Thinking about RTW transport is probably one of the most overwhelming parts of planning a trip around the world. It can also be one of the most costly aspects, so choosing methods of RTW transport incorrectly can have negative effects on the trip as well. Because of this, I have decided to lay out details on all the modes of transport with helpful links to help others make an educated decision.
If you are the type of person who loves to have a set itinerary and a schedule (no longer than a year, mind you) to stick to, then RTW plane tickets are generally a cost-effective way to go. RTW plane tickets are valid for up to 12 months. Here are a few great places to look for RTW airfare:
- One World – (American Airlines and Partners) One World provides rtw plane tickets based on continents and segments.
- Star Alliance – (United Airlines and Partners) Star Alliance provides rtw plane tickets based on mileage.
- Airtreks – Airtreks provides rtw plane tickets based on searching their hundreds of carriers.
Many travelers (especially perpetual nomads), however, feel the need to keep their trip open-ended. They prefer to disregard rtw plane tickets and travel on a buy-as-you-go method. If you are the type of person who wants to really fly by the seat of your pants, has no real end in sight, or is just open to taking advantage of opportunities as they come, then avoiding the rtw plane ticket is the best option.
Budget International Flights
If you are looking for one good, budget international flight, then using a quality flight search engine is the way to go. This option is great for those that are taking an unexpected break from an rtw ticket, or who are just traveling to one destination.
- Vayama.com – Vayama supposedly has more international flights than any other website.
I used Vayama to get a fairly good price on a round-trip flight from Almaty, Kazakhstan to Chicago – and in August no less! It’s layout is easy to use and makes online flight shopping easy.
My philosophy is to make the most of the money you spend, so if you have the time and are already shelling out the dough for a big international flight, it is wise to look into a multi-city or multi-stop airfare. You can read more about how we got our multi-stop USA itinerary plane tickets for more details.
Low Cost Budget Airlines
Low cost budget airlines are often used to fill in the gaps of short travel in an RTW plane ticket, or they can also be used to make the entire around the world trip happen. Some great, low cost budget airlines are as follows:
- Ryan Air – Ryan Air is one of the most popular budget Europe airlines, and it is based in London.
They offer low cost flights all over Europe, sometimes as low as 1 pound! Be careful about the baggage restrictions, however, because they mean business. I thought my small duffel bag and my small backpack would count as my one carry-on and a purse, but it turns out I had to check my duffel. The duffel bag was torn somewhere in the luggage handling process quite badly, and I will never forgive the counter clerk for not letting me take it on-board.
- Easy Jet – Easy Jet is another budget Europe airline.
- Jet Star – Jet Star is a budget Australia & New Zealand airline with international flights around Asia.
They happen to be quite adamant about making sure you have an outbound ticket from New Zealand if visiting, so make sure you meet all requirements for the country you are planning to visit. Otherwise, you won’t get your boarding pass.
- Tiger Air – Tiger Air is a budget Asia airline with flights from Singapore to Australia.
- Air Asia – Air Asia is a budget Asia airline.
International Train Transport
- The Man in Seat Sixty-One… – The Man in Seat Sixty-One provides international train info for just about anywhere in an easy to follow manner.
I love, love, love this website. It was started by Mark Smith who worked in the train industry and always requested seat 61 because of the optimal position, seating and space. He began writing about the different routes to take across Europe, and it grew from there!
- Bahn.de – Bahn.de, even though its in German, can get you the timetables for all over Europe.
This website is awesome, and it saved my life in Ukraine. The workers at any train station refused to give details of various trains that would pass outside the country if it wasn’t one of the “set” routes displayed on the board. Using this website, I was able to put together more efficient and interesting routes. Thank you!
- Rail Europe – Rail Europe provides rail passes for Europe, as well as point-to-point tickets.
If you plan on covering a lot of ground on a train, then rail passes give you quite a bit of flexibility. Get single country passes, youth passes and ferry deals.
International Bus Transport
- Eurolines – Eurolines has buses that connect cities all over Europe.
I definitely used this a few times in Europe and was pleased each time. There’s even a route from Krakow – Lviv – Kiev.
Car & Van Rentals
- Wicked Campers – Wicked Campers rents out naughty camper vans in Australia, New Zealand, and many other parts of the world.
They even have a Naked Special… If you show up naked, you get a free day!
Other RTW Transport Help
- Gypsy Maps – Gypsy Maps provides New York City subway information.