RTW Flight Ticket Review Articles

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Student Flights (Australia) RTW Ticket Review

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

After releasing our Around the World Airfare Report, we have received a ton of great feedback that is only going to make our quarterly updates ever better and more beneficial for you, the RTW traveler.

We know that there are many more providers who sell round the world plane tickets than the eight we reviewed, and the feedback has offered more options.  The providers being suggested will be in the mix the next time we update the report in June.

Even though we haven’t reviewed this company yet, we wanted to put up a review page in case you have shopped for or bought a RTW ticket with them.  If you have, we want to hear from you.

If you’ve shopped for or used Student Flights Australia for a RTW ticket, please write a review below and rate them based on the stated criteria.  And if there are any other providers that aren’t yet listed, let us know.

The basics of a Student Flights Australia RTW Ticket

  • RTW tickets through Student Flights are not only for students.
  • They have specials just for students.
  • A RTW ticket offers flights with anywhere from 3 to 20 stops.
  • Student Flights has a series of predetermined routes that they sell.
  • If you have a particular itinerary in mind, you can email or call Student Flights and have them put an itinerary together for you.
  • You can also build you own itinerary online (with a max of 9 stops) and have a customer service rep get back to you.

If you have used Student Flights Australia 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.

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Student Flights (New Zealand) RTW Ticket Review

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

After releasing our Around the World Airfare Report, we have received a ton of great feedback that is only going to make our quarterly updates ever better and more beneficial for you, the RTW traveler.

We know that there are many more providers who sell round the world plane tickets than the eight we reviewed, and the feedback has offered more options.  The providers being suggested will be in the mix the next time we update the report in June.

Even though we haven’t reviewed this company yet, we wanted to put up a review page in case you have shopped for or bought a RTW ticket with them.  If you have, we want to hear from you.

If you’ve shopped for or used Student Flights New Zealand for a RTW ticket, please write a review below and rate them based on the stated criteria.  And if there are any other providers that aren’t yet listed, let us know.

 

The basics of a Student Flights New Zealand RTW Ticket

  • RTW tickets through Student Flights are not only for students.
  • A RTW ticket offers flights with anywhere from 3 to 20 stops.
  • If you have a particular itinerary in mind, you can email or call Student Flights and have them put an itinerary together for you.

If you have used Student Flights New Zealand 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.

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Great Escapade RTW Ticket Review

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

After releasing our Around the World Airfare Report, we have received a ton of great feedback that is only going to make our quarterly updates ever better and more beneficial for you, the RTW traveler.

We know that there are many more providers who sell round the world plane tickets than the eight we reviewed, and the feedback has offered more options.  The providers being suggested will be in the mix the next time we update the report in June.

Even though we haven’t reviewed this company yet, we wanted to put up a review page in case you have shopped for or bought a RTW ticket with them.  If you have, we want to hear from you.

If you’ve shopped for or used Great Escapade for a RTW ticket, please write a review below and rate them based on the stated criteria.  And if there are any other providers that aren’t yet listed, let us know.

The basics of a Great Escapade RTW Ticket

  • use three airlines to piece together a RTW trip – Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic
  • use up to 29,000 miles
    • pay more to add more miles (130 GBP for 1500 miles up to 4500 miles)
  • cross the Atlantic and Pacific only once each
  • can make use of unlimited stopovers
  • has an online route planner and calculator (you cannot book online though)
  • must contact Virgin Atlantic, Air New Zealand, or a travel agent to book
  • have to leave from either London or Manchester, UK
  • overland segments count against your mileage

If you have used Great Escapade 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.

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Introducing the Around the World Airfare Report

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Hopefully by now you’ve probably seen and read the RTW flight reviews we published back in January. If not and this is all news to you, let me give you the story of how we came to publish our free Around the World Airfare Report.

About six months back we were discussing round the world plane tickets and all the options available for travelers wanting to take a long-term trip. As someone who has taken a RTW trip myself, I knew all too well the frustrations that come with trying to figure out the best option for traveling around the world.

Do I buy a RTW ticket from one of the alliances? If so, what are all those pesky terms and conditions all about? Do I go with a company like AirTreks who doesn’t have as many rules and conditions but makes you set your itinerary in advance? Are there any more companies out there who sell RTW tickets? Maybe I should just buy one-way tickets as I go? But that’s sure to be much more expensive than going with a traditional RTW ticket, right?

All are questions I had back in 2008 when we were planning our own RTW trip. Fast forward three years – I’m back from my trip, working for a travel company who also sells RTW tickets, and I honestly still didn’t know the answers to those questions.

Around the World Airfare Report

After discussing it more with colleagues, it seems that there aren’t many people who do know the ins and outs of RTW flights. Since we own this site called Round the World Ticket, shouldn’t we be the ones with authority on the subject? Shouldn’t we be the ones to provide these resources for travelers wanting to go on a RTW trip?

