In New Zealand, we’re far away from everywhere. With our strong desire to visit the world, we’re always drawn towards travelling. And one of the most common travel destinations is Europe, like London. With London being on the other side of the world, all flights there from New Zealand are round the world flights. Yet, few people book Round The World flights (note the capitalisation). So what’s the difference?
A Round The World flight (known as RTW) is many flights on one ticket that travel around the world from one point. A return flight from Auckland to London will need to stop somewhere for refuelling. This could be somewhere close like Singapore. Somewhere interesting like Tokyo. Somewhere far like Dubai. These transfers are often only a couple of hours, which is enough to leave the plane.
Getting value through transfers with round the world travel
One popular trick when booking tickets is to extend transfers. A transfer is a stop between two destinations. Transfers can last at most 24 hours before becoming stopovers. The big difference is that transfers are free while stopovers have a small charge. They might not even be available on saver or sale fares. By extending a transfer up to 24 hours, you get a little holiday in a place. With enough time to leave the airport, visit the city, book a hotel, and enjoy a place. In places like Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul, these are all enjoyable cities that you can taste in a 24 hour period.
So a return flight from Auckland to London needs to make four flights. Auckland to Singapore (for example), Singapore to London, and two again coming back. But you don’t have to return the same way you went. You could return from London to Vancouver, then Vancouver to Auckland. You’re visiting three destinations now, Singapore, London, and Vancouver.
So if you’re visiting many destinations, why not choose them, and choose to spend some time there? That’s the essence of a RTW flight. By booking many flights into one ticket, you travel in one direction east or west. You then travel back from where you departed.