Three Ways to Travel Around the World
Kanebridge News
Share Button

Three Ways to Travel Around the World

There’s the fast way, the posh way and the slow way. Here’s what to know about each.

Sun, Aug 27, 2023 7:30amGrey Clock 4 min

Five countries and four continents in under two weeks? Or how about seeing the Taj Mahal, the Pyramids and Machu Picchu in one mad 25-day marathon? As travel rebounds in 2023, that staple of bucket lists and reality TV shows—the journey around the world—is back in vogue.

“Since international borders reopened, we’ve seen demand coming back in a big way,” says Christine Drpich, manager of e-commerce at the Star Alliance airline network founded by United and Lufthansa.

In the past six months, she says, the group has noticed a “significant surge” in searches for the round-the-world itineraries it offers on its site. Oneworld, another aviation fraternity anchored by American and British Airways, recently launched an AI-driven planning tool that helps guide fliers through all the possible routings for circling the globe, with suggested itineraries like a Jules Verne-inspired circumnavigation that can be done in far less time than the 80 days of his novel.

There is a long history of adventurers and daredevil pilots making the trip, but it became far more attainable when Pan Am launched its first scheduled round-the-world flights from the U.S. after World War II, says David Mink, a businessman who is president of the 120-year-old Circumnavigators Club based in New York (past members include Harry Houdini, John Philip Sousa, Arthur Ashe and Sally Ride).

Pan Am’s daily Flights One and Two, departing from San Francisco (later Los Angeles) and New York, helped to bring a lot more people into the club, he says.

What counts as a true round-the-world trip? To join his club, Mink says you need to travel in one direction only (no backtracking allowed), cross every meridian and return to the same place you departed from. (Some purists say you must also cross the equator and cover more distance than the circumference of the earth, or more than 24,901 miles.) That aside, any mode of travel counts, from small sailboats to hot-air balloons. “We have members who have done it in very strange ways,” says Mink. “One man traveled the entire world under the sea in a submarine.”

For those seeking a tamer version of these exploits, here are three—fairly easy—ways to travel around the world.

1. The fast way: one ticket that covers everything

Pan Am may be gone, but the latter-day version of its globe-circling flights are the “RTW” air tickets offered by the alliance airlines that let you customize a trip selecting from dozens of carriers and destinations.

Star Alliance and Oneworld can handle the entire itinerary with a single ticket; each has a global network of airline partners to fill out their route maps. They can tailor trips by distance, number of stops and class of service. This gives you the option to mix ultra-long-haul flights (those in the air for more than 16 hours) with shorter hops. And the price is generally less than if you simply booked a series of one-way tickets. You can do the trip in as little as 10 days, or take up to a full year.

The cheapest tickets through Star Alliance start at around $5,000 for a journey in coach, or $11,000 in business class, with three to five stops covering 26,000 miles. The price goes up with the number of flights and continents visited, up to 15 destinations and 39,000 miles. More than half of the RTW tickets sold by the Star group are in business or first class. It can be tough to redeem frequent-flier miles for these tickets, although member carrier ANA does offer an around-the-globe award ticket that’s popular with some high-mile fliers.

You can also cobble together a string of one-way flights, but that is more expensive than the single-ticket method—unless you follow the example of one Noel Philips, a British travel reporter with a large YouTube following, who recently flew around the world in 80 hours exclusively on low-cost airlines. He stopped in five countries on four continents, and his total airfare was under $3,000.

2. The posh way: chartered jets and luxury digs

For a price tag in the six figures, you can fly around the planet in comfort on a chartered aircraft, enjoying catered meals, flowing Champagne and swanky digs on the ground. With an all first-class layout, the jets used for these jaunts typically have a capacity of around 50 passengers, and demand is such that flights tend to sell out fairly quickly, according to Pamela Lassers, media-relations director at Abercrombie & Kent, the high-end tour operator known for its African safaris. The company is offering three RTW trips in 2024 of 25 or 26 days, via a Boeing 757, and just added a new wildlife-focused trip which stops in Hawaii, Fiji, Tasmania, Bali, Sri Lanka, Zambia and Brazil.

And there are other advantages to the private route, according to Diana Hechler, president of D. Tours Travel in Larchmont, N.Y. “You can get to some out-of-the-way places, like Easter Island,” she says, and “you avoid the delays and airport hassles we associate with flying today.”

TCS World Travel, another luxury private-jet specialist, is adding departures for its round-the-world tours—with 10 trips scheduled from October this year to December 2025. One culture and history itinerary includes Easter Island and East Africa and requisite wonders of the world from Egypt to India—via a 52-seat Airbus A321—all in under four weeks.

