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Anyone done a RTW trip solo

Anyone done a RTW trip solo

Old Mar 13, 09, 2:09 am
  #1  
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Anyone done a RTW trip solo

Has anyone done a RTW trip at any point by themselves? How long was the trip and did you get bored??
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Old Mar 13, 09, 4:32 am
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No... but I will probably be doing one next year... last year I did SYD-AKL-HKG-MNL-ICN-SFO-YVR-DEN-CEZ//ABQ-LAX-NAN-AKL-SYD by myself and was not bored at any point (It was over a span of 2 weeks although the outbound flights were back to back).. this years travel is with a friend.. which will be nice.. but not essential to me...

I must say however that - while generally sociable - I AM a pretty self contained person.. give me some comfort (most of it was in C/J thanks to stuff learnt here on FT!), my laptop and a good book or two and I am perfectly happy alone...

I think THAT is more critical than how far/how many flights!!!
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Old Mar 13, 09, 5:08 am
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Yes.. many times.. My wife will meet me in various cities flying from LAX or JFK but she does think I am a little "nuts" for travelling so much on planes...
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Old Mar 13, 09, 5:27 am
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Originally Posted by RTW4 View Post
Yes.. many times.. My wife will meet me in various cities flying from LAX or JFK but she does think I am a little "nuts" for travelling so much on planes...
my wife does not think like this; she just appreciates the paycheck that comes with the hustle...
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Old Mar 13, 09, 6:54 am
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Yes--no time for boredom. Combination of work and play. Work in China, Play in Bangkok and Singapore, conference in South Africa, visit family in Europe, back home to Canada . . . Helped to upgrade to Business for all but the SIN-JNB portion on SQ where I got the ideal econo seat with lots of legroom in front (bulkhead).
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Old Mar 13, 09, 7:30 am
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I am currently on a solo ATW (via xONEx ticket on OW). Since ATW journeys usually take a long time to complete, I think it normally will be done as a solo trip. Of course, you may get some company along the way, but I think majority of travelers on xONEx ticket are solo travelers.
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Old Mar 13, 09, 7:38 am
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I've done four RTW's solo and I've loved every minute of it. Im sort of a "chatterbox" and get to know new people here and there. And I usually book a few stops where I know people from before.
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Old Mar 13, 09, 9:17 am
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sure, twice, 10 and 12 years ago. First trip 12 yrs ago or so was a joint AC/KE fare (before Star Alliance, actually) in which I went (ORD)-YYZ-YVR-KIX-SEL-HKG-SEL-ZRH-(train)-FRA-YYZ-(ORD). I met my parents in KIX and later in HKG (it was right after my father retired...they also went RTW but different routing)

Second trip 10 yrs ago was a business trip...ATL-IAD-MXP (train)-ZRH-BKK-KUL-BKK-NRT-ORD-ATL where I had a biiiiig problem...was moving house the week before the trip and lost both my passport and the paper ticket. An angel at the CTO in Atlanta was able to re-do the paper ticket, plus push my international flights back one day to be able to get a passport at the Washington office.
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Old Mar 13, 09, 10:33 am
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I find it enormously easier traveling solo on a RTW than traveling when I was married.

One of the great benefits of most RTW tickets is that you can usually change the dates and times of travel. So, I have frequently shifted the next leg of a trip a day or two earlier or later whenever it suited me, on a moment's notice. Good luck with that approach if your spouse is traveling with you.
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Old Mar 13, 09, 12:45 pm
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Yes, and I never get bored. Indeed often I don't even get to read the book/magazine I brought with me.

I'll run into friends or interesting people. Catch up on some work. Do some deep thinking. Nut out what I will do during my daylong transit coming up (eg arrive 6am depart midnight). Etc.
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Old Mar 13, 09, 5:37 pm
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I'm considering a solo RTW trip using points for a biz ticket next Winter. My routing would begin in PHL/EWR/JFK and go to ARN, SVO/DME, PEK, BKK, LAX and back to the East coast.

