Yesterday I discovered how easy it is to build a cheap RTW ticket using Skyscanner’s Everywhere search function. I quickly and easily planned out my own 16 country, five continent RTW adventure for under $3000. Naturally, as I was thinking of myself, I started and finished in New Zealand.
Because it was so much fun (yes, I am that much of a travel nerd!) I thought I’d plan one out for my North America friends to show just how simple and effective the Skyscanner tool is to use. Getting to and from New Zealand is a costly exercise so I predict that a independently built RTW ticket from North America will be even cheaper.
Here are the rules in case you missed them yesterday:
I’ll travel around the world by picking the cheapest destination that the “Everywhere” option provides as my next stop provided I’m:
- Not backtracking to any previous country, region or continent except on connecting flights
- Always moving East
- Stopping no more than three times on one region or continent
As it’s a central point and major hub I’m going to start the route in Chicago.
Beginning in North America
Chicago to Toronto, Canada on Porter Airlines $136
Leg total – $136
Hop Across to Europe
Toronto to Reykjavik, Iceland on Iceland Air $445
Reykjavik to Cologne, Germany on German Wings $92
Cologne to Katowice, Poland on Wizz Air $32
It was hard to find flights from Katowice outside of Europe so I searched from all of Poland instead.
Warsaw to St Petersburg, Russia via Riga Latvia on Air Baltic $152
Leg total – $721
Exploring the Middle East
St Petersburg to Yerevan, Armenia on Aeroflot $199
Yerevan to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (via Dubai) on Fly Dubai $295
Riyadh to Karachi, Pakistan (via Doha) on Qatar Airways $150
Leg total – $644
Karachi to Bangkok, Thailand on Thai Airways $285
Incidentally, if you wanted to fly from St Petersburg to Bangkok you could do so for under $600 saving $300 but skipping over the Middle East.
Bangkok to Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Air Asia $47
Phonm Penh to Guangzhou, China (via Singapore) on Tiger Aiways $140
Leg total – $472
Guangzhou to Chicago on Hainan Airlines (via Beijing & Seattle) $694
Leg total – $694
That’s 3 continents, 12 countries and only $2667. Not too shabby. What do you think?
On a traditional RTW ticket you wouldn’t visit countries such as Iceland, Armenia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Personally I think this is more interesting than a standard RTW ticket because I’ve been to many of the typical destinations. But for a first time traveller, Riyadh and Yerevan aren’t exactly high on the list.
A typical RTW ticket would go something like this Los Angeles – New York – London – Paris – Rome – Bangkok – Singapore – Sydney – Auckland – Los Angeles. Let’s see how this stacks up to my more creative method of RTW planning.
Starting in North America
Los Angeles to New York on United for $141
New York to London on Iceland Air (via Reykjavik) for $530
Taking in the Best of Europe
London to Paris on Easy Jet for $43
Paris to Rome on Ryan Air for $33
Getting a Taste of Asia
Rome to Bangkok on Sri Lankan Airlines for $444
Bangkok to Singapore on Air Asia for $66
Going Down Under
Singapore to Sydney on Air Asia (via Kuala Lumpur) for $247
Sydney to Auckland on Jet Star for $123
And Heading Home
Auckland to Los Angeles on Air Pacific (via Nadi, Fiji) for $804
That’s 4 continents and 8 countries. The grand total for this bog standard cheap RTW ticket is $2431.
Which of my cheap RTW tickets would you prefer?