The cost: from $168,000 per person for A&K’s 26-day Wildlife & Nature Around the World trip, $130,000 for TCS’s 25-day tour.

3. The slow way: cruising the high seas

The reopening of the world has revived interest in circling the globe by the oldest form of intercontinental travel—ship.

Cruise lines were virtually shut down during much of the pandemic, but now business is booming, and at least a dozen lines offer a round-the-world voyage, which usually takes at least three to four months. Several lines are reporting that 2024 sailings are already sold out.

The cost: Prices range from around $20,000 to more than $100,000 per person. One example is a 128-day voyage aboard Holland America Line’s MS Zuiderdam departing Fort Lauderdale Jan. 3. The price—including all meals—starts at $23,600 per person, based on double occupancy.

At the higher end is Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 132-night trip aboard the Seven Seas Mariner, round trip from Miami, with calls at ports in Costa Rica, Australia, Indonesia, India and Israel. Rates start at $91,000 all-inclusive, and there is already a wait list for some cabin categories on the first 2024 voyage departing Jan. 6.


Consumers are going to gravitate toward applications powered by the buzzy new technology, analyst Michael Wolf predicts

Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Related Stories
Clocking out to Turn Back Time—Vacations That Will Help You Live Longer
By TRACY KALER 29/02/2024
Chinese Automaker BYD Shows off a $233,400 Electric Supercar
By JIM MOTAVALLI 28/02/2024
The stay-at-home generation: More young Australians are living with their parents for longer
By Bronwyn Allen 27/02/2024
Clocking out to Turn Back Time—Vacations That Will Help You Live Longer
Thu, Feb 29, 2024 6 min

Booming demand for wellness tourism shows no slowing, with travel related to health and well-being projected to have reached $1 trillion last year and to hit $1.3 trillion by 2025, according to the Global Wellness Institute, a nonprofit based in Miami.

Curated wellness travel programs are especially sought-after, specifically holistic treatments focused on longevity. Affluent travellers not only are making time to hit the gym while gallivanting across the globe, they’re also seeking destinations that specifically cater to their wellness goals, including treatments aimed at living longer.

“I believe Covid did put a spotlight on self-care and well-being,” says Penny Kriel, corporate director of spa and wellness at Salamander Collection, a group of luxury properties in places like Washington, D.C., and Charleston, South Carolina. But Kriel says today’s spas are more holistic, encouraging folks to understand the wellness concept and incorporate it into their lifestyle more frequently.

“With the evolution of treatment products and technology, spas have been able to enhance their offerings and appeal to more travellers,” Kriel says.

While some growth is connected to the variety of treatments available, results and the digital world are also contributing to the wellness boom.

“The efficacy and benefits of these treatments continue to drive bookings and interest, especially with the support of social media, influencers, and celebrity endorsements,” Kriel says.

While genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices such as regular exercise, a diet free of processed foods, sufficient sleep, and human connection play essential roles in living well and longer, experts believe in holistic therapies to help manage stress, boost immunity, and ultimately influence length and quality of life.

Anti Ageing and Beyond

“For years, people have been coming to spas, booking treatments, and gaining advice on how to turn the clock back with anti ageing and corrective skin treatments,” Kriel says. However, today’s treatments are far more innovative.

On Marinella Beach in Porto Rotondo, on the Italian island of Sardinia, guests at the five-star Abi d’Oru Hotel & Spa can experience the resort’s one-of-a-kind “longevity treatment,” a unique antiaging facial using one of the island’s native grapes: Cannonau. The world’s first declared “Blue Zone”—one of five designated areas where people live longer than average, some into their 100s—Sardinia produces this robust red wine varietal, the most widely planted on the island.

Known as Garnacha in Spain and Grenache in France, Cannonau supposedly contains two to three times more antioxidants than other red-wine grapes. By incorporating Cannonau, Abi Spa says its unique 50-minute longevity session increases collagen production for firmer, younger-looking skin.

Maintaining a youthful appearance is just one facet of longevity treatments, which range from stress-reduction sessions like massage to nutritional support and sleep programs, Kriel says. Some retreats also offer medical services such as IV infusions and joint injections.

Keeping with the trend, Kriel is expanding Salamander Collection’s existing spa services, such as detox wraps and lymphatic drainage, to include dedicated “Wellness Rooms,” new vegan and vegetarian menu items, and well-being workshops. “Sleep, nutrition, and mindfulness will be a big focus for integration in 2024,” she says.

Data-Driven Wellness

Skyler Stillings, an exercise physiologist at Sensei Lanai, a Four Seasons Resort—an adults-only wellness centre in Lanai, Hawaii—says guests were drawn to the social aspect when the spa opened in November 2021.

“We saw a huge need for human connection,” she recalls. But over the past few years, what’s paramount has shifted. “Longevity is trending much more right now.”

