July 13, 2024
Forget What You Know About Booking Flights! A Round The World Ticket Is A Game Changer

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It’s every traveler’s dream: to pack a bag and fly off around the world. It’s definitely my dream!  

But what if that dream was now more attainable and affordable than ever before? 

View from a plane window at sunset

Round-the-world airline tickets have been around for a long time, but with airfares going up, they now often pose better value than repeated single trips for frequent flyers.  

Here’s what you need to know about round-the-world tickets and why I think they’re an absolute game changer:  

How Do Round The World Tickets Work?

First things first, buying a round-the-world plane ticket is a little more complicated than buying a regular return flight.  

You need to do some research on several destinations, as well as ensure you’re taking the most economical (in terms of both your time and your money) route.  

Passport pages and immigration stampPassport pages and immigration stamp

While many airlines offer round-the-world plane tickets, the two most well-known and highly regarded are Oneworld and Star Alliance.  

These allow you to fly on any of their member airlines, and because they are big alliances that means you have plenty of options available to you.  

There are some rules! And to make things a little complicated, these rules vary by provider. 

Plane flying over HawaiiPlane flying over Hawaii

But here’s a breakdown of the round-the-world offerings from these two alliances:  

Star Alliance Round The World Airline Tickets  

With the Star Alliance round-the-world ticket, you have to start and end your journey in the same country.

You also have to travel in one direction around the world (so pick to go east or west), and you have to cross both the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.  

Aerial image of the Pacific Rim area Vancouver Island, BC, CanadaAerial image of the Pacific Rim area Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

You can have as many as 15 stops in your itinerary, but you have to have at least 2 stops (otherwise you’re just booking a return flight!) and you can extend your travel from between 10 days and 1 year.  

Provided your dream trip meets all of these criteria, the world really is your oyster!  

Ticket prices vary by itinerary and by the dates you wish to travel.  

You can choose your own itinerary or you can choose one of the Star Alliance set itineraries. With prices starting at $4,000, you can choose a route that will take you to see all of the 7 wonders of the world, for example.  

An Example Itinerary 

I created a sample itinerary departing from New York JFK airport on 8th September, and visiting 5 different destinations with a stay of 5 days in each destination to get the most accurate example price.  

A plane landing at JFKA plane landing at JFK

The destinations were Rio De Janeiro, Paris, Istanbul, Dubai, Tokyo, and then back to New York.  

The total price for this journey for one passenger, including all taxes and fees, was $3,532.  

As a point of comparison, a Delta return flight to Tokyo for the same dates was $1,899 for a refundable economy fare. 

And a Delta return flight to Dubai from JFK for the same sample dates was $1,638. Meaning that a round-the-world trip to see 5 different destinations would cost the same as return flights to see just 2.  

Of course it’s worth noting these are just estimates, as prices can vary.  

Oneworld Round The World Airline Tickets  

I’m planning to spend 6 weeks traveling the world with my family using the Oneworld round-the-world tickets next summer, so I’ve done a ton of research on how it works!  

Plane flying over MiamiPlane flying over Miami

Unfortunately, the Oneworld system is a little bit more difficult to understand than the StarAlliance one, because they offer 3 different types of round-the-world fare. The good news is that makes it easier to find the one that best fits your budget!  

You can choose from Oneworld Explorer, which is a continent-based fare (the more continents you visit, the more you pay), the Global Explorer, which is a distance-based fare, or the Circle Pacific. This is the option that is most similar to the round-the-world option offered by Star Alliance.  

An Example Itinerary  

To show how the Oneworld system works, I created another sample itinerary.  

This time departing from Los Angeles, LAX, and leaving on Feb 9, 2025, to see if planning a winter itinerary would impact the price. (Spoiler alert: it didn’t make any difference!)  

Female passenger looking out airplane windowFemale passenger looking out airplane window

This time my preferred imaginary route went to Paris, London, Helsinki, Doha, Seoul and then back to LAX. The total price including taxes for this ticket was $4,374.00.  

It’s worth noting that the more time you have and the more stops you’re able to make, the cheaper your ‘cost per flight’ will be. I added an extra stop in Dubai to this itinerary and the price only went up to $4,555.00.  

I’m not suggesting that flying around the world is cheap. But it’s certainly more affordable than you might expect.  

And if you already take 2 or 3 long-haul vacations per year, then you could maximize the value of your expenditure by taking one round-the-world trip instead.  

Round-the-world tickets can offer limited flexibility with changing dates and destinations, but if you have a fixed itinerary and dream of exploring the world then they’re a great choice.  

You can find out more about the different Star Alliance pre-set rounds and book a Star Alliance Round-the-world ticket here.  

Alternatively, you can book Oneworld Round-the-world plane tickets here.  

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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