dining room table.

Captain Vassilis Chania Crete Greece

The bottom line: You can use the WFH option to increase your available time for travel. Add days or weeks onto your trip or schedule a trip just to work from somewhere inspiring.

What’s on your Bucket List?

And now we come to the fun part. This is where the magic happens.

Where in the world do you want to go?

I speak from experience when I say that there are few things more thrilling than sitting down in front of a giant foldout map of the world and plotting out your dream vacation .

explora Patagonia Hotel Salto Chico

Maybe you already have a dozen exotic destinations in mind. Or maybe there are places in the world you never considered visiting because they always seemed too far away.

The beauty of going around the world is that the entire world becomes just a short flight away.

How many destinations should I choose?

The answer will directly correlate to how much time you plan to take. My 4 week round the world trips have ranged from an uber-ambitious 15 stops on Round the World #1 to a more relaxed pace with 8 stops on Round the World #2 .

Here’s a simple, 3-step plan to crafting your round the world trip itinerary:

  • Make your wish list.
  • Compare it to the number of days you have to travel.
  • Adjust accordingly.

Critically evaluate how long you actually need to see each desintaiton on your wish list.

Great Barrier Reef Australia Whitsundays

For some (like me), 2-3 days per destination can be a good rule of thumb. Devote more time to your “ Top 5 ” must-see destinations and maybe just spend one day exploring the city you only added to the itinerary because it was right there and you couldn’t just skip it (you laugh, but I guarantee a few of these stops will sneak their way onto your itinerary!).

Remember that a 4 week round the world trip, however incredible, is not going to be an in-depth cultural experience at every stop.

Think more Amazing Race and less Under the Tuscan Sun .

It IS, however, a terrific way to get a taste of new and exciting places and start building a new wish list for future trips.

Depending on your interest level, you may not need a week to see the Pyramids , I did it in an afternoon and it was magnificent. A full day at the Taj Mahal and a morning walk along the Great Wall of China were enough to fulfill my dream of seeing those world wonders.

But that’s me. And I’ve been told I can be a little, ah, overly-energetic when I travel.

You do you.

Need some destination inspiration? Here are 30 of my favorite travel experiences around the world:

Around the World in 30 Extraordinary Travel Experiences

And here are the Top 50 places I think should be on every Travel Bucket List:

50 Amazing Places for Your Travel Bucket List (2024)

Round the World Flights: The RTW Ticket (your new best friend)

I am fortunate that my years of excessive business travel have one nifty little side benefit, I have a crap ton of airline miles.

So when I discovered the magical world of “ Round the World airline tickets ” years ago, those Delta miles not only afforded me the opportunity to take that first RTW trip but to take it in first class with Delta’s Skyteam Alliance.

Eiffel Tower, Sunset, Paris

Sadly, the days of booking a RTW ticket with miles went the way of the dodo bird in 2015. I won’t lie to you, I wept openly when Delta first announced it (followed quickly by United and American).

But all is not lost if you’ve been hoarding miles like pandemic toilet paper. All major US airlines now allow one-way award booking. This means you can still use your miles to route yourself around the world, one one-way flight at a time!

And honestly, the old mileage RTW tickets were a deal but they were a BEAR to book and had zero flexibility. One-way award booking gives you a ton more flexibility plus the option to mix economy and business class legs (for longer flights) on your journey.

This is a BIG perk.

Here are a few more tips for you “ Up in the Air ” business travelers out there with miles & points to burn:

How to Use Points & Miles to Redeem Your RTW Dream

No miles, no problem

Two of the three major airline alliances do still offer paid RTW ticket options. Delta’s Skyteam Alliance is the exception, they discontinued the RTW ticket option completely a few years ago.

There are pros and cons to booking a round the world ticket with an airline alliance:

  • Cons – Airline alliance RTW tickets are not cheap and you’ll spend extra time connecting through hub cities to get where you want to go.
  • Pros – You can earn a ton of miles (and airline status) as you travel and those extra cities can be fun stopovers. Plus, if you already have status with an airline in the network, you’ll get lots of extra benefits like free checked bags and early boarding.

If that option interests you, start here:

  • Oneworld – World Travel (American, Alaska)
  • Star Alliance – Round the World (United)

round the world trip adalah

The affordable RTW ticket…

If redeeming (or earning) miles isn’t your jam and you truly just want the most affordable way to see the world, skip the airline alliances and head straight to:

  • Airtreks – This site is more service oriented, you enter a proposed itinerary and a travel planner will contact you to create the perfect customized itinerary.
  • BootsnAll – This one is more DIY. You can create and book an itinerary yourself online.

Unlike the airline alliances, these two round the world airfare specialists utilize all airlines to create your dream itinerary. This will often yield both the best price and the most direct routing for your trip.

WARNING: Once you start playing around with the trip planners on these two sites, you may become addicted to the global possibilities.

Tip: You guessed it, I’ve covered all the ins and outs of booking RTW tickets in the book.

Hotels vs. Airbnb – Where to stay?

Once again business travel rewards can be handy when planning trips around the world.

My Marriott and Hilton points have been offsetting the costs of my round the world trips for years. Not to mention affording me swank rooms at hotels and resorts that were WAY outside of my round the world budget, like these:

Points and Miles at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort

But if you don’t have points, not to worry!

I am a firm believer that a quality, affordable hotel can always be found, even in the most expensive destinations. My go-to hotel site (when I’m not using points) is Booking.com .

Tip: If you’re not a member of any hotel frequent guest programs, sign up for all of them before you go. It’s free and you’ll earn points as you travel. Many also offer perks during your stay, just for being a member.

If you’re not a fan of chain hotels or if you’re going to be in one spot for more than 3 or 4 days, I’d highly recommend an apartment rental. They can be considerably cheaper than even the most economical hotel, and having a kitchen can also be a tremendous cost-saver.

Not to mention it’s just fun to live more like a local!

One of my favorite apartment rental sites is Airbnb but I’ve also found that more and more apartment rentals are also listed on Booking.com (and the fees there are often cheaper than Airbnb). That said, I’ve booked with Airbnb all over the world (including the Tuscan villa we used for our wedding – below!) and never had a bad experience.

Villa Poggio Tre Lune Tuscany Italy

Who should I travel with on an around the world trip?

If you’re married, it would probably be rude to go without your spouse (try it at your own marital peril).

But if you’re single, this is a question that deserves serious consideration. If you’ve never traveled solo, your gut instinct may be to find a friend or family member to travel with.

But before you do that, consider this…

A solo trip around the world is perhaps the best gift you can ever give yourself, especially for women. It’s empowering, it’s safe and it just might be the best travel experience of your life.

Read More: Why Every Woman Should Travel the World Solo (at Least Once) & How to Stay Safe Doing It

So yes, it’s perfectly fine (and perhaps even preferable) to travel round the world solo.

Petermann Island Antarctica

No matter what you decide, choose carefully.

How to pack (carry on only!) for an around the world trip

Yes, you read that right. I just casually floated the idea of traveling around the world for a month or longer with nothing but a carry-on bag.

If you’re a guy, you were probably not at all alarmed by the previous paragraph and thought, “ Couple of t-shirts, some shorts, underwear, got it. ” You can scroll down to the next topic, this section is not about you.

Now, for my globetrotting ladies. I’m going to ask you to trust me on this one. We’ve known each other for 10 or 15 minutes now and I feel like you get me.

With so many flights involved in an around-the-world itinerary, carry-on is truly the only option.

Reuniting with a lost bag can quickly become a logistical nightmare when you’re changing cities every few days. (And I can assure you that no one at the lost baggage desk understands what “ RTW ticket ” means.)

If you don’t believe me you can read all about the one time I broke my own rule and ended up spending an entire day at baggage claim in Paris on Round the World #4 . (Actually, don’t. It’s mind-numbing reading and definitely not my best work.)

You can do this. You don’t need all the “ stuff ” you think you do!

(For the things you do need, here’s all the Stuff I Love most!)

I have traveled for as long as 3 months out of just a carry-on (and in case I forgot to mention it, I’m a girl!). I do freely admit, however, that I was over just about every item of clothing in that suitcase by the end.

I also confess I checked a bag to Antarctica. Because Antarctica .

Carry-on bags

How do I do it? This excerpt from “ The Grown-Up’s Guide to Globetrotting ” is guaranteed to help you overcome your RTW packing challenges:

How to Travel Around the World with Just a Carry-On: A Girl’s Guide to Traveling Light

What else do I need to know for a RTW trip?

We’ve covered the big-ticket items – how long to travel, how many places to visit, with who, how to find RTW tickets, where to stay, and what to pack.

So what’s left?

Well, a LOT actually. But hey, that’s where my book comes in (insert shameless plug here).

I’ll end with a hit list of other tips, tricks, and things to consider when planning your once-in-a-lifetime (or maybe more!) round the world trip:

  • Apps : For currency conversion, I like the Oanda app. And Google Translate is also a life saver.
  • Thoroughly research entry requirements for ALL countries you plan to visit well in advance. Almost all visa applications can now be completed online.
  • A good universal power adapter & converter is a must. More than one is a plus if you have lots of devices (and don’t we all these days?).
  • Check with your doctor for any immunizations you may need for your destinations. I got the works before my first trip and haven’t had to worry about it since (other than the occasional prescription for malaria pills).
  • Consider purchasing travel insurance, for a trip of this magnitude, it’s a must! Especially in the post-pandemic era. Here’s a good independent review of the benefits of travel insurance and the options available: 10 Best Travel Insurance Companies
  • Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your planned date of return because all countries have different requirements on this.

And finally…

How to Travel Around the World

Get the Book!

For more comprehensive advice on planning your around the world itinerary, booking Round the World tickets, and everything else you ever wanted to know about travelling around the world, get the ultimate Round the World trip planner:

Round the World in 30 Days: The Grown-Up’s Guide to Globetrotting

Now get out there and start planning the around the world trip of your dreams!

As Phil Keoghan says at the start of every season of the Amazing Race,

“The world is waiting for you!”

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How To Plan A Round The World Trip

Jan 2, 2020 · Leave a Comment

How do you plan a round the world trip? With lots of planning, budgeting, and a desire for adventure!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more information. Thanks!

Round the world trip

On January 2, 2019, Dylan and I began our six-month round the world trip.

Dylan and I said goodbye to our families, jobs, belongings, and life as we knew it to become The Nomadic Fitzpatricks. We arrived in Cusco, Peru to explore and begin our new life as backpackers.

Dylan and I feel so grateful to have made this dream a reality. We realize that not everyone has the financial means or opportunity to do something like this and are so grateful and fortunate we were able to make this happen.

I also want you to know that you can do this with celiac disease (like me). There is gluten-free food to be found around the world, and you can eat safely when traveling with celiac disease (that's why I made a whole online course about it!)

Read on to learn all the details of our round the world trip and how to plan your own round the world trip or long-term travel adventure. Be sure to check out our favorite resources for flights, lodging, travel hacks, and more.

how to plan a round the world trip

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” -Saint Augustine

Final Itinerary

Round the world trip expenses charts, individual questions, round the world trip: take a sabbatical.

Jen and Dylan with backpacks on trip

If you are trying to plan a round the world trip, it will take some time to prepare.

The idea started back in January of 2017 on a winter hike. It was the first time thinking about a gap year truly took hold. By June of 2017, we were ready to take a step toward making this a reality.

First, we asked for sabbaticals from our employers. I asked a year in advance, in order to give my school district ample notice to find a substitute for my year-long absence. Once the time off was officially approved, Dylan went about asking his boss and employer for time off as well.

Dylan was given six months off, so we planned to use every possible day of his sabbatical. We left our apartment in mid-December, spent the holidays with family, and then flew to South America in January. Leaving in January helped coordinate our plans for staying in warmer temperatures the entire time.

Storing Your Belongings For A Round The World Trip

Empty Apartment

One of the biggest tasks we had to deal with when planning our round the world trip was storing our belongings and leaving our apartment.

We had lived comfortably in our two-bedroom apartment rental for six years. Saying goodbye to the place was hard, but we knew it had to be done. It took a full two weeks to move everything from our apartment into our 10x10 storage unit. 

By canceling our apartment rental, that also meant we no longer had to pay renter’s insurance, electricity, gas, or cable. The money we would spend on groceries just became our allocated food budget for each country we visited. 

If you are planning a round the world trip and are also renting an apartment, breaking your lease and storing your belongings can be big cost savings. If you own your home, consider renting it out!

Cars, Phones & Insurance For Round The World Trips

Cars

Something to consider when planning your round the world trip is what to do with your cars and how to pay for insurance.

Dylan and I both own our (old) cars and did not have car payments. Therefore, we were able to put our car insurance on hold for six months. I have a rental car insurance policy through my credit card for the two times we rented a car - in Patagonia and New Zealand . 

We purchased travel insurance from World Nomads for emergency evacuations, flight cancellations, hiking injuries, stolen property, etc. for a total of $1,137. Travel insurance was one of the best investments we made for our travels, and I can’t recommend it enough. You can find out the details of why ours came in handy while hiking in Nepal .

We kept our phones in Airplane Mode and utilized WiFi while traveling. Once I reached Europe, I was able to use my phone normally thanks to an international plan. Dylan purchased a SIM card in Thailand since we would be there for 3+ weeks. It worked well and allowed us to use his phone for transportation purposes & research when we didn’t have a WiFi connection!

Round The World Trip Packing List

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How do you plan a round the world trip successfully? By not overpacking!

I can tell you we carried WAY too much stuff initially. As time went on, we sent stuff home with family, then sent it to family again. And again!

Embracing a minimalist, backpacker mindset took some time to get used to, at least for me. By the end of our trip, I was finally okay with only having 2-3 outfits to my name. And when we were finished hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain, our bags were so much lighter than they were when we started!

Here’s our official round the world trip packing list!

Many of the items we packed with us were items we found almost everywhere - from hiking poles, warm socks, toiletries, basic medicine, even gluten-free snacks. Other items were important and necessary to bring from home - our emergency antibiotics from the doctor, our own clothes, and a small pillow all came in handy.

Planning a round the world trip will require you to have a sturdy backpack. It will become a part of you and hold a special place in your heart!

For more travel packing essentials, check out my Amazon page where I link everything we brought on our trip.

Round The World Trip Transportation

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There are a lot of ways to plan your transportation for a round the world trip - believe me, I spent months researching it.

You can book all of your flights upfront.  Some companies will even organize this for you, such as AirTreks. They will book a round the world ticket for you to all the destinations you plan to visit with the best prices and date estimates you give. You can also choose to book through an airline group, such as StarAlliance or SkyTeam . 

We found it was more cost-effective (and allowed more freedom) if we did it on our own. We did price comparisons, checked flight prices, and saved hundreds of dollars by booking flights ourselves.  It was a lot of work to compare the two, but we wanted to save the most amount of money.

Prior to leaving in January, Dylan and I planned everything out for the first two months of our trip, down to the specifics of flights, lodging, and basic plans.  On March 1st, we had a flight from Bali, Indonesia to Bangkok, Thailand , and that was the last official planning we had done. After that, we started to embrace the idea of slow travel - staying in one place for a longer period of time, to understand it more deeply, rather than staying 2-3 days in a place before moving on.  

Besides flying for larger distances, we mostly relied on public transportation and walking - a lot. We walked a minimum of five miles per day! Public Transportation systems in other countries are fairly simple to figure out, and everyone speaks English. Thankfully, Google Maps is super helpful, and you can download maps to be available offline too.

Here’s a fun chart that shows how much we walked during our travels. Make sure to look for the barrier!

Miles walked chart

Travel Hacking For Your Trip

Airport Lounge

Some of the best travel hacks we used on our trip included getting a solid travel credit card with perks like the Priority Pass. Airport lounges are a great way to spend time waiting for flights - especially when there's free food, Wifi, and comfortable seating.

I also used travel hacking to redeem credit card points for three different flights, saving us $1,800 USD! For more information about travel hacking , check out this blog post to help you save hundreds of dollars on your next trip.

Saving money while traveling was easy to do. We ate cheaply, cooked most of our own food, did a lot of free activities like walking tours and hiking. We primarily stayed in hostels/guesthouses, and just enjoyed being together. We balanced expensive countries with cheap countries and adjusted our spending accordingly.

If you are trying to plan a round-the-world trip and are nervous about the cost, consider saving for a good six months beforehand. You can even allocate a separate bank account for this!

Lodging While Traveling The World

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You have a lot of options for lodging on a round the world trip. We stayed primarily in hostels, guesthouses, and Airbnb's . We did stay in a few hotels and used the Hilton Honors points for one hotel stay in Italy.

Hostels and Couchsurfing are great ways to meet other travelers. Everyone in hostels has something in common - you’re traveling because you love it and you want to see the world. You tell stories, share tips and suggestions on the best hike, sightseeing spot, or restaurant, and connect. 

While hostels were our primary form of lodging, they can become frustrating . Staying in a shared room can present problems! Snoring, people not respecting your space, dirty clothes, and other factors can definitely get on your nerves. When Dylan and I grew a little impatient with shared rooms, and tired of wearing earplugs, we’d pay a little more money to stay in a private room for a few nights. The balance is what kept us within budget and kept us happy.

We had no real problems or issues with hostels, Airbnbs , guesthouses, hotels, teahouses, tents, albergues, or even the few hotels we stayed in. Only 1-2 places come to mind that may have been lacking in certain areas. We always read the reviews extensively before booking - checking things like cleanliness, location, the responsiveness of the host, and hostels - the party aspect. Remember to do what makes you feel comfortable and will make you the happiest traveler!

Round The World Trip Itinerary

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We planned our itinerary to try and stay in summer the entire time. Since we would be traveling in multiple hemispheres, this was relatively easy to work out. The only climates we packed extra warm clothes for were our treks in Peru , Patagonia , and Nepal . Once we arrived in Europe, our first day was spent sorting through all that trekking gear and sending home a box of items we no longer needed.

Planning our itinerary before we left meant our first two months were a bit different from the ones that followed. Countries that we wanted to see, such as South Korea, Morocco, and even Tanzania - looked wonderful, but we were unable to make them happen due to costs and running out of time. We hope to go back and visit these countries one day.

Here’s how our itinerary ended up looking month by month:

January 2019 1/2/19 - 1/12/19 Cusco, Peru & Inca Trail 1/12/19- 1/17/18 Buenos Aires, Argentina 1/17/19 - 1/30/19 Patagonia, Chile & Argentina

February 2019 2/1/19 - 2/10/19 South Island, New Zealand 2/11/19 - 2/18/19 Sydney, Australia & Blue Mountains, Australia 2/18/19 - 2/28/19 Bali, Indonesia (Ubud & Nusa Islands)

March 2019 3/1/19 - 3/21/19 Thailand (Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Koh Lanta) 3/22/19 - 3/27/19 Hong Kong

April 2019 3/28/19 - 4/20/19 Nepal (Kathmandu, Pokhara, ABC Trek ) 4/21/19 - 5/4/19 Croatia (Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Zagreb) May/June 2019 5/5/19 - 5/27/19 Italy (Venice, Rome, Capri, Milan, Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Genoa) 5/28/19 - 6/20/19 Spain (Bilbao, Camino de Santiago , Madrid ) 6/20/19 - 6/30/19 USA Road Trip with State High Points & Canada back to Boston

Countries and destinations in bold will take you to my travel guides & information about these places. 

Total Trip Expenses

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How much does a round the world trip cost?

We again want to acknowledge that we are fortunate to have made this trip happen, as not everyone has the financial means or ability to do so. We did save for months and months leading up to this trip, sold our belongings, and gave up a path of "normal" life to be able to do this.

First, we saved money before we left - months in advance. We cut back on expenses before our trip as much as possible.  Read this post for more ideas on how to save money for travel.

We also stayed in hostels/guesthouses rather than hotels, villas, or fancy lodging. We travel hacked flights using credit card points and airline miles. We gave up our apartment & minimized our belongings to just two backpacks each. All of these efforts helped us save money.

Keep in mind that Dylan and I also were on sabbaticals from our jobs - unpaid sabbaticals. We had to keep costs low because there was no cash flow from our employers. Our savings account was our only source of income, and we did not want it to be depleted by the end of our trip.

But here’s the bottom line:

We knew that if we stayed home for six months, we’d spend money. It stands to reason that if we traveled for six months, we’d also spend money. We were going to spend money either way. It’s called a cost of living for a reason .

What the difference is, (and what many people don’t realize) , is that how you allocate your spending will differ depending on how you choose to live. If you live in a rented apartment as we did, you’ll have rent, bills, cable, groceries, gas, etc. to pay for every month. But if you are traveling full time , you’ll have lodging costs, groceries, travel insurance, transportation, and excursions to pay for every month. Money is going to be spent . HOW you spend just requires a few shifts.

We determined that to live at home in Peabody, Massachusetts, for six months, would cost us $15K. We shifted our mindset and realized $15K would be spent on our trip in different ways. Using a tool called BudgetYourTrip helped us with cost estimates and a budget. Based on the countries we were visiting (lots of cheap/mid-range, a few pricey ones) and for how long, Dylan and I estimated this trip would run us about $20K for six months, plus another $10K for flights. And that's exactly how it ended up!

Do you have to spend as much as we did? No. Absolutely not.

This is just one example of how much a round the world trip for two people can look on a mid-range budget. I'm sharing with this you to be transparent and let you know what to expect if you are planning a trip of this size.

Comparison of Budgets

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Six Month Travel Budget Normalized

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Travel Expenses By Country

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TOTAL TRAVEL EXPENSES

Our total costs for travel were exactly in the range we thought. Our total travel expenses ran $28,206. Additional costs were our travel insurance and storage unit payments, which brought our total to just over $30,000.

