Our RTW Trip » Research & Tips » Flights

RTW Ticket vs. Independent Tickets

When we first decided to travel for a year, it seemed logical to get a Round-The-World ticket. However, when we started looking into actually buying a ticket, it turned that it wasn’t something that was going to work for us.

While the RTW ticket would determine a pretty stable itinerary and would relieve us from having to worry about booking or budgeting for any long-haul tickets while travelling, there were several restrictive elements that ultimately decided us against them. Things might’ve changed since we were researching in 2005, but at the time, these were the things we considered negative:

  • an RTW ticket would only allow us to travel in one direction (i.e. west > east) with no option to back-track,
  • we couldn’t find an RTW ticket that would allow travel across the hemispheres (i.e. north > south),
  • we had to return to our point of origin within a year (at the time, we didn’t want this restriction),
  • we would’ve had to forfeit the leg from Asia to Russia/Europe because we planned to take the Trans-Siberian train,
  • the ticket would be somewhat inflexible with changes to travel dates and very inflexible with changes to stopovers, and,
  • all our stops needed to be determined before the ticket was issued.

We probably could’ve adjusted our rough itinerary to fit an RTW ticket itinerary but why? We knew we wanted to follow the seasons and travel to South America so RTW tickets just weren’t going to work. Plus, it’s so easy to find good deals and book flights online now, we decided to buy our flights as we determined our itinerary. In my opinion, the flexibility more than made up for any stability an RTW itinerary might have provided.

By the way, the cost of two RTW tickets would’ve been a little over $8500CAD and the total cost of all the flights – including the short-haul, domestic flights – that we booked independently while travelling was $11,609.43. However, if I do a straight compare of the cost of RTW tickets to the cost of the long-haul flights we booked independently, it’s $8500CAD to $9170.56, a difference of only $670.56 (the details are in our budget).

Favourite Air Travel Links We had great luck with this site for finding discount flights from North America to Asia. This is the site we always start with when searching for flight from anywhere to anywhere, domestic and international. (Though we usually booked directly with the airline as opposed to booking through an online discount travel agent, like, etc.)