Updated September 9, 2016.
There are a thousand different ways to go around the world. Ask travelers which are the best round the world itineraries and you’ll get a different answer from every person. Everyone’s got an opinion about which region is the most beautiful or which curry (Thai or Indian) will make your mouth the happiest.
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But even if you’ve got the input of experienced long-term and round the world travelers, you’re still going to need a little objective advice to help build your best RTW route. So here’s a list of 5 sensible Around the World itineraries to get you started.
The following trips are compiled with a few things in mind: price (overall cost-effectiveness), efficiency (fewer hours in the air), value (getting more for your money) and the overall amazingness of the destinations (based on common perceptions of what’s cool in the world to visit).
These are in no particular order and arbitrarily happen to proceed in an easterly direction from New York. That said, you can start from wherever you happen to be and travel in whatever direction you prefer.
New York – London – overland to Dubrovnik – Athens – Istanbul – Bangkok – Tokyo – New York
A solid Euro-heavy route that gives you some good train time and eases you from the West to the Far East. This around the world route includes stops in some of the greatest cities in Europe and a taste of Asia’s bigger cities before returning home for less than $3,000.
TripPlanner estimate: $2084 to $2779 including tax.
This around the world route includes the east and the west of Northern Africa and a stop in Northern India to see the Mughal monuments before a visiting a major chunk of equatorial Southeast Asia starting at just under $3,000 for the entire trip.
Trip Planner estimate: $2744 to $3659 including tax
New York – Amsterdam – overland to Rome – Mumbai – Bangkok – overland to Ho Chi Minh City – San Francisco – New York
A personal favorite! This RTW itinerary tours the central corridor of Western Europe by land then heads to Southern India before touching down in Thailand, traveling overland to Vietnam and finally stopping over in one of America’s most beautiful cities, San Francisco for a total fare cost of $2,500 or less.
Trip Planner estimate: $1858 to $2477 including tax
New York – Sao Paulo – Buenos Aires – Cape Town – overland to Johannesburg – Sydney – overland to Melbourne – Christchurch – overland to – Auckland – Fiji – Los Angeles – New York
Sure, this route’s the most expensive of the bunch but arguably it’s the most diverse and distant. This around the world itinerary gets you below the equator. On this trip, you’ll hop flights to South America, South Africa and spend some quality travel time traveling overland in the South Pacific nations of Australia, and New Zealand, before you relax in your last stop before heading home Fiji. All stops and sights to see considered, coming in between $3,600 and $5,000, this trip is a bargain.
Trip Planner estimate: $3549 to $4732 including tax
New York – Paris – overland to Prague – Nairobi – Bangkok – overland to Hanoi – Shanghai – overland to Beijing – New York
This is round the world trip route for travelers who prefer to travel overland when they can. If you love seeing the countryside and the places where tradition is a big part of locals daily lives, this itinerary gives you the benefit of getting to see the expansive stretches of the world that exist between airport hubs and big cities across Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Trip Planner estimate: $2274 to $3031 including tax
All of these routes were priced with our TripPlanner. If you’d like to test your own ideas or variations on these routes try ’em now. Start from your hometown, or wherever you like and feel free to include any other cities or fly in any direction you like.
If you’re ready to book and you’d rather skip to the part where you get one-on-one, expert advice, call us at 1-877-247-8735, or +01-415-977-7100 from outside the US and we’ll help you create a custom round the world itinerary. Want to get in touch some other way? Get more info and more local numbers on our contact page.
Photo Credits: SherSS