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Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Mike Heenan, Jul 25, 2005.
Anyone done any Round the World (RTW) trips? Suggestions, comments, routes, etc? Thanks!
RTW's are easy-peasy.
You have a choice of mileage-based fares or continents-based fares. Everything hinges on which cities you wish to travel to. You could use the Star Alliance (United Airlines, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, et al) or One World (American Airlines, Qantas, British Airways, Iberian, Lan Chile, et al.) Another good one is with Continental, KLM, Air Tahiti Nui. Again, which fare you use depends on which cities or continents you wish to travel to. Once you have decided your routing your travel agent can work out which fare is best.
As a guideline, the One World RTW offers the most value if you wish to travel to South America, South Africa, NZ, Australia, Asia, Europe. The Star Alliance, by contrast, is weak in South America & Africa and strong in the Caribbean, North America & Canada.
Hope that helps!
If you don't want to use one of the airline partnerships there are plenty of consolidators that specialize in this. US-based ones include:
There are others that are UK-based [and usually a bit cheaper].
Check out the interactive airtrip planner on airtreks.com. It is absolutely addicting.
You should really go to a travel site like lonelyplanet.com or bootsnall.com for the best information.
Here is a RTW book that I just read from Rough Guides:
It is a good introductory on how to set up a RTW trip and what you need to know, although it doesn't get real specific. The world is just too big.
What kind of route are you going to take? I want to take a tour of the South Pacific/Australia/NZ/Honk Kong/and a litte bit of SE Asia. Technically, not RTW but plenty enough for me.
Very cool thanks for the tips both of you! I am actually in the middle of reading that book which I picked up while out in CA last week. Nice general overview of everything and of course I'll have to get the countries guides for a better understanding. I am located in Arizona, so I guess my route would start in LA as that seems to be the general starting point for the west coasters. I'd like to go down to NZ and visit a friend and maybe over in Australia with another friend, then maybe over to the orient, then down to India, then maybe a few places in Africa then up to europe for a bit then back home.
The rough guide book seems to recommend about a year for a trip like this, has anyone actually done a whole year? I was thinking something like 2 to 6 months, budget depending. I might change careers next year, so it'd be the opportune time for me to do it. I'll have to check out some of the UK based ones but I'm sure that with the dollar/pound conversion, it's not worth doing (even if it is cheaper).
The One World fare sounds like your baby. Routing could be
home town - Los Angeles (American Airlines) - Auckland (Qantas)- overland - Christchurch - Sydney (Qantas) - overland - Cairns - Perth - Johannesburg (all Qantas) - Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific) - London (British Airways) - New York or Chicago (British Airways) - home town (American).
Just a suggestion :wink:
If you cannot afford a year out of the workforce then the trip can be done in a couple of months. You will just have to plan your itinerary carefully to get the maximum value (yes, that includes prepaying sightseeing tours & accommodation!).
Very cool I will check that out for sure. I guess one thing that's good is that since I'm located in the US already, I dont really need to spend any time here (LA or NY) as I've been to those places before, and that would give me a little extra time overseas.
Indeed. LA would still have to feature on your ticket, though, as there are no direct flights to NZ or Australia except from LA or San Fran. Same goes for New York or Chicago ex UK/Europe - they are 'gateway' cities.
Atlanta isn't considered a "gateway" city? There are a lot of direct flights to Europe from Hartsfield.
That may be so, Kevin, but in this example I was referring to the British Airways gateways from the UK.
RTW fares are limited to the routes operated by participating carriers.
I don't profess to know every port BA or AA fly to directly in the USA, but in my own experience with One World I have hubbed in NY or Chicago every time. My destinations in the USA have varied: Dallas one time, Minneapolis another, Boulder Colorado yet another time.
We'll leave the fine-tuning to the experts - a travel agent will be able to give Mike the information he needs.
I checked out the map of the routes you can make yourself, and it was kind of fun to see where you can go for what price etc. Claudia how many trips have you done RTW? How much would you save by buying a RTW ticket, versus buying tickets individually from point to point? $2K or so doesn't seem that bad right now, considering it's about $800 now to fly from LA to NZ alone.
I've done more RTWs than you can shake a stick at. I started travelling when I was 18, did a big round world that took a few years. Since then I have travelled much with my work. RTW's are great if you want more than a couple of stopovers; sector fares are NOT worth considering, as you have already discovered!
All the best with your planning. If you need any pointers about any destinations let me know - I've spent a lot of time in Australia/NZ/South Africa and I'm fairly knowledgeable about UK/Europe too
Hi all, I've been searching various travel forums and gotten some good tips here and there. Has anyone here done a RTW trip by buying the RTW ticket in another country, say NZ or Thailand? People recommend doing that as its cheaper to do so, even when you add on a flight from the US to that country. Claudia I tried PM'ing you did you get it?
No, Mike, I didn't receive your PM. You want to try that again?
Re purchasing tickets from another country, the only advantage I can see is the purchasing power of the US dollar. You would be buying a local currency airfare, converted to US dollars - eg RTWs ex NZ are priced around $3200 plus tax $600 (depending on number of stopovers) = NZ$3800 at BBR 1.29 = US$2800, plus your airfare to get to NZ. Are you really any better off?
I would be interested to hear any figures you've been quoted!
Is there any way to price a Oneworld Explorer itinerary without going through a travel agent or airline reservation agent? I don't feel like spending hours on the phone with someone. I want to do the searching online.
From the Oneworld Website:
Jason (and Claudia), here is the excel sheet of figures I found on www.flyertalk.com, lots of RTW alliance info there. The figures are in US dollars, first column is 3 continents, 2nd is 4 continents, 3rd is 5 continents and 4th is 6 continents. The formatting is a little messed up but you'll get the idea. Seems like Iran is the cheapest place to start! But looking at this, staring in New Zealand would seem to be the place to be if you wanted a 6 continent deal, from the states a one way ticket there is about 500 so you'd save about $1000 by doing it that way, but seems rather complicated. I'll have to do more research to figure out if it's actually worth starting in another country or not.
United Arab Emirates2,7773,1583,5943,975
USA & Central America3,7003,9004,6005,000
Jason, not that I know of. The RTWs can be complex; the internet booking engines simply cannot cope with the multi destinations required in your itinerary.
How about emailing your requirements to a travel agent or consolidator? You will, at some stage, need to sit down with your agent but for the initial quote an email should be sufficient to get the ball rolling.
Mike, those figures look a little low for NZ based fares. I'll do my own sleuthing & get back to you. Looking at the itinerary you posted you're going to need at least a four continents fare, but, I think you will be better with the Star Alliance. SA is based on mileage flown rather than continents visited and will give you more options through Asia/Europe/Middle East.
Thanks Claudia let me konw what you find out. Incidentally last night I found a Thai travel agency and quoted some RTW tickets in US dollars (chawla travel I think it was), the prices didn't jump off the page as being super cheap, but I didnt give it too much thought. I think I'll nail down a route I would like to take first then worry about the dollars later! Claudia, I pm'd you my first itinerary, let me know what you think...