On the Road

Around the World Plane Tickets

There are two options for around the world travelers: to buy package airfare or to buy tickets along the way. Both have their pros and cons, but it is undoubtedly better to allow yourself the freedom of buying fares along the way. That way you never have to be at any place at any time and the joy of travel really kicks in. Why worry about making it somewhere? Isn’t this why you left to travel in the first place?

It is easy to travel leaving your home country with only a one way ticket out. Airfare is almost always cheaper abroad than where you are from. When you are ready to go home it is as simple as buying a ticket from wherever you are back. One snag to this option, though, is that many customs agents require a proof of return fare before letting you into their country. There are ways around this.

Once in a country you can easily buy plane, train, bus and boat tickets that will take you anywhere you want to go. This will be a lot cheaper than buying tickets at home, too. For example, the same ticket from Lima to Cusco, Peru costs $250 online on Yahoo but only $70 if you buy it the same day at the airport in Lima.

The other option for around the world travel is to purchase package airfare in the form of an ‘around-the-world’ ticket. You choose your destinations in a constrained way usually continuing in the same direction around the globe. Usually you have only one year to complete the airfare, and the destinations you have chosen are not changeable. You may or may not be able to change the dates without a fee.

Package airfare sucks for two reasons: 1) you may easily find you need more than a year 2) you will meet other people along the way and your desires on where to go will change.

Many travelers end up throwing out the rest of their around-the-world tickets somewhere halfway into them.

If you still insist on this option, there are two main ticket options for around-the-word travel: One World Alliance and Star Alliance. There are no websites listing fares for these plans for the reason below.

IMPORTANT TIP: The price of around-the-world fares vary depending on the country you are in when you but the tickets. For example, an RTW purchased in the United States typically costs $3000. The same exact ticket starting in London might cost $1200. You would be better off going to London in this case and buying your RTW there.

Thailand, New Zealand, Australia and the UK are all cheap places to purchase RTW fares.

Jim Klee

Jim Klee – sports a mangled passport and a well-worn rucksack. He believes travel to be a form of therapy against modern civilization’s madness. In 2002 Jim embarked on a journey starting with a one-way ticket no return to Mexico City. Some months later he discovered Tom Thumb sleeping in the shade besides his tent on a beach in Costa Rica. After surviving rip currents in Mexico, nearly freezing to death trekking solo in Patagonia, and getting knocked unconscious by submerged rocks while surfing in Australia, Jim decided to clear his head by beelining his way (mostly overland) to the Himalaya. There a regimen of Sufi poetry, yoga up in the mountains, and cheap gel pens resulted in a stack of notebooks containing an unpublishable travel novel. He re-emerged in New York City in late 2004 and Road Junky was born soon after.