Choosing flights when we are going on a world trip can very complicated. So how to book the tickets, when is the best time to select the tickets, and is it better to get them through agencies or by ourselves directly?
Some statistics and advice
When we go on a world trip and we choose our flight tickets, you have to keep in mind some basic ideas…
- If you choose to book a world trip ticket, you always have to travel keeping the same direction and avoid to go back and forth! So, most of the travellers will choose either East-West of West-East without coming back. Basically the choice is either South-Est Asia to South America or the contrary. Please remember as well the good and bad seasons (monsoon…)!
- But low-seasons can also be good to save money and avoid many tourists (but again be aware of the seasons as when it keeps raining all day your trip can be problematic as well! India in July or Mongolia in December are not the best choices…) Another tip can be to take the plane on a Wednesday rather than a Saturday if you can
- Fly through hubs like Singapore, Dubai or Hong-Kong: more choices, and more comfortable.
- Drive instead of flying if you have time! So we can enjoy the scenery…
- Enjoy the transports! The Transiberian from St-Petersburg to Beijijng is for example an excellent way to travel through Russia to reach Asia discovering beautiful landscapes as many agencies suggest it in their world trip ticket! Also, it is possible to book ticket Auckland-Tahiti-Easter Island-Santiago which will allow you to discover these Pacific islands which can be easily integrated into a world trip!
- Think about the miles! Even when you travel with a specific organization (like One World), there will be always one company you will travel with more frequently (ex British Airways) so register to participate and have the possibility to save miles!
How to buy a world trip ticket?
3 main alliances share the market: Star Alliance, One World and Sky Team.
How does it work? We buy the tickets all together on the website of the alliance or with a tourist agency. Then you need to give an approximate idea of the date of each stop. Tickets are open and can be modified afterwards calling or visiting the local agency of the alliance. Very convenient! Furthermore, destinations are everywhere in the world as companies grouping under a same alliance are split between the 5 continents. Just keep in mind the date of the last ticket has to be less than 12 months after the first trip.
To do or not to do? These tickets are very good if you know exactly your plan of travel and you are able to stick to it. But some disadvantages regarding flexibility and freedom…
3 alliances, each of them includes a package of companies covering most of the regions, across the five continents.
- Star Alliance, price is linked to the number of miles you travel
- One World, same principle, price is linked to the number of miles you travel, or to the number of continents you visit,
- Sky Team, again, same principle.
Advantages are well-known:
- Economy. Less expensive to book everything at the same time than booking one by one.
- Dates can be changed, just call or email customer service from the flight center you used to book it.
- Worries-free, no need anymore to look for the best fares online during your world trip. You can enjoy more your trip!
Some problems however:
- A limited flexibility: If dates can be changed later, it is not the case for the destinations. For example, if you have booked originally a flight from Bogota to Dallas and then you finally think you don’t want to miss Costa Rica, it will be complicated…
- Maximum 1 year (the average length for a classic world trip). If you want to travel longer, then it may not be the best solution…
- If you itinerary does include other exotic destinations, far away from big hubs, then less interests as big alliances mainly stick to these hubs.
Buy the tickets individually
It will be our option for the world trip, which will leave us with plenty of choices and freedom in order to adapt to our desires during the trip and having the opportunity to benefit from last minutes deal. Besides, we are not sure about the dates yet so the choice is clear for us. Do as you wish, looking at some websites to find the best fares, like these ones:
- Total flexibility
- Enjoy low-costs (Air Asia, Ryanair and others!)
- Possibility to include are return trip back home in case of any sudden event, or if it planned.
- Generally the most expensive one if you buy lot of tickets and don’t check the best fares.
- More stressful if you want to be worries-free about this part while you travelling. But choosing flights is also part of the trip!
Book them through a travel agency
Some specialized agencies are able to propose you very specific packages tailored to meet your requirements, your needs, your budget. They can suggest the most economical solution. For example, Travel Nation and “Les connaisseurs du monde”, based in Paris, are good agencies dealing with everything. But you travel agencies, also called flight centers, everywhere!
- They are specialists and they know their offers very well and can adapt them to your desires.
- Possible to add a local flight towards a not-touristic destination on top of the normal world trip ticket booked with one of the three alliances.
The same problems as the world trip ticket proposed by the three alliances:
- Destinations cannot be changed afterwards
- Have to be within 12 months from the first flight