We shopped prices for RTW plane tickets from eight different companies and rated each company based on five criteria – price, search options, customer service, date flexibility, and route flexibility.
Below are the three routes and dates that we shopped:
- Shopping for RTW Plane Tickets – Route 1 Dates and Itineraries
- Shopping for RTW Plane Tickets – Route 2 Dates and Itineraries
- Shopping for RTW Plane Tickets – Route 3 Dates and Itineraries
For the DIY option, though, some of these ratings criteria don’t apply. Since we were doing it all ourselves, we didn’t deal with any customer service reps. We used Kayak exclusively for searching these one-way flights, and because you can’t book directly through Kayak, we did click through to the site necessary to book to make sure the price was accurate and there were still seats left.
Note: Keep in mind that we searched these flights all at once. In a typical Round the World scenario, the traveler would be booking flights as he or she went, and we all know how prices fluctuate, so use this only as a guide. We also only searched Kayak, so there could be better deals to be had on smaller, regional airlines that Kayak doesn’t cover.
Pricing for doing it all yourself and buying one way tickets as you go was very competitive to other options. For the simplest route that only had 4 flights to major hub cities, the DIY option was cheapest leaving from New York and London. It came in 7.2% higher than the lowest price leaving from Sydney. For the second, more complicated route, DIY was on average 9.13% higher than the lowest options. For the most complicated route, DIY offered the lowest price from London and was an average of 9.03% higher than the lowest price from New York and Sydney.
We stuck to online searches using Kayak, which we’ve all most likely done before. Because you can’t book directly through Kayak, we did click through to the site offering the lowest price to make sure the price was accurate and the flight was still available.
This option obviously provides the most flexibility in terms of dates because the traveler ultimately decides when he or she wants to book. The main downfall is that if you wait too long, the price could go up dramatically. But on the flip side, you can also find last minute deals.
Again, choosing this method gives you the ultimate flexibility in routes. But it pays to do some research before leaving. For example, getting from South America to Southeast Asia or Australasia can be complicated and expensive even when you do it on your own, so it pays to know ahead of time which routes/destinations may be pricey.
If you have used the Do It Yourself method for your round the world trip, we want to hear from you. Comment below to share your experience, and click on the stars below the comment box to rate.
based on 7 reviews