AirTreks, OneWorld, Star Alliance, Travelocity, Kayak, Expedia, CheapTickets, HotWire, STA Travel – AirTreks is the long-haul RTW specialist. They have a great online tool for planning and pricing itineraries.
- Many teachers and students swear by STA Travel
- OneWorld and Star Alliance sell RTW tickets on a consortium of major carriers, but they have complicated fare rules
- Travelocity, Expedia, Cheap Tickets, HotWire and Kayak can help you find low fares for roundtrip or point-to-point flights
Trip Advisor, Hotels.com, Hostels.com, HostelWorld, Travelocity, Expedia, HotWire, Starwood Hotels – Often bargain accommodations can best be found by searching for “local” sources. Google is always a good place to start when looking for local guides to accommodations. The bigger sites listed above can be especially helpful because of the reviews they provide.
Starwood Hotels (Sheraton, Westin, W, Four Points, and St. Regis hotels) has what many consider to be the best rewards program. And you can convert American Express points into Starwood points.
REI, Apple, My World Phone, Moleskine notebooks, Miquelruis notebooks, Canon cameras – You can drop a lot of money real quick outfitting yourself for an RTW trip; before pulling out the credit card, read the discussion board about gear at BootsnAll to get specific information and real world reviews.
- For “tech junkies,” spend some time reading Gadgets: Travel Gear Blog
- For those interested in travel photography, check out Ken Rockwell’s site and camera reviews at Digital Photography Review
- On the subject of phones, make sure you have an “unlocked quad band phone” and then take a look at the discussions about SIM cards at PrePaidGSM
Books for Planning a Trip
Vagabonding, The Practical Nomad, Rough Guide: First Time Around the World, Traveler’s Toolkit and Adventuring With Children – Vagabonding speaks largely to the long-term traveler’s state of mind; the other books are helpful guides for planning an RTW.
For those contemplating a mid-career break, I recommend Dan Clements’ Escape 101: Sabbaticals Made Simple.
RTW Planning Online
BootsnAll RTW Planner, Perpetual Travel RTW Guide, Practical Nomad, and John Higham’s essay “How to Plan an RTW” – Any family planning an RTW should read John Higham’s essay first; the other sources provided detailed information about every RTW topic imaginable.
Reading List for the Road
These resources can help you match literature and destination:
- National Geographic’s Ultimate Travel Library
- This thread on the discussion board at Bootsnall on “Books for Kids that Travel“
- And September Higham’s country-specific reading list for children at Armageddon Pills