The Ultimate Travel Guide
Here’s everything you need to know to prepare for your Round the World Trip:
If you’re someone who has long dreamt of traversing the planet from the Amalfi Coast to the Himalayas. If you’ve imagined the brilliant colors, sounds and aromas of distant places. If you long to meet new people, explore different cultures and bask in the mysterious and exhilarating beauty of the Earth. Then, wanderlust is in your blood.
However,as you start to pack your suitcase with maps and sunscreen, you may realize that have a lot of questions about traveling abroad. Some of these questions might include:
Taking a trip around the world requires a ton of preparation, but it isn’t as challenging as you may believe. We’re here to help you through the process from beginning to end. To help you realize your dream of world travel.
This guide offers an insight on everything you need to know about planning a trip around the world, from budgeting your trip to booking your flight. You can use this guide to understand how to:
Aroundtheworldticket.com is a team of travel experts who want to help you create an itinerary that factors in your budget, tastes and travel needs. For over a decade, we’ve helped travellers create the most economical routes, find the best around the world ticket deals and make the most out of their round the world journeys. We thrive on challenges and can work with you no matter how complex your desired route of travel may be. It is extremely important for us to build lasting relationships with our customers and provide assistance throughout their expeditions hence makingyour travels as hassle-free as possible.
Excited? So are we! Traveling the world is an experience you’ll never forget. Continue reading to learn how you can make your dream of becoming a world explorer a reality.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Making the Choice to Travel the World
You know you’re a traveller if you appreciate the little details in life. It could be the fragrance of Thai curry or the chime of medieval church bells. With so much admiration for all of the world’s cultural treasures, it is very hard to choose where to visit. After all, there are 195 countries in the world! We believe that there are four different aspects to consider when deciding which countries to include on your itinerary:
Simply put, some countries are more expensive to visit than others. If you’re looking to spend time in more affordable places, consider adding India, Kazakhstan, Bhutan, Indonesia, Malaysia or Egypt to your list. You can stretch your dollar a lot further in these locations without compromising on your experience.To give you a better idea of India’s affordability, a three-course meal for two people in Jaipur costs an average of $7.68. When it comes to travel, low-cost doesn’t always mean a low-quality experience.
On the other end of the spectrum, pricier destinations also offer an abundance of sightseeing gems. Some of the more expensive countries to visit are in Europe — think Scotland, France and Italy. Some countries in Asia and South America, like Japan and Argentina, can tip the scale to the costlier side, too. However, if you’ve always dreamt of touring Edinburgh Castle or snacking on gelato next to the Grand Canal, don’t let the price deter you. With proper planning, budgeting and saving, you can visit the places you really want to see.
Before you plan your travel, make sure to check with the U.S. Department of State about places that are safe to travel to during your chosen dates. When traveling to any unfamiliar place, it’s important to do your research and take certain precautions to avoid any potential danger. Perhaps you can also arrange to tour with a local guide or stay with a host family that can help you make safe choices.
Different countries have seasons and weather patterns that are unique to their geographic location. For example, African seasons are opposite North American seasons. While autumn runs from September until the end of December in the United States, it goes from May to t
the end of June in Africa. Places like Kenya, though, can be hot year-round. It’s important to consider climate differences when choosing where and when to visit a place. That way, if you’re visiting Chile in August, you won’t find yourself shivering in a tank top.
The time of year you decide to travel determines the experience you will have. If you like crowds and people to meet,then maybe you’ll enjoy Europe during the summer months. During this time there are plenty of festivals and tourist activity. And if you prefer a more relaxed and quiet experience, you should visit a place during the off-season time. You may have fewer events to choose from and maybe worse weather to deal with, but it will always count for a new experience. It all really depends on personal preference and what you wish to do during your travels. Do you wish to be witness to an animal migration? Are there any traditions, ceremonies or events you’ve longed to partake in? Or do you just want to walk around the streets and experience life as a local? Evaluating the purpose of your trips and what you want to do in each location will definitely help you decide where to go.
