Planning a RTW trip – finding our route around the globe

When we realized that we just made it, so having approved sabbaticals and thus will be taking a 6 months break from our jobs, we got all excited. The decision was to make the most out of the time we have and spend the whole half year traveling.

And with that started our looooong list of ideas, places to visit, recommendations we got from colleagues, documentaries inspiring us about fancy locations and tips from friends and family. Putting everything on a map made it obvious – we needed prioritization!

Note: This is a post from before our round the world trip in 2009, but moving it to our new domain, I considered it deserves a little refresh from writing and styling perspective…

We went through some rounds, discussing ideas of potential focus areas and concluded as a first step to focus on the southern hemisphere and more specifically on Latin America, the South Pacific including New Zealand and Australia.

And with this in mind, we published the following image to “Get a first impression about the planned routing…”

Still not perfect, not fully aligned with airline routing options* and even most important with possible travel times for our destinations, as when it’s summer here in Europe, it’s winter in the far south of Chile *smiley surprised*

For the first things we read carefully through tons of airline small print for their RTW (round-the-world) tickets. Not fun in the beginning, but after a while I got into the topics and wanted to maximize what we can get to fit our plans *smiley winking*

For the timing of the locations, we found the Travel Times tool on, which makes it very convenient to align and re-order your travel schedule. (Note: It’s in German, but you will get the point)

Resulting in a more detailed, aligned and realistic plan:


  • Blue Flag (Stops)
  • Yellow/Red Sticker (Must Haves)
  • Blau Line (Flight – RTW Ticket)
  • Green Line (Flight – Additional)
  • Rot Line (Surface)
  • Green Sticker (2010?)

Planning the route was just one task done, but preparing for half a year on the road required some more preparation.

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