Travel inspiration – Round the World travel

Mrs. T sent me this interesting article the other day where a family of four booked round the world tickets and traveled the world for a year. After reading the article, both Mrs. T and I got very inspired and thought this would be a fabulous way to spend a year on the road as a family.

Spending extended time on the road exploring different cities isn’t an uncommon concept for many personal finance bloggers. For examples, Steve and his wife at Think Save Retire is traveling across Americas with an Airstream; Jeremy, Winnie, and Julian at Go Curry Cracker are living the nomadic lifestyle; Mike at The Dividend Guy Blog is traveling across Americas for a year with his family; Michelle at Making Sense of Cents is living in an RV with her husband; Amanda and Travis at Freedom with Bruno are exploring Americas with their SUV Bruno. These are just a few examples, I am sure there are more!

Mrs. T and I started talking a bit more about a RTW trip once the kids are older. The more we talked about it, the more excited we got.

A few random thoughts…

  • RTW trip would allow us to see and experience so many things that we can’t from living in Vancouver.
  • We would be able to scratch off a lot of areas on our travel map.
  • We would probably be able to complete our dream of setting foot on all 7 continents.
  • If we do a RTW trip in 5 years or so, we should be semi-financially independent. Traveling between lower cost of living countries like South East Asia and higher cost of living areas like Europe, the overall expenses may still be lower than spending a year in Vancouver. By then Baby T1.0 and T2.0 will be elementary school age and be more independent.
  • In the grant scheme of things, taking a year off to travel around the world isn’t a big deal. We can home-school both kids. If our passive income can’t cover all the expenses, we can look consider location independent part-time jobs.
  • From my quick research, the ticket price is actually quite reasonable considering you get something like 15+ flights with multiple stops. Plane tickets in economy cost starting $3,000 USD depending on schedule and routing. A quick search on Star Alliance website showed an estimate of $63,733 CAD (~$48,000 USD) for 2 adults and 2 kids flying business class with the following route (note, no research what so ever): Vancouver -> Tokyo -> Sydney -> Bangkok -> Delhi -> Cairo -> Athens -> Copenhagen -> Sao Paulo -> Bogota -> New York -> Denver -> San Francisco -> Vancouver. It’s a big dollar amount at almost $16,000 CAD per person but seems reasonable considering Vancouver to Copenhagen returned in business class would cost almost $13,000 CAD per person.
  • How cool would it be to fly into Russia, take the trans-Siberian train and end up in Beijing? Of course, don’t travel during winter. Brrrr!
  • We definitely need to do more research on how to do RTW using points so we can do this for free or almost free.

The RTW idea is definitely appealing to us and it fits into our travel & explore the world plan. Best of all, this also means I can meet up with some awesome personal finance bloggers (and readers) around the world…Hmm I wonder if they’ll let us crash at their places. One can dream right? 🙂



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25 thoughts on “Travel inspiration – Round the World travel”

  1. Do it! You should totally do it! It would be the trip of a life time.

    Btw, if you’d like to meet up with some travelling families, the World Schoolers facebook is a great group to join! I’ve learned so much from their daily posting already (about spending, food, schooling kids on the road, etc etc). It’s a closed group, but you can send the organizer a message and tell them about yourself:

    Warning: Once you start travelling, it’s kind of hard to stop. Just ask Jeremy 🙂

  2. That Trans-Siberian route is a trip of a lifetime, I truly hope you and your family get to experience it! I took the trip from Beijing to Moscow (with stops for a few days each in Ulan Bataar, Ulan-Ude, Lake Baikal and Yekaterinburg) then off to St. Petersburg, Riga, Krakow, Prague, Zagreb, Belgrade, Athens and Rome before flying back to Toronto. Yes, it takes planning, but it’s truly enjoyable planning. There’s also a lot of beautiful little details that get figured out along the way – for example, meeting locals who tell you about a little town that you fall in love with and stay for a few extra days, or a must-see detour after someone invites you to their village. Travel really does make life so beautiful!