This may be the most obvious and the most important detail of your planning. You can only travel in one direction with a round the world ticket, so you’ll want to pick destinations that are on the same path, either going east to west or west to east. A round the world ticket, versus a bunch of one-way tickets, will save you time and money. You’ll also have more freedom to make the most out of the placesthat you visit. For example, you can’t fly to from Dallas, TX to Istanbul and then decide you want to go swimming in Barbados — because the Caribbean is a little out of the way. However, if you want to head to Beijing from Istanbul before heading back to Dallas, well, that’s more round-the-world style. But don’t worry — if you really want to include some tropical beach time in your itinerary, we’ll gladly work with you to make that happen.
How to Budget for Your Round the World Trip
The big question is — how are you going to pay for this trip across continents? Traveling is extremely expensive, isn’t it? It can be — but a hamburger can be expensive, too, if you order Kobe beef. Just like anything you purchase, the cost depends on a lot of different factors and the level of comfort you prefer. The trick is to find a balance between comfort and affordability, which we are happy to help you with. So, don’t get discouraged! With a little effort each week, you can save enough money to tour the world. Here’s how to get started:
Remember the first car you bought with your own hard-earned money? It may have stalled at every stop light, but hey, it was yours! Well, just as you were patient and determined to
buy your first car, you can apply that same willpower to plan a trip that will change your life forever. First set a travel budget and then proceed with the following:
Sometimes small changes can really add up. Next time you want to buy a latte when you can make a cup of coffee, think about the option that will help you reach your goal.
When figuring out how much your round the trip journey is going to cost, there is more than flights and accommodations to consider. Write down everything you can think of that you’ll need to set aside money for. Even if you don’t know the exact cost of an item, an estimation will still help you determine what you can afford. You’ll want to estimate costs for:
You’ll need to have an idea of how long you plan to stay at each destination as well. Since you’re making estimates at this point, you’ll want to overestimate costs to ensure you’ll have enough to follow through with your plans.
Using a foreign currency can be intimidating at first, but it’s also exciting and adds to the adventure. You have different options to choose from when it comes to exchanging currencies. One option is you can contact your bank to order foreign currency before you travel. There may or may not be a fee to do this, depending on your bank, but this can help you avoid higher fees to exchange cash while overseas. If you do opt to exchange currency in a different country, use local banks and not currency exchange offices in the airport. Currency exchange at the airport are usually more expensive. You also have the option to wait until you get to your destination and take money out of an ATM. This too will have certain associated fees that you can find out about from your bank.You should also call your credit card company and bank to make sure they allow international transactions and find out about the additional fees, if any, are involved. A fee-free credit card is also a great option before you embark on your journey. Make sure to take a few dollars with you, too, just in case. Here are a few money-saving tips to follow while traveling:
Consider leaving a bit of money at home with someone you trust in case of an emergency or if your cards get lost or stolen. Always have a backup plan. it’s recommended to meet with an RTW travel specialist to help you route your trip, book flights and address all of your questions and concerns about traveling abroad. Foreign travel can get complicated, especially if there are a lot of destinations you want to include in your itinerary. Meeting with an RTW specialist at a travel agency can save you a lot of time and stress and ensure maximum optimization. As one traveller is the same, an experienced travel expert will help you tailor your trip to your personality.
Chapter 2: What You Need to Do Before Your Trip
Naturally, a round the world trip involves a lot of planning and preparation. It is important totake it one step at a time so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. Remind yourself that all your effort will be well worth it once you’re onyour way.
One of the first steps you’ll need to take in preparing to travel abroad is to find out what documents are required to enter the countries that you will be visiting. Look up your destinations on the U.S. Department of State website to find out. This online search tool allows you to look up specific information with respect to your destination.
For example, say you’re planning a trip to Thailand. Type “Thailand” in the search box, and you’ll find that you won’t need a visa if you’re staying for under 30 days, but you will need a passport that’s valid six months from the date of your arrival. Everything you need to know about traveling to Thailand can be found on this page, including medical information, embassy and consulate contact information, safety tips and local laws.
