Outlined on my last article “How to book RTW- Round the World Flights?“, you need to first list out where you want to go on this trip and then decide on what type of RTW flights to buy. On this article, I am going to provide you my actual trip itinerary and how I ended up booking my flights.
Must-go Destinations in 2016
The following are my “Must go locations!”. With these, I start looking at possible flights/ routes for the trip.
- First stop for us must be Australia to Buenos Aires so we can make it to Ushuaia on time for Antarctica cruise.
- Easter Island to & from Santiago, Chile.
- Edinburgh in UK for my friend’s wedding in August.
- Kathmandu in Nepal to complete Everest Base Camp Trek as I only did partial Annapurna last time.
- Bangkok in Thailand to relax and do South East Asia from there.
- Taiwan for Chinese New Years
- Adelaide- Home/ Work.
My Proposed Itineraries + Flights Options
1) OneWorld RTW Flights via OneWorld Explorer
Sydney → Santiago → Buenos Aires (1 cross continent segment + 1 segment within the continent)
- We live in Adelaide so we’ll need to fly from Sydney to catch the direct flight to Santiago. Adelaide to Sydney can be as little as AUD$59, therefore there’s no need of wasting one segment from OneWorld Explorer.
- Usually it is better to just fly directly to a continent and save the segment between Santiago to Buenos Aires for overland travel. However we have to start our trip in Buenos Aires due to Antarctica cruise departing 2 weeks after our trip starts. It is easier to start our trip at Buenos Aires and make our way down to Ushuaia (where Antarctica ships departs). That way we don’t have to back-track to Santiago for Easter Island and up to Bolivia again then somehow see Buenos Aires on the same trip!
Buenos Aires→ Santiago (1 overland segment)
Santiago → Easter Island (1 segment)
Easter Island → Santiago (1 segment)
Santiago → Lima (1 overland segment)
Lima → São Paulo (1 segment)
- As Brazil is our last stop and we have already seen everything we were planning to see in South America, it made sense for us to save a good 4 days of busing (4500km+). There are no budget airlines in South America, since most people take buses. However due to the large distances and time constraint, sometimes it is wise to fly. As I have 1 more segment to spare for the continent, we decided to save ourselves some times.
- By now we have used 7 segments, including 4 intercontinental flights.
Sao Paulo → Milan (1 cross continent segment)
Milan →Madrid (1 overland segment)
Madrid → Doha→ Kathmandu (2 segments)
Kathmandu → Kuala Lumpur→ Bangkok (2 segments)
Bangkok → Taipei (1 overland segment)
Taipei → Hong Kong→ Adelaide (2 segments)
Total of 16 segments and 12 flights booked costing Total of AUD$5313.50 including taxes & carrier surcharges. This means on average each flight segment is around AUD$442.79 per one way.
It is important that you work this value out to see if buying Round of the World flight is worth it!
As you can be surprised at the amount of budget airlines and deals you can get from airline specials if you plan early.
2) Book as you Go!
The initial reason why I insisted to use OneWorld Explorer is because I heard the price of flights to and from Easter Island is expensive, hence it would be good value to use up these segments.
- However upon investigation, the return flight to and from Easter Island was only AUD$675 when booked in advance.
- On average, one way flight from Sydney to South America (either to Buenos Aires or Santiago) is around AUD$1000.
- For the next part of my trip all I need is to get from Brazil to a city in Europe, and after searching on Skyscanner, I discovered from Sao Paulo to London direct with TAM is only around AUD$450 one way. Even Royal Air Maroc flying via Casablanca is only AUD$286 on way from Sao Paulo to London!
- My next part of the journey is to get from a city in Europe to Kathmandu. It seems like the budget airline “FlyDubai” departs from multiple cities in Eastern Europe and flies to Kathmandu for just below AUD$500 one way.
- From Kathmandu to Bangkok is only AUD$220 on Royal Nepal Air. Even Thai Airways only AUD$370.
- At end of our South East Asia trip, we will depart from Vietnam to Taipei which cost us less than AUD$100 on VietJet Air.
- For our last leg of our trip, we need to get back from Taipei to Australia. There are many budget Asian carriers including Jetstar, Tiger Airways or Scoot which cost less than $100AUD to get us half way.
- From Singapore to Melbourne on Scoot is around AUD$400. From Melbourne it is easy for us to make way back to Adelaide.
That means for the same amount of flying, if we are flexible with flying budget airlines and is happy not to accumulate Airline Alliance points, the total is only AUD$3445! That also gives us the added flexibility (although some people will dislike the fact they need to hunt for cheap flights & wait for the deals).