The most expensive countries we visited, such as New Zealand , Australia, and Hong Kong - meant we had to find ways to keep to our budget. The cheapest countries we visited, such as Bali and Nepal , were easy to keep costs low.  I'm very proud that Dylan and I were able to stay within the budget range we hoped for during our round the world trip. Certain countries didn't make the cut because they would have put us way beyond our budget. We'll save them for a future adventure! Keep in mind that half of that total expense number would have been spent regardless.

If we had stayed in one or two continents, rather than go to five continents, our flight costs would have been much lower, bringing our total costs down a lot. If we were to travel again long term, we’d do it a bit differently and focus on slower, more sustainable travel.

Questions For Jen & Dylan About Our Trip

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These are some of the most common questions we’ve been asked since returning back to the United States after traveling the world.  I’ve included our answers below to help & shed some insight!

General Questions

How long was your round the world trip?

Our trip was approximately six months.  We left January 2nd, 2019 for Peru and returned back to the US on June 20th, 2019.  We didn’t come back to the Boston area until July 1st.

What was your most common method of travel?

We flew from country to country for the most part but also traveled heavily by buses and trains.  We rented a car in three countries. Walking was the most common method of travel - 5 miles a day, minimum!

How many countries did you visit?

Technically, twenty.  We really spent time in about twelve countries.

Where did you go?

Peru, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Nepal, Croatia, Italy, Switzerland, and Spain.

What was your favorite country?

Jen I enjoyed each country we visited but really loved Indonesia, Thailand, and Croatia.

Dylan I don’t have an un-favorite country.  

What was your favorite city?

Jen Madrid, Spain, or Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Dylan Chiang Mai, Thailand. 

What was the best part about your round the world trip?

Jen The total freedom and time spent together! It was such an experience in letting go and every day was something new, different, and exciting.  We learned so much about ourselves, the world, and each other.

Dylan In the beginning - we were sitting and waiting for the room at the hostel in Peru, I began wondering what the hell I got myself into. We had traveled for a day, didn't sleep well, and we get there to the hostel in Cusco, waiting for a spot and just kind of like “holy shit”. I looked at my phone that said “It’s January 3rd” and realized I don’t have any connection with the outside world. 

What was the worst part of your round the world trip?

Jen Having to come home!

Dylan Ending.

Funniest travel memory?

Jen This is a tough question. Some things may not have been funny at the time, but they are really funny looking back. We have so many new inside jokes!  

Two of my favorites include trying Vegemite in Australia and realizing it was a serious mistake, and discovering the mysterious chirping noise that we heard for 2 months in all of SE Asia was in fact, a gecko. Or all of Dylan's funny accents and silly songs.

Dylan Carol & Larry on the ferry in Capri - what I aspire to be one day!

Backstory: Carol & Larry were an older couple we overheard arguing on the ferry when traveling to Capri, Italy. They were fantastic and hilarious.

Best travel tip or hack?

Jen Reusable water bottles, and the Priority Pass Membership.

Dylan   Priority Pass Membership!

What was the longest travel day?

Jen Nepal to Croatia.

Dylan Nepal to Croatia.

To clarify : In April, We had a flight from Kathmandu to Doha, Qatar, another flight from Doha, Qatar to Rome, Italy, which included a 12-hour layover, and then a flight from Rome, Italy to Dubrovnik, Croatia.  We got to our apartment rental and passed out around noon and didn’t wake up until 9 PM. Then we continued to sleep until 6 AM and woke up starving!

The best travel fail story?

Jen Driving to the wrong airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina , or the time our hostel in Madrid didn’t replace the toilet paper for more than 24 hours. Ahh!

Dylan I mean, Calafate because of the car and because of gas - I would say just time spent in Calafate because we were planning on going to El Chalten but really the factors of Calafate got in the way of us going at all. We had to wait in line for gas from 11:30 PM - 3:00 AM.  Read more about the craziness of our Patagonia adventure !

Best hiking family experience or hiker bonding experience?

Jen Hiking along the Camino de Santiago in Spain and our group from the Inca Trail in Peru.

Dylan There are 2 of them: the Camino Family, and the Inca Family.

A favorite moment while hiking ?

Jen Arriving at Machu Picchu and seeing everything covered in clouds, and being severely disappointed - until the clouds cleared later that morning and the sun peeked out and highlighted everything I had dreamt about. I remember looking at Dylan and thinking “this is incredible” . 

Dylan When Jen was miserable in Spain along the Camino de Santiago -  it was raining and I put on the song “Lovely Day” in Spain and danced and made her laugh and I was happy.

Here's a quick video of that moment!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13OgxRZk6HY

What was your favorite trek?

Jen I loved the Inca Trail Trek in Peru .  It was the rainy season and we had sunny weather the entire time!

Dylan Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal - it was very beautiful, and we went through so many different climates.

What was your favorite day hike?

Jen I really liked the Hooker Valley Track in New Zealand where we got to see Aoraki/Mount Cook.  We also saw 3 enormous full rainbows that day!

Dylan Well, The Torres in Patagonia would have been, but it wasn’t because Lindsay hurt her leg and we had bad weather, so I’d have to say Blue Mountains day hike in Australia when I hiked by myself to Castle Rock.  

What was the best food you ate?

Jen Pad Thai from Pink House (100% GF Restaurant) in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Gromo Gelato in Italy .

Dylan Momos in Nepal, with the dipping sauce, but the lamb sandwiches we had in a tree in Patagonia were a second.

Where was the best food?

Jen Italy, Spain, Thailand, and Argentina !

Dylan Chiang Mai, Thailand, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, Madrid, Spain, Italy, Nepal, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Patagonia… ( literally everywhere )

Where was the best gluten-free food?

Jen Italy , Spain, and Chiang Mai, Thailand! In Italy, there were so many delicious gluten-free staples like pizza, pasta, gelato, and bread. Spain I knew had options because I had previously lived there during study abroad but coming back almost ten years later I got to have so much more! And Chiang Mai was just an absolute gem. 

Dylan In Asia, Jen had a lot of options, but I would say it was Asia because of their normal diet - not because of them advertising gluten-free or willing to go out of their way, if you told them it was a problem they would help but the overall diet is a lot of gluten-free food (rice, vegetables, curries, spices), provided you can find the right stuff.

Did you experience culture shock?

Jen Absolutely - in Nepal. I struggled with it a lot and wrote strategies to overcome it.

Dylan Yes, in Kathmandu, Nepal. It was just a lot of sensory overload.  I loved it there because it was so different. 

Did you get homesick, and if so, what for?

Jen Not really - I think I missed my pillow and bed a few times, though!

Dylan Nope. I didn’t get homesick. I got sick when I had to come home! So you could say yes, I did get homesick, I got sick when I had to come home!

What was the best part of backpacking as nomads?

Jen Everything was so simple and easy - granted, traveling can always be complicated, but our lifestyle was just so straightforward and full of freedom. 

Dylan No strings attached  - we could do anything we wanted whenever we wanted.  It was freeing.

What was the worst part of backpacking as nomads?

Jen Having to do laundry so often (or just wearing dirty clothes), and sleeping in hostels or community-like settings where people snore really loud!

Dylan There was nothing truly terrible, but it would be nice to sleep in nice beds more often than we did, but we learned to get used to it. It wasn’t even that bad. I didn’t realize I wasn’t sleeping in comfy beds until we got back here!

Would you do this trip again?

Jen In a heartbeat. I’d go even longer this time - or make this our permanent lifestyle to see where else we could explore and live. It was the best thing we’ve ever done. 

Dylan: Yeah. Right now. I could do it right now without any planning. I would not stress about it at all.  We spent so much time planning, months, effort, everything - if you told me to pack for a trip starting tomorrow, I could do it and I would do it. I’m there.

That last question really sums up how we feel about our round the world trip.  We’d happily go live as nomads once more - without question!

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Round The World Trip: Final Thoughts

Traveling the world is a privilege. I'm so grateful we had the opportunity to do this, to save, plan, and make our bucket list dream a reality.

“Travel is not a reward for working, it is education for living.”

Have you ever taken a round the world trip?

Tell me about it in the comments!

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tour du monde

How to travel around the world: our complete guide

Last Update: 08/04/2024 5 COMMENTS

Planning a round-the-world trip (or long-distance trip) is not necessarily a small task! It can even be scary at first! You certainly ask yourself tons of questions like:

  • Is it really a good decision?
  • How much does it cost to travel around the world?
  • Where to start between paperwork, vaccinations, insurance, and equipment?
  • What about my résumé ?
  • What to do with my apartment, my stuff, my furniture?
  • It all seems very complicated to me…
  • Aren’t there dangerous places in South America?

Does this sound familiar to you? We reassure you right away, we asked ourselves these questions before leaving for our trip around the world ! To tell you the truth, we were a little bit lost when this project emerged… But after spending a lot of time on travel blogs and forums, we managed to gather a maximum of information to stop making excuses and to start without any worries .

sunrise on Mont Bromo during our round-the-world trip

With the experience of this first long-distance trip (and the others that followed 😉), we can now share with you what we would have done differently, the mistakes not to make, the equipment that we think is essential, the useful tips, etc.

So, you want to start your round-the-world trip adventure? Follow the guide!

So we have created a complete ebook that details all the important steps to plan a round-the-world trip . This ebook is a project in which we put all our heart, it is now part of “ our babies “. We hope it will help you to take the plunge and organize your world tour to make the most of this wonderful experience!

our guide to plan your round-the-world trip

To consult the ebook, you have the choice between browsing the different pages created for each chapter (we give you the summary below) on the blog or downloading it directly in PDF format to read it quietly on your computer, smartphone, tablet, or even print it if you want!

Here is the summary of the festivities:

  • Leave everything and travel
  • The Itinerary
  • Round-the-world Tickets
  • Health and travel insurance
  • Travel gear
  • Checklist and schedule

Chapter 1: How to leave everything behind and travel

In this first chapter, we come back to all the reasons that push you to travel but also to the excuses that are still holding you back from quitting your job and leaving everything behind to travel around the world ! We will break down each excuse and give you solutions to solve these problems. We also discuss an important question: should you travel alone or with someone?

Chapter 2: How much does a trip around the world cost?

It’s all very well to travel, but how much does a round-the-world trip cost ? In this chapter, we detail all the expenses related to a long-distance trip. Daily budget, accommodation, insurance, vaccines, equipment, transportation, visas, bank fees, budget for the return trip… Everything is covered! So you will find all our tips to save without sacrificing everything. Yes, a round-the-world trip is within your reach!

traditional clothes in northern vietnam

Chapter 3: How to plan your round-the-world trip itinerary?

Now that you have the budget, you will have to plan the itinerary of your travel around the world … or not! There are two different ways of doing this… We give you all the advice and all the elements to take into account so that you can establish YOUR itinerary for this trip around the world.

Chapter 4: Travel round-the-world ticket

Here again, there are 2 choices: take your plane tickets as you go or buy a travel round-the-world ticket . In this chapter, we review the advantages and disadvantages of these special round-the-world tickets and we give you all the tips to buy your plane tickets cheaper!

Chapter 5: Travelers’ health

Health is an important point when you plan a journey around the world because you have to think about it beforehand with insurance and vaccines , but also during the trip with specific treatments (your usual medicine, anti-malaria medication) and the backpacking first aid kit , which is essential for the trip. In this section, you will find all our pieces of advice to be prepared for any eventuality during your round-the-world trip and leave serenely!

health issue for Fabienne during our round-the-world trip

Chapter 6: The gear backpacking checklist

What equipment should I take for a world tour? How much clothing should I take? If this is your first long-distance trip, you may be wondering how to carry everything you will need for 6 months, 1 year, or more. It’s like your home that you’ll be carrying on your back for all that time, so you might as well choose each item carefully. In this chapter, we open our backpacks and give you a backpacking checklist to help you prepare your gear!

Chapter 7: Risks of traveling

Even though it has many benefits, travel still has its share of risks , and knowing about them will help you avoid or overcome them. Whether it’s about diseases , security , or encountering all kinds of bugs or ailments (homesickness, motion sickness), we go over all the risks of traveling around the world!

Chapter 8: Planning your round-the-world trip and checklist

OK, you have all the cards in hand to plan your round-the-world trip, all you have to do is to establish a checklist before the big departure ! We have established a summary schedule for you, spreading out all the preparations over 1 year before D-day .

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I LOVE your site design! You have such a beautiful theme and color scheme. And the dropped anchor on the right side of the page is a nice touch! Keep up the great work and keep living your dream life!

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I am not sure if I’d like to travel around the world, but I’d like so much to spend some months travelling in Asia. Hope to do it soon!

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I’m almost seventy years old And still have that itching in my soul to go places and meet new people, did a lot of traveling in my life (40 countries on 4 continents)my advice to young people, is don’t let life pass you by, you only live once and after thirty, time goes by so fast and never returns

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6 Sensible (and Not-So-Sensible) Round-the-World Travel Itineraries

Recently I shared five planning tips for creating your ideal round-the-world travel itinerary. A reader suggested that a few sample itineraries might make useful reading, and the opportunity to play around with RTW routes for a better reason than purely my own amusement was too good to pass up.

Vagabondish is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Read our disclosure .

For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to start every route in New York. I don’t live there, but I bet more readers do than in my current hometown in Western Australia, and wherever you are, you’re more likely to be able to adapt a route going through the US to suit your own situation. I’m using my favorite RTW site TripPlanner for the price estimates.

So to start off, and following my own advice, let’s look at some routes that include what I would call “sensible” destinations.

A Varied Route: Not Just Beaches, But Not Too Much Cash

New York — Barcelona — Athens — Cairo — Dubai — Bangkok — Sydney — Auckland — San Francisco — New York

For just over $3,000, it’s possible to get a RTW ticket stopping at places as varied as Gaudi-haven Barcelona, historically soaked Cairo (I hadn’t thought of Athens, but it got thrown in by TripPlanner as a free stopover), the modern architectural marvel of Dubai, and a stop in Bangkok which you could turn into a beach sojourn in a quiet part of Thailand. Getting home again could see you explore parts of east coast Australia and New Zealand before soaking up the San Francisco Bay atmosphere.

If you’re looking for variety, think big. Nobody says you have to stop at the biggest or most well-known cities. Many standard routes would head to London or Frankfurt rather than Barcelona, but why not head straight to the cities that really interest you most?

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

A Not-Overdoing-It Route: Don’t Squeeze the Whole World In

New York — Moscow — Singapore — Tokyo — Honolulu — Vancouver — Seattle — New York

Too much variety can be too much of a good thing. This route’s cheapest variant comes out at around $2,500, and I picked it using a handful of cities that have really interested me of late. Singapore and Seattle were free extras thrown in by the system — places where these routes would make stopovers anyway — but Moscow, Tokyo, Honolulu and Vancouver make to me a fascinating and relaxing vacation which also doesn’t need to last more than a few weeks.

A Cheap Route: Cheap Fare, Cheap Living Costs

New York — Shanghai — Bangkok — Delhi — Amsterdam — New York

For just over $2,000, you can get around the world with a few stops in the cheaper parts of Asia and one of the slightly less expensive cities of Europe. If you spend most of your trip in China, Thailand and India, or other areas of south-east Asia where living and traveling expenses are relatively low, you’ll have enough cash to enjoy a European stopover like Amsterdam on your way home.

A Summer Route: Don’t Pack A Coat

New York — London — Vienna — Hong Kong — Bangkok — Singapore — Perth — Melbourne — Christchurch (NZ) — Auckland (NZ) — Los Angeles — New York

This gets trickier, and we’re talking about a longer trip, nine months or a year. Say we start in New York in April — that’s spring in the northern hemisphere. Head to Europe for the northern summer. As the seasons change, enjoy the eternal warmth of tropical Asia, then when the southern hemisphere summer begins in December, head to Australia and New Zealand for a few months. Summer all the way, and you’ll have really cut back on your clothes packing by avoiding cold weather. But for a relatively reasonable $3,500, you’ve really seen a lot of the world in your shorts and T-shirt.

Sunset Balloon Flight, Germany

A Quick Route: Around the World in Much Less Than 80 Days

New York — Paris — Dubai — Hong Kong — Los Angeles — New York

While this is not really my style of traveling, I still think that giving someone the chance to see some very different corners of the globe, even if it’s only for a short time, is better than staying at home. You get the romance of Europe typified in Paris, a stopover in Dubai and an easy Asian thrill in Hong Kong, starting from around $2,200. This is the kind of route you could fit into a two-week vacation. I’m not recommending it, but if you can’t get any more time off, then it’s a viable alternative.

An Eccentric Route: Writer’s Choice

New York — Miami — Lima — Mexico City — Los Angeles — Tahiti — Auckland — Sydney — Ho Chi Minh City — Singapore — Mumbai — Delhi — Moscow — Frankfurt — Madrid — Casablanca — London — New York

Like I said: go wild. This is the ultimate RTW route I’d take if money was no object (it comes in at around $5,000). I’ve still chosen it with relative care about which connections are sensible, so that I don’t spend half of a year away sitting at airports.

Lessons From Itinerary Planning

If you sit down to plan your own round the world itinerary, be prepared to spend a reasonable amount of time at it. Over the years, I’ve looked at so many different routes — and thank goodness that the marvels of the internet makes this easy to do without the help of travel agents, who would never be patient with all my questions and ideas — that I have a good idea of the various routes that exist the world over. As you practice, you’ll get the hang of it too, and soon work out that getting in and out of South America is tricky and usually expensive, whereas hopping around Asia is usually relatively cheap.

Of all the possible travel planning you can do, designing a round-the-world itinerary of flights is probably one of the most enjoyable. Open yourself up to the millions of possibilities that exist. Take your time to play and adjust your route to see what else you can squeeze out of it — a few dollars saved, or an exciting stopover added. Enjoy your RTW planning, and then make sure you tell us about it so we can share the excitement a bit too.

Love those suggestions! I spend many-a-bored moment at work working and reworking RTW itineraries on AirTreks.com. LOL. Good day dream tool, to be sure.

cool article. Because of the nature of RTW flights you can also fit in some really great destination that would otherwise cost a lot of money on single trips, like Svalbard and Easter Island.

Definitely agree with you there, Mark. And hopefully now and again we can turn some of those daydreams into reality. Which of course leads to a whole host of other places we want to visit and more dream itineraries and …

After visiting Southeast Asia, I would definitely recommend replacing Singapore with Bangkok for anyone looking for a cultural experience. Not to mention it is way cheaper. Also, you briefly mentioned that South America can be expensive. How much more should you plan on spending to get there? Technically you are going AROUND the world in those scenarios, but you’re skipping an entire continent. I’ve never been there, but it seems worth seeing. Was there any more motive behind skipping SA, or is it simply just the cost?

Hi Dave, That’s true, I only headed to South America in that very last itinerary (the “dream” one at around $5,000) and the only reason it didn’t feature in other itineraries is the cost. For me it’s more practical as a destination where you head there and back, rather than try to include it on a RTW, unless it’s a really long trip and time/money aren’t so much of an object. Don’t get me wrong, there are a million reasons to get to South America!

I have enjoyed reading your articles and postings about RTW travel. My wife and I, cafe owners on the east coast of the US are in our 40’s-50’s are are hoping to take a long (2-3 year) trip around the world which would take us to a large number of destinations. What we are trying to understand and figure out is this: if, for instance you wanted to go to Europe and see England, Ireland, Scotland and then Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Croatia, Greece and on to Turkey what do you do regarding flights? Do you fly from country to country and use trains/buses/cars to get around to places within the country? Do you fly into one place, rent a car or use trains, and travel to many spots before flying out of another country? How do you think of those issues? Do you establish a base or travel from place to place?

You best and cheapest travel method in Europe is over land, via train. I’d recommend flying into a major city and branching out from there…Ireland and England can be visited via boat. It’s really a matter of time vs money. Perhaps you have both?

I like the “eclectic” itenerary with a few exceptions/additions. Can you give me some advice regarding adding Tanzania/Serengeti, Bhutan, Turkey? How much time would you allow for the trip as a whole, or for your trip? What would be a reasonable expectation of total cost?

Great ideas! How does this route sound:

Boston – Rio de Janeiro – Marrakesh – Paris – London – Edinburgh – Amalfi Coast (or Cinque Terre) – Dubai – Varanasi – Hong Kong – Los Angeles – Boston

It comes in at around $4000, so I’d be saving up for a while. I’m planning on doing this sort of thing my whole life, where I save 15% of my salary each year for travel. So, is there anything on this list that I should save for later, rather than stay for 2-3 weeks (which I plan to do for the RTW)?

Changed: (Parentheses are for the number of days I’d spend there.) This one isn’t definite, yet.

Boston – Edinburgh(5) – London(3) – Paris(5) – Malta(10) – Marrakesh(7) – Dubai(10) – Hong Kong(10) – Los Angeles(5) – Rio de Janeiro(12) – Boston

This route comes in at $3796 to $5200 an it’ll take a little over 2 months to travel. It might be just me, but I don’t think there’s enough variety, since Marrakesh and Dubai are together; LA and Rio are together; and so are Edinburgh and London. Anything I should add/subtract? I travel for any purpose. It can be exciting and adventurous or relaxing.

I’m not really definite on Malta, because I wanna add some Italy, but Malta is the cheapest for travel and a lot of people say they prefer it to the Amalfi Coast and Capri. And then for Edinburgh, I’m not really into haunted castles, but it seems like a cool place other than that.

i don’t know about this – but i for one wanted to do – SA (5) – Brazil (4) – lima (6) – Rio (5) – and after that i get lost because i want to fit in Spain (5) – Greece (6) – Turkey (6) – Jordan (4) – Russia (8) – trans siberian train (5) – and then even worse is i want to do cambodia (5) and vietnam (5) about 65 days – you think its too far fetched or is it possible within these many days – i am also wondering how these RTW flights be possible.

