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Newbie needing help with RTW ticket

Travel Forums Round the World Travel Newbie needing help with RTW ticket

1. Posted by frankiwa (Budding Member 3 posts) 8y

Hello, fellow travellers.

I'm wanting to travel on a RTW ticket (or whatever is the best way). My tentative route is something like this.

Los Angeles - Tokyo

Tokyo - Beijing
(From Beijing travel via train, bus, other land travel, down through China, SE Asia, to Bali)

From Bali - Somewhere in India (or Nepal)

From India - Istanbul (From Istanbul travel via bus, train, etc. to Cairo)

From Cairo- Back to U.S.

Spending about 5 days in Toyko,
1 month or so in China and Hong Kong,
2-3 months in SE Asia
1 month or so in India/Nepal
1 month or so in all of Turkey, Jordan, Egypt
Then fly home (U.S.) from Cairo.

This is more or less the route I'm thinking. (I'm only beginning my planning)

1.) So, given this route, (and my wanting a very flexible time schedule in each area), is a RTW ticket my best bet? Any recommendations for place to book the ticket and type of ticket given my route and time flexibility requirement in each area?

2.) And does this route sound okay as far as feasibility?

3.) I'm not sure the rules with RTW tickets, and am a bit confused after reading some websites on them. Do RTW tickets allow flexibility on when you want to depart each country (how long u stay in each country) or do u have to choose the dates in advance and stick to them?

4.) Any other helpful thoughts on RTW tickets given my travel schedule?

Thanks for anyone willing to help.

P.S.- I'm not a total newbie. I travelled Europe and Morocco for 4 months last year, but this trip is quite different and I don't have any experience with so much Air travel and RTW tickets. Flexibility with schedule and time, and cost are my biggest concerns here.

2. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 8y

1.) So, given this route, (and my wanting a very flexible time schedule in each area), is a RTW ticket my best bet? Any recommendations for place to book the ticket and type of ticket given my route and time flexibility requirement in each area?

If you want a very flexible itinerary in each sector well a rtw ticket is probably not best. They can be a bit restrictive and also sometimes they may require you to visit other places you don't really want to in order to reach the place you want to go to.

2.) And does this route sound okay as far as feasibility?

Your route does sound feasible, but you should definitely add a little more time in Japan if you are going to spend all that money getting there. 10 days minimum should be what you should aim for because at least then you could see a couple more places other than Tokyo.

3.) I'm not sure the rules with RTW tickets, and am a bit confused after reading some websites on them. Do RTW tickets allow flexibility on when you want to depart each country (how long u stay in each country) or do u have to choose the dates in advance and stick to them?

With RTW tickets they do allow some flexibility, but depending on the destinations you go on the ticket they can be a bit restrictive and painful if you decide you want to spend longer or less time in a place. I was lucky the only time I needed to change the date because it was able to be done for the date I wanted only a few days prior, but I have heard of instances in South America where a person couldn't change the date to leave earlier for over a month due to the limited number of economy seats allocated on flights for RTW tickets. You have to set dates when purchasing the ticket, but then you are free to change them while travelling but ideally you should try and change a while in advance to give yourself the best chance possible of getting the RTW economy class seat on the flight you want. Just because a flight shows on the internet as having economy class seats available, it doesn't mean that it has seats available for economy class rtw ticket holders. Ideally before you purchase your ticket you would plan for a long while, reading up on the destination countries to make certain you allow yourself enough time in each place. This will then mean you are less likely to find yourself in a situation where you need to change half your itinerary due to mis judging how long you should allocate for one place.

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 4, 2008, at 3:43 AM by aharrold45 ]

3. Posted by frankiwa (Budding Member 3 posts) 8y

Thanks for the reply aharrold45. I really appreciate any advice on this topic.

So just to clarify about RTW tickets.

You do have to choose your dates of departure in advance for each leg of the journey when you buy the RTW ticket.
However, the benefit of the RTW ticket (instead of buying a bunch of one-way tickets on your own) is they let you (free of charge) change the date of a leg of your journey if you decide to stay a bit longer in India for example.

The only catch is that you aren't sure if there will be seats left available if you want to change your flight to a couple weeks later, so you may have to spend an extra week or two in a certain country while you wait for available seats. Does this sound a bit right?

If this is the case then that would be fine with me.

4. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 8y

Quoting frankiwa

So just to clarify about RTW tickets.

You do have to choose your dates of departure in advance for each leg of the journey when you buy the RTW ticket.
However, the benefit of the RTW ticket (instead of buying a bunch of one-way tickets on your own) is they let you (free of charge) change the date of a leg of your journey if you decide to stay a bit longer in India for example.

The only catch is that you aren't sure if there will be seats left available if you want to change your flight to a couple weeks later, so you may have to spend an extra week or two in a certain country while you wait for available seats. Does this sound a bit right?

Yes you have pretty much got it all right. You do have to choose dates on the ticket at time of ticketing because the maximum validity of a RTW ticket is 12 months from first date of travel. Most airlines only release airfares a maximum of 330 days in advance so if you plan to have flights outside that range you just need to make dates up for ticketing purposes and then phone the airlines up when fares for the date you really want have actually been released.

With the changing "free of charge", if you phone up the airline they should do it free of charge as long as it was just a date change and not something more complicated which involved reissuing the ticket, but if you go to a travel agency and get them to make the change for you, they will have their own fees for that sort of thing.

Seeing you can only book on one particular section of economy class for RTW tickets (L class for Oneworld) they only have very limited seats that are open for RTW tickets even at the stage the fares are released and on some flights they don't even release the rtw economy class seats. This means that the further in advance you can book the better because it may mean waiting longer than a week or so if it is on a routing that isn't flown regularly i.e. Santiago-Easter Island if you changed your mind about dates there when you were close to departure, you may be stuck for months due to only a handful of flights flying that route every week and only a few seats in RTW economy class on each of those flights.

5. Posted by frankiwa (Budding Member 3 posts) 8y

Thanks, aharrold. You're been a great help!!