Planning a round the world trip can be a mind-bogglingly complicated process, and that’s coming from us, the experts. The reason for this, is mostly down to the individual nature of travel, and that there are just so many glorious choices!
Whenever I’ve planned a round the world trip — or even a regional series — I’ve thought of it like a path of dominoes. Take your time to line them up; one by one; positioned precisely beside each other. You daren’t breathe until everything… is… just… so.
Then a cat leaps through an open window, blasting your masterplan into dozens of sorry pieces.
Planning a RTW trip can be a painstaking process | Photo by RKHawaii
That clumsy cat could play the part of many different elements that can uproot even the best laid plans. A knowing wink. A smoking engine. A telephone call.
With this is mind, I visited our STA Travel store in Clapham, to get the lowdown from the source, by asking the team what they believe to be the key considerations when planning a round the world trip. As always, they didn’t disappoint. Here’s an overview of the key considerations they planted down.
Key Considerations for Planning Your RTW Trip
Fold in some Flexibility
Try and inject any flight tickets with flexibility. You never know who — or what — you’ll come across en route, which could change your course in an instant! We always recommend bolting on a Multiflex Pass, to give our customers the peace of mind that if they want to change a flight, it won’t cost them a fortune.
Ensure you’re Insured
Make sure you have the right travel insurance! When things go wrong at home it’s tough; when they go wrong 2,000 miles from home, it can truly put a downer on your trip. It’s good to have peace of mind that if they do go wrong, things can be fixed/replaced. Many people don’t realise this, but you cannot buy travel insurance once you have left home.
Stop! Carry on…
Instead of simply transiting in a destination, why not turn it into a day visit, or longer? For a small fee, most tickets will allow you a stop along the way to your final destination. Compare that fee to the cost of a one-off trip to that destination, and it all starts to make sense. Maximise your time, and turn a dull transit into an extra stop on your way around the world!
Do some research before you go. You don’t want to know everything about a place before you get a chance to discover it for yourself, but having a basic overview will make planning your trip a whole lot easier.
Whatever spending money you have budgeted for your trip, take more! Money disappears quicker than you think when you head off on an adventure, so we recommend having a little extra stashed away for emergencies.
Budgeting? Aim Low
Usually, it’s cheaper to travel in the low seasons, when flights aren’t as busy and airlines generally have lower fares available. Of course, this can also swerve you clear of the summer you crave, but with a little creative planning between you and your consultant, you’ll soon find your perfect middle-ground.
Steady as (s)he goes!
While it is entirely possible to book a RTW with all the trimmings at the very last minute; most bookings will take a little time to finalise, especially if price is a factor. If you want to make the most of it, come in early. Less haste, more fun!
What type of travel would inspire you, and deliver sweet memories to carry through life? It could be adventure travel, including hiking or rafting etc. Or a more cultural approach, including a stint of volunteering. Or why not mix it up, with a stretch of voluntouring; combining exciting adventures and life-changing work experience.
Fancy the Scenic Route?
Are you hell-bent on your chosen route, or would you consider travelling via alternative destinations to save cash? We offer customers every available option, matching their budget to the best adventure available.
Thanks to the guys at STA Travel Clapham for drawing on their many years experience and laying down their top tips for planning a round the world trip.
Are you starting to plan a RTW trip for yourself? What would you find useful to know?