About to retire at age 72, still workout every day, am planning on a one year vacation as follows: September -mid December: NYC-Panama City-Guayaquil- Galapagos-Lima-(Have already spent two years in South Pacific-Aus-NZ) South Africa (3 weeks including Safari)- Morrocco-Brussels. THEN RT Brussels-Florida for the winter and to see family. Mid- March back to Brussels- 2 months rail Europe- Turkey-Dubai-Mumbai-Chiang Mai-Myanmar- Seoul- Tokyo- Vancouver and home in July for rest of summer (Have already visited China 4 times and Indian Golden Triangle, Thailand, and Vietnam/Cambodia) Would appreciate thoughts from anyone who has bothered to read thru all this.

Peter, I noticed in reading your post that you wrote December, 2013, yet mentioned getting ready to travel September so my thoughts are that should be preparing to go in the next couple of months or so. Is that right.

Then you mention stopping in Florida for family. I was interested because I too am just sort of retiring (run a small sole agent travel business) and would like to keep my hand in travel through a web blog while moving around the world.

Will you be traveling alone and have you researched that or have you done much of solo traveling before. If you are expecting to stop by Florida sometime in the future, and will have started a RTW, I would love to chat with you more.

Possibly you could return and email to me at [email protected] and we could chat. Thanks, Saundra

Thanks for a comprehensive list of itineraries, my wife and I did a RTW trip 10 years ago with Russia and Egypt NYC Canada and so much more. We need do it again but with 2 little ladies from Perth WA! Need to include NZ, Disney land, LA? London, ooh maybe India and China? Better still we could pop over for a cuppa and discuss?

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How to Plan a Round the World Trip

Round the World Trip

Dreaming of exploring the world? A round the world trip is an amazing opportunity to see new places, meet new people, do fun things and change your outlook on life.

But with so many places you could go, where is best to include on your itinerary and what are some of the most popular activities to do?

View our ultimate guide to taking a round the world trip with ideas and recommendations for where to go, what to do and some important tips so you enjoy a really incredible experience.

Best Places to Visit on a Round the World Trip

Are you wondering where to go on a round the world trip? This is a really difficult decision and What countries you visit on a round the world adventure really depends on where you are departing from, your personal interests, budget and how much time you have available.

A popular route can include Europe, Africa, Thailand, Oceania, South America, North America, then returning to Europe (if you live in Europe).

Below we have put together a list of suggested things to do on a round the world trip with popular destinations. This might be able to give you ideas of where to include on the flight ticket.

Popular Round the World Flight Itinerary

This is a popular and affordable round the world itinerary with stops that allow you to explore more of the regions you visit:

London > Bangkok > Sydney > Los Angeles > London

This itinerary includes four stops and be aware the more flights you add the more expensive the price of the ticket is. Also remember if you choose a flexible ticket which allows changes to be made to the schedule this will usually increase the price.

Usually if you want add Africa or South America to your itinerary, this can put the price much higher, but if you dream of visiting these destinations just pay the higher price.

You can also mix your trip up with flights and also travelling overland. For example, if you want an epic adventure you could include a stop off in an amazing city like Rio de Janiero, then travel discovering the highlights of South America, and working your way overland all the way up through Central America and then have your next flight booked out of somewhere like Mexico City, Los Angeles or New York.

One slightly extended round the world flight ticket we recommend includes this itinerary:

London > Bangkok > Sydney > Auckland > Fiji > Hawaii > Los Angeles > London

Best Things to Do on a Round the World Trip

There are so many amazing places to go on a round the world trip, and below we have included some activities we recommend. We have probably missed some incredible countries and activities, but we think you won’t regret doing these things.

Island Hopping in Thailand Thailand is a beautiful country with so many adventures for travellers. There are so many beautiful islands in Thailand and spending a few weeks discovering the southern region of the country will stay with your forever. Popular islands to visit include Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, Koh Tao and Koh Phanan.

Volunteer with Elephants in Thailand Volunteering abroad is a really popular activity to do and there are thousands of opportunities around the world. But not many compare to help out at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand . These creatures are intelligent and special, and you will learn so much about them when volunteering in Thailand.

See Sunrise Angkor Wat in Cambodia Angkor Wat is a really special temple complex located close to the popular city of Siem Reap. Angor Wat has been a essential place to visit in south east Asia and was brought to the worlds attention in the Hollywood blockbuster film Tomb Raider. There are so many temples located here you can easily spend a day or longer see them all. Watching sunrise or sunset over Angor Wat is highly recommended.

Sail Ha Long Bay in Vietnam Vietnam is a really popular destination with a stunning coastline. There are so many highlights of Vietnam and Ha Long Bay is one of the most spectacular natural wonders in the world, and somewhere you need to see. Located in the north of the country close to the city of Hanoi, you can book cruises of Ha Long Bay to see huge limestone rocks formations jutting out from the ocean.

Relax in Bali Bali has long been a popular island with foreigners, both budget backpackers and luxury holidaymakers alike. Bali has everything, temples, beaches, bars, clubs, spas and more. There are so many amazing things to do in Bali , if you have never tried yoga, scuba diving or surfing, then this is a great place to try.

Travel the East Coast of Australia Is there a better travel destination in Oceania than the east coast of Australia? We struggle to name one. There are lots of places to visit in Australia, this country is huge and very spread out, but you have to stop off not the east coast. Sydney is a great city to fly into and then travel north up the coastline to Cairns. Highlights along the way include seeing the Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Island, Whitsunday Islands, Brisbane, Surfers Paradise and Byron Bay. Whether you travel by car, bus, camper van or overland tour, you will be sure to have the trip of your life.

Go in Search of Adventure in New Zealand New Zealand is a tiny country when you look on a map, but this is the adventure capital of the world with so many different options for thrill seekers. Popular options include skiing, snowboarding, bungee jumping, canyon swings, sky diving, white water rafting, mountain biking and more. There are options all over the country but Queenstown on the South Island is a our top rated places to go. This city is specatacular.

Beaches in Fiji Fiji is one of the most laid back countries in the world with some of the most welcoming and hospitable people you can meet on the planet. If you are planning to visit Australia or New Zealand, then a stop off in Fiji is almost essential thing to do. This country has so many beautiful islands and beaches, you will fall in love with the pace of life and never want to leave.

Safari in South Africa A safari really is a bucket list adventure and one of the most special experiences when you see exotic animals in their natural habitat, rather than on tv or YouTube. Although there are lots of amazing safari destinations in Africa, not many compare to South Africa. There are lots of incredible places in South Africa, and for wildlife the Kruger National Park is one of the most popular tourism attractions. Here you can see elephants, rhinos, tigers, lions and giraffes – and lots of animals!

Explore Rio de Janeiro If South America is calling your name then you have to put Brazil on your itinerary. This country is huge, and is home to Rio de Janeiro which is one of the most spectacular cities in the world. Rio is everything you might of thought about and more, beaches, beautiful people, football, sun, parties and more.

Climb Machu Picchu in Peru Machu Picchu is undoubtedly one of the highlights of South America, an alluring and iconic travel destination which really needs to be visited once in your life. There are lots of tours to Machu Picchu, you can choose to travel by train, or do a hiking trip which takes in some stunning locations on route.

Celeb Spotting in Los Angeles The USA is one of the most popular gap year destinations , and a great stop off for any round the world itinerary. Los Angeles is one of the most connected cities in the world and this is usually a perfect stop off if you are coming from South America or Oceania. California has so many highlights from Venice beach, San Francisco to trying to see your favourite celebrities in Hollywood. From LA you could explore other amazing places in the United States like the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas or go on an epic road trip of Route 66.

Round the World Trip Advice

Here are some top tips if you are thinking about taking a round the world trip.

• If you are in full time work and are considering a career break to see the world, get a clear idea of dates as far ahead as possible so you can work out when to depart and how long you can be away for. • Try to put together a rough itinerary with a list of places you really want to visit. This can really help to shape an itinerary. • If you are worried about travelling solo, consider going for an organised tour. There are lots of tour companies offering trips for 18 – 35 year olds and older travellers to destinations all over the world. Some last a few days, whilst others you can join for months. • Be flexible, something having a flexible schedule allows you to travel without rushing and then spending time at places you like for longer • Try to save as much money as possible before departing, the more money you have the longer your trip can last. You will also be able to afford a much better quality of accommodation and transport comfort. • If you don’t have much money saved, you could consider different options like working abroad. There are lots of short term jobs and working holidays available all around the world, some of which include accommodation which can help keep costs down. • If you are going to be visiting places where English isn’t the first language, then be sure to download a language learning app or take classes to pick up at least the very basic of the destination language. This is not only polite, it will really help make travelling abroad easier.

Hopefully our suggestions have given you some ideas and inspiration for where to go and what to do. If you are lucky enough to have the time, money and flexibility to do a round the world trip, go for it. You won’t regret it.

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Where The Road Forks

How to Plan a Trip Around the World in 7 Steps

By: Author Zachary Friedman

Posted on Last updated: February 10, 2024

Categories Travel Budgeting , Travel Tips

Home » Travel » Travel Tips » How to Plan a Trip Around the World in 7 Steps

Planning a round the world trip is overwhelming. Hours of research and thought go into making a trip like this a reality. You must consider your route, visas, your budget, accommodation, transportation, activities, and much more. This guide will give you an outline to follow to help you plan a trip around the world. It also includes useful tips and advice to make your journey a little smoother, safer, and more affordable.

Over the past 12 years of traveling, I have made 2 trips around the world and have visited over 60 countries. On my first round-the-world trip, I traveled for 6 months through 15 countries on 4 continents. On my second trip, I visited 12 countries on 3 continents over the course of 5 months. In this guide, I’ll share my experience in planning round-the-world trips. Currently, I’m in the middle of my 3rd round the world trip.

Different destinations on a round the world trip

Key Takeaways: How to Plan a Trip Around the World

-Step 1: Decide where you want to go. Try to choose 3-4 continents to visit and choose 2-3 destinations on each. -Step 2: Plan a route. Try to find the most efficient and cost effective route between your destinations. -Step 3: Plan a budget. Calculate the costs of airfare, accommodation, food, drinks, sightseeing, entertainment, travel gear, etc. Determine how much money you have to save. -Step 4: Do your research. Research visas, entry requirements, travel documents, transportation, accommodation, security, things to do, points of interest, etc. -Step 5: Determine how long you’re going to travel and which direction you’re going to travel in. -Step 6: Re-evaluate your plans. Try to streamline your itinerary. Eliminate or re-arrange sections to avoid having to backtrack. -Step 7: Book your round-the-world trip. Book your flights and accommodation for the first leg of your trip.

Table of Contents

  • Route Planning- Where do you want to go?
  • Budgeting- How Much does a Round the World Trip Cost?
  • Visas and Entry Requirements- What documents do you need?
  • Transportation- Info on booking your flights as well as ground transportation
  • Accommodation- Where will you sleep?
  • Money- Banking and finances
  • Packing and Travel Gear- Preparing for departure
  • Sample round-the-world trip itineraries- A few ideas to help get you started

Step 1: Decide Where You Want to Go and Plan a Route

Choosing your route is the most exciting and important part of planning a round the world trip. You need to know where you’re going in order to calculate costs and plan activities, accommodation, and transportation. At this point, let your imagination run wild.

I recommend you start by researching the various regions of the world that interest you and make a list of potential destinations. While making your list, you may want to consider:

  • Cities- Are there any major world cities that you’ve always wanted to see? Maybe you’ve always dreamed of visiting London, New York, or Tokyo. Add it to your round-the-world itinerary.
  • Countries- Maybe there’s a particular country that you’ve always dreamed of visiting. While planning my round the world trip, I knew I had to include India and Thailand in my round the world itinerary.
  • Major tourist sights – Which world wonders do you want to visit? For example, maybe you’ve always dreamed of visiting the Great Pyramids of Giza, Angkor Wat, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, or Macchu Picchu. One of my bucket list activities was going on an African safari. I ended up visiting the Serengeti and Maasai Mara parks.
  • Foods- Consider your favorite cuisines. Maybe you really like Italian or Thai food and want to taste authentic flavors.
  • Activities- What types of activities do you like to do? Do you enjoy hiking, diving, surfing, laying on the beach, dancing, extreme sports, or visiting museums ?
  • People- Do you have family or friends in another country? Your around-the-world trip is an excellent opportunity for you to stop in for a visit.
  • Culture- Maybe you’ve always wanted to experience a particular culture. For example, maybe you’re fascinated by Japanese culture and you want to learn more about it.
  • Parties, festivals, and concerts- Another valid reason to choose a destination. Maybe you’ve always wanted to attend a particular music festival, for example. Maybe you’ve always wanted to visit Rio de Janeiro for Carnival or Munich for Octoberfest.

If you need some inspiration, you can check out my destinations page. Also, read some travel guides, blogs, or books, or watch some travel vlogs.

Iguazu Falls, Brazil side

How to Make a Rough Around the World Itinerary

After making your list of potential destinations, it’s time to put together a rough round-the-world itinerary. This itinerary will probably change multiple times throughout the planning and research process. This is just a rough draft so you have something to start with for budgeting purposes. You can always add or remove destinations as you plan your round the world trip. You can even change plans mid trip. Nothing is set in stone.

To make a round the world itinerary:

  • Prioritize your list- Chances are, you can’t hit every destination in one trip. Move the ‘can not miss’ destinations to the top of your list and place the lower-priority destinations toward the bottom. I recommend you select 3-5 dream destinations that you can not miss. These will be the base of your round the world trip.
  • Look at the location of each ‘can not miss’ destination on the map- This gives you a rough overview of your general route. You’ll travel from one destination to the next either east to west or west to east until you return home. If one destination is too remote or out of the way, consider saving it for a future trip.
  • Find the closest ‘can not miss’ destination either to the east or west of your starting point- That will be the first region that you visit on your around-the-world trip.
  • Look for nearby countries and cities to visit in the same region- You will visit these destination on this leg of your journey. If you’re unsure, research nearby cities and countries. You want to visit all of your desired destinations on each continent or region before moving on. If you don’t have any other destinations to visit in that region, you can move on to the next region.
  • Find the next closest ‘can not miss’ destination in the same direction of travel- It’s time to move on to the next another continent or region. This is the second leg of your journey. Research the region and look for activities, events, and points of interest in nearby cities and bordering countries.
  • Continue plotting a general route around the world- As you go, research each destination to find potential activities and other nearby destinations. The number of stops that you make depends on your budget and the amount of time that you can travel.

By now, you should have a rough around-the-world trip itinerary. If you’re having trouble, look at a map. I found it really helpful to study the world map while planning my trip. Looking at the map made it much easier for me to plot out my travel path.

Consider the Timing of Your Round the World Trip

Some destinations are seasonal. When planning your around the world trip, you’ll need to consider the season you’ll visit each destination. You may need to be in a specific place for a specific date. This can determine the direction you travel or the order you visit each region.

For example, you may not want to visit Europe during the winter because most of the continent is cold and snowy. You might travel to Asia for the winter, then head to Europe in the spring when the weather warms up.

if you’re planning a particular activity, you may need to visit during a particular season. For example, if you’re planning on going skiing in Colorado, you’ll have to visit during the winter.

Also, keep in mind that the seasons are flipped in the southern hemisphere. If you’re visiting the southern cone of South America, Australia, or southern Africa, summer runs from December-February. These are the warmest months. If you’re visiting the global south, you may need to take this into consideration.

If you’re planning on traveling for a particular holiday, festival, or event, you’ll have to time your visit. For example, maybe you want to visit Oktoberfest in Germany. You’ll have to plan your trip so you’re in Germany in October.

Traveling East Vs West on a Round the World Trip

When planning your around the world itinerary, it’s important to decide whether you want to travel East or West and stick with this decision. You want to minimize backtracking. Many round-the-world tickets don’t allow you to backtrack. Backtracking also increases costs and travel time. It’s inefficient.

If you have the option, traveling west is better. Traveling west produces less jet lag because it disrupts your circadian rhythm less. This is because your days will be longer when you travel west. This makes it easier to sleep at night. If you travel east, you’ll deal with more jet lag.

It’s also important to consider the dates. When you cross the international date line, you will gain or lose a day. Consider this when making bookings.

Scheduling Your Round the World Trip

You’ll have to calculate how much time you need to see every country you plan to visit. Spend some time researching each attraction and how much time it takes to see. Don’t forget to consider transport time.

Exactly how many countries you can visit on your round-the-world trip depends on which countries you’re visiting. In some countries, you can see all of the main tourist sites in a week. In some countries, you might need a month or more to see everything you want to see.

When planning your around the world trip, it’s important to remember that you can’t see everything. Pick and choose the sites that you want to see. Save the rest for a future rtw trip. You can always find something to do if you have some extra time. If you want to visit a country to see one world wonder, you can.

Also, try not to pack your around the world itinerary too full. You will burn out if you’re running from one site to the next every day of your rtw trip. You need some rest days. Another problem with packing your schedule too full is that you can easily fall behind if you hit a setback such as a canceled flight or missed connection. Many new world travelers on their first trip try to visit too many countries and see everything.

Plan Overland Routes

Most around-the-world travelers fly into a region and then take overland transport between destinations. Traveling overland is cheaper and more adventurous than flying everywhere. You’ll also get to see more when you travel overland.

For example, maybe your first ‘can not miss’ destination is London. You might fly into London, then take a train to Amsterdam and Paris before moving on to the next destination. Maybe your next ‘can not miss’ destination is Los Angeles. From there, you might rent a car and drive to the Grand Canyon.

At the Taj Mahal on my first round the world trip

Step 2: Create a Budget

Before you start calculating how much your rtw trip will actually cost, you need to know how much money you have to work with. Most travelers don’t have an unlimited budget for world travel. Look at your finances and calculate how much money you are able to spend. Consider your occupation, your age, your savings, and your income.

The average round-the-world trip costs somewhere between $1500-$2500 per month or $18,000-$30,000 per year. This budget includes all costs including airfare, accommodation, food, ground transport, activities, and entertainment. Basically, all costs associated with an rtw trip.

A good budget for a one-year round-the-world trip for one person is $25,000. That gives you $2083 per month or about $68 per day. That is manageable if you budget correctly.

You will have to watch your spending to stick to this budget. You’ll have to limit your time in expensive countries, shop for affordable airfare, stay in hostels, and cook some of your own food. You will have some room to splurge on some more expensive activities.

Of course, your budget can be significantly lower or higher than this depending on the style of travel that you prefer and the level of comfort that you require.

If you’re a frugal traveler, you may be able to travel for a year for $15,000-$20,000. If you’re on a shoestring budget, you can take a round the world trip for as little as $500-$1000 per month or $6,000-$12,000 per year. In this case, you’ll be camping for accommodation, hitchhiking or bicycle touring for transportation, and cooking all of your own meals.

If you prefer to stay in hotels every night and eat in restaurants every day, you might have to budget $35,000-$40,000 for a year of travel. If you prefer to travel in luxury, the sky is the limit. A round-the-world trip could easily exceed $100,000 for a year of travel. In this case, you would be staying in luxury hotels and resorts, traveling in business or first class, and eating in restaurants for every meal.

In the following sections, I’ll give a brief outline of each of the major costs associated with a round-the-world trip. This will help you form a rough idea of your total budget. We’ll cover flights, accommodation, food, transportation, and entertainment.

Flights for an Around the World Trip

Most round-the-world travelers fly between continents. This cost of flights depends on the number of flights you plan to take, the countries and cities you plan to fly into, when you plan to fly, and how far in advance you book your rtw ticket.

To purchase round-the-world flights, you have two options . You can book your flights individually or you can buy a rtw ticket. There are benefits and drawbacks to both options.

Booking your flights individually is usually cheaper because you can take advantage of budget airlines. In Europe, you have Ryanair and Easy Jet. In Asia, you have AirAsia, IndiGo, JetStar, and more. On these budget airlines, you can find flights to nearby countries for less than $100. Booking flights as you go allows you to be more spontaneous. You can change your plans as you go. It is slightly less convenient to book your flights individually because you must do all of your own planning and booking.

A number of companies offer round-the-world airplane tickets. Buying a rtw ticket is slightly more expensive because these tickets offer more flexibility. You can generally change the date of departure without an extra charge on round-the-world tickets. You can also change the airports but there will be an extra charge. This makes it a bit harder to change your plans as you go.

If you’re traveling for a year or more or if you’re booking a very simple around the world itinerary, buying flights as you go is probably the best choice. I always book my own airfare because I appreciate the spontaneity. I can also save money by taking advantage of budget airlines.

Sometimes buying a rtw ticket can be more convenient. Particularly for round the world trips that are shorter than one year or trips with many stops. Some travelers find that having all of their flights booked brings peace of mind.

Most travelers who book flights individually spend $2000-$3000 on airfare for a simple round-the-world trip stopping on 2-3 continents. This includes 3-4 international flights. If you want to fly more frequently or visit more remote destinations, like Africa or South America, you might spend $5000 or more on airfare.

Travelers who book a rtw ticket typically spend $2500-$5000 on airfare. This includes 3-4 stops on 3-4 continents. You can spend up to $15,000 or more on a rtw ticket if you want to make lots of stops, fly into smaller airports, or fly first class.