As a general rule, you should make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of entry into any foreign country. Renew your passport or get a new one at least three to five months ahead of time. Take into account that a passport can take betweenthree to six weeks to arrive once you have put in your application.
Travel insurance for your round the world trip is highly recommended. A survey by the U.S. Travel Insurance Association showed that approximately 33.4 million Americans have had travel protection plans when they travel. The most popular travel insurance plan even included an option to cancel the trip, which was taken up by 85% of travellers.
A typical insurance plancan include coverage for one or all of the following:
If you’re wondering about costs, travel insurance generally costs from 4% to 8% of the total trip. Speak to your travel agent about buying travel insurance for your round the world trip. It helps you keep your peace of mind and remain free of worries.
You may need to get vaccinated before entering the destination of your choice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or certifiedTraveller’s Health websiteswill help you to understand all the medical requirements for your travel.Say you’re traveling to Africa or South America — you made need a vaccine for yellow fever. Some other travel-related diseases that are preventable with vaccines are:
The CDC recommends meeting with a doctor four to six weeks before you travel. Speak with your doctor or find a local travel clinic to answer all of your vaccination and health questions. A doctor can suggest precautions you should take based on your personalrequirements.
Did you know beef is prohibited in India, and driving under the influence in Japan can throw you behind bars immediately? Every country has local laws you may not be familiar with. It’s important to know what to expect to prevent any misunderstanding or miscommunication. An easy way to prepare for your travels is to go online and read up on local laws in different countries around the globe.
Also, take the time to familiarize yourself with the culture and history of your destinations. Chances are, if you have interest in a particular country, you already know a little bit about the country’s culture. However, the deeper you dig, the easier it will be for you to adapt. Teach yourself local language phrases andlearn about customs and manners so that you can blend in easily. With a little preparation, you can overcome cultural challenges with greater ease and understanding. The more you know ahead of time, the richer and more meaningful your travels will be.
Try to make a packing list days or weeks ahead of time and look through it a few times so that you can add or removeany necessary items from the list.As a general rule, you’ll want to pack as light as possible. As tempting as it might be to pack five pairs of shoes, just in case, or a maybe even a complete series of paperback novels, remind yourself that sometimes adventure calls for a little less preparation — and that means leaving the snowshoes in the garage.
Here’s a short list of items, excluding clothes and toiletries, you’ll want to make sure you include on your packing list:
Chapter 3: How to Book Your Flight
You’ve narrowed down your destinations,you’ve renewed passport and you just bought a nice, new carry-on bag. Feelslike it’s time to book that flight and put your plan in action. But consider this: It’s one thing if you’re booking a flight to begin a week-long vacation in another state. It’s another thing if you’re planning to fly across the globe for an extended period of time.
The thought of flying around the world can feel intimidating but luckily, there are plenty of travel experts to help you plan your trip and book economical flights.
Let’s look at some options:
A round the world ticket allows you to build a custom itinerary with the exception that you must travel east to west or west to east. In other words, you can’t backtrack. You must also start and end your journey in the same country with a round the world ticket.
Depending on which airline you book with, a round the world ticket is usually valid for up to 12 months. You will be able to book stops to the destinations of your choice that are generally along your flight path. This type of ticket is more economical than booking many one-way flights. In short, a round the world ticket combines multiple tickets into one.
A multi-stop flight allows you to visit multiple cities with one ticket and does not require traveling in a particular order — you can backtrack if you wish. Because there are fewer limitations with a multi-stop ticket than a round the world ticket, there are lot more options of where you can go.A multi-stop flight is considered a good option for shorter travels and it provides a lot of room for flexibility.
However, even with a round the world ticket, you can arrange to spend time in multiple cities along the way using stopovers. A stopover is basically a long layover. Whereas a layover is no more than 24 hours, a stopover can last for days.
