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How to book a round-the-world trip

[ 8 ] July 20, 2010 | Alison Adey

Just finished your A-levels? Why not book a round-the-world trip and get some life experience before you head to uni?

Whether you want to swim with sharks in South Africa, laze away the days on white sand beaches in Thailand or hike the Inca Trail in Peru, there’s never been a better time to book a life-changing trip.

Round the world flights | Round the world trip | Fabulous travel guide

Round the world flights - Fabulous travel guide

1)  Find a good travel agent

You may feel like booking the first flight you see but trust us, DON’T. There are loads of good deals to be had, and you won’t gain anything by rushing into it.

Phone up travel agencies that specialise in round-the-world flights and have them talk you through the different options. I compared STA TravelRound the World Experts and Travel Nation.

2) Weigh up the pros and cons

Once you have quotes from all the agencies you’ve visited, weigh up the pros and cons and ask yourself these questions:

* Is this a reputable agency?

* How much do they charge to change flights

* Will I be able to speak to an English-speaking person if I have problems when I’m away?

Once you have decided on a company to go with, tell them about the different quotes you’ve been offered. You never know they might be able to cut you a deal! This is also the time to ask all those niggling questions – however silly you may think they are!

3) Do your research

TOP TIP: When you are finalising the details of your trip, allow yourself a day or two to do some research. Go to the library and get out the most recent edition of the Lonely Planet and read up on the places you’re visiting. You might find there’s more to do than you’d originally thought – or, perhaps not enough.

4. Buy  a calendar

Make a list of what you want to do in each place, jotting down how long you think you’ll need to stay. Buy a diary and pencil in the dates – this will give you a clearer view of how much time you have.

5. Talk to other travellers

Whether it’s Twitter or Facebookk or the Lonely Planet forum, it’s important to speak to people who have done similar routes. You’ll be able to work out budgets, time schedules and ask as many questions as you like.

6. Book your trip!

When you’re happy, go back to the travel agent and start booking those flights. If you are covering vast areas of land – such as South America, it might be worth considering internal flights as this will save you time and money in the long run.

Need more advice? Get in touch via Twitter or Facebook! And don’t forget to see how to get the best exchange rates before you leave. Good luck.

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Category: Advice, Solo travellers

About Alison Adey: I was previously Channel Editor for IPC's Homes network (Housetohome.co.uk; Idealhomemagazine.co.uk; Livingetc.com and Homesandgardens.com) but I bid them a fond farewell in December 2010 to embark on this trip. I also worked for Nowmagazine.co.uk as a features writer for two years. View author profile.

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