To save money on airfare, try to fly into and out of major cities in each region you visit. Flights are cheaper if you fly into major hub cities. For example, if you’re flying to Europe, fly into London, Paris, Amsterdam, or Frankfurt. If you’re flying to Southeast Asia, fly into Bangkok, Singapore, or Kuala Lumpur. Every region has large hubs. Once you’re in a large hub, you can easily catch a budget flight, train, or bus to your next destination. This can save you a good amount of money on flights.

Accommodation

Accommodation is probably the biggest expense of your rtw trip. If you plan to stay in budget accommodation like hostels, guesthouses, and campgrounds, you can expect to spend $20-$30 per night in expensive countries and $10-$15 per night in cheap countries.

If you prefer to stay in private accommodation like hotels or Airbnb, you can expect to spend $20-$40 per night in inexpensive countries and $60-$150 per night in expensive countries.

To more accurately estimate your accommodation budget, I recommend you go to your favorite booking site like Booking.com or Hostelworld.com or Airbnb.com and price out accommodation at your destination.

An Airbnb in Bali

Take note of the prices and consider the number of nights you plan to stay at each destination. Multiply the price by the number of nights and add them all up. This will give you a pretty good idea of what you’ll be spending on accommodation.

Try to book your accommodation at least a couple of weeks in advance. If you’re traveling to a particular destination during the busy season or during a holiday or festival, you might need to book a couple of weeks in advance to ensure that you get a decent room at a reasonable price.

Food is a nother major expense. Your food budget depends on how often you plan to eat out, the types of food you like to eat, and the destinations you’re visiting.

If you plan to cook most of your own meals, eat street food, and eat in restaurants occasionally, and you can get away with budgeting $10-$15 per day for food. You can get by on this budget pretty much anywhere.

If you plan to eat out at restaurants for most meals, you can plan to spend $25-$40 per day in inexpensive countries and $40-$60 per day in expensive countries. If you cook almost all of your own meals, it is possible to eat for $5 per day.

Sushi

I have found $10 per day to be a pretty comfortable food budget. This assumes that I prepare most of my own meals with the occasional restaurant meal.

Another major expense to consider is alcohol. To get an idea of how much you’ll spend on alcohol, look at some restaurant menus in the locations you plan to visit to see how much drinks cost. Consider how much you drink, how often you drink, and what you drink when calculating your alcohol budget.

Drink prices vary greatly around the world. In some countries, you can buy a drink for $3. In other countries, a drink costs $15. If you like to drink, you could spend as much on alcohol as you spend on food.

Drinking too much is one of the easiest ways to go over budget. If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll need to be careful with drinking and partying. The easiest way to save money or extend your trip is to limit your drinking.

Activities, Entertainment, Tours, and Admission Tickets

You need to budget for all of the activities you plan to do and the sights you plan to see during your trip. This includes admission tickets, entrance fees, tours, permits, guides, tips, equipment rentals, entertainment costs, etc. This cost depends on where you travel, what types of activities you enjoy, and your personal preference.

To calculate your activities budget, it’s best to price out each activity individually. If you plan to safari in the Serengeti, go online and price out the tour you plan to take. If you plan on diving the Great Barrier Reef, go online and see how much tours cost. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of transport, entry tickets, parking, a guide, tips, etc.

You don’t need to calculate the price of everything you plan to do. Just research the price of big-ticket ‘cannot miss’ items and add the prices up. You can pay for smaller activities such as museum entry or snorkel rental out of your daily spending money. It’s important to budget for big-ticket items to make sure you leave room in your budget.

Ground Transportation

A bus station in Thailand

Most travelers only take flights for the long-distance or overseas sections of their around the world trip itinerary. You can cut costs significantly by taking the bus or train between cities within one region.

The best way to calculate this cost is to research each journey that you plan to take and add them up. Generally, a full-day bus ride or train between two major cities costs $30-$100 depending on the region and distance. In the developing world, expect to spend $3-$3 per hour of travel. In the developed world expect to spend around $5-$10 per hour of travel.

A great resource for finding bus and train routes and prices is Rome2rio.com. This site makes it easy to research transportation options and estimate ticket costs. Another great booking site for finding bus ticket prices is Busbud. For train routes and ticket prices,  Seat61.com  is a great resource.

You must also consider the cost of local travel around the cities you’re visiting. Depending on the city, you may have a choice between taking a taxi, Uber, public bus, metro, tuk-tuk, rickshaw, motorcycle taxi or cycling or walking.

This cost is difficult to estimate. Generally, a one-way public transit ticket or rickshaw ride costs $2-$5. In cheaper countries, a taxi or Uber ride across the city costs $5-$10. Consider the sights that you plan to visit in each city to determine how many intercity rides you’ll have to take.

For more help budgeting help, check out my guide: How to Create an Accurate Budget for Long-Term Travel.

This is one budget item that many travelers forget to consider. Visa costs vary depending on the country that you’re visiting and your nationality. They can really add up in some regions.

To calculate visa costs, simply look up the visa requirements for each country that you plan to visit and add up the visa prices for your nationality.

Visa costs vary widely. Many are free. If there is a charge, the average visa costs around $20-$50. There are a handful of countries that charge upwards of $150-$300 for a tourist visa.

For most round-the-world trips, your visa costs will be minimal. In some instances, the costs can be substantial. For example, while traveling through East and Southern Africa, I spent over $600 on visas over the course of 5 months.

Travel Insurance

For a round-the-world trip, buying travel insurance is a good idea. In most countries, travel insurance is optional but highly recommended. Travel insurance will be one of your major expenses so it’s important to budget for it.

Travel insurance can cost anywhere from $25-$200+ per month. The cost of travel insurance depends on the kind of coverage you buy, the amount of coverage, the deductible, and your age.

The more coverage you get, the more the policy will cost. Most round-the-world travelers should buy a minimum of $100,000 in coverage. If you’re traveling to the United States, you should have at least $250,000 of coverage.

Travel insurance can cover you in the event of an injury or unexpected illness. Some travel insurance covers. Some policies can cover theft, damage, or loss of your belongings and trip interruptions. 

If you’re on a budget, you can opt for medical-only travel insurance. Travel insurance that covers your luggage and trip interruptions is significantly more expensive.

I use  SafetyWing Nomad Insurance.  They offer affordable insurance for long-term travel.

Travel Vaccinations

For many destinations, you’ll need a couple of travel vaccinations to protect yourself from various diseases that aren’t common in your home country. You may need a vaccination for Yellow Fever, typhoid, and hepatitis B. You may also need malaria prophylaxis if you’re traveling to a malaria zone.

This cost depends on which vaccines you need and where you live. To calculate this cost, find a local clinic that offers travel vaccines and malaria consultations. They probably have a price list online.

Add up the cost of all of the vaccines and prescriptions that you’ll need to buy. For most round-the-world trips, expect to spend $100-$400 on travel vaccines and malaria tablets.

Factors that Determine your Total Round-the-World Trip Budget

  • How long you plan to travel- Every day, you must at least pay for food and accommodation. If you can cut a month off of your rtw trip by traveling faster, you might be able to save $1000-$2000.
  • The number of destinations you plan to visit- The more stops you plan, the more your rtw trip will cost due to the additional cost of transportation. Airfare is one of the most expensive parts of the trip. Train and bus tickets also add up.
  • Where you travel- Some regions are more expensive than others. If you plan to visit expensive places like Western Europe, Australia, Japan, the U.S., etc., you’ll spend a lot more than you will if you visit cheaper regions like Southeast Asia, Central America, and Eastern Europe.
  • When you travel- Many destinations are seasonal. Prices are higher during the busy season. You can save money by traveling off-season or during the shoulder seasons.
  • The transportation that you choose- Do you plan to fly everywhere or are you comfortable taking buses? Will you take taxis around the city or walk?
  • The type of accommodation that you choose- Do you plan to stay in budget accommodation like hostels, guesthouses, and campgrounds, or do you plan to stay in hotels, Airbnbs, and resorts?
  • The foods that you eat- Will you cook for yourself and eat street food or do you plan to go to a restaurant for each meal?
  • The activities that you plan- You’ll spend more if you plan to ski, dive, take tours, etc. If you want to save money, there are plenty of free things to do while traveling.

On safari during my second round the world trip

How Long are you Traveling?

After determining how much you have to spend and learning about the costs associated with a round-the-world trip, you must consider the duration of your trip. How long do you want to travel?

Your trip’s duration affects your costs. The longer you travel, the more money you will spend . The duration also determines your around the world itinerary. The longer you travel, the more destinations you can visit.

When deciding how long you want to travel, consider your future obligations. Do you need to return home by a specific date for work or school? Also, consider your ability to find employment. Remember, a long gap in your resume can be problematic in some industries.

Most likely you only have a limited amount of time to travel. In my experience, 3-6 months is the ideal amount of time for a round-the-world trip. Anything less will feel rushed. Longer trips get exhausting. You will start to slow down after you’ve been on the road for 6 months.

Trips lasting 1-2 years are great but you will notice diminishing returns. After 6 months of travel, you may begin taking things for granted and get sick of sightseeing.

Big Ben

Updating your Round the World Itinerary to Fit Your Budget and Trip Duration

At this point, you may have found that your initial round the world itinerary is too expensive. Take some time to re-evaluate your plan. A few ways you can cut costs include:

  • Substitute expensive countries for cheaper countries- For example, instead of going to Japan or Korea, go to Thailand or the Philippines. Your money will go much further.
  • Eliminate expensive activities- Skip the SCUBA lessons and just go snorkeling. Instead of hiking the Inca Trail, just go for a free hike.
  • Reduce the number of flights by traveling some sections overland- Take a bus or train across a country instead of flying.
  • Reduce the total trip time- Cut a month off of your rtw trip. That will save you $1000-$3000.

For help reducing your budget further, check out my guide to ultra-low budget travel.

Step 3: Consider Visas, Travel Documents, and Entry Requirements For the Countries You Plan to Visit

The next step in the planning process is to research the entry requirements for each country that you plan to visit. Continue refining your round the world trip itinerary through this process. Items you need to research include:

Visa Availability

Look up the visa requirements for each country that you plan to visit during your round-the-world trip. Remember to look at the requirements for your specific nationality. Also, consider any countries that you are transiting through. Occasionally, a transit visa is required.

If you need a visa, find out if you can get the visa on arrival or if you must you obtain the visa in advance. If the visa is available on arrival, make sure that it is available at the port of entry that you plan to use. Some countries only issue visas on arrival at international airports and not at land borders. Some smaller land borders don’t have the capability to issue visas.

If you find that you must obtain a visa in advance, find out if you can get it online or if you need to get it from an embassy or consulate. These days, many countries offer e-visas. You apply for the visa and pay online then print your approval letter. When you reach the point of entry, you receive the visa in your passport.

If you have to apply at the embassy, find out if you can apply in a neighboring country or if you must apply in your home country. Some countries only issue visas to foreigners from the embassy in their home country. If you can get the visa in a neighboring country, I recommend you wait and do it there. It’s often easier and cheaper to go to the embassy in person to apply for the visa.

If you must obtain a visa in your home country before your rtw trip, consider the logistics and costs. Find out how long the visa takes to get and how long it is valid. Find out if you can apply by mail or if you must visit the embassy in person. Consider the cost of the application including postage or travel. Having to travel to an embassy to apply for a visa can be expensive.

While researching visas, take note of the amount of time the visa takes to obtain. Sometimes you may have to wait up to a month for an embassy to process the visa. You also have to account for shipping time if you must mail your passport to an embassy for a visa.

You may also need to shift your round the world itinerary based on the visa’s validity. Some visas are only valid for 3 months beginning on the date of issue. Some expire after 3 months if they are not used. You need to use the visa before it expires. You may need to adjust your round the world trip itinerary.

If you find that a visa is too expensive or complicated to obtain, consider cutting that country from your round the world itinerary. Personally, if a country’s visa process is too complicated, I skip it.

Proof of Onward Travel

Some countries require that you have a confirmed ticket out of the country to prove that you have plans to leave the country. This ticket can be back to your home country or to a third country. It can be a flight, bus, or train ticket. Oftentimes, the airline checks for proof of onward travel before they allow you to board your flight. Sometimes immigration checks this before allowing you to enter the country.

Proof of onward travel is often a problem for those traveling long-term or those planning to exit a country overland. Sometimes, it’s impossible to buy bus tickets in advance. Sometimes you don’t have a confirmed booking when you enter a country.

Luckily, there are several solutions to this problem. Some are free and some have a minimal cost. To learn more, check out my guide How to Provide Proof of Onward Travel

Vaccine Requirements for World Travel

A handful of countries require that you have a Yellow Fever vaccine in order to enter. This is a common entry requirement in most countries in Africa and a few countries in South America. All you need is proof that you have been vaccinated in the form of a Yellow Fever vaccine certificate.

If you have been traveling in an area where Yellow fever is a risk, you may be required to show your vaccine certificate in order to enter another country. For example, when I flew from Nairobi to Bangkok, I had to show my Yellow Fever vaccine certificate in order to enter Thailand.

Financial Requirements

A few countries require you to show proof that you have enough money to sustain yourself for the duration of your stay in that country. They do this to make sure that you don’t plan to stay and work illegally.

A bank statement works fine for this. Sometimes, a credit card is sufficient. Countries that have this requirement usually expect you to have at least $5000 in your account. This is a common requirement for those who plan to travel on a working holiday visa in Australia or New Zealand, for example.

A Note on Border Crossings

Be sure to research the entry requirements of the exact border crossing that you plan to use. There are a few instances of borders between two countries being closed due to a conflict between those two countries. For example, you can’t cross between Armenia and Azerbaijan. You must transit through Georgia if you plan to visit those two countries.

Occasionally, borders are only open for locals. Sometimes visas on arrival aren’t available at smaller border crossings. Some border crossings are notorious for bribes or scams and should be avoided if possible. Some are simply hectic. Research each border that you plan to cross to make sure that it is open and crossable without too much hassle.

Updating your Around the World Itinerary

After researching entry requirements, you may have found that some visas are overly complicated or just not possible logistically with your round the world trip itinerary. At this point, revisit your itinerary and re-evaluate your plans.

Consider changing the order of the countries that you plan to visit. You could also substitute countries with other nearby countries with visas that are easier to obtain.

While planning my round-the-world trip, I really wanted to visit Russia. I found that the visa was too expensive and time-consuming to get. After researching, I decided to visit St. Petersburg by ferry because a visa wasn’t required. I then visited the Baltic countries instead of traveling around Russia. This was a nice compromise.

Step 4: Plan Transportation: Round the World Tickets and Ground Transportation

You should have a pretty good idea of your round the world trip itinerary by this time. Now it’s time to begin researching flights. When it comes to arranging your flights, you have two options. You can buy a round-the-world ticket or you can buy your flights separately. In this section, I’ll outline each option and list the pros and cons of each to help you decide which works best for your itinerary.

Round-the-World Tickets

In this case, you book all of your flights before you leave home. A round the world ticket is essentially a flight pass with one of the major airline alliances. The three alliances include One World , Star Alliance , and SkyTeam . Another company called Air Treks offers round-the-world tickets on a wide range of airlines.

Each ticketing company has slightly different terms and conditions. If you choose the rtw ticket route, you can only fly airlines in the alliance that you choose.

Generally, tickets are sold in terms of miles or segments. If you’re buying a rtw ticket based on miles, you can choose from 26,000, 29,000, or 39,000 miles for economy tickets. Each rtw ticket has a maximum number of stopovers that you can make.

If you buy a rtw ticket based on segments, 1 flight=1 segment. If your flight includes a stopover, that counts as 2 segments. In this case, miles aren’t counted. You can maximize the utility of your rtw ticket by using each segment for the longest possible flight.

Pros of Round-the-World Tickets

  • Saves time- You don’t have to spend time shopping around for each flight during your journey. You can easily book everything with one company.
  • Can be cheaper- If you choose the right rtw ticket for your trip and you’re smart with your booking, you can save around 25% by buying a round-the-world ticket. This is particularly true if you visit a lot of obscure or less popular destinations.
  • More convenient- You book all of your flights before you leave home. It’s one less thing to worry about while you’re on the road.
  • You can make changes without a charge- Generally, you can change the date of travel for free on round the world tickets. If you want to fly out of a different airport or change your destination, you’ll be charged a fee of around $150 or so.
  • You earn points- You can rack up a decent amount of points and gain some nice perks by making so many flights with the same airlines.
  • You always have proof of onward travel- If you’re asked for proof of onward travel when checking in for a flight or passing through immigration, you always have a valid ticket to show.

Cons of Round-the-World Tickets

  • Can be more expensive- If you buy the wrong rtw ticket or you use flight segments for shorter trips, you can end up spending more than if you had just bought your tickets separately. This is particularly true if you fly between major hubs where flights are inexpensive.
  • You can only fly certain airlines- When you buy a round the world flight ticket, you’re committing yourself to only flying the airlines in the alliance that you choose to buy your rtw ticket from. Of course, you can buy additional tickets on other airlines but this adds to the cost.
  • You can’t fly budget airlines- None of the major budget airlines belong to any of the alliances. When buying a round-the-world ticket, you can’t take advantage of low fares on Ryanair, Air Asia, Southwest, or Tiger, for example.
  • Less flexibility- You need to have a solid round the world trip itinerary before you can book your tickets. You won’t know which rtw ticket to buy if you don’t have an itinerary planned out. This means you can’t be as spontaneous.
  • You must start and end your RTW trip in the same country- Most round the world flights have this rule. You can usually start and end in a different city, but it they must be in the same country. For this reason, you can’t really buy a round the world ticket if you’re already traveling.
  • Not ideal for those traveling longer than a year- Most round the world tickets have a maximum validity of one year.
  • You can only make a limited number of stops in each country- The maximum is usually 3.
  • You can’t backtrack in some cases- The rules usually state that you can only backtrack on continents. Backtracking over an ocean usually isn’t permitted.  Sometimes you can’t backtrack at all. Sometimes there are penalties.

Remember, the exact rules depend on the round-the-world ticket that you choose. Some of the above points may not apply. You’ll need to do a bit of research in order to choose the ideal rtw for your particular itinerary.

Buying One-Way Flights Separately

In this case, you simply book each flight of your journey by yourself. You can book as you go or book them all before you leave. You can fly any airline that you wish.

Pros of Booking Flights Separately

  • You can fly any airline- You don’t have to stick to the members of one alliance. This gives you more flight options.
  • You can fly with budget airlines- This can save you a good amount of money. Most budget airlines don’t belong to an alliance.
  • Usually cheaper- Most travelers save money by booking their own tickets. The reason is that you can wait for discounts and deals. Taking advantage of budget airlines also helps cut costs.
  • You don’t need a set plan- If you’re the kind of traveler who likes to keep their plans open, you’re better off booking as you go. You can be as spontaneous as you want.
  • More freedom- You can fly wherever you want, whenever you want. There are no restrictions in terms of the number of stops, the amount of time you travel, backtracking, where you start or end your rtw trip, etc.

Cons of Booking Flights Separately

  • More time-consuming- You must shop around for each flight that you want to book. I’ve spent hours trying to find the right flight.
  • Can be more expensive- If you’re traveling to unpopular or obscure destinations, flights can be expensive. In this case, you may end up spending more if you book your own flights.
  • You’ll be charged for any changes- If you want to change the dates or destination, you’ll end up paying a fee. I was once charged $250 to change the date of a flight.
  • You won’t always have proof of onward travel- If you try to enter a country without first booking a flight out, you won’t have proof of onward travel.

Shopping for Round the World Tickets

Whether you book a round-the-world ticket or book your own really comes down to the type of traveler that you are and your around the world trip itinerary. To determine which option is best for your itinerary, I recommend you price out both options. You’ll also want to consider flight times, durations, layovers, and the airlines you fly with.

Spend some time shopping around on Google flights or Kayak for each of the flights that you plan to take. Add up the cost. Remember that flight prices vary depending on the season and how far in advance you book.

Next, price out around the world tickets. You can buy them from a major airline like United or American Airlines. Alternatively, you can also buy them through a booking company like AirTreks or STA travel.

You may also want to consider playing around with your round the world trip itinerary a little bit. Maybe you can save some money or take better flights by making a minor adjustment. For example, you may have better flight options if you fly from Los Angeles to Tokyo rather than from San Francisco to Tokyo or vice versa. After shopping around for a bit, you should have a pretty good idea of which tickets offer the best value for your specific itinerary.

Tip: Consider making a stopover to break up long journeys

Scheduling a stopover is a good way to visit some places that you otherwise might not get to see. It’s also nice to rest between long flights. May airlines offer free stopovers in the country they are based in. You can also schedule your own stopover by buying multiple tickets with a few days between flights.

I have done this on several occasions. When I flew home from Australia, I made a stopover in Beijing. I visited the Great Wall and enjoyed some incredible Chinese food . I made a similar stopover in Dubai while flying from Europe to India. In this case, I saved some money by booking two separate flights. I also scheduled a stopover in Island when flying from the U.S. to Europe.

For more info, check out my list: 21 free stopover options and how to make them.

Ground Transport

At this point, you can begin planning overland transportation. This includes transportation within cities and transportation between cities. Ground transport can mean buses, trains, taxis, rickshaws, rental cars, shared minibuses, walking, or riding a bike.

Transportation Between Cities

When planning your ground transportation, the most important thing to do is to verify that some form of transportation actually exists between each of your destinations. For the most part, buses or trains can take you a lmost everywhere.

Sometimes you encounter a route where direct transportation isn’t available. In this case, you may have to make a transfer. You don’t need to know the exact route. You just want to find out if your desired route is possible.