Let’s pretend that you’re flying from London to Cairo with a layover in Rome. Instead of waiting to re-board the plane in Rome for two hours, a stopover would allow you to explore Rome for a day or two for little to no added cost.A travel expert can help you create a more complex itinerary with the maximum optimization possible. There are plenty of options to tailor your flight to include multiple destinations.
An open ticket means that you set a departure date, but your return date is flexible. You could have up to a year to explore your destination before returning, depending on the airline. Not all airlines offer this option, and there are some risks that come with the freedom. For instance, having an open ticket for your around the world trip means no guarantee of having a flight to your next destination when you want it. Airline schedules and seating availability are certain factors that one has to account for when booking an open ticket.
Also, some countries, like those in the European Union, will only allow you to visit for up to 90 days. So, in this case, whether you have an open ticket or not, you need to move on in about three months.
Why Fly Business Class Round the World?
The class that you choose to fly always has a significant impact on your experience. If you think business class tickets are too pricey, contacting a travel agent can help you find the best deals. With business class you’ll have:
Traveling for hour after hour can be exhausting — especially when you’re cramped into a single economy seat next to a stranger. When you arrive at a new place, you’ll want to feel rested, so you can enjoy and explore your destination. Your level of comfort on your journey hence, becomes a priority.
Economy class and cheap motels might work for shorter trips, but paying round the world business class airfare might be worth it for long-haul flights. A travel specialist can help you find the best deals for a business class flight and also help you decide if it’s worth the extra cost.
Chapter 4: How to Choose Where to Stay
You booked your flight, and your heart is fluttering with excitement — it’s official now, you’re going to travel the world! So, the next question is, where are you going to stay?
Choosing your accommodations can be difficult. On the one hand, you want the most affordable option. On the other hand, you also want to feel comfortable and safe. The best way to go about it is to try to find a place that falls somewhere in the middle. If you have a fixed budget, keep in mind that you may need to make certain compromises.
Opting to stay ata recommended hotel is always thesafer option. To make sure you get a room at the hotel you want, it is recommended to book your hotel room approximately one month in advance. Booking too early may not land you the best deal, and if you wait too long, you may have to settle for less depending on where you’re traveling to.
Some of the pros of staying at a hotel include:
Some cons of staying at a hotel include:
No need to feel intimidated, staying at a hostel does not mean you have to sleep elbow-to-elbow with strangers. Although hostels vary greatly from one to the other, private rooms are now becoming a standard with many modern hostels. If you are young and out to explore, hostels are a popular option for the younger crowd. Besides this, they also help make sure you stay well within your budget.
Some pros of staying at a hostel are:
Cons of hostels include:
Because a hostel doesn’t follow the standards of a hotel chain, it’s important to research the hostel you plan to stay at ahead of time. Find out if you’ll have the option to a stay in a private room with a private bathroom. Depending on where you stay, you might want to bring earplugs.Although hostels may be seen as a more on-a-whim option, it’s highly recommended to book your hostel in advance. Popular hostels fill up quickly. Depending on your destination and the season, this could be an issue. Talk with your travel specialist to help you find the right hostel for you.
If hotels aren’t culturally exciting enough for you, or if you don’t like the idea of sharing a bunk bed with a stranger, there areother alternatives. These include:
To stay with a host family, you’ll have to make arrangements through a homestay program or service, or you can research homestay accommodations for your destination.Homestays are popular choices for volunteers and exchange students, it can be a very affordable housing alternative for travellers of any age who may be traveling for any reason. Here’s some benefits and restrictions of staying at a homestay:
Camping is likely the most affordable of all the options, but it’s also probably the least comfortable. However, for all the nature-lovers and adventurous souls out there, the pros of camping may outweigh the cons. Here’s what your camping trip will usually involve:
Renting out someone’s apartment, home or vacation home may be a favourable option depending on where you’re going, who you’re traveling with and what yourdates are. More populated cities will likely have more rentals available. Important things to be aware of with home rentals are:
Not all homeowners are going to put effort into making their rental comfortable for you, nor will they always be 100% honest with you. That’s why it’s important to rent from a source you can trust.Using an apartment or home rental may be a great option for a family, couples or large groups traveling together.
