A lifelong fantasy for many travelers is to leave their everyday existence behind and take a trip around the world. Even if you are fortunate enough to have an extended amount of free time to circumnavigate the world, putting together a round-the-world itinerary can be complicated and potentially expensive.
Where do you even start? Is it currently possible to purchase such a ticket? You could think of this ticket as a world airline pass that allows you to build a custom itinerary of your choosing within the guidelines of the airline alliance or other provider selling you the ticket.
Changes are usually allowed, and you should have the ability to schedule enough time between destination cities to visit the surrounding areas. Most RTW tickets are valid for up to 1 year. Airline alliances are groups of individual airlines with formal agreements in place to cooperate with each other.
These alliances facilitate global travel for their customers by utilizing these partnerships to create a worldwide network that connects destinations. Purchasing a RTW ticket from an airline alliance allows you to leverage the network of partner airlines to visit just about any part of the world, all on 1 ticket. Seems like the perfect place to start building an around-the-world ticket!
The ultimate guide to buying an around the world ticket [in-depth]
There are 4 levels of pricing at a maximum of 26, 29, 34, and 39, miles flown per itinerary. Each RTW ticket is allowed 16 flights and 15 stopovers of greater than 24 hours, while certain special economy fares allow a maximum of 5 stopovers. Here are 2 additional RTW itinerary suggestions from the Star Alliance website with estimated pricing. You might want to start by reviewing some sample itineraries first. Hot Tip: The Star Alliance suggested itineraries are worth reviewing because they automatically apply the maximum mileage and stopover limitations that keep pricing under control.
Maximizing these restrictions when building your own itinerary Bought a ticket to the world scratch is more challenging, so customizing the suggested itineraries serves as a better starting point. Either way, the cost of your RTW ticket will vary ificantly depending on where you begin your trip, the of cities visited, and the class of service you select.
This ticket is good for up to 16 total flights on your itinerary. Your first flight between continents is booked initially, and then all subsequent flights are left with open dates so you can schedule your trip as you go. Note that there are mileage limits on the Global Explorer ticket, and even ground transport between flight destinations counts towards those limits.
Can i alter the date of my ticket(s) once purchased?
Since it counts them all equally whether 1 hour or 12 hours in lengthyou could purchase inexpensive short flights as needed and utilize the RTW ticket for just the long-haul flights to maximize its value. SkyTeam has some suggested themed itineraries that are much less expensive, and some are quite creative! See the example above for 2 of their culinary journey recommendations. All in all, SkyTeam Go Around the World Pass prices appeared higher than comparable tickets with the other airline alliances.
According to Kiwi. This is one of those sites you should visit when you want to daydream about travel, because it allows you to Bought a ticket to the world with different RTW itineraries and see the pricing immediately. As you can see, the prices for RTW tickets booked with AirTreks are much lower than those booked through the airline alliances. On the flip side, because you select your fixed dates and flights up front, changes to your AirTreks RTW tickets can be subject to airline change fees.
In addition to the price, AirTreks tickets allow you to begin and end your journey anywheretravel in any direction, and fly on any airline without mileage restrictions. They offer the most competitive pricing for itineraries with more than 3 stops. Hot Tip: Selecting a sample itinerary and tweaking it to your liking can save you money over building an itinerary from scratch on your own. This is because the airline alliance or third-party seller has factored in all the rules that need to be followed to keep the cost down while maximizing the length and of destinations allowed.
While none of the domestic carriers currently offer the option to purchase an around-the-world ticket with miles, there are a few international carriers who do. The Bought a ticket to the world ticket utilizes Star Alliance partner airlines and includes visits to 7 cities serviced by these airlines. Korean SkyPass utilizes SkyTeam partner airlines plus a few additional non-partner airlines for its destinations, and it includes the possibility to visit up to 9 cities during the entire journey.
The pass does have several transfer, stopover, and backtracking restrictions. Korean SkyPass transfers only with Marriott.
The RTW ticket with Lufthansa utilizes Star Alliance partner airlines and includes 1 Atlantic Bought a ticket to the world, 1 Pacific crossing, a maximum of 10 flight segments, and 7 stopovers. There is also a requirement that beginning and ending intercontinental flights must have at least 10 days in between. Bottom Line: It is possible to build your own around-the-world trip using points and miles versus purchasing a RTW ticket. If you select all the places you want to visit in advance, you may end up with an expensive adventure.
But if you start by allotting a time slot for this journey and are flexible with your destinations, you can begin your trip with an affordable flight and build from there. The best part of building a free-form RTW ticket is that you can use any combination of :.
Letting the price of the ticket miles or cash determine your next destination could be the most affordable way to build the RTW ticket.
While not for everyone, I do admire the people I know who have built their RTW adventure using this edgy method! The answer is generally yes, but it is based on the airlines involved and fare classes within your itinerary.
Those factors include:. You may have to purchase a slightly higher fare to earn the most miles from your trip, but the may be worth it. No matter how you build and subsequently purchase your RTW ticket, there are a few tips to keep in mind that will help keep costs down, improve your experience, and assist if things go wrong:. Paying the extra premium to purchase a RTW ticket from one of the airline alliances may or may not be worth it to you.
You can save money by purchasing through third-party AirTreks with minimal sacrifice. For example: no backtracking, go only in one direction, etc. Purchasing an around-the-world ticket with miles is a disappearing option; no domestic carriers even offer it anymore. This is most likely because you can use one-way award flights to duplicate Bought a ticket to the world same itineraries albeit probably using more miles than the flat-priced RTW tickets. If you want to purchase a RTW ticket, consider using one of the sample AirTreks itineraries that is affordably pricedand tweak it to your liking.
A round-the-world ticket is a series of one-way flights that circle the globe and are all booked on one ticket. You can purchase a RTW ticket from the airline alliances or from other third-party sellers. The of stops you make and the fare class of the ticket can affect pricing. For example, you may want to fly business class and visit a dozen cities so your cost will be higher.
In some cases extra stops do not increase the price.
RTW ticket sellers usually have sample itineraries illustrating a large of stops so you can compare prices. A RTW ticket issued by the airline alliances, specific airlines, and AirTreks is good for one year from the date it is issued and cannot usually be extended. We take your comments very seriously as they really help us to improve the site. We really appreciate it! An error occurred please try again later. Use this points strategy to lock in pennies-on-the-dollar pricing inall without being a frequent flyer Discover the real-life strategies that anyone can use to enjoy limitless travel even on a limited budget!
Here is the link that goes directly to suggested itineraries. I will insert the direct link into the article as well. Thanks so much.
Yusaku maezawa: why i've bought a ticket to the moon
An excellent article that is well-researched and packed with tips. Considering the fact that the ticket can be used for an entire year expands the possibilities. Thanks for reading and for your comment. needed if you'd like comment updates. It will NOT be published.
Use this strategy to lock in pennies-on-the-dollar pricing inall without being a frequent flyer Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site including, for example, the order in which they appear. However, the credit card information that we publish has been written by experts who know these products inside out, and what we recommend is what we would or already use ourselves.
This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. This card has the biggest bonus ever and is full of benefits, including excellent travel insurance coverage. Terms Apply. One of our favorite business rewards cards, with a huge bonus. See 10 Best Credit Cards.