Occasionally, you’ll run into a route where transportation isn’t offered every day. Maybe a bus only passes through once per week. In this case, you’ll want to plan your around the world trip itinerary accordingly or find a different way to your destination.

round the world trip adalah

You may find that some routes aren’t possible during a particular season. Maybe a road floods during the rainy season. Maybe heavy snow causes a road to close during the winter. Take the season into consideration when planning your route.

During your round-the-world trip, you’ll probably visit dozens of different cities. You don’t have to waste time researching and planning transport for every leg before you leave. Just make sure that each leg is possible and not prohibitively expensive.

If you encounter a leg that’s just not doable for whatever reason, adjust your around the world trip itinerary accordingly. Maybe you can make a detour and transit through a third city. Maybe you can fly that section.

Some legs you don’t even have to bother researching. It’s pretty safe to assume that you can easily travel between any two major cities in any particular country. For example, you don’t need to bother researching transport between Berlin and Munich until you’re ready to make the trip.

Travel tip: Travel By Night

Consider traveling by night when possible. Traveling by night saves you money on a night of accommodation. When you arrive, you have a full day at your new destination. You aren’t wasting an entire day on a bus or train. As an added bonus, you often arrive at your destination faster because traffic is lighter and borders are less busy during the middle of the night.

It’s important to note that some routes are not as safe to travel at night. When traveling through an area that is considered dangerous, travel by day instead.

Transportation Within Cities

You don’t need to put much time into planning intracity transport. It’s safe to assume that you can easily travel anywhere in the city by bus, metro, tuk-tuk, or on foot.

Consider researching transport between your accommodation and your arrival and departure point as well as any major sites that you want to see. You may also want to research transport options from the airport into the city and back. Airport transportation can be surprisingly expensive. Particularly if the airport is located far outside of the city.

Step 5: Plan Your Accommodation

Next, start considering where you will sleep. Chances are, you will use a mix of different types of accommodation. Your accommodation options include:

  • Hostels- Every budget traveler’s favorite. As a long-term traveler, you’re probably going to stay in quite a few hostels. For help deciding where to stay, check out my guide: How to Choose the Best Hostel. Also, check out my guide to hostels vs hotels.
  • Hotels- In smaller towns, hotels are often your only accommodation option. Be sure to shop around and negotiate. Sometimes budget hostels are cheaper than hostels.
  • Airbnbs- If you’re staying in one place for longer than a week, you can often score a nice long-term discount. Sometimes Airbnb is your cheapest accommodation option. One major benefit to stayin in an Airbnb is that you’ll usually have access to a kitchen where you can cook your own meals. For more info, check out my guide to Airbnb Vs hotels.
  • Couchsurfing- Staying with a local host is a great way to get to know a city and make new friends. You can also save a chunk of money by Couchsurfing. Couchsurfing isn’t exactly free. You will have to spend some time with your host. You’ll also be expected to take them out or cook them a meal.
  • Camping- Camping really opens up your options in terms of where you can sleep. You can wild camp, stay in campgrounds, and even find free camping in some destinations. I recommend you always travel with a tent during an around the world trip. A tent really opens up your options. It also saves you money.

Research your accommodation options in each of your destinations so you know what to expect in terms of price and facilities. Accommodation is a major expense so it’s important to know what to expect.

The only accommodation that you need to book before your rtw trip is the first night or two at your first destination. There are two reasons for this. First, immigration will probably ask you where you’re staying. You need to have an answer to avoid any hassles. Second, you’ll probably be exhausted, jetlagged, and possibly not thinking right after a long flight. It’s nice to have a place to go after you arrive at the beginning of your trip.

During your rtw trip, I recommend you book accommodation as you go. Just plan ahead a few nights or whatever you’re comfortable with. If you prefer, you can book a month in advance. Most of the time, you can just show up and find a place to stay.

The exception to this is if you’re headed to a particularly busy destination. For example, if you’re traveling during peak season or attending a large event. In this case, you may need to book several months in advance to secure a decent room. Plan ahead.

If you plan to couch surf, you’ll want to start looking for a host at least a week in advance so you can be sure to find a place to stay. Good Airbnbs tend to be booked up early as well. You may wish to make reservations at least a couple of weeks in advance if you can.

While crossing borders, you should always at least have the address and phone number of a hotel or hostel where you plan to stay that night. One of the questions that immigration forms and officials usually ask is ‘where are you staying?’ You need to have an answer to avoid looking suspicious. You don’t want to give them any reason to deny you entry.

Travel tip: Whenever you check into a new room, do a quick check for bed bugs. C heck out my guide How to Avoid Bed Bugs While Traveling to help you out. 

Money and Banking for a Round-the-World Trip

Before you set off on your trip, you want to ensure you always have access to your money. The best way to go about this is to carry several credit cards and debit cards . If one is lost, stolen, or eaten by an ATM, you always have a spare. I like to travel with 2 debit cards and 2 credit cards.

Before opening a new account, shop around for travel cards. Travel credit cards are usually free of foreign transaction fees. You can save a nice chunk of money by avoiding these fees. Also, search for new account perks. Some companies offer enough points for a free flight. I flew round trip from the U.S. to Africa on credit card points.

Before your RTW trip, you should also call your bank and credit card company to let them know that you will be using your card abroad. They will put a travel advisory on your account. They need to know the general dates that you plan to travel and the countries where you will be using the card.

If you don’t notify your bank, a fraud detection system may shut off your card when you try to use it. When this happens, you have to call the bank and ask them to turn the card back on.

If you don’t know all of the dates and countries that you plan to visit, that’s fine. You can always call the bank and update the travel advisory during your rtw trip. Just make sure that you can use your card whenever you arrive in a new country so you can withdraw cash from the ATM.

These days, most banks require two-factor authentification (2FA). After entering your password, the bank sends a code to your phone that you must enter to log in. You need to be able to receive calls or texts to receive the 2FA code. You can use your regular number if your phone company offers international texting. Alternatively, you can use a VOIP service like Google Voice.

Y ou should also carry some cash . I usually carry around $300-$1000 depending on my destination. I try to carry enough to sustain myself for at least a week . That gives me enough time to sort out any problems that may arise with my cards or banking.

You want to carry a currency that you can easily exchange everywhere. US dollars are the best. Euros and British Pounds work fine as well. Carry bills in denominations of 20, 50, or 100 that are new and in good condition. Smaller bills are harder to exchange.

Step 6: Packing

If t his is your first big trip, you may need to buy a couple of items in preparation. Travel gear that you may need includes:

  • A backpack or suitcase- For a round-the-world trip, I recommend a backpack instead of a suitcase. Make sure you buy a quality one as you’ll be putting it through a lot of abuse. Look for a pack in the 40-65 liter range. For most travelers, a 40 liter pack is ideal. If you pack camping gear and a lot of electronics, you’ll need a larger pack. I have traveled with my Osprey Talon 44 hiking backpack for about 10 years and am really happy with it. Read my full review here.
  • Outlet converters- These allow you to plug your electronics into the various types of outlets found around the world. I recommend you only pack electronics that can be used in 120-240v outlets so you can avoid carrying a heavy voltage converter.
  • Good shoes and sandals- You’ll be walking a lot. Probably multiple miles per day. Buy quality footwear before your around the world trip.
  • A smartphone with a good camera- Modern smartphone cameras are good enough for travel photography. You’ll also use your phone for navigation, communication, and entertainment.
  • Travel clothing- Consider buying some quality travel clothes. Travel clothes are durable, breathable, and quick drying. I like merino wool clothing because it is odor resistant.
  • Money belt- This is a hidden pocket that you wear around your waist. The idea is to hide your cash, cards, passport, and other valuables from pickpockets and muggers. I use the Eagle Creek Silk Undercover money belt. Read my full review here.

If you forget anything, it’s not that big of a deal. You can buy pretty much whatever you need at your destination. You don’t really need much gear to travel.

Try to pack a week or so before you set off on your round-the-world trip. I recommend that you live out of your travel backpack during that time. This way, you’ll notice if anything is missing. If there is anything that you didn’t use after that week, you can most likely leave it at home.

If possible, try to stick to a carry-on bag only. This can be a challenge for some travelers but makes the trip much smoother. Being able to carry your bag on a plane, bus, or train saves time and money. It’s also more secure. When you want to walk long distance with your backpack, you’ll be happy that you packed light as well.

For more help packing, check out my Ultralight Travel Packing List. Here, I outline everything you need to pack for a long-term trip. The guide includes info on clothing, toiletries, electronics, camping gear, backpacks, and more. Also, check out my guides to packing cubes and rolling vs folding clothes for more help packing.

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Step 7: Re-Evaluate Your Plans and Refine Your Itinerary

Chances are, you’ve overscheduled yourself. Try to streamline your trip. If you have sections that require backtracking, consider eliminating them or re-arranging your itinerary a bit. If there are some destinations that you’re unsure of, eliminate them. You can always visit them on your next trip.

If you overschedule, you’ll feel exhausted and rushed. It’s better to give yourself some extra time so you can slow down. You will never feel bored. You can always add destinations during your trip if you choose.

Sample Round the World Trip Itinerary

If you already have a solid round the world trip itinerary picked out, you can skip this section. If you’re inexperienced with travel or if you’re just undecided, I’ll try to outline a basic itinerary in this section to help you get started.

A basic round-the-world trip itinerary includes stops in North America, Asia, and Europe. Some travelers include South America and Africa. Many travelers choose to skip their home continent because they’ve probably already spent a bit of time traveling there.

The round the world trip itinerary that I’m about to outline starts on the West Coast of the US and travels east around the world. This itinerary starts here simply because that’s where I live. You can pick up this round the world itinerary wherever you live and adapt it to make it work for you.

Start by choosing a large European city to fly into. London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt are great choices. Next, choose a region of the continent to travel.

An example of a good Europe itinerary might be to fly into London and then travel to Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, Prague, Venice, and Rome.

Alternatively, you might choose to travel through Eastern Europe. A good Eastern Europe itinerary would be to fly into a large city in Germany then travel to Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania.

From a large European city, fly to your next continent, Asia.

Choose a region of Asia to visit. Most first-time visitors choose to visit Southeast Asia. From a large European city, choose a large city in Southeast Asia to fly into. Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, or Singapore are good choices.

An example itinerary around Southeast Asia would be to fly into Singapore and then travel overland through Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

From Southeast Asia, fly to the next continent, North America.

North America

From A large city, fly into a Coastal city in North America like Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Vancouver on the west coast or New York, Miami, or Washington DC on the east coast. From your starting point travel North or South along the Coast.

Alternatively, you could travel overland across the country by bus or train or rent a car and take a road trip. Some popular stops include Las Vegas, Chicago, Memphis, and New Orleans .

From North America, you could fly home. If you want to continue your trip, fly to South America from a large city.

South America

Most round the world travelers choose a region of the continent to travel.

If you prefer to visit northern South America, fly into Colombia, travel through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.

If you prefer to visit southern South America, fly into Buenos Aires, Santiago, Sao Paulo, or Rio de Janeiro and visit Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

The best way to get around in South America is by bus. You can also fly longer distance sections if you choose. From a large South American city, catch a flight home.

For more info on this region, check out my guide here.

round the world trip adalah

For whatever reason, most round-the-world itineraries skip my favorite continent, Africa. If you decide to include Africa in your round-the-world trip, a decent itinerary would be to fly into Nairobi and then travel overland to Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania. Alternatively, you could fly into Cape Town and travel around South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana.

Consider visiting Africa After visiting Europe or Asia. You’ll find affordable flights to many destinations around the continent from Paris, London, and the Dubai.

For more help planning an Africa leg for your round-the-world trip, check out my guide to planning a Cairo to Cape Town trip. Also, check out my other Africa guides for more inspiration.

Many round-the-world trips also include a visit to Australia or New Zealand in their round the world itinerary. Alternatively, you could visit some Pacific Islands. Oceania would be a convenient destination to visit After Asia or North America. You can find affordable flights to Australia and New Zealand from many large Asian and North American cities.

My Round-the-World Trips

In my travels, I have made 2 round the world trips. I made my first trip around the world in 2013. During the trip, I traveled for around 6 months and visited 15 countries. I visited many of my dream destinations and saw some wonders of the world in person. I started at home in Southern California and traveled East. My around-the-world trip Itinerary was as follows:

  • Los Angeles to Reykjavik, Iceland- I made a 4 day free stopover by flying IcelandAir.
  • Reykjavik to Helsinki- I continued my flight and spent a few days exploring Helsinki.
  • Helsinki to St. Petersburg- I caught the ferry to St. Petersburg and took advantage of the 72 hour visa free visit program .
  • St. Petersburg to Tallinn, Estonia- I returned to Helsinki and then caught a ferry to Tallinn on the same day.
  • Tallinn, Estonia to Riga, Latvia- I caught a bus to Riga , Latvia.
  • Riga to Dubai – I made a 3 day free stopover in Dubai.
  • Dubai to India- I continued my flight on to Delhi , India.
  • Train travel through India- I spent about a month traveling in India by train. I traveled to Varanasi, Agra, around Rathastan, and Goa, then flew out of Mumbai.
  • Mumbai to Bangkok- I caught a flight to Southeast Asia and explored Thailand for a month.
  • Travel through Thailand- I visited Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Koh Tao, Koh Pha Ngan, and Koh Phi Phi, traveling by bus and train.
  • Thailand to Cambodia – I caught a minibus from Bangkok to Siem Reap, Cambodia. I spent a few weeks visiting Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, and Sihanoukville.
  • Cambodia to Vietnam- I caught a bus from Sihanoukville, Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
  • Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi- I bought a motorcycle and rode the length of Vietnam. I visited Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Hoi Ann, Hue, and Hanoi.
  • Vietnam to L aos- I took a bus from Hanoi, Vietnam to Luang Prabang, Laos
  • Travel through Laos- I spent a few weeks visiting Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, and Vientiane, Laos.
  • Laos to Thailand- I returned to Thailand by bus and traveled there for a couple of weeks.
  • Thailand to Malaysia- I took the bus to Malaysia and spent a couple of weeks in Penang and Kuala Lumpur.
  • Malaysia to Singapore- I caught a bus south and spent a few days exploring Singapore.
  • Singapore to Melbourne, Australia- I caught a flight to Melbourne and spent a month traveling up the East Coast of Australia until I reached Cairns.
  • Australia to Beijing- I made a free stopover in Beijing while flying Air China.
  • Beijing to Los Angeles- I flew home from Beijing.

I completed my second around the world trip in 2017. This one just focused on Africa. I flew from Los Angeles, California to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. From there, I traveled overland through 11 countries until I reached Cape Town, South Africa. From Cape Town, I flew to Bangkok where I relaxed for about 10 days. I then caught a flight back to Los Angeles, making a short stopover in Seoul on the way. This wasn’t originally intended to be a Round-the-World trip but the flights were cheaper if I stopped in Asia so I did.

Currently, I’m in the middle of my third around-the-world trip. I started this rtw trip in South America, visiting Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay. From there, I flew to Uganda, where I currently am. I will continue to the Middle East and then to Southeast Asia before returning home.

Zac at Machu Picchu

Tips for Planning A Round the World Trip

It’s important to accept that you’re not going to see it all in one around the world trip. Most round the world travelers visit 10-20 countries. There are 196 countries. You can’t go everywhere. You have to carefully pick and choose where you want to go during your RTW trip.

Also, avoid counting countries. I have met quite a few travelers who like to brag about the number of countries that they have visited on their trips. Most of the time, these people don’t really get to see or experience much of anything in the countries that they visit. They’re always in a rush. I used to be like this. Now I travel slowly and enjoy each destination so much more.

The best advice that I can give while planning your own round-the-world trip is to travel where you want to go. You can take the advice of other travelers and your friends and family but it’s important to plan your own route Don’t travel somewhere just because you feel like you have to go because it’s popular. Don’t avoid a country just because a family member tells you it’s too dangerous. Do your own research and make an informed decision.

Also, d on’t feel bad about visiting touristy places or participating in cheesy touristy activities. It’s your around the world trip. You are spending your own time and money. Do whatever you want to do. The best part of travel is the absolute freedom that it gives you.

Final Thoughts

Planning a round-the-world trip is an exciting and rewarding experience. Taking the time to research your destination, arrange visas, secure transport, and accommodations, and plan activities ahead of time can help ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. Whether you’re looking to venture off the beaten path or simply relax in some of the world’s most beautiful places, having a round the world trip itinerary prepared will give you peace of mind as you explore all that the world has to offer. Wherever you plan to travel, I hope this guide has helped you plan.

Are you currently planning or have you taken a round-the-world trip? Share your around the world trip itinerary in the comments below!

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Zachary Friedman

Zachary Friedman is an accomplished travel writer and professional blogger. Since 2011, he has traveled to 66 countries and 6 continents. He founded ‘Where The Road Forks’ in 2017 to provide readers with information and insights based on his travel and outdoor recreation experience and expertise. Zachary is also an avid cyclist and hiker. Living as a digital nomad, Zachary balances his professional life with his passions for hiking, camping, cycling, and worldwide exploration. For a deeper dive into his journey and background, visit the About page. For inquiries and collaborations, please reach out through the Contact page. You can also follow him on Facebook.

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mahmoud salah

Monday 6th of January 2020

What a guide!! Very informative thank you, im planning on doing cape town to cairo early 2021

wheretheroadforks

Glad you found it useful! Check out my Cairo to Cape Town guide as well if you get the chance. I think you'll find some good info in there to help you plan the trip.

A Little Adrift Travel Blog

How to Plan an Around the World Itinerary in 8 Steps

Last updated on January 5, 2024 by Shannon

You’re planning an around the world trip . Congrats! My one-year trip turned into a decade of wandering and it transformed my life . My own one-year trip itinerary took me through 15 countries and countless experiences—but narrowing down my dream countries to just 15 was hard.

In my world travel route, I planned the itinerary to pass through Agra for the Taj Mahal.

After so many years on the road—and after several round the world trips since that first one—I have some hard learned advice for anyone planning their own route and building their own trip around the world. If you’re planning a world trip, it’s usually a long-term route of at least a few months and up to a year around the world, or more.

These are eight ideas—eight steps really—to help narrow your travel itinerary down to those stops along your route that will fit your budget, highlight the most memorable places to you, and make sense for the trip you’ve always dreamed of taking.

Table of Contents

1. Make an itinerary bucket list for the entire world.

Great Wall of China on RTW trip itinerary

The inspiration phase of planning your round the world trip itinerary is one of the most fun. Maybe you already have a laundry list of places you hope to cram into your world trip itinerary. Or perhaps you’ve nailed down a few key experiences but you’re open to more inspiration. You should absolutely start with a long bucket list of locations all over the world, because weather and route might automatically strike a few off the list for you.

If you’re curious for more travel ideas, browse the  best travel books sorted by destination , or search for long-reads and podcast recommendations on my Destination Travel Guides . Use these books and resources for inspiration on not only places to add to your round the world route, but activities, too.

Perhaps you read The Devil’s Picnic and subsequently add Paris to your list for that stinky but toothsome Époisses de Bourgogne cheese, or you add Bhutan because of its intriguing portrayal in The Geography of Bliss (that’s what has it on the itinerary for my next around the world trip!).

Books and podcasts are a phenomenal way to expand your idea of what is possible on your trip.

Once you have a list of dream destinations for your travel itinerary, highlight up to five that are your absolute priorities—these will become the bedrock of your around the world trip. The rest of the places on your list will slot in around those stops based on timing, weather, and more.

How granularly you plan is personal—some travelers leave with a precise list of destinations and timelines, while others plan the first couple of months of their round the world trop.

My three key travel destinations:

For my first year, I had three key activities on my list. The first was diving the Great Barrier Reef —that’s why my trip started in Australia . The second was meeting my cousin in India and backpacking north from Mumbai together for two months before ending our time together at a volunteer placement in Nepal . The third was time-sensitive as I had always dreamed of attending the Edinburgh Fringe Festival , which takes place every August in Scotland.

Later, when I traveled with my 11-year-old niece for six months in Southeast Asia , I led her through some basic Google searches so that she could see what was on offer. We planned our joint world trip itinerary together centered around her three biggies: an ethical elephant encounter , ziplining somewhere, and visiting Angkor Wat .

2. Pick a direction around the world.

Napping on long-term round the world trip

From your home country, your travel itinerary will take you either east to west, or west to east around the world. Backtracking is not ideal—it’s expensive, causes more jet lag, and is bad for the environment. Use this strategy whether you use a round the world ticket (which requires this stipulation) or if you book flights as you travel.

Pros and cons of traveling east:

  • Science says this direction is harder on your body and produces more jet lag . The short of it is because you are losing time when you fly through time several zones, but your body actually prefers cycles slightly longer than 24 hours, not shorter.
  • You’ll need to become a pro at minimizing jet lag so you don’t lose several days to it in each new location.
  • If you’re planning a very long RTW trip, perhaps 18 months or more, and your itinerary creeps around the world, then you will likely not notice the difference much.

Pros and cons of traveling west:

  • As noted, your body actually prefers days that run longer than 24 hours, so your internal clock has a much easier time adding hours into your day. This means fewer nights adjusting and staring at the hotel ceiling at 3am.
  • Your body can do at least two hours of time zone jumping in this direction without having a noticeable effect on you, so it’s ideal to slowly hop west around the world. And if you’re crossing the Pacific from the U.S., your largest time zone change will likely occur at the beginning of your trip, so you can then enjoy more relaxing travel for the many months afterwards.

How I decided my world trip direction:

I was lucky that two of my key experiences could bookend my trip. Scotland and Australia are not close, so it was easy to plan many of my other dream destinations to fill the space between these countries.

