Round the world! There is much in that sound to inspire proud feelings; but whereto does all that circumnavigation conduct? Only through numberless perils to the very point whence we started, where those that we left behind secure, were all the time before us.
- Moby Dick
What do these codes mean? That you have a phenomenal trip ahead of you! You'd be surprised what can be done if you have a little time on your hands - Round the World airline tickets are not carbon-friendly but they do enable one to see the world in one trip for a price that we can all afford.
So how do you go about realising the dream? First, a little planning. Pick a theme for your trip – perhaps you want to visit the Seven Wonders, or dine your way across Gastronomic Capitals, Football Stadiums, for the world is your oyster (they're best in Whitstable, no flights required)!
There are different tickets available, based on how many miles you cover, or continents visit. It may also be cheaper to start outside the UK – Gibraltar or Mauritius for example. Next, check the hub sites of your airline. In Asia, you’ll be in and out of Hong Kong or Singapore aplenty. Grab route maps from the web and see how these tie in with your plans. Sites such as Flyertalk.com and Expertflyer.com are free and very useful for research.
Insurance is very important, consider some that offer backpacker-customised packages. Take a digital photo of any important documents and e-mail to yourself, plus leave a copy with friends. There are very few dangerous places in the world if you travel with common sense, but assume you'll lose everything and be happy if you don't!
Budget for your trip, work on a per-day average cost, which will vary depending on the countries you'll visit. Be flexible though, don’t miss out on things you really want to want to do. You may only get this chance to travel once. Take a couple of different ATM cards on different networks. A small reserve of US dollars is always useful.
Stay in contact with home – you can buy a travel SIM card to save money, but it may be better to buy a local card in each country, especially if you’ll be there a week or more. Check your phone is unlocked and will work with other cards before you leave home.
What to take with you? Make a list. Then tear the list in half and take twice the money! It’s worth spending some money on basics like a good backpack, but remember that all clothes can be bought along the way, and leave space for souvenirs. If you'll be on the road for some time, post things home periodically, surface mail is especially cheap.
Now, with ticket in hand, go travel, remember to record your experiences, write a blog, keep a journal, upload some of your photos to the internet so friends and family can follow you. Consider writing a book, check out blurb.com. Who knows - you could be the next Michael Palin!