Holy Cow! 2016 flew by…both figuratively and literally. I am planning on doing an entire post on my travel goals for 2017, but this one was so big it deserved its own. I recently got the Lonely Planet’s top 500 destinations book. It got all kinds of wanderlust going and made me wonder, would it be possible to book this dream trip and see all seven of the new wonders of the world in one go?
A couple years ago a foundation was created in Switzerland dedicated to protection of the world’s human-made and natural heritage and to foster respect for human diversity. The initiative started with a contest that included 200 of the world’s existing monuments. After two years and over 100 million votes the winners were announced in 2007.
1. The Great Wall of China
2. Petra, Jordan
3. The Colosseum, Rome
4. Chichen Itza
5. Taj Mahal
6. Machu Picchu
7. Christ the Redeemer
This would be quite the journey. The trip would cover about 25,000 miles, but only if there were direct flights. Realistically it would probably be closer to 30,000+ miles.
One thing I didn’t mention in my post about how airline alliances work is the amazing fact that you can book discounted round the world tickets through the alliance. Star alliance round the world trips can be had as low as 1,500 for just 3 stops in economy. I decided to try and run my itinerary through each of the alliance’s RTW tools to see where the price would come out at. I looked for mid-May to early-June in Business Class. My itinerary was as follows (each airline will have different connections, but these are my actual destinations:
The first alliance I tried was OneWorld, my preferred alliance due to my American Airlines status. I was able to put my itinerary in and it was valid, but kept getting an error, so no pricing was available. I also noticed that there were some pretty long flights that showed no business class availability. When I went through and changed the option to First Class instead of business, I was able to get a price of just under $16,000, so I’d imagine business would be significantly less.
I was once again blown away by how easy the Star Alliance process was. I actually was able to get a quote in 3 minutes on my iPhone. My itinerary worked out to be 32,570 miles with 15 stops over the course of about 3-4 weeks. Star Alliance round the world pricing came out to $11,512.39 for business class. Yes this is a lot of money, but believe it or not, you are actually saving money by booking the whole round the world trip on one itinerary. The Beijing to Tampa leg alone would be $4,500.
The SkyTeam Alliance round the world tool is probably the easiest to use. It also includes a great map so you can see your itinerary taking shape. The pricing is based on mileage, and this itinerary just barely jumped into the next category, and with that the price jumped $2,000. There weren’t flights from Lima to Rio, so I had to mark that as alternative transporation. This itinerary covers 29,494 miles, with 14 stops on 6 different airlines. Pricing comes out to a whopping $13,251.21.
Its hard to say. $10,000+ per person is pretty steep, but it is the dream trip for 2017. It may be possible to book certain segments to get round the world pricing, but then use miles for others? I’d really like to fly in the Etihad First Class Apartment again, but I’d also like to give Emirates First Class a try. This trip would be an amazing way to see some of mankind’s masterpieces.