Round the World Flights on a Budget

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I published a piece a few days ago showing how you can use airline miles to fly round the world in style for ~100,000 Miles and ~£207. I’ll be sharing a few different variations on that theme very soon, but wanted to do one on how to get round the world flights on a budget first. Flying Business and First Class is fantastic, but it’s the travel that is the real point – exploring new places, experiencing different cultures, making new friends.

So, without further ado, here’s my take on how to fly round the world as cheaply as possible at the same time as seeing some amazing places:

Belfast – New York – Hong Kong – Bangkok – Singapore – London: £254 + 30,000 Alaska Miles

Step 1: Belfast to New York for £99.00

We’ve frequently covered Norwegian’s excellent fares from the UK to the USA. The best value at the moment is from Belfast to New York for £99, but you can also fly from London or Edinburgh for not much more.

Step 2 + 3: New York – Hong Kong – Bangkok for 30,000 Alaska Miles + ~£40

I’ve written many times about how valuable Alaska Mileage Plan Miles are and why it can even be worth purchasing them if you find them otherwise difficult to collect.

One of the fantastic things about the Alaska award chart is that it allows you to stopover for free for as long as you want in Hong Kong when flying with Cathay Pacific from the US to anywhere in Asia, even on a one-way award. This means that you can spend a few days (or a week, or a month, etc) in Hong Kong en route to somewhere else.

The Economy award price for the above is 30,000 Alaska Miles + ~£40 in taxes and airport fees. There are no surcharges.

If you do not have any Alaska Miles, via the semi-regular SPG Starpoint sales, you can indirectly purchase 30,000 Alaska Miles for about £420. I know I said I’d focus on budget travel here, but it’s worth pointing out that you could buy 50,000 Alaska Miles for ~£700 (so £280 more) and fly in Business Class for these two legs instead, which is an option well worth considering.

In this example I’ve chosen Bangkok as the destination as it’s a great city and has cheap flights to Singapore, but you could easily choose Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, etc, instead if you preferred. Singapore is well served by low cost carriers from most of Asia these days.

Step 4: Bangkok – Singapore for £30

No clever trickery required for this one – just head to Skyscanner and use the month view search to look for flights between Bangkok and Singapore. You should find plenty of options in the £27-£37 range:


Step 5: Singapore – London for £85

Here we rely on our old friends Norwegian again. To get the very best prices, go to the Singaporean version of the Norwegian website here. $149 Singapore Dollars is currently worth about £85 and, as you can see, there’s plenty of availability:

If you can stretch to paying an additional £25 for a an extra legroom seat, I would recommend it as it really is fantastic value on a 13 hour flight!

Sum total:

~£254 + 30,000 Alaska Mileage Plan Miles. 

Round the world flights on a budget

By mixing award chart sweetspots and the excellent long haul low cost fares that are now increasingly available, it’s not too tricky to put together round the world flights on a budget.


    • Joe Deeney says

      Fair point – personally that’s how I travel pretty much all the time (even in Biz and First when I could theoretically take a wardrobe or 2 with me!), but you’d have to add on £100 or so for a suitcase.

    • Joe Deeney says

      That is an excellent point and something I completely overlooked! – Which is bad, because (as far as I know) Alaska redemptions have to be on Cathay PAcific not Cathay Dragon. Will amend post asap.

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