Since I planned to leave the U.S. in November, it was easy to surmise that starting my trip in Australia, which was entering summer, made the most sense. Then I would make my way west toward Scotland for Edinburgh Fringe, handily skirting both winter in Europe and summer in Asia.

3. Find creative overland routes.

taking a train on my trip around the world to get around thailand with my niece

Whew, you now have a list of dream destinations for your world trip and a direction of travel. Now it’s time to fill in the space in your itinerary. And you’ll do that by using local transportation, which is a lot more fun than flying—you’ll see more of the country and culture, and you’ll have richer travel experiences .

Go back now to those handful of key destinations from your bucket list that. These are the foundational bedrocks of your world trip itinerary. These dots on the map should lend a rough overview of a route. If they don’t, if one is just an outlier that makes it hard to see logical jumps, narrow your list down to four, and see if that helps—if you truly love the idea of an experience, but it doesn’t fit this trip it might make a great trip on its own in a couple years time.

Now, your world trip itinerary needs the details, and those usually come from visiting clusters of bordering countries—you’ll be crossing overland among many of these destinations. (For that to work, however, check visa restrictions for your nationality as some countries require visas in advance, or don’t allow crossings at certain borders).

Popular routes ( backpacking Southeast Asia , for example), have only a few restrictions and those are easily handled online, or in the days before your border crossing.

Start dotting the map with the countries that are very close to your bedrock destinations. That looks like this: If trekking in Nepal is a bedrock item, and India’s Golden Triangle and Sri Lanka were both on your dream list, then it makes sense to add them into your route, since you’ll definitely be in the region.

My creative overland routes:

As I planned my itinerary, a dear friend announced she wanted to meet me in Florence, Italy in June. That became another bedrock item with a firm date, so I now had a time I had to leave South Asia and head to Eastern Europe.

Nearby Croatia was on my tentative list, and I had a friend in Bosnia , so both of those became stops on my itinerary that helped give it shape. Prague hadn’t been on my list, but I decided to move north through Eastern Europe after leaving Bosnia.

I filled in adventurous stops that would take me from my friend in Italy in June to Scotland in August—plenty of time for rafting in Slovenia , finding charming towns in Czech Republic , biking Amsterdam like a local, and walking through the Lake District of England first!

Research activities in countries you’re considering.

If there are countries nearby your “must-visit” locations, use a site like GetYourGuide to research the types of activities you could see and do if you visited these adjacent destinations as well. I like checking out the day tour sites more than a guidebook at this stage because it’s a very quick overview of the must-dos in each location.

4. Research festivals in your favored locations.

Festivals are an important part of your round the world trip planning itinerary

Local festivals around the world are amazingly full of life, culture, and fun. It’s a huge letdown when you learn too late that you missed a major religious and celebratory festival by just a few days. And it’s also a shock if you arrive thinking it’s shoulder season but you really arrived during Brazil’s carnival.

Plan your route to coincide with the dates of festivals that seem most fun for you (this is especially important for trips with kids, because they love the excitement, colors, and foods at these types of events. You’ll need to book accommodation early depending on the event, so that may take some flexibility from your world travel route, but it’s worth it.

Here are a few favorite annual festivals that many travelers plan around: La Tomatina in Spain in late August; Holi the Festival of Colors  in India around early March; Thailand’s Songkran Water Festival often falls within April and its Loy Krathong Lantern Festival falls in late October or early November.

Festivals around the world I sought out:

When my cousin told me should could only meet in India in February, and I knew we’d be there for two months, I went into planning mode to decide where we should celebrate Holi the Festival of Colors . It was a real highlight of my trip and I am so glad our world travel itinerary allowed us to experience this incredible Indian festival.

Then, of course, was the Fringe Festival —that was one of my bedrock destinations so it was definitely on the planned route.

5. Play Tetris with locations to fit your travel budget.

plan a RTW itinerary that fits your travel budget

I stuck to an amazing year-long world travel budget that came in under $20,000. The only way I could do that was by carefully planning my time to favor budget-friendly countries, and then add in high-cost countries in smaller supply.

Research each of your dream destinations ahead of time because some places you might assume are budget actually cost more than you imagine (a safari in Africa is not cheap, nor is accommodation in much of Africa, but visiting a dream destination on the continent is worth it). Japan may be in Asia, but it’s pricey, too. Central America and Mexico are easy on your budget, as are parts of South America.

How I made my RTW travel budget work:

Australia , England, Scotland, and Ireland were mega expensive and represented three of my eleven months on the road. India and Nepal were, by far, the cheapest places (even cheaper than backpacking Southeast Asia ), and it was actually difficult to go over budget during the three-and-a-half months that I backpacked South Asia.

I spent the other months in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, two regions that are in the discount to mid-range. All told, I was able to easily average $50 a day, even though some days in Europe topped $100.

6. Plan around weather trends.

planning my rtw trip to start in Australia, where i could dive and swim

On your trip, research destinations ahead of time and plan according to your own weather preferences. While it’s not likely you will hit every destination in your preferred season, you should know when monsoon season makes a paradise island unenjoyable, or when blizzards will thwart a planned ski trip.

Research using this great rundown of shoulder season locations around the world, and this European shoulder season list , and this very cool map of a a sample round the itinerary featuring perfect weather in every location.

Why I chased summer around the world:

I planned my trip itinerary to chase summer around the world. As a native Floridian, my tolerance for heat is higher than most others, and I deeply enjoy warmth. A year of summer was lovely.

Whether your around the world trip chases summer or snow—and note it’s way easier to pack for long-term travel when you can leave behind thick jackets and boots—you’ll want to pack effectively using packing cubes .

I have probably 20 packing cubes after 15+ years of travel—cubes of all shapes, sizes, and uses to fit every trip. This eight-pack starter set is well-priced, durable, and will give you a worthy introduction into the sheer magic of packing cubes.

7. Consider how you will fly.

Flying on a RTW trip can make your itinerary more doable but more expensive.

When planning your itinerary, you have to consider more than just major long-haul flights. On my travels, I research local budget airlines too, and I always have a good idea of which regions of the world offer affordable puddle-jumper flights. If you’re considering buying round the world tickets , read my insider tips and advice first!

Southeast Asia has AirAsia and Vietjet, among others. Europe has many budget carriers: Vueling, Ryan Air, and EasyJet. And JetStar has good flight deals in South Asia. By checking for budget airline routes, I know that I can easily visit more countries in a region if there are sub $100 flights around the area. (Tip: this is an amazing interactive map of low-cost airline routes ).

My transportation choices:

I priced out my year on the road and found it was cheaper to combine overland travel with local carriers than it would have been to buy a RTW ticket up front. I also have a guide to how I find good flight deals , since I never buy round the world airfare.

Generally, flights are likely necessary unless you plan an entirely overland route around the world , but flights are harmful if you solely rely on this form of transportation, so truly consider how you can incorporate other options, such as buying a Eurail ticket in Europe, or a Greyhound bus ticket to travel down the east coast of Australia.

Don’t forget to  book travel insurance for your trip —a great policy provides coverage in case of medical emergencies, lost or stolen gear, adventure sports riders, and more. I’ve used  IMG Global  for more than a decade  highly recommend it !

8. Remove some destinations from your world trip itinerary.

Remove some destinations on your trip itinerary.

There is no wrong way to plan your route around the world, and there is no perfect number of places that you can visit in a year—it all depends on what you’re looking for on your trip. And no matter how carefully you plan, you will love some places, feel mediocre toward others, and perhaps even leave early from a few. You won’t know until you set out which type of places and experiences best fit your long-term travel style.

But please keep in mind that the pace of short-term travels is very different from a multi-month trip. Create a route that travels slowly, avoids the dreaded travel-fatigue , and includes destinations you have long dreamed of visiting. To do that, you now need to take a critical eye to your trip and trim the fat.

Is there something you added it because it seemed fun and was moderately close, but it wasn’t a bedrock item? Or perhaps it’s a location you love the idea of so much that you know you will plan a trip there in the future if you skip it now. Snip those from your world travel itinerary right now and you will be shooting me an email of thanks once you’re on the road.

The countries I cut from my around the world trip:

The best advice other travelers gave me when I asked for itinerary advice in a travel forum was to remove an entire leg of the trip. I had hoped to backpack Scandinavia between my time in the Czech Republic and Amsterdam, but long-term travelers assured me that I would be grateful for wiggle room in my itinerary by that stage of my trip (nine months into it).

Plus, they accurately pointed out that I just couldn’t swing these very expensive countries on my limited travel budget.

Turns out that I burned out a month before reaching Czech Republic and camped out in Slovenia for an extra two weeks—if I had been dead-set on Scandinavia, I would have never had time to do that while still making it to Edinburgh Fringe in time! (And let’s not even think about what Scandinavia would have done to my travel budget!).

If you’re overwhelmed about planning the nitty-gritty details on a months-long trip around the world, know that a rough route suffices. All you truly need before you leave home is logistics for the first couple of weeks—you can easily sort out the rest on the road. I promise.

Really, I promise. It seems scary but I swear to you that you will be grateful for flexibility once you land, and that it’s completely possible to plan the smaller details as you go. Moving between countries and regions was infinitely easier than I had anticipated before my first round the world.

Your Next Steps for Planning an Around the World Itinerary

Research places around the world and assemble a dream list of locations. That’s really the first step and should be a lot of fun.

While my travel books selections are a starting point, you can also peruse guidebooks for inspiration. I always buy a Lonely Planet or Rough Guide for my first planned destination (and then I swap it along the way for each new country), and before my first round the world trip I checked out a stack of 25 guidebooks from my library. Do your research and dream big before you even begin selecting an itinerary and paring down your list of destinations.

This is my core page compiling resources on How to Travel the World and here are a few other pages sharing advice specifically for long-term travel planning.

  • How Much Does it Cost to Travel the World
  • How to Save for Travel
  • Free Destination Travel Guides
  • Best Credit and Debit Cards for Travel
  • How to Pack for Long-Term Travel
  • How to Pick the Right Travel Insurance

How to Travel the World

Free resources and first-hand advice on how to plan long-term and round the world travels.

Essential Travel Planning Resources

❗ Yes, you need travel insurance . IMG Global is the travel insurance I’ve used for well over a decade of traveling solo, and with kids. Here’s why .

🧳 Smart packing can save your trip. Shop my favorite travel gear , including all of the packing essentials for world travel , gear to keep you safe on the road, my favorite travel books , and more.

🛏️ Find great accommodation . Booking.com is essentially the only hotel booking site that I use. It has a wide and affordable selection of traditional hotels, but also hostels and vacation rentals, too. Use these pro tips to find the best travel accommodation .

📍 Navigate more effectively. Rome2Rio is super handy to assess the full range of transport options between two cities—shows everything from flights to trains, buses, minibuses, and more. If you’re booking a rental car, I’ve always found the best deals on RentalCars.com .

✈️ Book affordable flights. Expedia is one of the first places I look for low-cost flights .

☕ Peruse all of my tips for round the world travel , or learn how to move and live abroad .

National Geographic content straight to your inbox—sign up for our popular newsletters here

Dawn over the ancient temples in Bagan scattered through the misty landscape

How to plan a trip around the world

 Making the fantasy of a global odyssey an achievable reality is not as impossible as it might seem.

Combining a series of once-in-a-lifetime experiences into a single around-the-world trip can feel like the ultimate expression of luxury travel. It can be a daunting prospect though, with many contending factors to consider. Here's how to start planning the ultimate round-the-world trip.

1. Take to the sky

Air travel is, predictably, the simplest way to traverse the globe. Start by purchasing an around-the-world plane ticket through an airline alliance — coalitions of different airlines which let you pay for all of your flights in a single transaction. The alliance offers regional passes which might work better should you want to devote the bulk of your time to one or two continents.

There are three main players: Star Alliance, OneWorld and Skyteam; the latter, however, has suspended sales of RTW tickets. Star Alliance is a confederation of 26 airlines covering 1,200 airports in 98% of the world’s nations, while OneWorld’s 13 airlines serve 1,000 destinations across almost as many countries.

The small print varies, but fliers must always keep to one global direction, east or west (the latter better suits your circadian rhythm), with no backtracking; must only cross the Atlantic and Pacific oceans once each; must start and finish in the same country; and must travel for a period between 10 days and one year.

Convenience is a benefit here, allowing you to minimise paperwork. It’s worth noting that some countries, such as China, also require proof of an outbound air ticket before issuing visas.  

How to do it:   Star Alliance offers a 133-day itinerary from London via Istanbul, Dubai, Bangkok, Sydney, Los Angeles and New York from £2,580 per person.  

2. Ride the rails

A century ago, taking extended rail journeys was one of the only means of long-distance travel. Today, trains are a great option for travellers looking to minimise their carbon footprint and take a slower, more measured route.

Recapturing the romance of the past, around-the-world specialists Travel Nation can tailor-make odysseys involving   separate train journeys. Vietnam’s Reunification Express, an Outback crossing aboard the Australian Ghan and a ride on the Rocky Mountaineer in Canada can all feature.

How to do it:   Travel Nation ’s 74-night, rail-focused global tour costs from £17,760 per person, including flights, trains, accommodation, most meals and some excursions.  

3. Go Private

For those who truly want to travel in style, it’s possible to circumnavigate the globe by private jet through National Geographic Expeditions. These trips are based around epic itineraries whose remarkable destinations are brought to life by a experts and groundbreaking researchers in various fields, who most travellers never get to meet.

On the 24-day Around the World by Private Jet expedition, you can visit 10 UNESCO World Heritage sites. Among the trip’s standouts are Easter Island’s Moai statues, Angkor’s jungle-flanked temple complexes, rock-carved Petra and a Serengeti safari. Departing from Washington, DC, up to 75 passengers will travel VIP-style in a customised Boeing 757, bedding down throughout the adventure in five-star hotels or lodges.

How to do it: National Geographic Expeditions ’ 23-night Around the World by Private Jet trip starts from £77,100 per person, all-inclusive, including medical evacuation insurance. Departures on 10 March, 29 October and 28 December 2024.  

train curving near Lake Louise on bright, sunny day

4. Head overland

Travellers who don’t mind hitting the open road can try Oasis Overland, a tour company specialising in overland travel. Its longest offering is a 293-day trip from the UK to Cairo via an anticlockwise loop along much of the African coast, plus Victoria Falls and Zanzibar. The slew of highlights include the Sahara desert, the Giza Pyramids and East Africa’s wildlife-rich plains.  

The 16 (or fewer) group members will ride in one of Oasis Overland’s bright yellow trucks, built for traversing bumpy roads while offering as much comfort as possible. Nights are almost exclusively spent camping, and everyone is expected to contribute by pitching tents or cooking dinners.

You could also combine trips by flying from Cairo to Istanbul and then joining another overland tour all the way to Singapore, for example.

How to do it: Oasis Overland ’s 292-night UK to Cairo expedition starts from £9,495 per person, including all transport (except flights from the UK to Gibraltar or Malaga) and a selection of excursions.

5. Do it yourself

Arranging everything yourself is an option — most easily accomplished by purchasing multi-destination flights through a comparison website such as kiwi.com or Skyscanner.

A big upside to this is that you can work out something closely aligned to your specific needs; it’ll require a fair bit of time, though, and you’ll lose out in terms of flexibility — changing dates can be tricky — and cancellation cover.

It’s usually more convenient to aim for large airport hubs — the likes of Bangkok, Dallas, Dubai, Heathrow, Paris and Singapore — as the many competing services provide more options. A typical around-the-world ticket will involve something along the lines of London — Istanbul — Bangkok — Singapore — Sydney — Los Angeles — New York — London. From these hubs, you’ll be well placed to add in more obscure destinations in between.  

It’s also worth bearing in mind that you don’t have to fly between each stage. For instance, it’s possible to travel from London to Istanbul by train, lowering your carbon footprint in the process. Or, rather than flying from Bangkok to Singapore, you could get a boat from the Thai capital to Koh Samui and continue from there instead. A reliable tool for establishing train, bus, boat or taxi costs is the website Rome2Rio, and it’s worth investigating the likes of Amtrak rail passes in the US, Eurail Passes for European trains or Greyhound coach tickets covering Australia’s east coast.

Accommodation is something to decide on in advance. Be sure to have all hotel bookings locked in place well ahead of time. Hostels are a good bet, especially if you’re travelling solo or planning an ad-hoc approach during each stage of the trip, but can be lacking in privacy and comforts. House or apartment rentals can be much more comfortable and convenient, particularly for longer stays.  

How to do it: A sample 147-day itinerary from London via Istanbul, Dubai, Bangkok, Sydney, Los Angeles and New York from kiwi.com starts at £2,189 per person, including checked luggage.

evening images of Singapore's Supertrees lighten up at Gardens by Bay.

6. Enlist a pro

One of the best ways to arrange an air-based around-the-world itinerary is by booking with a specialist agent or operator such as Trailfinders, Travel Nation or AirTreks. This can cut out a lot of organisational stress, while also enabling you to take advantage of these companies’ many years of experience. These firms often have access to special deals and aren’t constrained to particular airlines or alliances, allowing them to further improve the offerings to their clients.

The AirTreks website even has a trip planner tool listing a series of suggested activities, interests and attractions such as hiking, beaches, meditation or family travel, providing an extra level of choice at the planning stage.

If you’re interested in earning air miles, specify this to the agent so that they can concentrate on finding flights that qualify. Agents will also be able to suggest tempting additional stops — Taiwan, maybe, or a pause in Oman — which can be a great way of adding an extra bit of excitement to burgeoning itineraries.  

Finally, a specialist company can also take care of — or advise on — vaccinations (such as malaria), and certification and visas you’ll need, saving you plenty of legwork.

How to do it: AirTrek s’ nine-stop ticket from London via Paris, Florence, Venice, Athens, Singapore, Sydney, Auckland and Los Angeles costs from £1,325 to £1,770.

7. Learn to sail

Land ahoy! You might just get to utter those words by signing up for a unique sailing adventure with London-based operator Another World Adventures, which can arrange for you to join a classic, square-rigged tall ship for 90 days as it makes its way around the world on a 455-day voyage. Once on board, you’ll learn how to trim the sails, haul mizzen spinnakers and lean on trade winds to cross the tropics. No experience is required, and participants will become part of a tight-knit crew and make friends for life.

It doesn’t matter at which point on its itinerary the ship happens to be, as it’s entirely possible to join subsequent legs. Setting sail from Bali on 6 November 2023, leg three sees the ship call at the Indian Ocean islands of Rodrigues and Reunion before arriving in Cape Town on 6 February. Beginning one day later, the fourth and final stage is via Namibia, the British overseas territory of St Helena, several Caribbean islands and, on 13 July, Nova Scotia in Canada.

If you’d prefer to wait and tackle the whole trip — the other two legs are Nova Scotia to Tahiti, and Tahiti to Bali — then Another World Adventures (which also offers other, similar experiences) expects it to start in 2025.

How to do it:   Another World Adventures offers 90 nights, full board, from £13,600 per person, including transport, port fees and instruction.  

daylight image of people sailing

8. Cruise along

Ever more around-the-world voyages are being offered by cruise lines. To join one, you’ll need one important thing: lots of spare time. The circular itineraries are mostly more than 100 days in length, with Royal Caribbean’s Ultimate World Cruise maxing out at 274 nights via seven continents and around 150 stops. These kinds of journeys really fit the ‘trip of a lifetime’ tag, running up to £100,000 per person.

Notably, 2023 marks a century since the world’s first continuous passenger cruise ship completed its pioneering journey. Chartered by the American Express Company, Cunard’s SS Laconia arrived back in New York City after completing a monumental six-month sailing via Japan, Singapore, India and Egypt.  

They also sell out quicker than almost any other cruise, partly due to having a limited number of departures. Holland America Line, for example, opened bookings this summer on its new 2025 Grand World Voyage. Departing from Fort Lauderdale in Florida, this is a six-continent, 124-day round-trip which transits the Panama Canal before visiting Callao (for excursions to Machu Picchu), Easter Island, Tahiti, the Great Barrier Reef, the Seychelles, Cape Town, Kenya, Jordan and Barcelona among 46 stops.  

How to do it:   Holland America Line’s 123-night Grand World Voyage starts from £19,900 per person, full board, including complimentary airport transfers, a $500 (£400) air credit and up to £6,700 per person in onboard spending credits if booked by 3 June 2024.  

9. Hop aboard a cargo ship

A rather more adventurous way of sailing the seas is aboard a cargo ship or freighter cruise. Carrying large containers of clothes, electrical equipment, foods and most other things between the world’s major ports, some of these allot space for four to 12 passengers.

Single, twin or double cabins are the norm, usually with sea-facing windows as well as a sitting area, a desk, a shower and a toilet. A few boats come with a pool, but most are very simple — they’re built for work, not pleasure, after all — and you certainly won’t find a spa or casino (though playing cards with the crew members isn't unheard of). All meals are provided in the on-board canteen.

The major appeal is the sense of serenity — watching the ocean drift by and having time to gather your thoughts or write that novel you’ve always planned.  

This can also be an amazing way to tick off some hard-to-reach places. Take freighters travelling to Singapore from New Zealand; be it for fuel and supplies or to make a drop-off, these stop at numerous Pacific islands en route, occasionally for a couple of days. That said, some port calls are too quick for guests to go ashore.

Note that good health and unaided mobility — due to steep gangways and lots of stairs — are mandatory, and it’s not suited for children or elderly travellers.

How to do it:   Cargo Ship Voyages offers a cargo ship crossing from Rotterdam to Cuba (estimated at 16 nights) from £1,880 per person, which includes all meals.  

