The Ultimate Guide to Planning A Round The World Trip

The Ultimate Guide to Planning A Round The World Trip

Everything You Need to Know to Prepare for Your Journey

You’ve long dreamt of traversing the planet from the Amalfi Coast to the Himalayas. Ever since you were a child, you imagined the brilliant colors, sounds and aromas of distant places. You long to meet new people, explore different cultures and bask in the mysterious and exhilarating beauty of the Earth. Simply put — wanderlust is in your blood.

But before you pack your suitcase with maps and sunscreen, you realize you have a lot of questions about traveling abroad. Some of these questions might include:

  • How do I pay for such a trip?
  • Where exactly should I go?
  • What do I need?
  • Where do I even begin?

Taking a trip around the world requires a ton of preparation, but it isn’t as challenging as you may think. We’re here to help you through the process from beginning to end. Know that your dream of world travel is within your reach!

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about planning a trip around the world, from budgeting your trip to booking your flight. You’ll learn what you need to do to get started on the experience of a lifetime.

This guide will show you how to:

  • Pick the destinations that suit you best.
  • Budget for your trip.
  • Book the best around the world flight to meet your destination goals.
  • Choose the right accommodations for your budget.
  • Prepare for your trip with the necessary documents and traveler’s insurance.
  • Have a safe and healthy round the world trip. is a team of travel experts who want to help you create an itinerary that’s customized for your budget, tastes and travel needs. For over a decade, we’ve helped travelers create the most economical routes, find the best around the world ticket deals and make the most out of their round the world journeys. is a team of travel experts

Planning a trip overseas can get complicated, especially with so many destination options on this planet. Here at, we thrive on challenges and can work with you no matter how complex your desired route of travel may be.

We won’t leave you stranded once we send you on your way, either! We strive to build lasting relationships with our customers and provide assistance throughout their expeditions. It is our goal to make traveling as hassle-free as possible.

Excited? So are we! Traveling the world is an experience you’ll never forget. Keep on reading to learn how you can make your dream of becoming a world explorer a reality.

Chapter 1: Making the Choice to Travel the World

You know you’re a traveler at heart if you appreciate life’s details, like the fragrance of Thai curry or the chime of medieval church bells. With so much admiration for all of the world’s cultural treasures, how do you choose which places to visit? After all, there are 195 countries in the world! You might have to make more than one trip around the world to see everything your heart desires, but we’ll help you narrow it down one worldwide journey at a time. How to Choose Your Destination There are four different aspects to consider when deciding which countries to include on your itinerary. Those are:
  • Cost
  • Weather
  • Time of year
  • Location

1. Cost

Simply put, some countries are more expensive to visit than others. If you’re looking to spend time in more affordable places, consider adding India, Kazakhstan, Bhutan, Indonesia, Malaysia or Egypt to your list. You can stretch your dollar a lot further in these locations without sacrificing culture, nature or history. Although these countries are easier on the budget, check with the U.S. Department of State to make sure they're safe to travel to during your chosen dates. Even though some of the more affordable countries may have greater security risks, it doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't safe to travel to. That's why it’s important to do your research first. And, as with traveling to any unfamiliar place, you might just need to take certain precautions to avoid any potential danger. Arrange to tour with a local guide or stay with a host family that can help you make safe choices. Kazakhstan has gorgeous lakes and mountains for nature-lovers to roam. If you love exploring ruins and historic grounds, think about how you can check out an ancient village in India. To give you a better idea of India’s affordability, a three-course meal for two people in Jaipur costs an average of $7.68. When it comes to travel, low-cost doesn't always mean a low-quality experience. On the other end of the spectrum, pricier destinations also offer an abundance of sightseeing gems. Some of the more expensive countries to visit are in Europe — think Scotland, France and Italy. Some countries in Asia and South America, like Japan and Argentina, can tip the scale to the costlier side, too. However, if you’ve always dreamt of touring Edinburgh Castle or snacking on gelato next to the Grand Canal, don’t let the price deter you. With proper planning, budgeting and saving, you can visit the places you really want to see.

2. Weather

Different countries have seasons and weather patterns that are unique to their geographic location. For example, African seasons are opposite North American seasons. So while autumn runs from September until the end of December in the United States, it goes from May to the end of June in Africa. Places like Kenya, though, can be hot year-round. The point is, it’s important to consider climate differences when choosing where and when to visit a place. That way, if you’re visiting Chile in August, you won’t find yourself shivering in a tank top.

3. Time of Year

Sometimes the time of year you decide to travel can affect the overall fun-level of a trip. Do you like crowds and being a social butterfly? Then maybe you’ll enjoy Europe during the summer months when there are plenty of festivals and tourist activity. Or maybe you would prefer a more relaxed, out-of-season experience. You may have fewer events to choose from and maybe worse weather to deal with, but if you’re a lone wolf at heart, you’re more likely to enjoy the quieter atmosphere. It all really depends on personal preference and what you wish to do during your travels. Is there certain wildlife you want to catch sight of? Do you wish to be witness to an animal migration? Are there any traditions or ceremonies you’ve longed to partake in? Evaluating the purpose of your trips and what you want to do in each location will help you decide what to include on your path across the world.

