Round the World Tickets

Wondering where you should get your round the world tickets?

Many backpackers head straight for the big airline alliances (affiliated groups of airlines) to book their RTW flights. Some even choose to go with just single or partner airlines.

Not a bad idea. Airlines can offer some real bargains if your itinerary isn't overly complicated or too off-the-beaten-track.

But there are lots of rules and regulations to follow. So as soon as your route starts getting a bit long and complex, those tickets can turn into one big headache.

If you want fully customisable round the world flights there's a much better way to go. And believe it or not, it could end up costing you even less!

Want to know how?

round the world tickets one way

Cheap One Way Flights Around the World

That's right. Cheap one way flights.

You piece together your round the world ticket as a set of discounted one way flights. So, instead of backpacking around the world on one ticket you actually travel on a series of individual tickets.

This leaves you free to do pretty much anything you want with your RTW plans.

Backtracking? No problem.

Taking the train from Paris to Istanbul? No problem.

Flying through Bangkok four or five times? No problem.

Not going home anytime soon? You guessed it . . . no problem!

There's a lot more flexibility here than you get with round the world tickets from airline alliances.

But before you run off to find the nearest travel agent, here's what you need to know.

Biggest Pluses


    Discounted one way tickets can start and finish anywhere in the world.


    Your route options are virtually limitless. There's no restriction on transits, direction, stopovers or mileage — but they all affect the price of your ticket.


    You can book your flights with any airlines you like.


    You can usually change departure dates along the way — but you should count on having to dig into your money belt for that.


    If you decide not to use some of your tickets there's a good chance you can get a refundbut expect to pay cancellation fees for the privilege.


    It's easy to lower the total cost of your round the world tickets by travelling overland instead of flying between stopovers (referred to as open jaw flights).

Biggest Minuses


    One way tickets are only valid for up to a year from the date they're issued. So, the farther ahead you buy them the less time you have to use them.


    It can be hard to get on flights over major holidays to some destinations — but if you book well in advance and aren't too fussy about exact dates and routes you can usually find something.


    You don't collect many useful frequent flyer miles travelling around the globe on lots of random airlines (mine almost always expire before I can do anything with them!).


    Some discounted tickets are completely non-refundable.


    Budget airlines. In many ways they're a godsend but they operate in a world of their own. Be sure to read the page on cheap airlines if you're planning to use even one of these!

Ask the RTW Experts

You really do need a travel agent that specialises in complex, multi-stop round the world flights to sort you out with this type of ticket.

A good travel agent will have the experience to help you choose where to go and the expertise to figure out the most cost-effective way to get you there.

Travel agents specialising in round the world tickets have contracts with airlines and wholesale suppliers so they can offer you much lower prices than you'd be able to find yourself.

Plus, agents can import tickets for you from wherever in the world they find them the cheapest. Just that in itself can save you some seriously big bucks!

No round the world travel specialist anywhere near you?

Don't worry.

Some of the best agencies in the business have customers worldwide. All it takes is a quick phone call, email or a visit to their websites to get you hooked up with one of them.

It's definitely worth the effort.

Score a decent discount on even one or two of your tickets and this can be the best deal going!

new blue

Any thoughts? Leave a comment!