Related Topics

  • LUXURY TRAVEL
  • TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE

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round the world trip adalah

Around the World Tours & Travel Packages 2024/2025

Our 27 most popular around the world trips. compare tour itineraries from 17 tour companies. 105 reviews. 5/5 avg rating., popular around the world tours.

Discover our popular around the world tours, each crafted with unique themes, diverse price ranges, varying durations, and different physical levels. Search several options and choose the tour package that aligns seamlessly with your vision of the perfect trip around the world.

Discover the Baltics

Discover the Baltics

  • Discover three Baltic states in 12 days
  • Visit stunning national parks, castles and museums
  • Explore the magnificent Trakai Castle

Budapest to Prague Adventure

Budapest to Prague Adventure

  • Discover the four distinctive capital cities of Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and Prague
  • Enjoy a wine tasting in the charming town of Mikulov
  • Walk through the castle park known as 'the garden of Europe' at Chateau Lednice

The Grand Epic of Egypt, Jordan, and Israel

The Grand Epic of Egypt, Jordan, and Israel

  • Discover the mysterious pyramids, Great Sphinx, and Kings Valley
  • Cruise leisurely along the Nile from Aswan to Luxor
  • View the Promised Land from Mt. Nebo and the Mosaic Map of the Holy Land
  • Trace the footsteps of Jesus and explore the old and new cities of Jerusalem

Get Social: Europe Express 2024-25

Get Social: Europe Express 2024-25

  • Berlin highlights drive
  • Walking tour of Prague with Trip Leader
  • Vienna highlights drive
  • Orientation walk in Venice with Trip Leader
  • Orientation walk in Paris with Trip Leader

Balkans Rail Adventure

Balkans Rail Adventure

  • Visit seven countries of Former Yugoslavia in just 16 days
  • Experience a variety of scenic rail journeys
  • Discover contrasting landscapes and cities in this lesser visited region

Cape Town to Victoria Falls - Hotel/Lodge

Cape Town to Victoria Falls - Hotel/Lodge

  • Visit Cape Town, the most exciting city in Africa
  • Discover the mountainous dunes of Sossusvlei
  • See the fantastic wildlife of Etosha National Park
  • Visit the Okavango Panhandle and Chobe National Park
  • Marvel at the mighty Victoria Falls

London to Istanbul Rail Adventure

London to Istanbul Rail Adventure

  • An iconic rail journey across Europe to the gateway of Asia
  • Discover rural Serbia, from local wine producers to narrow gauge railway routes
  • Take a boat trip on Europe's largest wetlands in Croatia and explore the waterways of Venice

Imperial Escape

Imperial Escape

  • Budapest: Welcome dinner; guided sightseeing, panoramic view from Fishermen’s Bastion, visit Heroe’s Square
  • Vienna: Guided sightseeing, visit Heldenplatz and St. Stephen’s Cathedral
  • Prague: Guided sightseeing, Astronomical Clock, visit the Hradčany Castle grounds; farewell dinner at a local restaurant
  • On this guided vacation of Central Europe, experience the rich history and most popular destinations without the crowds—and even better—without the high-season prices
  • This Central Europe escorted tour is a magnificent journey through the former Habsburg Empire offering romantic castles, churches, villas and modern architecture, vineyards, breweries, first-class shopping, art, and culinary delights

All Around the World , expedition cruises, self guided adventures and vacation packages. Find the best guided and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Read more about Around the World

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Small Group Around the World Tours

Small Group Around the World Tours

Peru, Chile, Argentina & Brazil in 20 days - Machu Picchu, Iguazu & Capital Cities - Superior

  • Santiago de Chile
  • Barrio La Boca
  • Buenos Aires
  • Iguazu Falls, Argentinian side

Indochina in 35 days - 5 Country Southeast Asian Discovery - Superior

Indochina in 35 days - 5 Country Southeast Asian Discovery - Superior

  • Kuala Lumpur

South American Odyssey with Amazon & Peru

South American Odyssey with Amazon & Peru

  • Rio de janeiro : Cable-car ride up Sugar Loaf Mountain and Sugar Loaf cocktail party; sightseeing with a Local Guide; visit Corcovado Mountain and the cathedral; Churrascaria dinner
  • Iguassu falls : Sightseeing with a Local Guide on both the Brazilian and Argentinean sides of Iguassu National Park; Ecological Jungle Train
  • Buenos aires : Walking tour; visit the Metropolitan Cathedral and Recoleta Cemetery; empanada cooking class; Tango lesson & show; visit a local estancia
  • Bariloche: Sightseeing with a Local Guide; chairlift to Cerro Campanario; Andes lake crossing
  • Puerto montt : Sightseeing tour

Best Around the World Tours by Duration

World tours usually span from shorter escapes to extended journeys lasting a few months. Explore our tailored selection of around the world tours by duration, ensuring an efficient and fulfilling use of your precious time away.

Tours, Cruises & Private Trips

Best Around the World Tours by Price

Experience the world without compromising your budget with our selection of around the world tours by price to cater to every financial spectrum. Choose the tour package that perfectly aligns with your budgetary preferences for an unforgettable trip around the world.

Top Around the World Attractions

  • Meeting locals from several different countries and discovering wonderful similarities and differences
  • Seeing whales breach from the balcony of your cruise stateroom and diving and snorkeling in vibrant coral reefs like the Great Barrier reef
  • Enjoying local cuisines, exploring street food markets, and taking cooking classes to learn how to make traditional national dishes
  • Wandering around many archaeological ruins and historical sites like Machu Picchu , pyramids of Giza , and the historical city of Petra
  • Discovering unique cultures and taking part in traditional festivals or ceremonies like Holi or Día de Muertos 
  • Hiking among different landscapes, encountering majestic wildlife on African Safaris , and taking memorable pictures
  • Making lifelong friends from around the world
  • Indulging in luxury around the world trips featuring traditional Japanese ryokan, floating hotels in the Maldives, or ice hotels in Sweden for a unique experience.
  • Visiting all the most famous locations during a single trip with custom-planned tours around the world — No need to pick and choose!

Around the World Tours & Travel

Around the World Attractions & Landmarks Guide

  • Winter vs Summer Weather:   Since your tour around the world is likely to cross hemisphere lines more than once, you may experience warm highs and icy lows during your trip — bring clothing that can layer easily. 
  • Shoes:   Footwear can easily become a packing challenge since it can take up a lot of space in suitcases. Choose shoes according to the planned activities and terrains. Pack a versatile selection: a pair for relaxation, one for hiking, another for city strolls, and one for a more refined option. 
  • Dress Like a Local:   The beauty of a trip around the world is the opportunity to visit many far-flung places with diverse cultures and ways of life. You may encounter many different cultures, some with specific dress expectations. For example, in most Middle Eastern countries, expect to dress modestly—cover shoulders and legs and keep a scarf handy for covering your head. A similar dressing is also a good rule for touring many religious establishments.

Trip Reviews

Travels in the baltics.

A bit of a whirlwind tour although the three Baltic States relatively small, green and flat. I knew virtually nothing about them before I went but learned a lot ...

Brilliant Trip

This is a well designed trip giving an excellent overview of all three Baltic states. This not only included the capital cities but other towns and much countrysid...

Great holiday

Really interesting trip made extra special by our guide Melia, whose knowledge was incredible. We were really lucky with the weather and had a really good group o...

Three small countries with a lot of character

The Baltic countries are interesting and the old towns are charming. They have suffered a lot under various foreign rulers and are proud of their independence. The...

Explore and discover the Baltics

I enjoyed discovering an area of Europe I knew little about. Visiting many areas of all 3 countries. Guide well organized and itinerary good. Only problems were T...

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Around the World Tours FAQ

1. Does Travelstride have all the tour operators?

2. How does the Member Savings program save me money?

3. Can I trust the tour operator and trip reviews on Travelstride?

4. What does ‘Stride Preferred’ mean?

‘We’re going to make it happen’ Eastern Kentucky father-son duo makes ultimate baseball trip to watch UK at the College World Series

June 19, 2024

OMAHA, NE (WYMT) - Droves of college baseball fans have descended upon Omaha, Nebraska to watch teams compete on college baseball’s greatest stage. A pair of Eastern Kentucky’s very own made an all-out effort to do the same and support the Wildcats.

Father-son duo Bill and Vince Powell made a long trip that began in Huntington, West Virginia. The game was postponed on Tuesday, June 18.

The Powells told WYMT that the family drove all night to get to the Cats elimination game against Florida two hours before the first pitch.

“Work is tough, but if we can carve out a time to watch them play, we’re going to make it happen,” Vince Powell said.

Hear the story of the family’s adventure to the College World Series on WYMT Mountain News First at Four.

Copyright 2024 WYMT. All rights reserved.

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Portion of Hal Rogers Parkway back open

A 4-wheeler accident resulted in the death of a teenager on Tuesday evening.

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Corbin PD issues Golden Alert

Riley Strain's disappearance caught the attention of national news and social media.

Riley Strain’s autopsy, toxicology results released

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Latest news.

UK baseball

Kentucky’s historic season ends in Omaha

UK baseball and Ryan Nicholson celebrate a home run in the NCAA Super Regional

Kentucky’s win-or-go home contest vs Florida postponed to Wednesday

Texas A&M infielder Ali Camarillo (2) reacts after hitting an RBI double that scored the third...

Wildcats fall to the Aggies in second round of the College World Series

Kentucky baseball celebrates after sweeping Oregon State in the Super Regional.

Kentucky continues MCWS run against SEC foe Texas A&M

How Summer Solstice Is Celebrated Around the World

By Sarah James

Image may contain Landscape Nature Outdoors Scenery Wilderness Grass Plant Sky Mountain Mountain Range and Peak

The summer solstice occurs in each hemisphere annually, when one of the earth's poles has maximum tilt toward the sun. The result is the sun reaching its highest position in the sky, causing the longest day of the year. For thousands of years, the solstice has drawn people together for ancient celebrations, from gatherings at Stonehenge to romantic rituals in Belarus.

In the Northern Hemisphere, many cultures celebrate Midsummer around the time of the summer solstice, which often falls on June 20, 21, or 22. Sweden is perhaps the most well-known destination for Midsummer celebrations (and even more so among Americans since Ari Aster's 2019 film, Midsommar hit theaters). But travelers can join in on solstice festivities across the globe, including in the Catalan region of Spain, the Austrian Alps, and Colombia's Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

Below, see eight places worth visiting during the summer solstice 2024—plus when the local merrymaking takes place and what to expect.

Image may contain Nature Outdoors and Sky

United Kingdom

Thursday, June 20, 2024

At Stonehenge in Wiltshire , crowds congregate at the Neolithic monument on the longest day of the year. The famous site was built to align with the sun on the solstices; it’s believed that people have gathered here to mark the summer solstice for thousands of years. No alcohol is allowed other than ceremonial mead.

Image may contain Nature Outdoors Scenery Pond Water Lake Waterfront Boat Transportation Vehicle and Person

Saturday, July 6 - Sunday, July 7, 2024

Chaplets (a kind of religious garland) float on a river in the town of Turov in Belarus as part of pagan summer solstice festival Ivan Kupala Day, which is celebrated in a handful of Eastern European countries. The floating flowers are set off by young women, who try to gain insight into the future of their romantic relationships from the way they float.

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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Denmark’s Midsummer celebrations coincide with marking the birth of John the Baptist, who was supposedly born six months before Jesus. Danes believe that summer solstice is when witches make their way to the Brocken, a point in the mountains of Germany .

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Friday, June 21, 2024

In Sweden, flower-covered maypoles are put up in the countryside for revelers to dance around—followed by classic snacks of pickled herrings and aquavit. Events are held outdoors in public parks across the country: for traditional folk music and costumes head to Dalarna county, or chase the Midnight Sun in Riksgränsen.

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In the Catalan region of Spain, the townspeople of Berga (near Barcelona ) dress up as mystical or religious characters with typical ‘big head’ masks in a celebration that dates back to the Middle Ages.

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Saturday, June 22, 2024

In Tyrol, high in the Austrian Alps , 8,000 fires are lit in the Mieminger mountain range and beyond. Effigies and symbols that draw on religion, local mythology, nature, and current events are chosen by Tyrol locals to burn. The details are kept a secret until the evening of the summer solstice. As the sun sets, fires will be lit in Innsbruck and beyond.

Image may contain Fire Flame Bonfire Person Boat Transportation and Vehicle

Throughout the white nights of Midsummer across Finland , bonfires are lit, a throwback to hundreds of years ago when spells to increase fertility were cast by local people. Now, sauna bathing is a popular summer solstice ritual.

Image may contain People Person Clothing Footwear Shoe Adult Wedding Helmet Accessories Bag Handbag and Dancing

Thursday June, 20, 2024

In the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, in Colombia , a Corpus Christi celebration sees locals dress as devils, with hundreds of teeny bells on their legs, who represent evil. They wear mirrors on their backs to harness the power of the sun on the longest day of the year. The ritual represents the fight between God and the Devil.

This article was originally published on Condé Nast Traveller UK.

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10 Most Affordable Beach Destinations to Live in Around the World

These beautiful coastal destinations offer top-notch beach living on a budget.

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Many dream of waking up to the soothing sound of crashing waves, but with inflation and real estate prices driving up the cost of living , few can afford to move to a beach town. However, this doesn't mean you have to abandon your fantasy, as plenty of oceanfront communities across the globe offer affordable housing and good-value living.

And while the cost of living also largely depends on your spending habits, the beach towns we've highlighted below guarantee your dollar will stretch much further without sacrificing the little pleasures like eating out, enjoying cultural activities and events, and taking advantage of everything the destination has to offer.

So, whether you're planning your retirement or want to try the digital nomad lifestyle , we've found 10 budget-friendly places around the world — both small and large — where surf, sand, and sun are pretty much a given 365 days of the year.

To compile this list, we consulted experts from International Living, specializing in life overseas, as well as multiple reports on the cost of living in cities worldwide. And, of course, be sure to check the visa requirements for your beach destination of choice before packing up.

George Town, Malaysia

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The capital of Penang, an island off Malaysia's west coast, is a vibrant city famous for its historic attractions and colonial architecture, which were recognized by UNESCO and included in the organization's list of World Heritage Sites in 2008. The city is also known for its street art, vibrant nightlife, and diverse population, reflected in its eclectic dining scene that blends Malay, Chinese, and Indian influences.

According to data by International Living, a couple can live on a monthly budget of $1,760, whereas $2,500 will get you a place in a luxury high-rise with an ocean view and resort-like amenities.

Valencia, Spain

Jamie Ditaranto/Travel + Leisure

Known as the birthplace of paella, Valencia offers a fantastic food scene, striking architecture, and affordable living, regularly placing it among the best beach destinations to live in Europe .

The city has several golden-sand beaches and is a short flight from the Balearic islands of Mallorca, Ibiza, and Menorca (or a five to seven-hour ferry ride ).

A couple renting a two-bedroom apartment in downtown Valencia can live comfortably on a monthly budget of $2,635, according to International Living .

Mazatlán, Mexico

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Last year, this underrated beach destination ranked among the most affordable communities in Mexico for expats . GoBankingRates calculated a single person would need less than $1,300 per month to live comfortably here, and that number includes rent. The company also noted the average one-bedroom apartment in the city center costs about $620 per month.

The city, which already has a sizable expat community, is home to a beautiful historic area, more than 10 miles of beaches (including several on the three islands off its coast), and many music events throughout the year.

Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

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Bali's picture-perfect beaches and laid-back lifestyle have attracted many expats, but if you're looking for one of the most affordable destinations on the island, consider Canggu. This increasingly popular village on Bali's south coast is close to some of the island's most important temples, plus it's surrounded by scenic rice paddies and banana plantations.

You can expect to spend under $1,500 per month here, of which $800 goes toward renting a two-bedroom villa , according to International Living.

Hua Hin, Thailand

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A former fishing village, Hua Hin is now the preferred seaside getaway for both locals and visitors, thanks to its picture-perfect beaches, golf courses, seafood restaurants, lively night market, and temples. And while the destination has many urban conveniences, if you miss the vibrancy of a big city, Bangkok is about a three-hour drive away and easy to visit for a weekend.

International Living points out couples in Hua Hin can live comfortably on a monthly budget of $2,000, which covers eating out a few times a week, groceries, entertainment, and renting a one- or two-bedroom apartment.

Varna, Bulgaria

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Located on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast, north of Greece and Turkey, Varna is a midsized city offering access to scenic beaches, museums, an aquarium, a lively garden, many resorts, and an international airport. The region is an up-and-coming luxury destination on the Balkan peninsula, with a presence from global hospitality brands like Meliá. Nobu recently announced plans to open a property in the area as well. And golf enthusiasts can practice their swing at one of the most scenic courses in the region at Thracian Cliffs, which overlooks the Black Sea.

According to local data, a furnished two-bedroom apartment in Varna costs around $655 monthly and about the same for other expenses . Bulgaria, overall, was named one of the best places to invest in real estate by Sothebys in 2023 .

Lagos, Portugal

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The Algarve region of Portugal is a magnet for expats, thanks to its sun-drenched beaches , delicious cuisine, and many charming villages and small towns. Lagos, in particular, is a popular choice as it offers urban amenities with the laid-back lifestyle of a resort town, including a vibrant nightlife scene, excellent shopping, and a marina.

International Living experts estimate a couple will need a monthly budget of about $2,080, inclusive of rent.

Toulon, France

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This city along the Mediterranean may not be as well known as Marseille or Nice, which is precisely what makes it appealing as a home base. As the gateway to Provence, Toulon is an ideal destination for sampling the region's delicious food and admiring its stunning scenery. Residents enjoy plenty of sunshine throughout the year, beautiful historic architecture, plenty of cafes and restaurants, and a thriving arts scene. With several beaches in and around the city, you're never too far from a stretch of sand.

Capital.fr reports the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Toulon is $16 per square meter (or about $600 per month), plus approximately $150 for electricity and heating .

Azores, Portugal

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Island living in the middle of the Atlantic? Sign us up. The Azores is a much calmer, less crowded, and more affordable alternative to Portugal's mainland. The nine islands comprising the archipelago boast dramatic landscapes with volcanoes, lagoons, thermal springs, and small towns where life moves at a slower pace.

Although certain goods may cost more because they're imported, living in the Azores is generally less expensive than on the mainland, at around $1,500 per month. In the capital, Ponta Delgada on the island of São Miguel, monthly costs are about $1,200 if you're single and $2,850 for a family of four, according to Expatistan.com .

Puerto Morelos, Mexico

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The Riviera Maya is a bustling vacation and second-home destination where housing isn't exactly cheap these days, but if you're searching for an affordable alternative in the area, the small fishing village of Puerto Morelos, located between Playa del Carmen and Cancun, is your best bet.

In contrast to its more famous neighbors, this Caribbean community is more laid-back and relaxed, offering plenty of opportunities to stay active. At the same time, thanks to its proximity to Cancun (the city is about a one-hour drive away), residents have access to quality health care and other urban amenities.

International Living notes a couple can live here on $1,700 a month, of which rent accounts for $500 to $700, depending on the apartment.

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Liverpool: Premier League 2024/25 fixtures and schedule

Liverpool begin their 2024/25 Premier League season at Ipswich Town on the opening Saturday; The Reds face Man Utd at Old Trafford in opening month in new boss Arne Slot's third game in charge; Liverpool end campaign at home to Crystal Palace

Tuesday 18 June 2024 13:00, UK

Arne Slot kicks off his Liverpool reign with a lunchtime trip to newly-promoted Ipswich Town on the opening Saturday of the 2024/25 Premier League season.

The Dutchman will then come up against compatriot Erik ten Hag when Liverpool take on arch-rivals Man Utd at Old Trafford in just his third game in charge of the club with the game currently scheduled for Saturday August 31.

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The Reds face tricky-looking back-to-back clashes at home to Chelsea and away to Arsenal in October, before hosting Manchester City at the end of November.

The first Merseyside derby of the season comes at Goodison Park on December 7, while Liverpool begin the new year by entertaining Manchester United on January 4.

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Slot's side travel to the champions on February 22, before the second Merseyside derby of the campaign on April 2 and they conclude the season by taking on Chelsea (a) and Arsenal (h) in consecutive games in May, with Crystal Palace coming to Anfield on the final day.

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Liverpool have easiest start

Analysis by Sky Sports Data Analyst Adam Smith:

Liverpool have the easiest opening six Premier League fixtures on paper, according to the average position of opponents' league positions last season.

All the 2024/25 Premier League fixtures

Find out more about Sky Sports

The key dates for 2024/25

The new kits for the new season

The Reds' upcoming average league opponent ranked only 14.8 in the standings last term.

Liverpool's 2024/25 Premier League fixtures

All fixtures subject to change.

17: Ipswich (a) - Kick-off 12.30pm

24: Brentford (h)

31: Manchester United (a)

14: Nottingham Forest (h)

21: Bournemouth (h)

28: Wolves (a)

5: Crystal Palace (a)

19: Chelsea (h)

26: Arsenal (a)

2: Brighton (a)

9: Aston Villa (h)

23: Southampton (a)

30: Manchester City (h)

4: Newcastle United (a)

7: Everton (a)

14: Fulham (h)

21: Tottenham (a)

26: Leicester City (h)

29: West Ham (a)

4: Manchester United (a)

14: Nottingham Forest (a)

18: Brentford (a)

25: Ipswich Town (h)

1: Bournemouth (a)

15: Wolves (h)

22: Manchester City (a)

26: Newcastle United (h)

8: Southampton (h)

15: Aston Villa (a)

2: Everton (h)

5: Fulham (a)

12: West Ham (h)

19: Leicester City (a)

26: Tottenham (h)

3: Chelsea (a)

10: Arsenal (h)

18: Brighton (a)

25: Crystal Palace (h)

2024/25 Champions League dates

Group stage 1: 17/18/19 September Group stage 2: 1/2 October Group stage 3: 22/23 October Group stage 4: 5/6 November Group stage 5: 26/27 November Group stage 6: 10/11 December Group stage 7: 21/22 January Group stage 8: 29 January Play-off first leg: 11/12 February Play-off second leg: 18/19 February Last 16 first leg 1: 4/5 March Last 16 second leg: 11/12 March Quarter-finals first leg: 8/9 April Quarter-finals second leg: 15/16 April Semi-final first leg: 29/30 April Semi-final second leg: 6/7 May Champions League final: 31 May

What are the key dates for the 2024/25 season?

