What to know about Round the World Tickets
If you ever thought of traveling the world, Round the World (RTW) tickets are the way to go. With this special ticket, you can visit multiple cities on multiple continents. You can circle the whole world or just one continent. If you want to, your trip could last several weeks to several years. Sounds interesting? I bet it does! Let's have a short look at the options available.
When to use them?
Round the World tickets, regardless of the name, don't necessarily have to be used to circle the whole world. They can prove useful even for traveling among one particular continent. The only real limitation you will hit is the maximum numbers of flights. With one ticket, it is not possible to to travel more than 16 individual segments (the widely accepted e-ticket limit). In short. Planning a trip consisting of more than two stops? Go for the RTW ticket.
Who offers them?
At this time, you should have in mind at least a rough itinerary of the forthcoming trip. In case you want to circle the whole world, the possible options are several. Making a shorter trip? There are countless options, we obviously cannot mention all of them. A little bit of your own research would be necessary.
Travel around the whole world
In this case, the best offerings are by airline alliances. A special Round the World Fare by Star Alliance will meet most of your needs. A total of 975 destinations can be visited. The tickets are available for economy, business or even first class and are further split by maximum miles traveled. Up to 15 stopovers can be made. Please note that a stopover is considered only if more than 24 hours are spent in a particular destination. Shorter stops are not counted in, however, can be used to shortly explore a city adjacent to the airport. OneWorld and SkyTeam do offer similar tickets. But as they are smaller they do not offer such a good coverage. Round the World tickets are also available at particular airlines and are valid for the airline's flights only. KLM or Singapore Airlines are an example.
Circle a part of the world
There are many additional options when exploring a particular part of the world only. Probably the best way is to book a circular itinerary with one of the airline alliances. Several offerings are available at OneWorld depending on the continents you intend to visit. Star Alliance has a special offer for those wanting to explore the Pacific or Asia. For Europe, we would advise using a pass by SkyTeam.
Want to travel the world low cost?
With the never-ending spread of low cost air carriers, it is now possible to travel the whole world using LCCs only. But watch out, it is not without problems. There is no low cost airlines alliance to offer one simple ticket. If you intend to travel low cost, you are on your own. Building an own itinerary is a must. Be prepared to devote a lot of time to research all the possibilities. Always have enough time to change flights. The airlines can alter flights rapidly or even cancel a route while you have started your journey. There are several websites and forums to help you out, wikitravel is good to start with.
Jiří Parimucha, Dec 8, 2010
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