So You Want to Travel Around the World...
A trip around the world is a major undertaking that takes a lot of planning, and one way to save time and money is to use a travel agency that specializes in multi-continent, multi-stop international and around-the-world itineraries. Here's how to travel 'round the world on a trip of a lifetime.
Because these agencies deal with a high volume of tickets, they can often find you greater savings compared with published fares. In fact, traveling around the world with multiple stops can be close in price to many round-trips to single destinations yet they add much more value to your overall travel dollar.
Customizing Your Trip
This type of travel agency can save you time and money because they have a large network of global suppliers and can find the flights and connections that allow you to customize your trip exactly the way you want.
GoNOMAD has a partnership with AirTreks, an experienced, reliable around-the-world travel agency with 20 years of experience, and specializing in multi-stop international air tickets of three or more stops.
They offer a simple solution for people who want to get a quick on-line estimate for multi-stop international air, and their experienced personal travel consultants can give you routing suggestions on how to get the best value on the flights you really want.
And another huge benefit to using AirTreks is they don’t restrict travelers to a specific route or a certain number of miles that are needed within an itinerary like that of the air alliance products.
GoNOMAD can provide you with detailed information about destinations all over the world. Browse our photo galleries and our guide to round-the-world tickets. Read about a couple who planned their trip around volunteer opportunities in different parts of the world.
We also provide important information about passports and visas and travel insurance and travel health. We have articles on how to pack for a long journey and what to do before you leave. And of course, we have hundreds of stories from the top travel writers in the world.
Real Help From Real People
AirTreks can help you tailor your trip to your specific requirements. Some around-the-world fares have fixed stops with penalties for changing flights and dates; others can be changed at no cost. An Airtreks advisor can help you find the right price and the right degree of flexibility.
You can also use their online interactive flash TripPlanner tool to get estimates on different itineraries or even create a TripPlanner account to save all of your favorite itineraries.
This will allow you to create a wish list of the possible flight options before you actually submit one of your itineraries for review.
When you have finished designing your trip the way you like it, you can submit it to an Airtreks travel consultant -- a real person!
You may find that you can save a substantial amount by visiting the same destinations in a different order. An AirTreks travel consultant can also tell you which countries require that you show "proof of onward travel" -- in other words, a ticket on a flight out of the country.
If you are planning to travel for longer than 11 months or a year, or are uncertain of your route after a certain destination, you may need to purchase tickets in stages. It is highly recommended that you have the actual tickets in your hands before you depart; don’t count on “vouchers” being valid.
If possible, pay for your tickets by credit card, and purchase trip cancellation/interruption insurance.
Cheaper to Go all the Way
Buying an around the world airline ticket through Airtreks is much less expensive than buying each individual ticket.
Did you know that sometimes it’s cheaper to fly around the world, stopping in a number of different locations than it is to fly round-trip to a single destination? It is.
And did you know that you can purchase an around-the-world, multi-continent, multi-stop or circle-the-pacific airplane tickets easily? You can.
Have you ever just dreamed of taking off and going around the world for an extended journey? Dream no more.
Airline ticket agencies that specialize in around-the-world, multi-stop and multi-continent trips are the hottest thing out there in alternative travel. Using their services, you can customize a trip that will take you almost anywhere you want to go with more added value than a regular, round-trip ticket.
GoNOMAD’s Mini Guide to Around the World Plane Tickets will give you the basics to help you get started on planning that trip of a lifetime (or even just a less expensive way to get where you want to go). To price out your trip now go to the AirTreks TripPlanner for multi-stop international and around the world airfare estimates.
WHAT IS AN AROUND-THE-WORLD (RTW) TICKET?
An Around-the-World (RTW) or Multi-Stop ticket is a series of individual airplane tickets strung together and designed to take you to a number of destinations at discount fares. Some mileage-based tickets have set itineraries and rules (continuous travel in one direction, etc.).
But with a special, customized, routing-based ticket you can fly from New York to London, then on to Rome, Nairobi, Johannesburg, New Dehli, Kathmandu, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Syndey, Bali, LA, and then back to New York.
Or you can customize any itinerary you might want, beginning and ending wherever, stopping wherever and backtracking or over landing wherever you want. You can travel for one week or one year, or any length of time in between.
Because these tickets are bought at discount rates, the cost is usually substantially cheaper than purchasing the tickets individually from the airlines themselves. Some RTW tickets have specific dates and flights (especially for the first leg of the flight) and steep penalties for changing, while others–particularly those in the middle of your trip–are open-ended or changeable at no cost. Most have a one-year limit. There are also discounts for seniors and children.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Around-the-world ticket agents work with a number of airlines to find you the best fares and schedules for your itinerary. Essentially, the agent is purchasing a series of one-way tickets–or round-trips with stopovers, each valid for a year from purchase.
Some have specific dates and reservations, while others are open-ended, and you must make reservations when you are ready to fly, which may not always be available. Whenever possible, get confirmed, reserved tickets for specific dates: you can always change them if you have to.
Basically, you decide where you want to go and when. Select your destinations and when you would like to depart.
You can also decide when you would like to arrive and depart specific destinations, but it pays to be flexible. Certain routes may be cheaper than others: for example, it may be cheaper to fly from New York to London to Johannesburg, than it is to fly New York-Johannesburg-London. It may also be cheaper to arrive in a destination during the off-season, rather than peak.
Specify any portions of your trip that will be completed by surface transportation. For example, you may want to fly to London, travel to Paris by train and then on to Madrid by bus where you will catch at flight from Madrid to Rome. You also need to specify if you must be in a certain destination on an exact date or for a specific period of time.
The main thing is to be as flexible as possible, as a good RTW agent can suggest alternative routes, destinations, and dates that may significantly reduce the cost of your tickets.
If you are interested in RTW or Multi-Stop tickets, it is best to work with a ticket agent that specializes in these complex fares and routings. Your neighborhood travel agent may not be the best choice. In the US, there are several companies that specialize only in these tickets.
GoNOMAD’s partner, AirTreks.com, is one of the most experienced and reliable and offers online estimates based on your itinerary, as well as real people to help you plan the best route and fares. Other RTW agencies can be found in the UK (London) and in Asia (Bangkok).
You should begin planning your RTW ticket purchase at least six weeks in advance of your intended departure to make sure that you have all your tickets before you leave. Though it is possible to purchase tickets a few days before you leave, it’s risky, especially for longer itineraries.
While you can change your route mid-trip for a fee, it is best to plan as much of your itinerary as possible–at least dates and destinations–in advance. True, it takes a little of the serendipity out of travel, but also allows you the security of knowing that you have to be someplace at a certain time, and can save you money and hassle of waiting around someplace for a visa and a plane ticket. Many destinations also require that you show proof of onward travel when you arrive.
In other words, you need to show them that you have a ticket out of the country. If you are planning to visit these destinations, it may be best to plan a route that flies you in and out of that same country. A specialized RTW agent can tell you which countries require proof.Now is the time to think seriously about that extended round-the-world journey, and by purchasing tickets through a specialized agency, you’ll know exactly how much that part of your trip will cost!
With planning help from GoNOMAD and Airtreks, you can avoid snafus and delays, save money, and design a truly memorable trip around the world.
This article was last modified on February 1, 2018, 5:10 pm