The answer was a resounding yes, so the research began. We started by coming up with three fictional itineraries. One was a super simple, 4-leg hub city RTW trip. One was a more complicated, 13 segment (9 flights, 4 overland) RTW trip. And the last was an extremely complicated, 17 leg (12 flights, 5 overland) RTW trip.

After coming up with the itineraries, it was time to shop them around.  We didn’t do this as employees of BootsnAll, we instead posed as customers for the most accuracy.  We spent the better part of two months emailing, calling, chatting, and compiling prices and information on the shopping process for these three RTW routes.  We shopped these itineraries among eight different companies, including one in the UK for our British friends and one in Australia for our friends down under.  We also wanted to see how the DIY model of purchasing a series of one-way tickets compared, so we searched via Kayak as well.

We began by publishing short reviews breaking down each company based on 5 criteria – price, search options, customer service, date flexibility, and route flexibility. We even asked you for your input on each company, so be sure to read through the comments to see what other customers had to say about each. And if you’ve used any of these yourself, please feel free to contribute your own review.

But we always had something bigger in mind. We had so much more information to share. So we organized it all and put out our Around the World Flight Report today. This 18-page report shows what ticket providers are cheapest for shorter or more complex RTW routes, offers nine sample routes with 60 prices checked, and includes a RTW provider scorecard, among other great information.

So if you are contemplating a RTW trip or in the middle of planning your own RTW trip, this is something you want to read. Taking 20-30 minutes to read through this report will save you literally hours, maybe even days of research. Our goal here isn’t to sway you one way or another – it is simply to provide the information. If it’s one thing that we learned from our research, it’s that there is no one best option for everyone. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing. Every traveler has different needs; it’s just a matter of finding out which one is best for you.

So go ahead and download the report, read it over, and please feel free to get back with us in the comments section of this post with any feedback – both positive and negative. Because the travel landscape is ever-changing, we plan to update this report 4 times a year, so any input you could offer to make the next version better, we’re all ears.

Thanks, and happy travels!

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Special March 2012 Fares for RTW Tickets

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Many travelers consider themselves budget travelers, but what exactly does budget travel mean? Does it mean spending the least amount of money? Does it mean staying in hostel dorms and always cooking your own meals? Does it mean always traveling in inexpensive, developing countries? Does a term like budget travel really have to even be defined?

A recent article on BootsnAll challenged that exact question. The author wrote about the difference between budget travel and cheap travel. Based on all the comments, most of the readers agreed that there is indeed a difference, and budget travel doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to spend the least amount of money. In fact, most agreed that budget travel is all about getting the most value for your money, and value really does depend on the person.

The one thing that budget travelers do is take advantage of ways to save money and add value to his or her trip. Learning how to take advantage of services like Couchsurfing and traveling during shoulder season are both great ways to maximize your funds during any trip. What are your favorite budget travel tips?

If you’re planning an extended trip, then you want to start keeping an eye on airfare specials. BootsnAll has monthly deals that can take you all over the world, so be sure to check out the following deals, which are good through March, 2012:

  • RTW Sample -New York – Beijing – Hong Kong – Singapore – Bangkok – Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City – Paris – OVERLAND – London – Reykjavik – New York from $2498 plus taxes.
  • Hoofing It Around the World – New York – Bogota – OVERLAND – Sao Paulo – Johannesburg – OVERLAND – Nairobi – Istanbul – OVERLAND – Athens – Cairo – Dubai – OVERLAND – Muscat – Cochin / Kochi – OVERLAND – Calcutta / Kolkata – Bangkok – OVERLAND – Singapore – Yogyakarta – OVERLAND – Bali (Denpasar) – Hong Kong – OVERLAND – Beijing – New York from $3873 plus taxes.
  • Canuck’s Classic RTW – Vancouver – Beijing – Delhi – OVERLAND – Bombay / Mumbai – London – Rome – OVERLAND – Paris – Vancouver from $2525 plus taxes.

If you are looking for something a little different in your round the world trip, then start planning your trip of a lifetime with our RTW trip planner And don’t forget to sign up for BootsnAll’s RTW newsletter, delivering special deals, RTW trip planning advice, and resources via email every single month. We also have a Facebook fan page and Twitter page, so be sure to like and follow those to keep up to date on all your RTW travel needs.

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Designing Your Own Round the World Itinerary

Monday, February 20th, 2012

We recently completed a research project where we shopped 3 round the world itineraries from 8 different companies who sell RTW tickets. The following is a guest post about the DIY method of buying plane tickets as you go for your RTW trip.
 