      • I personally took close to a month because of the stops I wanted to make. You can do start to finish from Beijing to Moscow in 6 days if you do no stops.
        Seeing each person designs the route according to which places they want to see, I’ll leave the route planning up to your tastes, but what I can offer is practical tips! Try to get money in local currency in small denominations in the 3 countries you are traveling through. The train sometimes takes 10-30 minute breaks on some stops, and there are local vendors outside the train doors. Seeing the train food is a) ridiculously overpriced and b) not that good, this helps a lot. Also, soup and noodle packets and instant oatmeal and hot chocolate mixes and instant coffee saved me. Each train car has it’s own boiling hot water meant for consumption and those little snacks also helped tons (honestly the food on the train is super expensive). Also try to bring snacks and fresh and/or dried fruit. Also try to book a Chinese train instead of a Russian one – they are newer and cleaner. This being said, wet wipes and hand sanitizer are a very good idea seeing the cleaning/bathing water is unfiltered and let’s just say it doesn’t look nor smell pleasant. Lots of water bottles are also a must! Seeing you have young kids, may be worth seeing what the first class train compartment costs (I don’t remember how much pricier they were, seeing I was fresh out of university, I didn’t even bother to check the prices, knowing I would be staying in the cheapest option!) I stayed in the cheapest version, and sometimes our bunk mates were friendly backpackers, and other times they were roaming vagrants who weren’t always the most pleasant roommates. Also, a deck of cards and good reading material goes a long way! During the day you’re busy staring at the incredible landscapes outside of your window, but the nights are pitch black outside and being able to wander over and meet new friends on the journey and have a few fun rounds of cards to pass those evening hours is a memorable part of the experience!

  3. I actually don’t think I want to do one massive trip all at once. I like being at home, so I think I’d do my RTW trip in chunks over years, visiting and exploring a month at a time.

  4. It’s fun to dream about travel isn’t it? I used to enjoy traveling a lot more…until I had kids. I can definitely relate to wanting to wait until the kids are older. Traveling as a parent to little ones is tough.

    It’s also important to ask if that’s what *they* want to do. For your kids, traveling constantly could be a very stressful experience… my youngest for example, doesn’t really like traveling.

    We’re hoping he grows out of it.

    • We have traveled with the kids quite a bit already. Went to Denmark with Baby T1.0 a couple of times, also Japan with him before he turned two. We have traveled to Denmark with both kids this past Christmas. Traveling with kids isn’t that hard if you have some plans. The only reason for waiting till they’re a bit older is so they have more memories of the trip.

  5. Go for it – have done it twice – worth every cent! plus many other non RTW trips – have hit 6 of 7 continents so far; Antarctica remains untouched – working on it 🙂
    note : go around westbound as per your un-researched path, less jet lag 🙂
    as for home schooling the kids – the travel is education enough – way more that any classroom could possibly provide

    • Thanks Mrs. Picky Pincher. It’s definitely be a great experience for the kids. I traveled lots when I was a kid. Looking back those were great learning experience and shaped who I am today.

  6. I really enjoyed reading this post Bob. Now get ready Mrs T is warming you up with the suggestion. A must do bucket list, everyone has one.

    If it’s just a 365 day away, then you have a good choice pick

    For us, we have travelled around the world twice by plane in a combination of economy & business.

    The trip left to do is business class flights + first class everything else. in the October 1 October 31 timeframe. Leaving Toronto by train to NYC. NYC to Southampton UK on the Queen Mary liner ‘princess grill class’. suite London to Paris on the Orient Express (OR). Continue on the (OR) Paris to Instanbul with stops on the way (itinerary: London, Paris, Venice, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest to Istanbul). Business class Instanbul (IST) to (SYD) Australia enroute to the Great Barrier reef (dip toe in the water). From there business class to Auckland NZ. (AKL) Auckland to Hawaii. Direct flight back HNL to YYZ. 30 day trip two people minimum $100k Cdn budget.

    There is also a Cunard round the world cruise 134 nights 24 countries… NYC to NYC roundtrip, budget $100k Cdn/person ($200k) ‘Princess Grill class’ includes all the stops, spending, health insurance.

    • Mrs. T was all for this kind of trip. She’s more attracted to the idea than me ha! The idea of doing RTW trip is to stay at a location for an extended period of time. Cruise trips typically don’t stay longer than a couple of days in a location, which isn’t idea for us.

  7. ATW trip sounds amazing, with the kids, even better! My wife and I have talked about a lengthy trip around the world but there is a lot more to it for a homeowner. I think it would be easier to do it as a renter and that has sparked some discussions to possibly go that route down the road. Well see. For now, we will live vicariously through others who roam the world freely and envy their photos on various social media. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing. It is certainly tempting. AFFJ

    • It’d definitely be easier to do if you’re renting that’s for sure. We’ll have to figure out what to do with our house if we decided to do an ATW trip.


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