Round the World Itinerary Ideas – A Look at 5 Great RTW Itineraries

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Taking a round the world trip is one of the most exciting things you can do, but choosing a specific route to take can be a real headache. Thankfully, thousands of people have taken RTW trips so you have the luxury of drawing on their experiences.

On this page I’ve come up with some popular routes for you to take a look at. Their designed to be the most logical (i.e. minimizing the amount of doubling-back on yourself) and cost-effective routes (as I’ve taken transport costs into consideration).

Hopefully these round the world itinerary ideas should help you make your decision of what route to take.

Sample Round the World Travel Itineraries

For the purpose of these examples, all RTW trips will be starting (and finishing) in London, England. However, starting from a different point in the trip (or somewhere else altogether) isn’t particularly difficult – you just need to figure out how to get on the route.

Itinerary Number 1

itinerary 1

LONDON (England)  BANGKOK (Thailand)  SYDNEY (Australia)  AUCKLAND (New Zealand)  LOS ANGELES (USA)  LONDON (England)

This is perhaps the most popular RTW trip route, and is a good base to start planning your trip around.

One this route you’ll visit most of the top backpacking destinations and you’ll get a real taste for lots of different regions and cultures.

Using this route as a blueprint, you can add in other places (should you wish) that you can visit along the way. For example, from Bangkok instead of flying straight to Sydney you might want to first check out the paradise that is Koh Phangan and experience the now infamous Full Moon Party that occurs once a month then fly to Sydney afterwards.

Itinerary Number 2

itinerary 2

LONDON (England)  BANGKOK (Thailand) overland to CHIANG MAI (Thailand) overland to VANG VIENG (Laos) overland to HANOI (Vietnam) overland to HO CHI MINH CITY (Vietnam) overland to PHNOM PENH (Cambodia)  SIEM REAP (Cambodia)  BANGKOK (Thailand)  KOH PHANGAN (Thailand)  KUALA LUMPUR (Malaysia)  SINGAPORE  BALI (Indonesia)  SYDNEY (Australia)  AUCKLAND (New Zealand)  FIJI  LOS ANGELES (USA)  NEW YORK (USA)  LONDON (England)

This trip here is based on the same route as Itinerary number 1, with additional exploration of South-East Asia (Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Bali) and the South Pacific (Fiji).

You’ll probably notice how easily it is to make small differences to a trip – providing you’re still heading in the same general direction. As long as you’re more-or-less constantly moving East to West (or West to East) it doesn’t make too much difference where you stop at along the way.

Itinerary Number 3

itinerary 3

LONDON (England)  MUMBAI (India)  SINGAPORE  SYDNEY (Australia)  MELBOURNE (Australia) overland to AUCKLAND (New Zealand)  SANTIAGO (Chile) overland to BUENOS AIRES (Argentina) overland to SAO PAULO (Brazil)  LONDON (England)

This route allows for some great sights as well as great adventure as there’s a lot more opportunity for overland travel (as opposed to flying) through South America.

This itinerary is slightly more adventurous than the first two as it sees you traveling to some more unusual backpacker destinations (such as Santiago and Sao Paulo).

Although these locations are great to visit, they don’t attract as many travelers as the ‘standard’ locations listed above, so this route is perhaps better suited to more experienced travelers who have more knowledge of the world.

Itinerary Number 4

itinerary 4

LONDON (England)  REYKJAVIK (Iceland)  TORONTO (Canada)  MIAMI (USA)  LIMA (Peru)  BUENOS AIRES (Argentina)  AUCKLAND (New Zealand)  SYDNEY (Australia)  SHANGHAI (China)  BANGKOK (Thailand)  BAHRAIN  DUBAI (United Arab Emirates)  LONDON (England)

Providing an interesting and rare opportunity to visit Iceland and a Middle East country. This trip is unorthodox but good inspiration for destinations you could visit in the future. With Canada, China and Peru in the mix, this is truly an excellent travel opportunity and a route to consider.

This is a very exciting route that allows you to get off the typical travel circuit and visit places such as Iceland (to see the Northern Lights), China and the Middle East (three places frequently missed by most RTW travelers) whilst also passing through some of the best travel hotspots (such as Thailand and New Zealand).

This route allows you to take in just about every kind of culture, from the USA and South America to China and the Middle East.

Itinerary Number 5

itinerary 5

LONDON (England)  TOYKO (Japan)  CAIRNS (Australia) overland to SYDNEY (Australia)  CHRISTCHURCH (New Zealand) overland to AUCKLAND (New Zealand)  SINGAPORE overland to BANGKOK (Thailand)  LONDON (England)

This trip is a little different from the other ones, as you’re not technically going ‘around the world’ (as you’re not crossing over the Americas). Instead, you’re flying out to Tokyo then working your way backwards towards London.

The advantage doing things this way is that you get to go to Japan – a country often missed out on round the world trips.

In addition to this, it offers some great overland traveling opportunities through Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia.

These are just a few round the world itinerary ideas to get you started and to give you some ideas of where to go and what route to take.

Obviously you can make up your own itinerary and go wherever you want, when you want (as that’s the whole point of round the world travel!)

For more information on RTW travel, check out this post on booking your round the world ticket.

Related posts:

  1. Booking Your Round the World Ticket
  2. “I Want to Travel Around the World” – How to Tell Your Friends & Family About Your RTW Trip
  3. 5 Things You Need to Know About Round the World Tickets
  4. How to Save Money for Your Round the World Trip
  5. Round the World Travel Questions – The Top 10 Questions Asked

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