I am investigating an 'around the world' holiday as part of our 30 year wedding anniversary celebrations, the length of the holiday is still to be agreed but it will probably be 4 to 6 weeks - more if I can away with it !
I would like to hear from anyone who has done this and for them to share their experiences, the pitfalls, flight / tour companies to use and maybe those to stay clear of etc etc
I believe that there is a 'standard' way to do a RTW, flying eastwards, and certainly there used to be price comparisons in a magazine called Business Traveller, though I don't know if it is still published anymore.
You might want to consider specialist agencies such as Trailfinders or Travelbag who have a lot of knowledge of this subject, and can sell special RTW tickets. Prices seem to vary depending on the combinations of airlines used.
If you decide that you want to do this marathon undertaking youself as regards ticketing, I would advise that, although they're perhaps not the cheapest, you book tickets within a particular airline cartel such as Oneworld or Star Alliance, because there is supposed to be special support between the airlines of each group, and you may get better offers and connecting services. Incidentally you may wish to replan your route a bit given the natural disasters of this weekend; although the airports and airlines should be back to normal fairly soon, it is unlikely that the tourist infrastructure will be functioning normally in the poorer countries, and maybe you should consider not adding to their troubles.
Once again congratulations, and please let us know what you decide to do and give us full reports on your return.
Thankyou for your good wishes - our 30 years together will not happen until 2006 but my question was designed to provoke ideas, allow me to investigate the options and to plan well in advance to make this an experience not to forget.
Our 25 yrs anniversary saw us plan our first holiday of a lifetime - San Francisco / National parks / Las Vegas / Grand Canyon / LA / San Diago, Virgin flight upgrades, the best hotels etc etc , all the trimmings etc.
We flew from Heathrow mid September 2001 - sadly only a few days after an event that changed the world forever. California and Vegas were not the same places as they were a few days before our departure.
This weekends sad and unexpected events reflect how we can not predict our futures, being in the wrong place at the wrong time can have dramatic and life changing consequences.
I trust our next in a lifetime adventure will complete as planned.
Best wishes and a happy New Year, CJB
I worked in travel a few years a go and have booked a few round the world holidays (my favorite to put together) I used to use Travel pack and Travel 2 I found they had loads of info for the clients to take away and study. In these brochures you could find info on flights,transfers, hotels and even excusions.
I found the best way to help the clients was to first decied where they wanted to stay and the work from there. Your route will determin your airline and fare.
I would pop into your local indepent agent and ask them for some brochures .
Really appreciate the info. I have found the Travel 2 website and requested the round the world brochure.
Thanks again, Chris
I organised my own trip R-T-W, but as a backpacker, so time was not a problem and I just booked the first night at the next destination from where ever I was at the time and took it from there...
I think there are probably two ways you can start planning...if there are particular places you want to visit, then list them and pass to TA to work out the best deal...alternatively, if you don't mind where you go then ask TA for the current R-T-W deals on airfares.
As already mentioned, where airlines have partners then they will often put together a R-T-W ticket, but you are generally restricted to the destinations covered by these airlines. Although deviations are possible they will be at extra cost. Using these deals are normally the best cost effective option rather than hand-picking destinations.
The general rule on R-T-W fares is that you have to continue in the same direction without double-backing on yourself. But this can be east to west or vice versa. Usually, these tickets are also pretty flexible, so you can make changes as you go, the exception being is the first flight on the itinerary.
Airlines usually offer the same 'net' rates to independant agents on these deals, so the only difference you will probably find between agents is the mark-up they put on the fare. They also probably get the same sort of deals with the hotels. The main thing therefore, is finding an agent that you feel confident with and who knows what they are talking about...
You might want to consider trying 'the flight centre' because they have offices all round the world in most of the big cities, so if you need assistance on the way, then there will probably be an office not too far away (rather than having to call your agent in the UK).
Without wanting to be patronising, the only tip I think worth mentioning at this stage is don't underestimate the distance between places, especially in Austrailia. (ie.24hrs drive between Adelaide and Sydney). It came as quite a shock to me cause they look so close on the map...!
Let me know if you think I can answer any other questions...good luck, I'm really jealous!
Thankyou for your thoughts and feedback.
I guess this is really a job for the experts and once my wife an I have agreed (or not !) where we wish to visit we will certainly progress with a local travel agent.
I would normally relish the challange this type of holiday would present in arranging etc but it is a little too much to get it wrong ! - I don't plan to do this again in a hurry.
Our travels in California a few years ago highlighted to us just how far places are apart and your warning is taken on board regarding Austrialia.
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