As you can see, choosing your accommodations may be more about personal preference than affordability. A travel expert can help you decide what’ll work best for your overall travel plans and can help you book your accommodations in advance.
Chapter 5: How to Stay Healthy and Safe While Traveling
The rewards of traveling outweigh the risks, but the truth is, traveling can take a toll on your physical and mental health if you don’t make self-care a priority. Now that you have all the pre-planning figured out, let’s take a look at how you can make the most of your journey by ensuring good health and safety.
See that street vendor selling fried meats on a stick? The aroma guides your senses and attracts you towards it, your stomach rumbles. And then you notice — there’s no one waiting in line.But before you surrender to your senses, consider the following tips. You may find that waiting in that really long line of tourists for the place across the street is worth the wait.So as much as you might want to just chow down on some street food, remind yourself of the risks.
Here are some things you can do to avoid food poisoning:
Preparing for Travel-Related Illnesses
Sometimes you get sick even when you’re careful. Here’s how you should prepare for travel-related illness:
Other steps to take for good health:
Following the above-mentioned steps will help lower the risk of getting sick. However, sometimes it’s inevitable. Either way, don’t let it prevent you from having a great time. Pack antacids and anti-diarrhoea medication and drink plenty of purified water to stay hydrated — it’s important to stay hydrated regardless of whether you’re sick or not.If you are unable to nurse yourself back to health while traveling, don’t push it! Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate for a list of healthcare providers.
Other Safety Tips
Eating spoiled meat isn’t the only safety concern with travel abroad. Visiting foreign places poses other risks too, but if you educate yourself and take the right precautions, you’ll be prepared to handle the risks. However, the first step is to do your research so that you don’t put yourself in risky situations in the first place!
Though safety will vary depending on the city you’re in, here are some of the precautions you’ll want to take:
As a general rule, try to explore with a fellow traveller or hire a local guide. Your travel agent can help you arrange a meeting with a local guide who will assist you as you navigate new places and make sure you stay in safe areas.Not every city will require extreme caution, but some cities pose greater safety risks than others.
Currently, countries with certain safety risks for American travellers are:
Some of the safest places to visit are:
Check the U.S. Department of State’s Alerts and Warnings page to find out the current safety levels of the destinations that you will be visiting.
Your Trip Around the World: Use This Quick Checklist and Book with Us
Take a deep breath and exhale — you made it to the end of this guide, and you’re ready to begin the process of planning your round the world trip. Sure, there’s a lot to do, but before you know it, you’ll be looking down from your airplane window at the miniature patchwork of land below!
Here’s a quick summary of steps to take on a month-to-month basis before you take-off:
Six to 12 Months:
Three to Five Months:
One to Two Months:
See? It’s not that bad. But we’re here to help make your around the world trip planning even easier.
Ready for Take-Off?
It’s hard to imagine spending a lifetime visiting the same places over and over again when there is an entire planet to explore. There are currently over seven billion people on this planet, and an estimated 6,909 distinct languages that are spoken by them. Humans began migrating from Africa to Europe and Asia between 70,000 and 100,000 years ago. Think of all the languages and cultures that met and formed over the years! Culture is always changing, always making the world more and more exciting to explore.
Travel specialists at Aroundtheworldticket.com are here to help you experience the history and natural beauty of the world. Whether you want to see sightsee in Moscow or learn to dance the Samba in Brazil, we are here to help you plan every step of your trip. No detail is too small — from assistance with purchasing traveller’s insurance to tips for traveling solo, we’ll do what it takes to ensure you get the most out of your round the world experience.
It’s never too late to learn about new cultures, to challenge yourself and to live the life of your dreams. If you’ve always dreamed of traveling, why wait? You’re here on this planet andit’s always the right time to make the most of it.