Round-the-World Flights VS One Way Flights

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 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. Here are my top reasons as to why I chose to go with one-way tickets:

Flexibility

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 AirwaysStar 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.

Kristen Sarah has one of the leading YouTube travel channels and is the head honcho of award-winning travel and lifestyle website, Hopscotch the Globe. She’s also a television host and actress. You can catch her most recently guest starring in Season 4 of Angry Planet and Season 1 of Fabulocity.

Follow:

8 Comments

  1. July 7, 2012 / 12:34 pm

    I was actually thinking of getting a RTW when I go home to Canada from Oz… a round ticket to where I live would be more than 2 grand, but for the same amount I could get a round the world with a couple other stops, THEN go to LA, and from there it is only 200 CAD to get to Winnipeg. I guess it all depends on your itinerary, but sometimes a RTW can work out better. 

    • Anonymous
      July 7, 2012 / 12:41 pm

      I completely agree with you.  It all depends on the trip you are taking. For me, I usually travel spontaneously, and don’t know what country I’ll end up in next, so one ways have worked the best for me.  If I had a tighter schedule or a set in stone itinerary, I think the RTW ticket might work better.  It’s also so much cheaper to get a RTW ticket starting from London compared to Canada…such a huge difference in price. Where in Canada are do you call home?

  2. June 27, 2012 / 3:09 pm

    I actually go a step further and don’t even bother with round-trip tickets (
    http://www.marginalboundaries.com/2011/08/avoiding-the-high-price-of-round-trip-tickets/). You can usually save half if not more by utilizing the strategy I mention in that particular blog post. It’s as simple as picking up a bus ticket for $15 bucks or so out of the country to provide your proof of exit to the government officials, then you can simply pitch the ticket and book a new flight out when you want to leave. I save literally tens of thousands on airfare this way. 

  3. September 12, 2010 / 10:51 pm

    Love the blog (I found it through Lost Girls)! Can’t wait to follow your travels. I went to Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia last summer—and they were all amazing for their own reasons. Enjoy the adventure!

  4. Tige
    September 11, 2010 / 5:20 pm

    Sorry I forgot to add that I found that Emirates do a very useful and cheap Multi-Stop function on there search engine. Its saved £700 all together on my last trip, but please bear in mind these would be fixed dates and these were from the UK.

  5. Tige
    September 11, 2010 / 5:15 pm

    I think your right about RTW tickets can be expense and have they limitation but I would like to add one thing about one way tickets. Im from the UK (lucky i know Kirsten) and booked a one way ticket to India with Adsa-travel.co.uk, which was really cheap. I decided that I wanted to change my destination. I was told I couldnt change the destination or cancel the ticket due to it being cheap, only the date at a cost.

    So one way flights are very good but please bare in mind that if its a cheap ticket it will almost certainly have limitations on it. A RTW ticket would have being more flexiable for certain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge