Are you thinking of taking a once in a life around world trip? You're fortunate! While you might not be able to see the entire world, you can visit dozens of dream destinations with a little planning and budgeting. Here are a few tips and tricks for planning your round-the-world trip:
Draw up your wishlist
During the inspiration phase of your RTW trip, the first thing to do is generate your bucket list of destinations.
Where do you really want to go, and what are the sites you'd like to see? Snorkel along the Great Barrier Reef? Traverse the Great Wall of China?
This is the fun part of the planning phase, so go wild. Some experiences have a narrow window of time, such as the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan, the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti, or the Keukenhof gardens in the Netherlands.
Once you've determined which destinations have time limitations, you can use that to guide your world itinerary. If you are new to world travel, take some time to research other countries close to the bucket list destinations you'd love to see.
RTW trips can be simplified by booking RTW tickets from the same airline, so do a little research to see if you have saved some money that way.
Google other round-the-world trips if you need travel ideas or inspiration. Visiting the seven world wonders or visiting all six continents in one trip sounds romantic, but make sure that it makes sense in terms of time and your budget.
Look for convenient and overland routes
Once you know where you would like to go, you can start filling in your itinerary by planning local transportation.
Overland travel, such as trains or rented cars, will enable you to see and experience even more of the country and culture.
The key destinations on your wishlist should help you plot an overview of the route you need to take.
It'll also make it clear which destinations simply won't be practical to visit. Make sure that you determine if there are any restrictions or visa requirements.
Make adjustments to fit your travel budget
When you book your round-the-world trip, make sure that you remain within your budget (with plenty of room for emergencies).
Make sure to favor more budget-friendly destinations to balance out your more expensive countries. You can visit several countries in close proximity in cheaper parts of the world.
It's also a good idea to look for safe and friendly alternatives. For example, eating lunch on top of the Eiffel Tour is much cheaper than dinner, while touristy resorts in Africa cost five times more than the hidden gems in the same area, with the same level of service and accommodation.
Eastern Europe is much cheaper than Western Europe, and Central America is more affordable than the coastal areas. South America and India are extremely easy on your pocket.
Don't forget to leave some wiggle room for an emergency. Many travelers end up cutting trips short because they simply didn't have enough money or didn't account for delays.
Make sure you research the weather
Always research the weather when planning your round-the-world trip - not just for the country, but for the regions you want to visit.
Winter in the South of Greece is generally quite mild, but in the North, temperatures drop well below freezing!
Similarly, a safari in summer on the East Coast of South Africa will be warm and relaxing, but the North experiences heavy thunderstorms. Make sure that you plan your trip so that you can experience the best a region has to offer.
If you want to visit Australia, you want to go in the warm months so you can make the most of the sandy beaches and surf culture.
However, New York in winter is marked by festivities, parades, and iconic winter window displays that you don't want to miss.
Plan your trip so that you can experience the best of everything. Of course, if your long-term travel is your game, you can chase summer around the world. Not only will you get a great tan - it'll make it easier to pack!
Consider your flight plan around the world
We've already mentioned that you can get a round-the-world ticket from some major airlines, but it's important to remember that long-haul flights aren't always the best option. Consider local budget airlines and puddle-jumper flights.
Europe and Asia have several budget carriers that can help you visit more countries in a specific region for much less. It can also help you cut down the cost of air travel on a big trip.
Make a few cuts
There is no limit to the number of countries you should add to your around-the-world trip, but it's important to factor travel fatigue into your world trip itinerary.
Remember, you may also arrive in a country or region and find yourself disappointed (for whatever reason).
No matter how carefully you plan, you'll want to spend more time in some countries and feel utterly ambivalent and disappointed in others.
You won't know until you get there. Cast a critical eye over your planned world itinerary, and don't be afraid to cut items.
Chances are that there will be a few countries you added because of proximity or because it seemed interesting, but that aren't really bucket list items for you. Cut them early on - you can always go back at another time.
Conclusion - How To Plan Around-The-World Trip
Planning a trip around the world may feel totally overwhelming in the beginning, but once you've figured out the basic logistics, you can sort out the rest on the fly.
Speak to other travelers, seek advice, join Facebook groups and Reddit discussions to gather insider tips from locals and expats, and remember to leave a little room in your budget for last-minute changes.
Don't be daunted - you are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. It's worth making the extra effort in the beginning to have a stress-free trip.
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