Hi all, after finding this great site I thought I would just post a quick thread about my thoughts in planning for a RTW trip I am looking at undertaking next year.
The timing is still up in the air and right now, I am looking for some advice for getting from Point A to Point B in the most economical manner.
If some of you with experience in these areas could recommend when to fly and when to overland,etc and in what order it would be greatly appreciated.
My ideal places to visit: (in no particular order)
United Stated of America
Ireland (Must be left for last)
Any advice you provide on how to sequence these stops would be most welcome. As I dont have a clue!
Without you stating where you wish to begin your trip (if you listed in no particular order), it is impossible to give you a definite answer without guessing somewhat.
With things the way they currently are in China, unless the government wake up a realise they are going to lose many tourists, you will find it very tricky going there. They have brought in some very strict and rediculous condition much like Russia has only worse.
It would also depend on when you decided to travel ie where if you are travelling to a place when it is winter, summer etc. Apart from that it would also depend on in you have a preference for direction of travel.
I'm not sure if you have Pakistan in there for any reason in particular, but it is not a particularly safe country so would probably best be left out if you plan on having a relatively enjoyable trip that is sort of safe.
A One World round the world ticket which is continent based would be a good option especially seeing you have South America and Australia in your itinerary.
If you want a lot of frequent flyer points I've got an itinerary which may work with a bit of fiddling around and getting the flights on the correct dates.
London - Buenos Aires - Ushuaia overland to Santiago - Lima - Mexico City (overland to Guatemala but then return back overland to finally depart from Mexico City) - Miami - New York - Los Angeles - Honolulu - Sydney (buy a seperate return flight to Auckland)- Denpasar - Singapore (then buy seperate flights or in some parts overland to Phillipines, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar) eventually make it so you reach Hong Kong. In this section it is a bit tricky because with China's new visa regulations you are going to struggle to get in without a set itinerary and pre paid and booked accommodation. Getting to Tibet will be tricky as well. If you skipped that area out, you could then get the flight from Hong Kong-Katmandu. Then get a seperate flight to Delhi to avoid the border area of Nepal and India which is meant to be pretty dangerous. After getting to India travel overland and when you depart fly to London. You would then have ended the RTW ticket and have to purchase a seperate flight to Ireland which should be pretty cheap.
I am pretty sure this would all be possible on the above mentioned fare on the 5 continent one. It is amongst the most expensive RTW fares, but when you consider how much it is just for a flight from Australia - Ushuaia which is one of the places I mentioned, the RTW fare is not that much more apart from the additional taxes! To do it you would need to be very flexible with your dates because most of those flights do not go every day.
It may seem rediculous all the ups downs and all over the place that the RTW fare is going, but to get that in you really have no other options due to the limitation on flights going to some of those places and departing from some of those places. You could slightly alter it if you travelled from Europe-North America first, but this would probably require skipping Peru out because you would have to leave Santiago as your last stop in South America so that you can fly to Auckland or Sydney on the Lan Chile Service.
You should go to the One World alliance site and download the pdf file which is the Oneworld destination guide. This shows all the destinations flown to on the alliance, what airlines fly the routing, what days the flights go and makes your life a whole lot easier when trying to plan an itinerary when you have an idea about dates.
[ Edit: Edited on Jun 13, 2008, at 5:43 AM by aharrold45 ]
Wow great response post! Thanks for the really useful tips (this is the kind of stuff I really needed to find out).
As a side note I would be departing from South Africa, but just figured it would be the a safe bet to start out from London as I may do some European site seeing as part of a package before starting the actual RTW trip.
It is sad that China, Tibet, Pakistan, etc are no go zones as they were among my top "to see places". Still perhaps at least for China it may be worthwhile to get some kind of pre-booked itinerary to overcome the visa issue.
The flexibility you mentioned as a requirement to visit some of the aforementioned places may not be a problem as I am trying to keep the schedule as flexible as possible and am not really hindered by any other predefined schedules.
I really have no preference for direction of travel as long as I get to see as much as I possibly can.
The reason for my post is that I am trying to get a feel for potential routes for this trip and then go to a travel agent and try see how far they can get me. In the hopes that they will be able to coordinate the flights and arrange overlanding and pre-bookings where necessary. An agent should be able to coordinate something like this and also provide assistance with temp work/volunteering I would imagine.
In your opinion who/what companies would be my best bet to contact? Ive seen RealGap, Gap Adventures, STA Travel all seem to offer something along these lines.
Thanks again for your assistance.