3) Combination of SWISS Airlines & Lufthansa RTW Deal via Round The World Specialists
In my previous post I mentioned there are several on-line agents that specializes in Round The World trips, the only one in Australia with useful information on their website was RoundAbout Travel and I ended up booking my flights with them.
Our flights were a combination of SWISS & Lufthansa RTW flights that can only be put together as a wholesale fare through specialized agencies. It is a cheap way to cover major flights in between continents and use it as a basic for our trip.
- Adelaide → Buenos Aires (via Auckland)
- Rio → Budapest (via Frankfurt)
- Zurich → Delhi
- Singapore → Adelaide
Total: AUD$2453 (around AUD$600 to cross each continent)
As you can see Taipei is not in the itinerary because it is not a major city serviced by SWISS Airline & their direct partners. If we include Taipei, the ticket will become 2nd Tier Star Alliance Round The World ticket which jumps up to AUD$4700- AUD$4900 per person. This is not worth it unless we need 6-10 stopovers including internal flights on one ticket.
Read more about Swiss Airlines RTW flights on the cities they fly to @ Round About Travels
In addition to the flights I would use on OneWorld RTW flights to get me to the destinations I want to go:
- Easter Island Return AUD$675 (via LAN)
- Delhi → Kathmandu AUD$118 (via Jet Airways)
- Kathmandu → Bangkok AUD$220 (via Royal Nepal Air)
- Vietnam → Taipei AUD$100 (via VietJet Air)
- Taipei → Singapore AUD$100 (via Scoot)
OneWorld RTW: AUD$5313.50
Swiss Air RTW: AUD$3666
Book as you go: AUD $3445
- For OneWorld RTW, an extra AUD$2000, it only gives me stops to Doha & Kuala Lumpur & Hong Kong which I am not interested in or have already been. It also guarantees me to get baggage allowances on all of those flights. However since York and I are going to travel with a carry on luggage, this doesn’t apply to us. The only additional luggage cost we probably going to pay is Taiwan to Singapore when booked with budget airlines like Scoot/ Jetstar/ Tiger Airways.
- As you can see from the figures that booking everything DIY is actually cheaper & more flexible. However with AUD$200 extra, we decided to book with Swiss Air via RoundAbout Travel since York and I can’t travel for more than a year due to his work commitment, secondly we are guarantee at around AUD$600 for travelling between each continent, otherwise that price could change depending on the month travelled or whether we could get the sale tickets.
RoundAbout Travel Review
Just with any companies I plan to use, the first thing I do is a Google search. The company got a brief mention on Bootsnall on a topic on RTW travel and I couldn’t find any other reviews other than ones on their Facebook page.
When I first emailed Mark Trim (the company director) about questions I have with regards to booking my RTW trip, he got a bit defensive thinking I was wasting his time & trying to pick his brains out without giving him business. However I wanted to know why I am booking through a travel agent rather than doing it myself if I have the capability. Apparently I am suppose to give him a rough guide of when and where I want to go and he can plan the best route for me. I didn’t like it how he told me that I was doing his job by planning my own trip. He refused to clarify several enquiries I had until I got very angry over the phone and told him how can I ever be his customer if he treats me like a fake one from the start! That was when I started to understand the benefits of using his company.
Below is a summary why I think it is good to book through them:
- If we were to book OneWorld RTW, each segment is with a different airline, that means we will have to contact that particular airline for a flight change. It can be a hassle if we are overseas. If we do it through Mark then we have a one contact for all airlines.
- As I mentioned previously, if we were to book a year’s worth of flights, we will definitely have to change our flights somewhere in the middle as flights don’t come out till 11 months in advance but we have to have all our flights pre-booked for the tickets to be issued. RoundAbout Travel provides you a one time free of charge change fee is the tickets you are looking for are “out of range”.
- If we booked OneWorld RTW with Qantas, the change fee would be AUD$80 per person, however RoundAbout Travel charges only AUD$44. The change fee for SWISS Airline is AUD$275 and AUD$295 for Lufthansa.
- RoundAbout Travel does not charge extra for Visa/ Mastercard payment, which is good for travel period shorter than 3-6 months as their credit card travel insurance will be valid.
- Based on my proposed trip, Mark was able to recommend us a better product which end up being more flexible and saved us more money.
- Replies fast (within 1 business day) and straight to the point.
I think Mark is really helpful if you actually become his customer, he definitely knows what he is doing and doesn’t waste time. I appreciate Mark’s clarification on why he suggested this type of ticket for our trip which is helpful for SWISS RTW tickets.
Even if I were to book the OneWorld RTW, I will still go through RoundAbout Travel due to the low administration fee & no credit card transaction fee.
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中文版 Chinese Version: 購買 “Round The World 環球票” 到底划不划算? 實際價格大分析!