How to Plan a Round the World Trip

07 Aug 2019

Always dreamt of travelling around the world and finally thinking of making that fantasy a reality? If so, we’re jealous - trip of a lifetime alert! Although not too jealous to not help you plan it.

As exciting as it is, a round-the-world trip can be seriously daunting. You’ll no doubt have a heap of questions from ‘how much will it cost?’ to ‘can I do it alone?’, not to mention ‘how do I plan my flights?’. Luckily for you, Flight Centre's lovely experts are here to help.

Where Do I Start?

So, you’ve decided you’re going to embark on a round-the-world trip, great! Now, the first step should be to decide where to go. Do you have a specific destination in mind, or perhaps several spots? Is there somewhere you really want to go to first, or finish in? Make a note of all the places you definitely want to see so you can incorporate them into your itinerary and ensure any ticket you purchase includes these stops. Try to be realistic and not cram in too much and, most importantly, be open to recommendations. Our Travel Consultants really know their stuff - especially when it comes to adding in cool destinations you may not have thought of. You’ll also want to take the seasons into account. For example, you probably won't want to visit India during monsoon season or, if it's sun you're seeking, perhaps avoid parts of Canada during the winter as temperatures can plummet to as low as -30°C! Chat to your Flight Centre Consultant and of course do your own research about the best times of year to visit certain spots.

But while it pays to plan ahead, it also helps to be fluid to any changes that may happen along the way. If you’re nervous about the initial few weeks, consider booking onto a group tour with someone like G Adventures or Intrepid, where all the hassle of travelling will be taken away. You'll also meet other like-minded travellers!

How Much Money Will I Need?

Thinking about what to budget is a really important part of the planning process when organising your round-the-world trip. If you have a larger budget, you may be able to travel for longer or to more destinations, whereas if you have less, you’ll need to be more realistic.

You’ll need to incorporate everything from the flight ticket(s) to accommodation costs, food and drink, activities, plus any pre-travel injections or vaccinations and insurance. It’s worth taking into account how expensive each destination generally is too; you won’t need as much money for a month in Thailand as you would in Australia, for example, so budget accordingly. If you’re happy to stay in budget accommodation, eat street food or pick up supermarket bits and pieces, then you can afford to budget a little less. It depends entirely on your travel style. It’s wise to always take more than what you think you’ll need though, a contingency for any unexpected costs that may crop up.

How Long Do I Need?

This is a tricky one as it really depends on your individual circumstances. If you have a full-time job, you may only be able to take two or three weeks at a time, unless you are lucky enough to be able to take a sabbatical. If you're a student, are simply taking a year out, or have the freedom of lifestyle to be able to travel freely, you could take months or even years to travel around. Do bear in mind, however, the terms and conditions of your ticket; some restrict you to using it within the space of a year. Don't worry though: if you purchase a round-the-world ticket with Flight Centre, but decide you want to return in more than 12 months’ time, our specialist Complex Air Experts can help you book the best ticket back home!

What About Flights?

The most budget-friendly way to circumvent the globe is with a round-the-world air ticket that uses one airline, for example, Air New Zealand. Most tickets will allow for a maximum of 15 stops, and nearly all will require you to travel in one direction. You can also go for an alliance fare, such as One World, Star Alliance or Escapade, all of which incoporate multiple carriers.

The great news is that by getting a ticket through us, our lovely humans can actually tailor-make an itinerary that's completely bespoke to you and, what’s more, will offer you recommendations on how you can save money on your airfares, perhaps by switching destinations or swapping the order of your itinerary. Just tell our friendly Complex Air team where you want to go and how long for, and they’ll help you craft an amazing trip of epic proportions.

Some of our most popular routes at the moment include the Escapades ticket which offers great value for money as well as flexibility. It’s available in Economy, Premium Economy and Business Class, and you can make changes for free. You can also opt to upgrade your seat for specific parts of your journey as opposed to the entirety. If you’re flexible with dates, prices can start as low as £1,253pp for an Economy ticket, or just £2,507pp for Premium Economy. The typical route for an Escapades ticket is London / Hong Kong / Auckland / Honolulu / Los Angeles / London – and, of course, we can add in other destinations if you’re dying to stop somewhere else, like Tokyo for example.

You can find out more about our round-the-world flight options here, and use our handy Trip Planner tool to help you plan your perfect adventure.

Can I Make Changes to my Plans After I’ve Booked my Ticket?

As avid travellers ourselves, we know that when organising a big trip, plans can sometimes change last minute.  Most round-the-world tickets are extremely flexible in terms of changing dates, or even destinations. Based on the trip you’re doing, our team are able to recommend a fare with the right level of flexibility to suit you. 

Can I Do it Solo?

Absolutely! Some of the best trips around the world are done by solo travellers, and it’s arguably one of the most rewarding ways to travel. It’s an opportunity to make new friends, visit destinations you really want to without the influence of others, and just an all-round amazing personal growth experience. Just apply common sense to keep yourself safe, and there’s no reason why you can’t embark on a super fun solo jaunt around the world.

You can get more tips and advice on travelling solo here.

What Happens if I Get Sick?

Sadly it’s inevitable. You will more than likely get sick at one point or another during your travels, but it’s important to keep calm and find the help you need. First off, it’s essential to have adequate travel insurance so that, if the worst happens, you can make a claim and get your money back. In certain countries, if you have to have extensive treatment or break a limb, you could get stung by huge hospital bills, so it really is crucial to have insurance that will put your mind at ease.

What Should I Pack?

Again, this does depend on where you’ll be travelling to. If you’re heading for sunnier climes or cities, lightweight clothing is best. A couple of pairs of shorts, a few tops, swimwear, a sunhat, some sort of cover up, a waterproof, as well as comfortable trainers and flip flops should serve you well. Don’t forget a first aid kit, any personal medicines, a laptop if you plan to work while you travel as well as back-ups of important travel documents in case the worst happens.

A portable charger is a must, both for your phone and any electrical equipment like cameras etc. Anything else you can generally get while on the road. Remember, you’ll be living out of this bag and lugging it across the globe, so if you can pack light, do.

What if Something Goes Wrong?

We're here to help if any of your travel plans don't pan out quite as expected! Our Emergency Assist team is available 24/7 for any urgent issues on +44 203 056 7993 and, of course, stay in touch with your Complex Air Expert too - they're best placed to make tweaks to your itinerary while you're on the move.


So, ready to plan your adventure of a lifetime? Give us a call today on 0800 856 0078 and our friendly Travel Consultants can help you book that dream trip!


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Emily Rose Cater

Having studied Journalism, Film & Media at university, followed by a postgraduate certificate in Women's Fashion & Lifestyle Journalism, Emily spent the first three years of her career writing for fashion titles, before finding her niche in travel writing. Emily has been lucky enough to travel the world for both work and pleasure, visiting everywhere from France, Italy and Croatia, to Cambodia, Borneo and the Philippines - with Sri Lanka being one of her favourite destinations.