Discuss long-term and Round the World Travel. Share experiences, tips and encourage others to take the plunge. Help others plan their itineraries and budgets for upcoming epic adventures.

RTW Flights or Overlanding??


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Guidebook Dependent
Posts: 17
Joined: July 10th, 2013

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Tags: rtw, africa, Europe, asia, sea, overland
  • Added on: July 11th, 2013
I wonder if you can help, I need some advice/tips/suggestions. I'm not planning on actually going away until 2016, I realise this sounds far away but given my plans I feel I need to start the ball rolling on organising it, or at least know my time frame for visas, money etc.

I have travelled before but this time I won't have to hurry back and plan on seeing as much of the world as I can for as long as my money will carry me. One of my questions to you is regarding RTW flights. Would It be best to have as many stops as I can organise and pre-planned or book a route with maybe 5 stops and overland? OR, my second question maybe not book any flights at all and simply travel overland London to Oz - possibly incorporating Africa (this is were the more serious advice would come in.) I didn't want to be stuck to a rigid itinerary however having lots of stops booked means I know they are paid and would also prompt me to move on etc. I think I have too many options I've scared myself :)

If anyone has had any experience of this any information would be of great help. I will (incase this helps) be armed with a degree and a TEFL

Thanks Guys xx


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Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 11
Joined: May 20th, 2013
Location: The Netherlands

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  • Added on: July 12th, 2013
i beilive it depends on the destinations//time frame/ budget you have in mind. in europe for example the train vs plane all depends on the distance, AMS--Milan for instance by train is much more costly and more time consuming than hopping on a easyjet flight.
there is also the bus (but for me personally thats a no-go as i dont like that at all.)
it helped me personally to point out key destinations and plan the transit ahead of the trip (mainly because of the reason you stated: its all paid for and a motivator to "leave" a certain destination. ( although i did book some flex tickets which allows for change of flights for a small fee or even free.
hope this helps a little bit.


Street Food Connoisseur
Posts: 736
Joined: March 23rd, 2008

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  • Added on: July 13th, 2013
I think usually these days with rare exception (ie you plan to fly South America to Australia) it's not really worth buying a rtw flight in advance compared to just winging it and buying tickets along the way. These days with a little creative searching you can just find a cheap flight for anything that comes up with a few weeks or even a few days notice- certainly to a level that it's not worth sacrificing your flexibility which is one of the awesome things about long-term travel.


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Armchair Traveler
Posts: 46
Joined: June 5th, 2013
Location: Just listen for the footsteps.

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  • Added on: July 14th, 2013
On the slim chance that you really are going to do this... If you plan to travel for more than a year then arrange transport as you go. Visas... you seldom need to do that far in advance. In fact, in most cases you can't. Nationality? Presume you are either from North America or western Europe. In which case most visas are easy. Exception... if you are in some dinky third world hole and planning to go to another dinky third world hole the respective countries may not have consular facilities. You mention the language certificate. I presume you are thinking about working as an English teacher. Most of those jobs you can often just walk into. BUT.. certain international schools have to be arranged in advance. What is the degree? Medieval French Literature isn't a degree. But if you have a real one that could lead into something. The more info you provide, the more help you can receive. Another danger of planning way in advance and buying tickets is that the airline in this day and age may not be around. Way back when on one of my longish trips a country required an ongoing airline ticket. In those days you could by an MCO... miscelaneous charges order. Let you use it for tickets, hotels and car rentals. BUT midway through my trip that massive airline went bankrupt. I had to scramble for other means. Took 5 years and the court sent me 10 cents on the dollar. When should you plan seriously ahead? Major festivals and holidays. ie. Rio at carnival. In pre internet and DHL days you had to have certain drop ship places to get emergency packages. Not the case anymore for most of the stuff. Keep an eye on the news. Wars, revolutions and earthquakes can screw up itineraries. Although I have also made money on that. Don't chat up someone to come along with you the whole trip. One of you will die. But, finding someone to travel with for a leg or two can be a money saver..especially on hotels. Also nice to have someone to watch your back..and your bag. Don't get anal. There are a couple hundred countries/nation states/.whatever. You have to skip some no problem. There are more similarities than differences so you'll catch it later.

If you really are going then as you work out some ideas on wants and interests come back with detailed questions.


Street Food Connoisseur
Posts: 544
Joined: December 19th, 2007

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  • Added on: September 11th, 2013
I would suspect that most people buy into a round the world ticket adding on additional flights.
Read the small print for changes and costs after buying like changing the route or dates of flights, this is important because when you travel for long period you may want to change your initial plans.
Purchasing additional flights can work out expensive if buying at short notice so keep this in mind.
The ticket will not cover everywhere you want to go for a start,add onto this train journeys
See this site for trains

Planning a bit trip is all part of the journey as I see it and to be organized can make the difference between having a good experience or having a great experience. All the research you will do will pay off in the long run and I find it is so enjoyable.

This site is a great source of information for independent travelers check it out.

Weather and climate is another consideration check out

When I plan our trips I use a file to keep hard copies of information I need to quick reference.
Use a spreadsheet to list the days and places I am staying and add a cost for accommodation and misc expenditure, this is a loose list and can be changed but the figures run thru so I have an idea of budget.
There is so much information on the Internet it's pretty easy to search for anything these days.

I would always advice booking accommodation in advance for long flights,the last thing you want when you are tired to have to search for accommodation.
After that you can book a few days before to arrive in another area.

Read the websites I have suggested it will help in your planning.

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