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The easy way to plan a round-world trip

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Our Expert Traveller test drives some round-the-world holiday options just for you.

Many people dream of travelling on an around-the-world itinerary -- and it's probably high up on your own wish list of dream holiday experiences. There are many different round-the-world flight options and it can be hard to decide which is best for you and your trip.

Planning a round-world trip does not have to be hard.

Planning a round-world trip does not have to be hard. Picture: Shutterstock

The first place many travellers look is on the internet -- at the major airline alliances and the round-the-world offers they have. Let's look at them first.

Read more from Expert Traveller: What it's really like to fly first class

I have Emerald Status, so looking at what had to offer was my first stop. Round-the-world fares are always calculated by the lead airline you choose to fly withand what your departure airport is.

The is very good value. It allows you to visit up to 15 destinations around the world. You must travel in a continuous direction, east or west, and you can choose to visit between four and six continental regions.

The continental regions for the Explore fare are:

  • Europe and the Middle East (includes Algeria, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Morocco, Russia (both east and west of the Urals), Sudan, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan)
  • Africa (excludes Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia and Libya)
  • Asia (includes the Indian subcontinent)
  • South West Pacific (includes Australia and New Zealand)
  • North America (includes Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and Panama)
  • South America (includes the Falkland Islands)
  • This Explorer fare gives you complete freedom to travel on any , providing you with excellent routing options and a wide variety of destinations to choose from.

    A sample itinerary for the Explorer fare could be Sydney to Los Angeles via Perth, Singapore, Bangkok and London. With six continents you can plan an epic itinerary including stops in South America, Africa, North America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.  Not much of a downside there!

    The added benefit of this Explorer fare is that you can some flights, meaning you can fly into Helsinki, for example, and then travel overland across Europe before continuing your flights from, say, Madrid. This flexibility would definitely appeal to travellers planning a longer adventure.  It certainly appealed to me!

    Qantas Business Class round-the-world fares start from $AU10,394, but go up from that depending on route and availability. The Oneworld website has a nifty  that allows you to pick dates and flights, and will allow you to price your ticket and even book online.

    This is great for planning, but takes time and effort to get the cities and dates you want.  So make sure you set aside plenty of time to work through this planning phase to get the prefect route for you if you choose to book this way!

    A great use of frequent flyer points is to use them to book these kind of fares. Qantas offers Business Class round-the-world tickets for 280,000 frequent flyer points, and First Class for 420,000 points.

    Do note that booking round-the-world fares with points will require planning at least a year ahead.  You will also need patience as you try to find availability for the dates and cities you want. But it is an excellent way to use points or miles.

    Taxes will still apply and should be taken into consideration if you're thinking of going down this route.

    also has round-the-world tickets but their fares are based on the distance you travel. You can zigzag across continents, having up to 16 flight segments. But you can only cross the Atlantic and the Pacific once each.

    Star Alliance provide their  online booking tool for travellers to use in the planning phase of their world itinerary.  They also offer a number of creative itineraries designed to get you totally inspired about your trip.

    These inspirational itineraries have themes such as, , , and , the latter of which we were particularly fond of!

    Naturally, you can plan your own independent adventure as well -- going where you've always dreamed of going.  Fares start from $AU9772 for Business Class tickets.

    In Australia, we are lucky to have access to an excellent specialist in this field, . They always have a wide range of very competitive fares available and a team who specialise in getting you the route and dates you want.

    Roundabout Travel can take all the hard work out of planning and booking your round-the-world flights. They are based in Adelaide, but you can easily deal with them online or over the phone.

    They currently have Business Class round-the-world fares with -

  • Swiss Airlines from $AU6197
  • Virgin Atlantic from $6681
  • Finnair from $7552
  • Cathay Pacific from $8496.
  • Some of these discounted tickets do have restrictions, but the benefit of working with a specialist agency is that you get the best ticket for the trip you really want.

    For my 11 day round-world trip, I used Roundabout Travel, which recommended the pass as the best fit for my itinerary. I was able to book an ideal route for me, taking in several of my bucket list cities.

    Brisbane - Sydney - Santiago - New York - Helsinki - Paris - Hong Kong - Brisbane.

    The Finnair ticket allowed me to fly Qantas, LATAM and Cathay Pacific, as well as Finnair routes.

    Expert Traveller Recommends...

    Planning a round-the-world trip is one of life's great travel planning adventures. The excitement of choosing where you will go and how many exciting destinations you can squeeze into your time away is simply a thrill.

    Whether it be six months flying Business Class around the world, visiting all your bucket list locations, or a shorter business trip, booking RTW certainly makes good sense.

    Choosing a specialist agency also takes all the hard work out of planning the big trip -- and will save you  time and money.

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