The most confusing part of planning an around-the-world journey is deciding how to get from place to place. When planning my 10-month journey, I did a lot of Internet research on flight routes and prices with in my budget and asked many travellers what they would advise someone who was going to be visiting over ten countries in three, maybe four, continents. While the majority suggested I book a round-the-world ticket (RTW), I decided, after weeks of contemplation, booking one ways as I go, was the best option for me.
Reasons as to why I chose to go with one-way tickets:
With RTW tickets, you need to decide on your routes ahead of time. This makes changing travel plans more expensive than you bargained for since flight changes cost extra. If you’re like me and have a lot of travel time, and not much of a plan, then having the freedom to make last minute changes is important. You can save a lot of money by just being flexible with the departure date. Not only do certain times of the year cost less than others, but flying during the week (I found that Tuesday and Wednesday’s are the cheapest), is cheaper than flying on the weekend.
Too Many Rules
Booking a RTW ticket has its perks of course. You don’t need to book flights along the way and you can earn lot of reward miles. Overall, they are good for pre-planned trips with few destinations. One thing that is good to know is that you can’t backtrack with a RTW ticket; you have to book everything in advance and pay a significant fee to make flight changes. Also, you only have a year to ticket the mileage. These limitations can be very frustrating for the free spirit.
It Can Save You A Lot Of Dough
RTW tickets can cost a lot of money, especially if you are going on a long and complex trip. If you are on a tight budget, like me, buying one-way tickets can be significantly cheaper than a RTW ticket. What really won me over was the fact knowing I would be saving nearly $2500.00 CAD dollars buying one ways rather than a RTW ticket. For the past couple of months, I have been checking flight prices for the destinations I plan on going to. Although prices fluctuate, the total amount of one-way flights has never been close to how much I would have paid for a RTW ticket. There are now budget airlines flying from Europe to Asia and then from Asia to Oz.
One-Ways Are Easier To Book On Your Own
Depending on the length and complexity of your trip, booking a RTW flight on your own can be frustrating and most of the time impossible. Most RTW tickets need to be purchased through a travel agent, which adds a little extra to the original cost.. Although it takes more work to book yourself, you can find good deals using low cost carriers (AirAsia, Virgin Blue) as well as take advantage of flight deals.
Some may agree that buying one-way tickets can be trouble if you don’t already have your next on-going ticket when entering a country. While some people have had no problems entering a country, others are faced with the threat to be sent straight back to the originating country. Let’s face it, the last thing you want is to be told you can’t enter a country.Here are some precautions you can take to avoid being turned away from entering a country:- Print out bank statements and itineraries and bring them with you to the airport.- Always fill out an address on the immigration card. Give them less of a reason to pick you for random screening.- Get all your visa’s before you travel, if possible.- Be polite, calm, and smile. You give the officials a better reason to question you if you are in a bad mood or impatient. This can ultimately cause serious problems that could have been otherwise avoidable.- In a worse case scenario, you can be told you can’t enter a country without an on-going ticket. In this case, you can purchase a refundable ticket to a neighbouring country and get a your money back once you’re at your destination. If you are interested in a RTW ticket, I suggest looking into British Airways, Star Alliance and Air Treks. I also found the people at Travel Cuts are extremely resourceful and are experts on RTW tickets.
*Tip: Flying anywhere in the world from England is perhaps the greatest money saver. If you aren’t from England, I suggest making it your first stop. Not only is it a great place to start off your journey, but you can also save a lot of money on your next flight this way. If you are flying to London from anywhere in Canada, you can find one-way flights for as little as $99 CAD depending on the time of year you fly. The best place to look for these deals is in the newspaper or through two of my favourite travel search engines: www.kayak.com and www.skyscanner.com.