4. Location

This may be the most obvious and the most important detail of your planning. You can only travel in one direction with a round the world ticket, so you’ll want to pick destinations that are on the same path, either going east to west or west to east. A round the world ticket, versus a bunch of one-way tickets, will save you money and frustration. You’ll have more freedom to make the most out of the places you do decide to visit. For example, you can’t fly to from Dallas, TX to Istanbul and then decide you want to go swimming in Barbados — because the Caribbean is a little out of the way. However, if you want to head to Beijing from Istanbul before heading back to Dallas, well, that’s more round-the-world style. But don’t worry — if you really want to include some tropical beach time on your itinerary, we’ll gladly work with you to make that happen. How to Budget for Your Round the World Trip The big question is — how are you going to pay for this trip across continents? Traveling is extremely expensive, isn't it? It can be — but a hamburger can be expensive, too, if you order Kobe beef. Just like anything you purchase, the cost depends on a lot of different factors and the level of comfort you prefer. The trick is to find a balance between comfort and affordability, which we are happy to help you do. So don’t get discouraged! With a little effort each week, you can save enough money to tour the world. Here’s how to get started:

1. Make a Savings Plan

Remember the first car you bought with your own hard-earned money? It may have stalled at every stop light, but hey, it was yours! Well, just as you were patient and determined to buy your first car, you can apply that same willpower to plan a trip that will change your life forever.
  • Plan a travel budget — see below.
  • Set aside money each week. Use a savings calculator to help you determine how much you need to save.
  • Cut unnecessary expenses.
  • Sell items you no longer want or use.
  • Work extra hours or pick up a part-time job.
Sometimes small changes can really add up. Next time you want to buy a latte when you can make a cup of coffee, think about the option that will help you reach your goal.

2. Estimate Travel Costs

When figuring out how much your round the trip journey is going to cost, there is more than flights and accommodations to consider. Write down everything you can think of that you’ll need to set aside money for. Even if you don’t know the exact cost of an item, an estimation will still help you determine what you can afford. You’ll want to estimate costs for:
  • Passport or visa fees
  • Vaccination fees
  • Flight ticket
  • Baggage fees and airport parking
  • Transportation costs
  • Hotel costs, including fees and taxes
  • Meals, snacks and beverages
  • Travel insurance
  • Sightseeing, tours and other activities
  • Souvenirs
  • Travel accessories
You’ll need to have an idea of how long you plan to stay at each destination as well. Since you’re making estimates at this point, you’ll want to overestimate costs to ensure you’ll have enough to follow through with your plans.

3. How to Save and Spend Money Abroad

Using a foreign currency can be intimidating at first, but it’s also exciting and adds to the adventure. You have different options to choose from when it comes to exchanging currencies. One option is you can contact your bank to order foreign currency before you travel. There may or may not be a fee to do this, depending on your bank, but this can help you avoid fees to exchange cash while overseas. If you do opt to exchange currency in a different country, use local banks and not currency exchange offices in the airport. Currency exchange at the airport usually can be costly. You also have the option to wait until you get to your destination and take money out of an ATM. There can be a variety of fees with this method of currency exchange, such as a currency conversion fee, using- an-international-ATM fee and a foreign bank fee. However, if not used too frequently, an ATM can be a convenient choice. Also, as traveler’s checks are no longer in much use, plan on using either cash, debit or credit cards abroad. Call your credit card card company and bank to make sure they allow international transactions and find out what fees, if any, are involved. You can also try to get a fee-free credit card before you embark on your journey. Make sure to take a little American money with you, too, just in case. Here are a few money-saving tips to follow while traveling:
  • Avoid tourist restaurants. Instead, eat like the locals do or cook your meals, if possible.
  • Reuse water bottles. Bring water purifying tablets with you to ensure your drinking water is safe.
  • Use public transportation. Ride a bike or walk when possible.
  • Get a no-fee credit or ATM card before your trip.
Consider leaving a bit of money at home with someone you trust in case of an emergency or if your cards get lost or stolen. Always have a backup plan. Let a Round the World Travel (RTW) Specialist Be Your Guide Now that you have a general idea of where you want to go and how much you can afford, it’s recommended to meet with an RTW travel specialist to take the hassle out of planning. A travel expert can help you route your trip, book flights and address all of your questions and concerns about traveling abroad. Foreign travel can get complicated, especially if there are a lot of destinations you want to include in your itinerary. Meeting with an RTW specialist at a travel agency can save you a lot of time and stress and help make sure you get the most for your money according to your needs and wants. No one traveler is the same — a travel expert will help you tailor your trip to your personality!