In January 2010 I quit my job, sold everything I owned, and bought a one way ticket from Los Angeles to Bangkok. It was the beginning of a year-long round the world adventure that brought me to 20 different countries on 4 continents.

When I left on my trip I had a vague plan of the destinations I wanted to visit, but it was very important for me to have flexibility as well. I considered buying a pre-packaged round the world ticket, but decided to go the DIY route instead.

The main reasons I chose DIY were the flexibility and the price.

Flexibility

Most round the world tickets limit your travel time to 12 months. In my case this was an immediate deal breaker. I knew I may be gone for over 12 months. Even if you are planning a shorter trip, you never know what might happen.

You might take a job at a bar on the Mekong and linger in Laos for a few months. You may discover your new-found love for ice climbing in Norway and want to stay through the winter. The point is that with extended travel, flexibility is key.

The other main downside to round-the-world tickets is that by and large they require you to pick an itinerary including dates and destinations in advance. Having that kind of structure can only hurt a traveler’s journey.

Price

My trip around the world trip included 12 flights connecting South East Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the United States. I covered a total of 38,000 miles at the bargain price of $3,256. That’s only 9 cents per mile—cheaper than driving! I have yet to find one round-the-world airfare quote for the same itinerary that can beat that price.

My DIY Round-the-World Itinerary

I booked this itinerary using only one-way airfares found by searching the web. While I racked up a lot of frequent flyer miles on the way I paid for all of these trips out of pocket. On average I bought the tickets I used about 2-3 months in advance for long haul flights and up to the very last minute for shorter flights.

The table below shows a summary of my flights. The mileages listed include the stopovers as indicated.

All said and done I took 12 flights and visited 4 continents. A little over half of these flights (7 of 12) were on budget carriers and were short distances. All of my long haul flights were on standard carriers. My most expensive flight on a cost per mile basis was my flight from Bucharest to Kos, Greece. This was probably due to two factors: one, I booked the flight evening before it left; and two, the leg from Athens to the island of Kos was on a tiny prop plane.

Looking back on it I flew a lot, and some of the time it wasn’t necessary. Had I wanted to save a little money I could have easily gone overland throughout South East Asia (skipping the Bangkok-Krabi and Bangkok-Phnom Penh-Bangkok flights and the flight within Indonesia from Denpasar to Yogyakarta). Had I skipped these flights I would have saved $245 on airfare.

Tips for Keeping on Budget

The best thing you can do to stay on budget is to be flexible. Flexibility in time and precise destination will go further and save you more money than any number of hours of searching the web for the cheapest fare.

One possible pitfall to booking independently is the trend towards egregious markups with long haul one-way fares. I found this was the biggest problem with flights between the US and Europe. You can usually find a way around it if you keep looking. Sometimes if you buy a refundable round trip ticket with plans to refund the second leg you can save some money.

While packaged round the world tickets may be perfect for some travelers, nothing beats the flexibility of relying on your own creativity and bargain hunting skills to create a round-the-world itinerary on the fly.

This was a guest post by Briana from Roll Global. For further reading you can look at her monthly budget for the entire trip here. You can also read more about her adventures, traveling, rock climbing and bicycle touring around the world on her website RollGlobal.org.

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Shopping for RTW Tickets – Route 1 Dates and Itineraries

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

During our RTW flight research project, we came up with three different round the world routes to shop among eight different companies. If you haven’t seen them already, here are the the RTW Plane Ticket Reviews from our secret shopping project.

Below you will find the itinerary and dates for the first route we shopped to give you a better idea of our findings. Remember that we posed as customers for this project in order to get the most accurate experience of what it’s like to shop for RTW plane tickets. We also shopped all three itineraries leaving from three different cities around the world – New York, London, and Sydney.

Route 1 – 4 leg Hub City RTW

Dates: We searched all three of these routes using the same dates. We shopped each route between mid-November – mid-December 2011 – about 3.5 – 4.5 months before the first flight.

  • Flight 1: 04/01/12
  • Flight 2: 05/01/12
  • Flight 3: 06/01/12
  • Flight 4: 07/01/12

Routes

  • New York — London — Delhi — Bangkok — New York
  • London — Delhi — Bangkok — New York — London
  • Sydney — Bangkok — Delhi — London — Sydney

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Round About Travel RTW Ticket Review

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

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:

Price

Round About Travel is an Australian based company who we used to shop prices on all three routes leaving from Sydney. They were extremely competitive compared to the other options, offering a price that was only 3.65% higher than the lowest price for the first route, which was a simple, 4-leg hub RTW trip. For the second, more complicated route, they had the lowest price. But they did fall a bit behind for the third route, which was a massive 18-leg trip. The quoted price for the final itinerary was 18.64% higher than the lowest price.

