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how to plan a trip around the world

Traveling the world is a dream come true. Who doesn't want to see a show in New York City, eat at street food stalls in Bangkok, or relax on the beaches of Bali? Luckily, planning a trip to see every corner of the globe is easier than you think. Whether you take a few years or a couple of months to travel around the world, the trip is well worth it. Seeing more of this beautiful planet will open your eyes to new people, landscapes, and cultures. Traveling helps you learn who you really are, develop skills you didn't know you had, and offers an invaluable perspective on the globe.

So, how exactly does one plan a once-in-a-lifetime trip around the world? While the task may seem daunting at first, there are quite a few options. Choose between traveling by plane, train, boat, or all three! Design the perfect itinerary yourself, or rely on the experts. Whatever you decide, enjoy it! A trip around the world is a journey of a lifetime.

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Purchase an Around-the-World Plane Ticket

Probably the easiest way to travel around the world, airplanes are the fastest way to jump from one continent to the next. When planning an around-the-world trip, we recommend purchasing plane tickets all at one time. Look up airline alliances, which are coalitions of airlines that work together so you can buy multiple flights under one transaction. Two popular airline alliances to take a look at are One World and Star Alliance. The latter is a little larger, with 26 airlines operating at 1,200 airports, while the former consists of 13 airlines and operates at 1,000 destinations.

When booking flights, stick to one direction. West is likely best as it's optimal for travelers' circadian rhythm. The westbound flights are the foundation of your trip. You may save money if you land in big cities like London, Sydney, LA, Bangkok, and Singapore. Offbeat hubs often cost more. Also, allow enough time in each place to explore and get to know a locale.

Benefits of Purchasing One Around-the-World Trip Instead of Multiple Individual Flights

There are quite a few benefits of booking an around-the-world flight instead of purchasing individual tickets. One main advantage is that travelers will have one main point of contact from one company during their trip. This is helpful, especially if your dates change for any leg of your trip. For example, if you booked eight different flights that need to be adjusted and you booked them using eight different airlines, you'd have to contact each one. Booking with a travel alliance lets you contact one company for all your travel needs, saving you valuable time. Plus, many around-the-world tickets let you change dates for free once travel has started.

Also, you'll have a designated travel consultant when booking an around-the-world ticket. Looking for recommendations for places to stop along the way from one destination to the next? Why not ask? There may be places you'd never thought of or places you haven't even heard about yet. Who knows? These recommendations could end up being the highlight of your trip! Your designated travel consultant is an expert on travel and your trip in particular. Having them on speed dial is invaluable. Additionally, there's often a 24-hour emergency number if something unexpected happens.

Plus, when booking an around-the-world trip, your designated travel consultant can walk you through any visa requirements for each country.

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Get to Know the Trains

Another fantastic form of transportation during your around-the-world trip is train travel. Trains are a great option to not only get from one destination to the next but also to limit your carbon footprint. They're comfortable, offer gorgeous scenery, and often, unlike airplanes, allow you to land right in the center of big, beautiful cities. A relaxing, convenient, and environmentally friendly way to travel, traveling around the world by train is ideal. Sure, you'll need to jump on a plane or boat to get to a new continent, but you can see a lot of the world from a train window.

Some famous trains worth booking include the Caledonian Sleeper, which travels from London to Scotland, the Glacier Express in Switzerland, and the Rocky Mountaineer through the Canadian Rockies.

Related: 10 Best Train Trips in Europe

Many companies can tailor-make train trips to create your perfect vacation. Staff at these companies often consist of a team who love to travel and can offer their valuable experience to help you create the perfect itinerary. For some around-the-world travelers, selecting from a list of already created train travel holiday packages might be easier. However, you can also create your own specific itinerary to hit every spot on your list in your chosen timeframe. When booking an around the world via train package, the packages often include airfare, train tickets, accommodation, meals, and a few excursions. Whether you choose a holiday or design your own, the exploration options are endless! You can explore wine and wildlife on a train from Perth to Adelaide, take a train across Australia, or travel from Toronto to New York on the Maple Leaf Train.

breakfast on a cruise


Hit the Open Waters: Sail, Cruise, Cargo


Have you ever wanted to sail the open seas? What a wonderful way to see the world! Surprisingly, no experience is necessary to sail around the globe. There are plenty of tour operators that will teach you along the way. Become part of a close sailing crew as you travel the waters in small groups with experienced guides. Itineraries are thoughtfully planned and full of adventure. There are a ton of trips to choose from, all promising an authentic and exciting water adventure.


Cruise trips range from just a couple of days to complete around-the-world trips. To travel the globe by cruise takes a bit of time. If this slow travel appeals to you, start planning right away. They book up quickly, probably because they aren't offered as frequently as shorter jaunts, but if you like the cruise atmosphere, this might be the ideal way to travel around the world.


Not surprisingly, cargo ships carry cargo like clothes, food, and many other items. However, sometimes they allot space for travelers. Travelers can book single, twin, or double cabins, often with ocean views, a sitting area, a shower, and a toilet. This is a no-fuss type of travel. Expect quiet time, friendly crew members, and meals in the canteen.

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Book a Specialist Travel Agency

While it's possible to create the perfect around-the-world itinerary yourself, enlisting a pro can give invaluable insight into world travel. Maybe you're very familiar with Europe but have yet to travel to Australia. Or you've been to London but wish to see the smaller coastal villages in England. Whatever it may be, relying on the expertise of professionals can prove to be very beneficial.

We recommend making a bucket list for the entire world and letting your specialist travel agent tweak it into your perfect around-the-world itinerary. As a team, keep in mind the weather during certain times of year in each country. Don't miss popular festivals. The Fringe Festival in Edinburgh is a good one to add! Consider holidays, popular times to visit, and shoulder season.

Reliance on a pro reduces the stress of planning an itinerary solo and allows for wonderful insight into places you've never been. Experts often know which routes are best and cost the least. A few minor changes to an itinerary could save travelers significant money. Plus, a specialist travel agency does not necessarily work with airline alliances. They're not constrained to using certain airlines, which can sometimes prove good deals.

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Stay Connected by Using a Global eSIM from Airalo

Communication and staying connected are essential on any trip, especially a trip around the world. Need to check in with loved ones back home? Want to avoid roaming charges while traveling and eliminate time spent searching for free Wi-Fi in foreign countries? Airalo's Discover+ Global eSIMs give you data, call, and text services in 100+ countries, making staying connected while traveling easy. All you need to do is purchase a Discover+ Global eSIM, install it on your device, and instantly connect to a mobile network in each destination on your itinerary.

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