Around the World on LCCs for $1500: Summer 2015

Yesterday, I complied a list of airlines that I knew were Low Cost Carriers (LCCs), or budget airlines. This list is by no means comprehensive, but does a pretty good job for all regions except India/ Middle East and parts of Asia.

I also hinted that it is possible to get around the world entirely with LCCs.  That is pretty awesome in the sense that you do not need to put the leg work into obtaining miles before actually flying.  In this post, we are going to get someone around the world entirely with LCCs.  I think that if you timed fare sales right, you could get this ticket for less than $1000. Although possible, I think, we are going to set a little bit higher goal of around $1400.  Why? Through most of my research with friends, that is the approximate price that they pay to go to Europe for the summer. Let’s see what we can get going here.

First, we have two big constraints: crossing the Pacific and Atlantic. These routes are selective routes in the sense that they don’t happen very frequently.  What I mean is there are a select number of gateway cities that cross the ocean on LCCs, so they are something that we need to ensure that we make. We have flexibility with the rest of the route, but need to make sure that we catch specific flights to actually get across the oceans, otherwise it is not a RTW ticket.

Crossing the Atlantic:

Norwegian Air Shuttle has gateway cities (cities that are where international flights leave from) in Los Angeles, Oakland, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando and New York JFK.  From these gateways, they fly to London Gatwick, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo.  Seasonally there is a flight to Bergen, Norway.

Norwegian East Coast

Norwegian Trans Atlantic Routes from JFK, FLL and MCO. Courtesy: GCMap.com

Norwegian West Coast

Norwegian Trans Atlantic Routes from LAX and OAK. Courtesy: GCMap.com

WOW Airlines is a new service starting this summer to Baltimore and Boston. All of these flights connect in Iceland, so you could have a stopover, but go onward to London and Copenhagen.

Crossing the Pacific:

Jetstar has flights from Brisbane and Sydney in Australia to Honolulu.

Now, this is not going to be completely flying, as great as flying is. I am going to put the cheapest ways to get from place to place, and have some fun stuff along the way.  For instance: you don’t want to go to Europe and not take a train the entire time you are there.  Everyone’s dream is to take a train in Europe, or cruise around by trains, so you will get to do that. Some of these segments will be overland, and are not factored into the price, except for trains that I can find right now, or almost right now. Overland travel is great because you see a lot more of the landscape. It is good to mix overland with flying.

Another thing to note is that we will start this trip from Los Angeles. Why? Because they have two gateways we need. In reality, you can start anywhere, but for simplicity, LA makes the most sense.

The Itinerary:

May 10th: Los Angeles, CA to Oslo, Norway on Norwegian. $250.

May 12th: Oslo, Norway to London, England on RyanAir. $32.

May 16th: London to Paris on Eurostar. $55.

May 20th: Paris to Marseille, France. OuiGo. $25.*

Take two weeks getting to Rome. Trains in Italy are cheap (for the regionals). Use TrenItalia to find prices.

June 3rd: Rome, Italy to Budapest, Hungary on RyanAir. $37

June 6th: Budapest, Hungary to Dubai, UAE on Wizz Air. $72.

June 12th: Dubai, UAE to Colombo, Sri Lanka on Fly Dubai. $123.

June 19th: Colombo, Sri Lanka to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on AirAsia. $84.

Take three weeks doing what you want. You can catch a flight to Borneo, or Vietnam, or China, or Thailand or you get the picture. Or you can move up your next flight.

July 11th: Singapore to Bali, Indonesia on Tiger Air. $78.

July 21st: Bali, Indonesia to Adelaide, Australia on Jetstar. $166.

Take 2.5 weeks to do your thing in Australia. One possibility is to go to Fiji. Or the Great Barrier Reef. Or New Zealand.

August 11th: Brisbane, Australia to Honolulu, Hawaii on Jetstar. $378.

August 15th: Honolulu, Hawaii to Los Angeles, California on Allegiant. $203.

RTWLCCs

Itinerary in Pictures Courtesy: GCMap.com 

Note: I did not use exact airports on this map, that would make this too difficult to read.

*Indicates the price is subjective, based off of current data.  The dates are not yet bookable for this, so you get the picture.

With this itinerary, you would go to 12 countries on 4 continents. The grand total comes out to 23,277 miles for $1,503 US. That is a deal. Like I said before, most of my friends pay about $1400 for their plane tickets to Europe… Yes, this is over budget, but still, I think it is a good deal.

Notes:

  • Just the plane ticket, no baggage fees or other extras.
  • All currency conversions were accurate as of today.
  • This itinerary is just what I came up with. There are thousands of alternatives. Play around with it. You can extend this out to a year and see more places than just what I provided.
  • I found all of these tickets using the +/- 3 days feature on Kayak. This helped me to establish dates and airlines that fly that route.  Many of the websites that book LCCs through Kayak impose extra charges, so instead of taking that price, I went to the respective airlines website and used that price.  I found that theses prices were a lot cheaper, sometimes half the price.
  • Australia is your most expensive add on, but Jetstar is the only LCC to cross the Pacific. If we were to bend the rules, you could get into the China/Hong Kong/Taiwan/Korea area, then fly Philippine Airlines back to LA. This would make the trip the same price.
  • If you want an even simpler itinerary, skip all the Middle East stuff and take the Norwegian flight from Oslo to Bangkok, then carry on from SE Asia through Australia and back to the US.

There you have it, a pretty darn cheap ticket, around the world, that is not too rushed, for next summer. Before you go and buy that plane ticket for next year, think about all of the options first.  This kind of makes you wonder why even bother with points….

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2 thoughts on “Around the World on LCCs for $1500: Summer 2015

  1. Pingback: Is this a good Round the World - FlyerTalk Forums

  2. Pingback: Tramping Around Europe: A Guide to Trains, Planes and Buses on the Cheap (Part 1) | Naked 'Round The World

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