Human connection is a central draw for guests at Sensei Lanai, an adults-only and wellness-focused Four Seasons Resort in Hawaii.
Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort

Billionaire co-founder of tech company Oracle Larry Ellison and physician and scientist Dr. David Angus co-founded Sensei. After the death of a mutual close friend, the duo teamed up to create longevity-based wellness retreats to nurture preventative care and a healthy lifestyle. In addition to the Lanai location, the brand established Sensei Porcupine Creek in Greater Palm Springs, California, in November 2022.

Sensei has a data-driven approach. The team performs a series of assessments to obtain a clearer picture of a guest’s health, making wellness recommendations based on the findings. While Sensei analyses that data to curate a personalised plan, Stillings says it’s up to the guests which path they choose.

Sensei’s core three-day retreat is a “Guided Wellness Experience.” For spa treatments, each guest checks into their own “Spa Hale,” a private 1,000-square-foot bungalow furnished with an infrared sauna, a steam shower, a soaking tub, and plunge pools. The latest therapies include Sarga Bodywalking—a barefoot myofascial release massage, and “Four Hands in Harmony,” a massage with two therapists working in tandem. Sensei Guides provide take-home plans so guests can continue their wellness journeys after the spa.

Sensei Lanai, an adults-only and wellness-focused Four Seasons Resort in Hawaii.
Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort

Sanctuaries for Longevity

Headquartered in Switzerland with hotels and on-site spas across the globe, Aman Resorts features an integrative approach, combining traditional remedies with modern medicine’s advanced technologies. Tucked behind the doors of the storied Crown Building in Midtown Manhattan, Banya Spa House at Aman New York—the brand’s flagship spa in the Western Hemisphere—is a 25,000-square-foot, three-floor urban oasis.

Yuki Kiyono, global head of health and wellness development at Aman, says the centre provides access to holistic and cutting-edge treatments benefiting physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being. Aman’s customisable “Immersion Programs” consist of a three- or five-day immersion. “The programs encompass treatments and experiences that touch every significant aspect to create a path for longevity, from meditation and mindfulness to nutrition and movement,” Kiyono explains.

Banya Spa House at Aman New York.
Robert Rieger

The spa’s “Tei-An Wellness Solution” features 90- to 150-minute sessions using massage, cryotherapy, and Vitamin IV infusions. Acupuncture is also on offer.

“With its rich history of Chinese Medicine, modern research, and the introduction of sophisticated electro-acupuncture medicine, acupuncture has been proven to assist with problems and increase performance,” Kiyono says.

Resetting the Mind and Body

Beyond longevity, “healthspan”—the number of years a person can live in good health free of chronic disease—is the cornerstone of Mountain Trek Health Reset Retreat’s program in British Columbia, Canada.

Kirk Shave, president and program director, and his team employ a holistic approach, using lifestyles in long-living Blue Zones as a point of reference.

“We improve our daily lifestyle habits, so we live vitally as long as we’re meant to live,” Shave says of the retreat. He built the program from an anthropological stance, referencing humans as farmers, hunters, and gatherers based on their eating and sleeping patterns. Food includes vegetable-centric meals sans alcohol, sugar, bread, or dairy.

Guests wake at dawn each day and have access to sunrise yoga, several hours of “flow” or slow hiking, spa treatments, forest bathing, calming crystal singing-bowl and sound therapy sessions, and classes on stress reduction—one of Mountain Trek’s primary goals. The program motivates people to spend much of their time in nature because it’s been proven to reduce cortisol, the stress hormone that can lead to inflammation and disease when elevated for extended periods.

While most guests aren’t aware of how immersive Mountain Trek’s program is when they arrive, they leave the resort revitalized after the structured, one-week program. Set in the Kootenays overlooking its eponymous river, the resort and adventure promise what Shave calls a “visceral experience of transformation.”

“They’re interested in coming to be in nature,” Shave says of the guests. “They hit a wall in their life and slipped backwards, so they know they need a reset.”

Banya Spa House at Aman New York provides access to holistic and cutting-edge treatments benefiting physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being.
Robert Rieger

This article first appeared in the Winter 2024 issue of Mansion Global Experience Luxury.


Consumers are going to gravitate toward applications powered by the buzzy new technology, analyst Michael Wolf predicts

Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Related Stories
The Australian home sector outperforming the rest
By Bronwyn Allen 25/01/2024
Nine-Figure Home Sales Are Skyrocketing. ‘Soon $100 Million Will Be $200 Million.’
By E.B. SOLOMONT 04/02/2024
Car Dealers on Why Some Customers Hesitate With EVs
By SEAN MCLAIN 11/12/2023
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop