RTW Travel

How To Plan An Round the World Trip

An RTW is a trip round the world and involves much more planning than a simple 2 week vacation. An RTW typically lasts for around a year or more and while RTW tickets help to organize and determine your schedule, there is also a great deal of flexibility you’ll have during your RTW trip.

Everyone plans an RTW differently based on where they want to go, the time in their life (i.e. taking a gap year), and of course budget. This is just a basic recommended RTW planning outline designed to help guide you to mapping out your trip and plans. Planning an RTW is exciting from the moment the idea pops in your head to take an RTW trip around the world.

Making The Decision To Take An RTW

This is the first step that’s required for all of your other plans to come in to being. You may get this inspiration while stuck at your cubicle at work, on a whim fantasizing at coffee shop, or after reading a number of travel blogs from RTWers. Once the idea strikes you, its time to turn that dream into a reality. Most don’t know where to start and many give up and never take the RTW. Its left behind as something they should have done or as a regret while the daily routine continues. Don’t make excuses for not taking that RTW, start by breaking the problem down into its components heres a guide to help you do that.

Make A Map

You can go online but you’ll probably get a better kick out of going to the store, grabbing a large map of the world, some tacks, and string. During these initial stages of RTW planning, you don’t want to bog yourself down with budget concerns, RTW ticket restrictions, or detailed routes for the moment. Start by ticking off places you’ve always wanted to see, would love to visit again, and where youve got friends along the way. Keep in mind that most RTW tickets will require you to stop in 3 continents at least and you’ll get about 4 intercontinental flights per stay. You’re also not allowed to backtrack in most cases so use those criteria as loose guidelines.

RTW Airfare

Check out both the Star Alliance and OneWorld to get an idea of how much your travel plans will cost. Your RTW airfare is a good barometer of what you’ll need to save in order to make your RTW trip plans a reality. Generally speaking, setting aside around $5,000 is a good starting and saving point. Don’t be intimidated by the numbers at first, they’re just good to know so you can begin saving towards them. Its not the time to give up!

RTW tickets range fro $2,000-5,000.
You can book individual flights instead of getting an alliance package. Depending on your route it may turn out cheaper.

Getting The Time

It really depends on what point in your life you’re at as well as how much money you will have saved for your RTW that determines how to plan the time for an RTW. If you’re already on a gap year then you’ve got the time and can focus on the savings part of the equation. For those of you who are already working then you may be considering a career break or sabbatical. In some jobs it may be feasible to work from the road if your employer lets you, which is a good way to keep your income flowing as you travel. It also increases the likelihood your job will be waiting for you when you return from your RTW trip.

Its much easier to take time off the more you’ve got saved up as well. Taking your time saving can discourage your plans by continually delaying them. RTW trip plans are best made a year or 18 months in advance. Anything longer than that greatly decreases the chances your trip will ever happen. Plan on taking the time off from work by casually inquiring about it with your employer or looking for other opportunities to increase your income until your trip. You wont be thinking about your job as soon as you set foot on to your first RTW flight, so dont worry too much about it before you go either.

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