The 2024/25 Premier League season will start on the weekend on Friday August 16 and conclude on Sunday May 25 2025.

The campaign will run over 33 weekends, four midweek rounds and one Bank Holiday matchweek.

The Community Shield will take place on Saturday 10 August and the FA Cup final will take place on Saturday May 17, the weekend before the Premier League's final day.

The Champions League final will be held on Saturday May 31. The Europa League final will be played on Wednesday May 21 in Bilbao, with the UEFA Conference League final a week later on Wednesday May 28.

Live Premier League on Sky Sports in 2024/25

Sky Sports will show 128 games exclusively live in the 2024/25 season - and a brand new agreement between Sky Sports and the Premier League means even more live matches from 2025/26.

From 2025, Sky Sports will broadcast a record minimum of 215 Premier League matches a season after finalising a new four-year agreement.

Throughout the 2024/25 season, you can watch Premier League match highlights for free - without being a Sky Sports subscriber.

You'll find highlights from every Premier League game in the Score Centre, as well as on the Sky Sports website and Sky Sports app shortly after full-time , or from 5.15pm for midday Saturday kick-offs. You can also watch them on the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel.

You can stream Sky Sports live with no contract on a Month or Day membership on NOW - find out more about instant access to live action from the Premier League, EFL, F1, England cricket and much more.

Sky Sports+ - more sport, launching in August!

Sky Sports+ will give more choice to sports fans via live streams and a new dedicated channel, at no extra cost.

Launching this August, Sky Sports+ will be transformational in the amount of choice sports fans will have access to via live streams on Sky TV , streaming service NOW and the improved Sky Sports App on mobile.

With more coverage than ever before from the EFL, both tennis Tours and men's Super League, Sky Sports customers can enjoy more than 50% more live sport this year.

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More From Forbes

Travel trends reach new heights as aerial attractions soar in popularity.

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The new Skybridge Michigan at Boyne Mountain ski and golf resort is the world’s longest ... [+] timber-towered suspension bridge at 1,200 feet, and connects two mountain peaks for foot traffic.

All around the world, tourists are paying good money to be taken to new heights, and aerial attractions have suddenly become a sky-high trend in travel.

As long as there have been skyscrapers there have been views from the top, but the most recent iteration of the scenic observation trend is much different.

The current movement most likely began in 1954, when the small Sugar Bowl ski resort near Lake Tahoe put one of its chairlifts up for sale. Everett Kircher, founder of Michigan-based Boyne Resorts, which operates golf and ski resorts around the country, decided to try something new. He bought the lift and moved it to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, a spot hat has absolutely nothing to do with skiing.

The Gatlinburg SkyBridge is popular day and night

But what Gatlinburg does have is multiple tourist attractions and immediate access to the most popular National Park in the United States, Great Smoky Mountains NP. It also has a large drive market Southern population, many of whom had never been on a ski lift. Kircher started running his scenic chairlift rides to an amazing mountaintop viewpoint in the Smokeys, proving the Field of Dreams adage, “If you build it, they will come.” Tourists have been flocking to the attracting for 70 years, but the Kirchers were hardly done.

Inspired by the decades of success, Everett’s son and current Boyne Resorts President Stephen Kircher built a massive bridge in 2019—the largest pedestrian cable bridge in North America. It sits at the top of the chairlift, and hundreds of thousands of travelers each year (privately held Boyne Resorts won’t confirm more detailed numbers) pay $38-$51 to ride the lift and walk across the Gatlinburg SkyBridge . The area gets a lot of repeat visitors, and many of these consider the SkyBridge an indispensable part of their vacation, experiencing it every time they come.

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The Gatlinburg SkyBridge draws hunderds of thousands of visitors each year.

“We are in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, abutting the National Park, and the bridge connects two ridges with views of three of the tallest mountains on the East Coast, higher than 6,500 feet. The views are so spectacular they are hard to describe,” said Kristen Lodge, Marketing Director for the Gatlinburg SkyPark , which includes the lift and SkyBridge, as well as the SkyTrail hiking path and an observation tower viewing station.

They sell both single ride and unlimited one day tickets, and surprisingly, many visitors opt for the latter because they want to ride it in the morning, afternoon and after dark for the different views. “Gatlinburg goes crazy with lights during the holidays, and we also decorate the bridge with lights, and that’s a really popular time to come at night and see all the holiday displays. The views have always been what we hang our hat on. At the beginning there was just a view deck at the top of the lift, now there’s the bridge, and we are building a new viewing pavilion with restaurant at the other side of the bridge, opening September 1.”

The Gatlinburg SkyBridge sits 500 feet off the ground and in a single span covers 700 feet, complete with a 30-foot stretch of see through glass floor panels in the middle to further appreciate the dramatic views. It takes most people 15-20 minutes to cross, and then you walk back across.

Both Gatlinburg SkyBridge (shown) and SkyBridge Michigan have glass panels in the center to look ... [+] through the floor.

Five years ago, when the bridge opened, it would have been easy to question Kircher’s judgment, but its wild success has proven him right, and he followed up with the peak-to-peak pedestrian SkyBridge Michigan in summer 2022. The world’s longest timber-towered suspension bridge, the 1200-foot-long beauty is a marvel of engineering with its impressive wooden frame, and connects two peaks at the Boyne Mountain Ski Area, one of the most popular in the Midwest.

Like its predecessor in Tennessee, SkyBridge Michigan is accessed by a ski chairlift, and includes a glass-floored section in the middle. There are multiple food and drink options available, and the pedestrian bridge is open year-round. In winter Boyne Mountain is a ski resort, but non-skiers flock to the bridge, and in summer it has many other activities, including two high-quality 18-hole golf courses, and Boyne operate another half dozen courses including the highly-ranked award-winning Bay Harbor course, at its nearby sister properties. The area is a popular summer destination thanks to it its standout golf and fishing, and the SkyBridge makes for a new and unique extra attraction or activity that you will find in very few places.

"Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA - April 11, 2008: The Skywalk is a U shaped observations deck that ... [+] allows people to walk on a glassfloor 4000 feet over the Colorado River."

But while they are at the forefront, Boyne Resorts is hardly the only one adding these kinds of scenic aerial attractions that are all about the views. The Hualapai Tribe famously opened the Skywalk at Eagle Point , a glass-floored U-shaped observation platform jutting out over the Grand Canyon, in 2007. Built at a cost of $30 million this engineering marvel was the world’s largest glass cantilevered bridge until a similar attraction opened in China in 2016. In fact, according to website highestbridges.com, which compiles a list of skywalks and viewing platforms , there are dozens of cantilevered scenic glass platforms and bridges in China, including eight of the world’s top ten, many of them opened since 2020. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is the only one on the site’s Top Ten outside the Pacific Rim.

The Skywalk is suspended 4.000 feet above the Grand Canyon, and is not part of the National Park, but like Gatlinburg, is very convenient to Park visitors, part of an attraction area known as Grand Canyon West . Additional activities here include rafting, scenic helicopter rides, zip lines and more.

Woman admiring the view from Step Into The Void in Chamonix.

France’s Chamonix is at the base of Mont Blanc, the tallest peak in the Alps and Western Europe, and is the birthplace of the sport of mountaineering and first-ever Winter Olympics venue. The premier “mountain town” of the Alps, it draws a steady stream of tourists, summer and winter, and among the outdoorsy is famed for its skiing, hiking and adventure sports. But many travelers come simply for the stunning mountain views and ride the many cable cars in the region. The most famous of these is the Aiguille du Midi cable car , the world’s highest when it opened in 1955, reaching about 12,000 feet. It claims to receive half a million visitors annually.

In 2013, Step Into The Void , “Europe’s highest attraction,” was added at the top. This is a five-sided glass enclosed room of sorts, with entirely transparent walls and floor, cantilevered out as an enclosed viewing platform over a 3000-foot abyss.

Wyoming's famed Jackson Hole ski resort just added the new Grand Teton Skywalk atop its aerial tram.

From Michigan to France to Canada, ski resorts have been at the forefront of this aerial tourism trend, and just this past fall, one of the nation’s most famous got into the high-altitude attraction game when Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) in Wyoming debuted the Grand Teton Skywalk . This is circular viewing platform at the end of a concrete and steel bridge/walkway, jutting out from near the upper terminal of the resort’s iconic aerial tram. Like the Gatlinburg SkyBridge and Grand Canyon Skywalk, JHMR sits near the entrance to two stunning National Parks, Grand Teton and Yellowstone, and offers amazing views and an additional major tourism attraction to those visiting the Parks.

The Cloudraker Skybridge at the Whistler/Blackcomb ski resort in Canada spans about 500 feet

In 2018, Canada’s Whistler/Blackcomb, the largest and most visited ski resort in North America, added a double dose of aerial attractions . Raven’s Eye is a triangular viewing platform above Whistler Bowl, cantilevered out 40 feet with stunning long-range views. The resort also has its own pedestrian bridge, the Cloudraker Skybridge, running about 500 feet from the West Ridge to Whistler Peak. But even before these opened, the resort had one of the most unique such activities anywhere, the Peak 2 Peak gondola. This connects the tops of the two adjacent ski mountains Whistler and Blackcomb and was the longest single span gondola in the world, with some cabins featuring glass floors for downward viewing. The Peak 2 Peak runs for skiers in winter and as a scenic attraction in summer, taking 11 minutes to make the 2.7-mile crossing nearly 1,500 feet above the ground.

Whsitler/Blackcomb also has the Raven's Eye observation deck.

The latest entrant into this niche is the Nautilus Observation Tower in Virginia Beach, VA. Scheduled to open this fall (2024), it’s part of the Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium , which combines visits to the aquarium with aerial ropes courses and zip-lines. With 258 treetop platforms, 17 aerial trails and 33 ziplines, it has a lot of up in the air action. But the new Nautilus Tower is different and claims to be the first of its kind in the United States. It is 80-feet in diameter and 15 stories tall, with a circular series of open sided platforms spiraling up from the ground, so as you walk up the corkscrew you get 360-degree views during the entire ascent. You can also opt to go up more directly via central staircases. But the big surprise is on the way down—you can retrace your steps, choose whichever option you ignored on the way up, or for a bit more excitement you can jump into the nation’s longest stainless-steel slide and let gravity take you down as you spiral through the center of the tower. The Nautilus will also have a Canopy Walk system of aerial bridge trails connected to it, 40 feet off the forest floor. It sits on 38-wooded acres on the water’s edge.

The Il Spir Observation Platform looks over the Rhine Gorge, "Switzerland's Grand Canyon"

Some other notable aerial attractions in this vein include the Cabo Girao Viewpoint , jutting out from the highest promontory in Europe at 1,800 feet, on the Portuguese island of Madeira; the 5-Fingers Viewing Platform , which is hand-shaped with five metal viewing protrusions over a 1,200-foot abyss in the Austrian Alps; and the Il Spir Observation Platform in Switzerland, over the Upper Rhine Gorge or Ruinaulta, the “Swiss Grand Canyon.”

Chicago's Willis Tower added protruding see-through boxes to its Observation Deck, a newer ... [+] attraction called The Ledge.

These sky bridges and cantilevered platforms are a category all their own, but many big cities have taken an urban spin on the concept, with top level observation decks on skyscrapers all over the world. Many of these in turn have added scarier outdoor sections, or in the case of Chicago’s Willis Tower, the second tallest building in the country, with its Skydeck at a staggering 1,353 feet, The Ledge, a city version of the cantilevered glass decks with transparent boxes jutting out.

New York alone has at least five notable examples, including the iconic One World Observatory, at 1,265 feet on floors 100-102 of the nation’s tallest building, One World Trade Center. Almost as high is the Edge, the tallest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere at 1,130 feet, and the Big Apple also has the famed Empire State Building (King Kong’s favorite), Top of the Rock and Summit One Vanderbilt.

An oldie but a goodie, Paris' Eiffel Tower

Other notable examples include the Eiffel Tower in Paris; The View From The Shard in London; Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand with an open air Sky Walk around it; Toronto’s CN Tower, the world’s tallest structure with an outdoor Edge Walk option; Tokyo Skytree, the world’s second tallest structure; The Stratosphere in Las Vegas; Petronas Towers. Kuala Lumpur, Malayasia; and Taiwan’s Taipei 101, the tallest building in the world when it opened, and still the tallest LEED certified one, which has long housed a major observation deck attraction but recently opened an outdoor area, Skyline 460.

Larry Olmsted

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A Palestinian Professor Spoke Out Against the Gaza War. Israel Detained Her.

The investigation of Prof. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian of Hebrew University has prompted a debate inside Israel about the repression of free speech and academic freedoms since the war began.

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A woman dressed in a denim shirt stands in a defendant’s box flanked by a man and a woman in uniform.

By Damien Cave and Rawan Sheikh Ahmad

Damien Cave reported from Jerusalem and Rawan Sheikh Ahmad reported from Haifa, Israel.

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, a Palestinian professor at a prominent Israeli university, first waded into the debate over the Gaza war by joining academics worldwide in signing a letter that called for a cease-fire. It branded Israel’s assault on the territory a “genocide” and the leaders of her university responded by urging her to resign .

That was soon after the war began on Oct. 7. Months later, the professor drew even more scrutiny for saying it was time to “abolish Zionism” and accusing Israel of politicizing rape. She was briefly suspended in March by Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she has taught law and social work for nearly three decades. But right-wing Israeli politicians demanded more severe punishment and in April, the police detained her overnight.

“I have been persecuted and defamed, my academic production of knowledge flattened and my home and even my own bedroom invaded,” Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian, 64, told The New York Times.

The professor is now under investigation for incitement to terrorism — a crime punishable by up to five years in prison. And though she has not been charged, her case has prompted a profound debate inside Israel about the repression of free speech and academic freedom since the war began more than eight months ago.

The professor’s lawyers say she is being punished for her political views. And some other Israeli professors and students worry that the country’s universities — which had long defended the values of relative diversity and open-mindedness — have contributed to the suppression of dissent.

While universities argue they are simply trying to keep campuses calm, critics say there is a clear double standard across Israeli society: Violent rhetoric toward Palestinians from Jewish Israelis is often brushed aside while Palestinian citizens of Israel who express support for Palestinians in Gaza or criticize the conduct of the war face discipline or even criminal investigation.

As of May, police records show, 162 indictments for incitement to terrorism had been filed since the Hamas-led attack on Israel on Oct. 7. Nearly every case, according to Adalah, a legal center for the rights of the Arab minority in Israel, involved Arab citizens of Israel or Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, who mostly declined offers of citizenship after Israel annexed the area.

Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian is among about 500 Arab-Israeli citizens who have faced police investigations for incitement . Dozens of students have also been caught up in disciplinary proceedings by universities for vague expressions of religious belief or statistics and images that counter Israel’s narrative of the war, according to Adalah.

Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian’s case has drawn more attention than most because she is a globally recognized scholar under criminal investigation for statements related to subjects she has studied for decades.

“Violent extremism has been allowed to overtake and politicize the criminal justice and academic systems, and has reached new levels in my case,” she said. “This violent extremism has served to demonize Palestinians.”

A Palestinian of Armenian origin, the professor was born in the Israeli city of Haifa and educated at Hebrew University, where she received her Ph.D. in law in 1994. Her work has focused on trauma, state crimes, gender violence, law and society and genocide studies.

She has lectured worldwide over the past two decades, with visiting professorships at universities including Georgetown in Washington, and she tends to speak with a mix of outrage and academic jargon.

Abeer Otman, who studied for her Ph.D. with Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian, said she was also the kind of professor who was quick to hold a person’s hands during conversations about traumatic experiences, or line up a lawyer for someone in need.

But even before Oct. 7, Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian’s lectures and interviews, especially in the United States, were a focus for pro-Israel watchdog groups. The attention intensified when, after signing the letter mentioning genocide, she continued to speak out.

During a podcast interview recorded March 6 with American academics, she said it was time to “abolish Zionism,” calling it criminal. She also questioned the veracity of the Israeli government’s accounts of rape during the October attack.

“If it didn’t happen,” she said, “it’s shame on the state to use women’s bodies and sexuality to promote political agendas, to promote further dispossession of land, to promote further killing.”

A new report on Wednesday by a U.N. commission investigating the Oct. 7 attack documented cases indicating sexual violence against women and men during the attack and against some of those who were abducted.

After reviewing testimonies obtained by journalists and the Israeli police concerning rape, however, the commission said it had not been able to independently verify the rape allegations, “due to a lack of access to victims, witnesses and crime sites and the obstruction of its investigations by the Israeli authorities.”

The report said Israel did not cooperate with the investigation. Hamas has denied that its members sexually abused people in captivity or during the attack.

In the swirl of these competing claims, in mid-March, a right-wing Israeli news channel edited a video version of the professor’s podcast interview in a way that cut out caveats and context and a clip of the edit went viral.

Hebrew University suspended the professor, explaining in a March 14 letter to students and faculty that “one of the most important values​​ of the social work profession is that you always believe and side with the victims so it is not possible to teach social work while declaring that rape didn’t happen.”

After Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian met with university leaders on March 27 and told them that as a feminist researcher, she believes all victims, and that she did not deny there were rapes on Oct. 7, she was allowed to return to teaching.

In early April, right-wing members of Israel’s Parliament called for her to be fired and for the police to investigate her for incitement. They urged economic sanctions against Hebrew University to increase the pressure to oust her.

Then on April 18, the police detained the professor at her home in East Jerusalem. Her lawyers said she was ill at the time, but had to spend the night in a cold jail cell with cockroaches even though she had not been charged with any crime.

The next day, the police and prosecutors asked to extend her detention, but a judge rejected the request and freed her.

Over the next few weeks, the Israeli authorities questioned Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian for more than 17 hours in several lengthy sessions, delving into her books and views on a variety of subjects, according to her lawyers.

“The police have already exceeded the authority given to them by asking her about other statements and things that are her opinions,” said Mazen Masri, senior lecturer of law at City University of London and a member of the professor’s legal team.

Alaa Mahajna, her lead lawyer in Jerusalem, said: “The message is clear — no dissent from the Zionist consensus is allowed.”

The Israeli police and national security ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

Days after Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian’s arrest, members of the criminology faculty at Hebrew University condemned her on television, arguing her body of work was tainted by politics. Hebrew University’s leaders responded by saying that while some of her research papers and books “may appear to be fundamentally unfounded, they underwent a professional peer review process.”

In interviews, several Jewish Israeli professors of law and other subjects said that while they disagreed with some or all of the professor’s views, they felt betrayed not just by the police, but also by the leaders of many universities for failing to come out more strongly in favor of free expression.

Ariel Porat, a law professor and president of Tel Aviv University, said this was the first time he could recall that a professor had been detained in Israel for speech.

“I think it was a terrible thing to arrest her,” he said.

Hebrew University also issued a statement the day after the professor’s detention calling for her speedy release. But some faculty members said that the university has not done enough to defend free speech, and that her suspension started the cycle of persecution.

Shlomi Segall, a political philosophy professor at Hebrew University, joined a small demonstration in late April outside a police station where Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian was being questioned. He wore a white T-shirt that said in Hebrew: “They are taking away our democracy. Are you fine with it?”

“We see every citadel of democracy crumbling,” he said.

A few days later, after Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian was called back for more interrogation, she said the case would not keep her quiet.

“I am a strong woman,” she told The Times. “We should also remember that this horrible ordeal pales in comparison with what women, children, doctors, academics, and practically everyone in Gaza is going through,” she added. “We should not lose our focus on their suffering.”

An earlier version of a picture caption with this article referred imprecisely to a building near a protest. It is the former United States Consulate; it now houses a Palestinian affairs unit, not the U.S. Consulate.

How we handle corrections

Damien Cave is an international correspondent for The Times, covering the Indo-Pacific region. He is based in Sydney, Australia.  More about Damien Cave

Our Coverage of the Israel-Hamas War

News and Analysis

The $230 million temporary pier that the U.S. military built on short notice to rush humanitarian aid to Gaza has largely failed , aid organizations say, and will probably end operations weeks earlier than originally expected.

The Israeli military said that it had paused operations during daylight hours  in parts of southern Gaza,  raising cautious hopes that the new policy would allow more aid to reach desperate civilians.

A Biden administration plan to sell $18 billion worth of F-15 fighter jets  to Israel is moving forward after two top Democratic holdouts in Congress signed off on the deal.

‘A Hellscape’ for Amputees:  Doctors say they have been stunned by the sheer number of amputations in Gaza , which put patients at risk of infection in a place where access to medical care and even clean water is limited.

Pregnant With Nowhere to Go:  As the war in Gaza killed all hope around her, Nevin Muhaisen, a middle-school teacher and mother of four, fought to bring a new life into the world .

A Crackdown on Speech:  A Palestinian professor at a prominent Israeli university spoke out against the war in Gaza. Israel detained her, prompting a debate about the repression of free speech and academic freedoms .

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