roundtheworldflights.com has been organising big globetrotting adventures since 1997. Our staff members are unashamed travel geeks; we pride ourselves on knowing the obscure tricks that get the cheapest deals, and our ability to join even the most ambitious routes together. But despite such pseudo-superhuman powers, we do need some input from you if we’re going to get your trip just right. So here’s a nine step plan for making everything go smoothly...
1. Time it right
Work out when you want to get the hell out of here – prices fluctuate according to season. As a rough guide, you should try and avoid departures around Easter and Christmas and again in July and August, as this is when fares are highest. The cheapest deals tend to be for between mid-April and mid-June. It’s all about supply and demand; if you must go in high season, book as early as possible and be aware that flights to the UK in early January can be lacking in availability.
Prices by month go roughly as follows – low season prices are cheapest, shoulder season prices are a little higher but often only £50 to £150 more. High season is when you’ll need a Scrooge McDuck-style tower of money to fritter away.
January - High / Shoulder season
February - Shoulder season
March - Shoulder season
April - Shoulder / Low season
May - Low season
June - Low / High season
July - High season
August - High / Shoulder season
September - Shoulder season
October - Shoulder season
November – Shoulder season
December - Shoulder / High season (the difference in price between a December 10th and December 20th departure can be staggeringly big). This article on Where to go when on a round the world trip is worth a read
2. Sketch out a route
The next task is to work out, even if very roughly, where you want to go. Get a map, get some guide books, talk to friends, and put a few places in roughly geographic order. Going the US – the Pacific – New Zealand – Australia – Asia will work out far cheaper than randomly criss-crossing the globe. It’s also worth exploring roundtheworldflights.com site – the Destinations Blogs, Planning section and exclusive Route Planner are great tools. If you’re quite open but have a limited budget, it may be better to search ticket options by price. For example, some RTW tickets cost less than £999.
3. Pick up the phone
Once you’ve a rough idea of where you want to go when, it’s time to either visit roundtheworldflights.com at Third Floor, 32-33 Upper Street in London (very near Angel tube station) or give us a call on 020 7704 5700.
There’s a lot to discuss and sort out – expect to spend around half an hour getting the best options cleared up with one of roundtheworldflights.com’s experts. It’s probably best if you’re not on your mobile at the supermarket check out. A world map and calendar wouldn’t go amiss either.
No route is impossible – but some work out a lot cheaper than others. The experts are called experts for a reason – they know how to fiddle with the dates and switch the odd city around to get substantially better deals from the airlines.
4. Make a provisional reservation
Once the dates and route are agreed, it’s time to make a provisional reservation. This means holding seats on various flights so a clearer itinerary – with flight times, durations and transit times – can be put together. Your full name as it appears on your passport are required. We also need your DOB's if you're travelling via the States.
5. Think about any extras
It’s wise to pre-book at least the first night’s accommodation in every destination you’re visiting. Arriving after a long flight to find that everywhere’s booked up is no fun at all. roundtheworldflights.com’s experts can help you pick out good hotel options. We have some great online brochures too that all you to pick accommodation, tours or campervan hire here. Another extra that should in no way be considered optional is travel insurance. You may save a few quid by not taking it, but it will cost you a lot, lot more if something goes wrong while you’re away. There are many travel insurance options out there, but roundtheworldflights.com sells a decently-priced policy specifically designed for longer, multi-destination trips.
6. Deposit and booking
The seats can be held for a day or so. To continue to hold them, a non-refundable deposit of £75 or 10% of the flight cost is required (whichever is greater). From here on, any route or date changes are possible, but the airlines will probably charge extra for them. If you are booking any hotels or hire cars at the same time, a non-refundable 10% deposit is usually required.
7. Check your documents
After the deposit is paid, you’ll be e-mailed a booking confirmation, an ATOL certificate and a full itinerary with flight details and costings, plus the terms and conditions. It’s wise to check this thoroughly to ensure that everything is as you wish it to be.
8. Final payment
Generally, final full payment is due within 6 to 13 days of the booking being made and the deposit being taken. Some airlines are more lenient on this, but be aware that once final payment is taken, governments or airlines can’t pass on any tax rises or dubious fuel surcharges. In other words, the sooner you can pay for the lot, the better.
9. Pick up your tickets
Once final payment is taken, your tickets will be sent out. In rare cases, these will arrive in the post, but 99% of them are e-tickets these days, and your booking confirmation and full flight itinerary will be sent to your chosen e-mail address straight away. You can then check your itinerary online at our View Trip service. Then it's on with the detailed planning of your trip - it's certainly worth reading 12 things to do before you take off