We chatted with expert consultant Karyn Vowles for insider tips and tricks for booking a round-the-world (RTW) flight.
The various elements of RTW flights can often make for a confusing experience. Fortunately, Karyn has the expertise to take the hassles out of your planning and let you focus on what's most important: your upcoming holiday.
Do you work in a dedicated expert team?
Yes. I'm a consultant in the dedicated RTW expert team in Brisbane. We have five expert teams based around Australia and we work on finding the best-value round-the-world itineraries for our customers.
How many stops are the most popular for an RTW fare?
Most people who have two to three weeks of travel time available generally do between four and five stops. Most popular is combining the Americas with Europe and/or Asia. This gives a great taste of a few continents with a good amount of time at each stop.
Who is an RTW fare suitable for?
Everyone looking to do more than just a standard return flight or wanting to have a few extra stops as part of their holiday. Even a business traveller who wants to add a stop or two to the end of a work trip.
Generally people are visiting friends or relatives and want to add a few more stops to their long journey. It's also a great way to break up the jetlag that comes with flights to Europe or the USA for example.
Is there a better time of year to travel over another?
While airlines and prices of airfares have seasonal peaks depending on the time of travel, RTW fares don't always have the seasonal peak times or restrictions, due to the way fares are constructed.
For example, school holiday and Christmas holiday fares are always higher than normal to match demand of travel. But an RTW fare can often be close to the same price, allowing extra stops to your journey, and on occasion we have even found lower fares.
Still undecided on an RTW fare? Your Ticket To Unlocking The World
Is now the best time to travel? The Golden Age Of Travel
Can frequent flyer programs be accommodated?
Absolutely! There are so many alliances between airlines today that we can often construct an airfare to maximise the earning of points and status credits, which is important to a lot of people.
For example, if you are with Virgin's Velocity program, they partner with several airlines including Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, Delta, Air New Zealand and Air Berlin, which really opens the world and destination options. We always go through several options with our customer to ensure we are getting the best value for them in both price and program benefits.
Can cabin classes be mixed?
Sure can. I recently priced an RTW fare for a customer who was flying half premium economy and half business class for a fantastic fare. It was premium economy Brisbane to Vancouver then New York via Munich to Rome, followed by business class Paris via Frankfurt into Hong Kong then Hong Kong to Brisbane for around $5,800 per person in low season.
When you compare this to a regular business-class fare return from Australia to Frankfurt only, the price is approximately $7,000 - 8,000. So this RTW option offered great value for money, gave the customer several additional cities to stop in and all for a lower price. This is where the value of RTW fares are found where as experts we can combine and mix-and-match fares, which simply can't be found online.
What tips do you have for planning a RTW trip?
Because we specialise in RTW fares and we are putting interesting itineraries together everyday we know the best way to construct a journey for any occasion. We will find you better deals and extra stops or itineraries you would not have thought of, and all on the one low fare.
Call 1300 550 416 to speak with a Round-the-World Expert today.