Search options

The online booking form can get a bit complicated if your trip doesn’t fit into its parameters, and for some with a more complicated route or one that goes through regions that Round About Travel doesn’t cover, it is easier to call or send an enquiry through one of their many forms. We liked having many options available for booking, but their online search tool just isn’t up to par with most other companies we looked at. There is no map, and the process just isn’t as user friendly. That being said, it does get the job done. They do have phone numbers to call as well, for both people living in Australia and internationally.

Customer Service

We ended up sending queries through their basic enquiry form and received responses back within a day for all three routes we searched. There were a few issues trying to get prices on the exact itineraries we wanted, but the customer service reps were great and worked with us to meet the needs of the trip we were searching. They always responded immediately, answered all our questions, and suggested changes to the itinerary that would be cheaper and easier.

Date Flexibility

Round About Travel acts as more of a travel agent rather than having their own product to sell. They work with other companies, airlines, and alliances selling tickets. Because of this, making changes once you have already purchased your ticket will depend on a variety of factors. For two of the routes, Round About Travel actually used oneworld Alliance to book the fare, so the same change rules would apply, meaning that it was necessary to book the first international flight, but all subsequent dates could be left open and changed for free. But they may not always use one of the alliances, so making changes will vary based on each individual’s trip.

Route Flexibility

As mentioned above, Round About Travel acts as more of a travel agent than selling their own round the world ticket. So overall, this gives them the advantage of having a variety of options that should be able to accommodate any itinerary. In the two more complicated itineraries we shopped, they actually used oneworld Alliance to get a price for our trip, which was interesting considering when we contacted oneworld directly, they were unable to accommodate such complicated itineraries.

Round About Travel rated on the high side when it comes to route flexibility because it seems like they don’t have many limitations when trying to accommodate each customer. We did have to change our itinerary around a bit to fit into the parameters of the ticket, but we never had to cut out any destinations to make it work. It was only necessary to change the order of the route at their suggestion. One of the main problem we had with the alliance tickets was getting from Australia/New Zealand to South America, but this was no problem with Round About Travel (perhaps because they are based in Australia?). Regardless, they were able to accommodate all our itineraries and obtain pricing in a quick and efficient manner.

If you have used Round About Travel for your round the world trip, we want to hear from you. Comment below to share your experience, and click on the stars to rate.

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Round the World Flights RTW Ticket Review

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

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:

Round the World Flights is a company based out of the UK and acts as more of a travel agent. They don’t have their own product, but they can sell RTW tickets through many other companies and alliances. You can book through one of their agents.

Price

Round the World Flights is a company based out of the UK, and when shopping prices, we only used them for the three routes originating in London. They were very competitive when it came to price. Round the World Flights’ price was only 1.3% higher than the lowest price for the first route, a simple, 4 leg hub RTW trip. They had the lowest price for the second, more complicated route, and their price for the third route, a long, 18-leg journey, was 27.95% higher than the lowest price.

Search Options

Trying to use Round the World Flight’s online booking tool for the first time was a bit complicated. It was easy to get into, but the exact rules weren’t clearly stated anywhere. In order to use the online search function, you had to have a minimum of 4 stops and a maximum of 6 stops, which made searching online limited.

They have a contact us page with phone numbers, an address, and email addresses. They also have a personal itinerary form to send in an enquiry, but it’s difficult to find. It can only be accessed after entering a trip in their trip planner. Once you enter your trip, the program will suggest a few pre-determined RTW tickets based on the cities you entered. If none look good to you, you can click No Match? Click here, and that will take you to the personal itinerary form where you can enter your exact trip details for a quote. If you live in the UK, there is also a phone number to call and they have an office in London.

Customer Service

We did receive a quote back the same day after entering our trip into the personal itinerary form, and the communication was prompt and friendly. We asked a few additional questions and received answers almost immediately. The reps were nice and seemed very knowledgeable when we were emailing back and forth with them. After sending them our most complicated route, they were able to get us a quote within 3 hours, whereas most other companies needed at least a day.

Date Flexibility

Making changes when booking with Round the World Flights may incur a fee, but it depends on how far in advance that change is made and other specifics regarding the change. They didn’t seem to have a firm policy in place for making changes, which would make me a bit nervous as a consumer. They did mention in an email that the best way to change a date is at the airport with the airline. That would give you the best chance of not having to pay extra. In my experience, though, dealing with the airlines is typically not the best way to get things for free.

Route Flexibility

Round the World Flights provided plenty of flexibility in routing as they were able to accommodate all three of our itineraries and gave us a price within 12 hours each time. There was no emailing back and forth or no calls, just a request by us and a price given by them, which leads us to believe that they have access to a large number of airlines and routes.

If you have used Round the World Flights 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.

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