Round the world trips have been the pinnacle of “proper” travel for decades. If you’ve been anywhere near a traveller hostel or backpackers bar chances are you’ve met your fair share of RTW’ers at some phase of their journey. They’re usually the most unkempt, road-hardened characters with the best anecdotes and a trail of friends that winds around the globe.
There’s a reason that RTW’ers win every game of travel top-trumps: There’s simply no more epic a journey than starting off in Heathrow (or anywhere else for that matter) and covering all, or at least most, of the inhabited continents in a single trip, creating what’s probably the most formative, educational and thrilling experience of your life.
But although RTWs have long been the preserve of the long-haired, gap year backpacker, these days you’ve got just as much chance of bumping into a mid 30’s professional on a career break or even a retiree making the most of their new-found freedom and time.
The world has become ever smaller and travel services and infrastructure have changed beyond recognition. Now you’re no longer confined to a dorm-room hostel with shared bathrooms. You can quite easily travel the world while enjoying comfortable “flashpacker” style hostels, or even seeing things through a local’s eyes in an AirBnb.
Low cost airlines have made the world more accessible on a tighter schedule, but getting away from the airports there are some superb overland trips that appeal to a much broader range of travellers: The Trans-Siberian Railway or a road trip across Australia can still evoke the romance of adventure, even in today’s globalised and hyper-connected world.
Booking a RTW trip is a big decision and getting it right can take meticulous planning. It’s for that reason that we created this guide – the handbook to everything you need.
Excited? The journey starts here…