I’ve been travelling around the world tour for many years and have taken several tours all over the globe since the first. I now have some helpful tips to help you plan your itinerary. Round the World tour is a trip that takes at least a few months and can last up to a year. These eight steps are intended to help you narrow down your travel plans to the stops that will be within your budget, highlight your most memorable spots, and make sense of the vacation that you have always envisioned.
You are planning an all-around-the-world itinerary. Congrats! It was a year of travel that transformed into ten years of exploration and changed my life. My one-year trip included 15 countries and many experiences. It was hard to narrow down my favourite destinations to just fifteen.
The entire world can be added to your itinerary bucket list.
Planning your first trip around the globe is the most fun. It’s possible that you already have a list of places you want to visit. You may have already identified the best experiences and are looking for new ideas. You can start by creating a bucket list. Weather and travel routes could leave some places off your list.
You can also find additional inspiration for your travels by reading the top travel books sorted by country or looking through my Destination Travel Guides for recommendations for podcasts and long-reads. These books and other sources can help you find inspiration for destinations, as well as activities, to add to your round-the-world itinerary.
Maybe you’ve read The Devil’s Picnic and then included Paris on your list of destinations to enjoy the sour Epoisses de Bourgogne Cheese. Or maybe you’ve added Bhutan to your list because of the beautiful depiction of Bhutan in The Geography of Bliss. Podcasts and books are a great way for you to expand your view of what you can do on the next trip.
Once you have a clear idea of your ideal destinations, choose five top-priority places. These five places will be the basis of your global travel plan. You can also include other destinations, depending on weather conditions and timing. It is entirely up to you how detailed you want your itinerary to be. While some travelers have a set itinerary and timeline, others plan the first few months.
These are my top three travel destinations:
Three main tasks were on my to-do list during my first year living in Australia. One of those was to dive on the Great Barrier Reef. My journey started in Australia. My sister’s visit to India was another highlight. We then travelled north from Mumbai for two more months before returning home. Finally, we had the opportunity to volunteer in Nepal. It was just a matter of timing, as I had always longed to go to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival every August in Scotland.
As my 11-year-old niece and I travelled for six months through Southeast Asia, I guided her through simple Google searches to help her find the best options. Our RTW-together itinerary revolved around our three main priorities: an elephant encounter that was ethical, ziplining in a location, and exploring Angkor Wat.
Choose your favourite place in the world.
Travel plans can take you from your home country to anywhere in the world. It is costly, aggravates jet lag and is harmful to the environment. Backtracking is not advised. This method can be used whether you are purchasing a round-the-world ticket (which is required), or if you book your flights as you travel.
The pros and cons of travelling east
- Science has shown that moving in this direction can cause more jetlag and be harder on the body. It is clear that your body prefers to have cycles that last slightly more than 24 hours. This is because you lose time as you travel through different time zones.
- You can avoid jet lag by becoming an expert at minimising it.
- If you plan to slowly circle the globe, and take a long RTW trip, maybe 18 months, you won’t notice much of a difference.
The pros and cons of travelling west
- It is much easier to add hours to your day because, as we have already mentioned, your internal clock actually prefers days that last more than 24 hours. This means that you spend less time in hotel rooms adjusting and pacing at 3 AM.
- You can slowly bounce west around the globe because your body can do at most two hours of time zone changing in this direction without any visible effects. If you are travelling across the Pacific from the United States your largest time zone change will likely occur at the beginning of your journey. This allows you to travel more leisurely over several months.
2. Explore unique destinations to travel to.
Now you know where and in which direction you want to travel. Now it’s time for you to complete your global travel itinerary. You’ll be able to see more of the country and its people by using local transit instead of flying. It will also give you a better travel experience. You can return to the most important places on your bucket-list right away. These are the pillars of support for your itinerary. These points should give you a rough idea of the route. If they don’t or if there is an anomaly that makes it hard to see logical leaps, reduce the list to four points and see if this helps. It might be worth it to take a vacation by itself if you really enjoy the idea of an event, but it doesn’t work for this trip.
Travelling by land between these places is common, so you will need to know the details. This usually comes from visiting neighbouring countries. If you are interested in a visa-free trip, make sure to check the requirements of your country. Some countries require visas or ban crossing at certain borders. Popular itineraries, such as backpacking Southeast Asia, have few restrictions. They can be handled online or within the days before you cross.
Mark the countries that are close to your main travel destinations on the map. This looks something like this: You’ll be there undoubtedly and trekking in Nepal is a must, so it makes sense that you include Sri Lankan and India’s Golden Triangle.
3. Find festivals in your area
International celebrations are vibrant and cultural. It is very disappointing to discover that you missed a major religious event. It can be very disappointing to discover that you are travelling during the off-season but actually landed during Brazil’s carnival.
Your itinerary should be planned to coincide with the festivals that are most appealing to you. This is especially important for families who are planning to travel with children. They will enjoy the colors and food, as well as the excitement. It depends on the event, so you will need to book lodging ahead of time. This may limit your flexibility to alter your travel plans but it is worth it.
These are some of the most popular annual festivals that tourists plan to visit: La Tomatina, Spain in August; Holi in India in March; Songkran Water Festival in Thailand in March; Loy Krathong Lantern Festival in Thailand in November.
I searched for festivals all over the globe:
When my cousin told me that Holi, the Festival of Colors, could not be held in February in India and that we would only be there for two weeks, I began to plan to choose where we should go. This was without doubt the highlight of my vacation. I am so glad that we included this stop in our around the world tour travel plans.
- Sites like Tetris pieces can be used to match your travel budget.
Over the course of one year, I managed to keep a staggering $20,000 travel budget. Japan, despite being in Asia, is extremely expensive. Mexico, Central America, and some parts of South America are budget-friendly destinations.
How I balanced my RTW expenses
Three months of my 11 months of travel were spent in expensive countries like Australia, England, and Scotland. It was difficult to stay within my budget for the three and half months I spent backpacking South Asia. Because India and Nepal were cheaper than backpacking in Southeast Asia, this is why it was so difficult to stay on budget. The remainder of the months were spent in Southeast Asia or Eastern Europe, which are low- to medium-range regions. Some days in Europe cost more than $100, but that was not a problem. Overall, I was able to maintain a comfortable daily budget of $50.
You should plan according to the weather conditions
Do your research on the places that you would like to visit before planning your trip. Think about your preferences regarding the weather. Even though it is unlikely that you will travel to every destination in your chosen season, consider this. Monsoon season can make the islands inaccessible. Also, be aware of when blizzards can disrupt a ski vacation around the world tour.
My friends have created an amazing map showing the weather trends in South- and Southeast Asia. This map will assist you in your research. This list contains a variety of destinations for shoulder seasons around the world. This is a list of European shoulder seasons. This amazing map shows a round-the-world example trip that features perfect weather at each location.
2. Find the cheapest flights
When planning your schedule, you need to consider more than just the long-haul flights. I also look into regional low-cost airlines when I travel. I am well-versed in where you can find cheap puddle-jumper flight deals around the world tour. Before you decide to purchase round-the-world tickets, be sure to read my tips and recommendations!
There are also United Airlines and JetBlue Airlines in Southeast Asia. European budget airlines such as Frontier Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Delta Airlines are well-known. Spirit Airlines offers low-cost flights to South Asia. If I look into low-cost airline flights around the world tour , I might be able to visit other countries in the region. Flying for less than $100 is a good option.