Any recommendations on how to best do that? I'd be redeeming the points with ANA and am not sure how the RTW ticket works. Do I have to specify the legs and dates up front, and if so, what kind of flexibility do I have once the trip has began if I want to shift dates/times?
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Old Mar 13, 09, 6:42 pm
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If you think you may be bored, then take a vacation to one place and see if you are bored. If you find that you can travel alone, then get that RTW trip.

I'm at a stage that I can't take more 10 days off. That's tight for a RTW trip. So I go point to point. I have huge gaps such as minimal Africa and Middle East coverage and no Antarctic experience.
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Old Mar 13, 09, 7:01 pm
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I've come close. Back in 1996 I took a buyout from where I was working with the plan of applying the proceeds to an RTW-style trip. The nascent Internet then had an RTW message board with some helpful info.

However, because using accumulated miles was a big part of the plan and because the alliances that exist today were just getting started, my plan morphed into going to BKK and using it as a base to explore as far afield as I could, taking advantage of bargain airfares out of BKK and mileage-redemption opportunities. I had decided early on that I would have a strong bias toward "cheap" countries so that I could stretch the funds and stay out longer.

So I'd do trips of maybe 100-110 days at a time and book the onward travel out of BKK. It worked very well, leading to trips to places like Chiang Mai, Laos (twice), Vietnam (memorable), Nepal (also very memorable), the Spice Islands and Irian Jaya, Bali, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Taiwan and several other places in the region, often via air hops rather than extended time on the ground. I'd meet backpackers who were heading 50 miles down the road on a day when I was flying some 2,000 miles, or would be upgraded on a flight but would arrive to stay in a $10 guesthouse.

The heavy travel lasted for more like 3 years, as I dipped into retirement savings to ride the lower costs made possible by the 1997 financial crisis. In normal times that's a terrible financial decision, but those weren't normal times. The financial crisis was an unusual event (cutting some travel costs temporarily in half!) and the dotcom crash really pinched the remaining savings in late 2000. The asset values STILL haven't recovered their old highs.

Anyway, as for boredom, it USED to be a bigger concern than it is now. Back in 1996 I'd hunt around for an international edition of USA Today just to see what was going on, which is sorta laughable now with cybercafes everywhere. If the place was really exceptionally dull (Kalibo, Philippines, or Bandaraya, Indonesia) I'd bring reading material, Xieng Kwang, Laos, probably really took the cake, as electricity went off at 11 each night.

Places with large numbers of backpackers like Kathmandu or Ko Pha-Ngan would have cheap places to hang out, usually open late. You could be as sociable (or not) as you wanted. In some instances, like Vietnam, the backpacker tours were so cheap that it didn't make any sense to try to do it independently (you'd have a group of 9-10).

I also once did a "poor man's RTW" on DL/SQ using 70K DL miles. It went ATL-ORD-AMS (5-day stop)-SIN (1 day)-BKK (2 months, with sidetrips). Had to return over the Atlantic, even though it'd be shorter to go back via the Pacific, because if I took the shorter route it'd count as an RTW and would cost 60K more miles.
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Old Mar 13, 09, 7:23 pm
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Only 1 solo RTW in my life, mostly for work but not boring--YVR-ICN-BKK-DXB-FRA-YYZ-YVR.
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Old Mar 13, 09, 7:51 pm
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Have done a few RTW's-- mostly solo. The first one was done in 11 days--YYC-YYZ-FRA-MUC-VIE-FRA-SIN-AKL-LAX-YYC. Had meetings in VIE, a FT get together in SIN and in AKL stayed in the same hotel as the Chinese Premier on the same day and felt very secure. Was in C STAR RTW so lot's of movies,lots of books and quite bit of sleep. A great way to travel--especially if you can get the cheaper fares from other countries.
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