The popularity of round the world flight tickets (RTW) has grown since the beginning of the whole GAP year concept. For your average 20 something student, the idea of holding a plane ticket in the hand with names like Cairo, Cape town, Bangkok, Sydney, Los Angeles and back to London seems like a dream come true. They’ll travel the world, all in one go.
There is a catch though and it relates to a John Lennon quote about making God laugh by telling him your plans. Roadjunky would advise most travelers against buying round the world flights as there’s just no knowing what will happen to you on the road. You might fall in love in the first place you land and never want to leave. You might find that you want to travel somewhere else that you’ve heard about but can’t afford to change your itinerary.
In short, when traveling on a RTW ticket you’re a prisoner of the travel plans you made before even knowing what traveling was like. In addition, round the world tickets have time restrictions – so whilst you might realise that a month is nowhere near long enough to spend in India, you already have to move on to Thailand to keep up with your ticket.
The biggest fans of round the world tickets tend to be the worried parents of the “first time traveler“http://www.roadjunky.com/guide/850/first-time-travel-guide, who would like to see their son or daughter back in one piece and in time to start their studies.
It’s not even as if RTW tickets are cheaper. There’s often really cheap flights to be bought on the road that you could never get back home. Flights from Bangkok to anywhere else, for example, are amongst the cheapest in the world.
So if you want to travel around the world, go for it – but buy your tickets one way each time you head somewhere and leave at your choosing and convenience.