BootsnAll indie travel guide

What the *@!$ is RTW Travel?

R-T-W. Three letters that can literally change your life. It’s the buzzword acronym for travel. When you’re on the road in a country outside the United States, you hear it everywhere. Sitting in a hostel kitchen, one backpacker says to another, “I’m on a R-T-W.” Another replies, “I went on an R-T-W last year and man, it was the best thing I ever did.” A third one chimes in, “I’m planning on going R-T-W next year.” You get on Twitter and see the hash tag #RTW littered amongst tweets about travel. You sit there, staring at your unappealing Top Ramen that you’ve been eating for three nights in a row and wonder, what the hell are they talking about?

What RTW Stands For

For Americans, the term RTW is not a common one like it is in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and elsewhere around Europe. Americans typically take their 1 or 2 weeks vacation a year and go to Florida or Mexico. Or maybe they may take off to one of the many top notch national parks for a week of camping and outdoor activities. But not very many decide to chuck it all and travel Round The World.

“Ahhhh, round the world,” you say to yourself. “But what exactly are they talking about?”

Defining a RTW

Now you know what RTW stands for. But what the hell does it mean? This is one of those things where everyone’s definition varies. Our version simply says that a RTW trip requires that you take an extended period of time to circumnavigate the globe. One thing a RTW is NOT is one long vacation, but we’ll touch on that later.

Some may say you have to travel in one direction-east to west or vice versa. Some may say you have to travel for 6 months or a year or more. Everyone defines what a RTW trip is in a different way, and there’s no right or wrong answer, obviously. Most agree that a RTW is an extended trip (at least a few months) that sees a traveler visit several countries on a few different continents.

This Is Only The Beginning

If you’ve landed on this page, you’re curious. You want to know more about this whole RTW travel phenomenon. Well lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place. BootsnAll has compiled the most comprehensive RTW Travel Guide on the interwebs.

We’ll take you through the entire process-starting right here with defining what a RTW is. From here, you can peruse the rest of the Inspiration and Why Go RTW? pages. You will soon find out that even though you may have known what RTW meant until three minutes ago, there are countless people out there who have done it, are doing it, or planning their own RTW right NOW!

So read on! Be inspired! Find out how you, too, can make your travel dreams come true and take a trip ROUND THE WORLD!

More Resources

Be sure to check out the frequently asked questions about RTW travel.

As your interest soars, check out the rest of our RTW Guide, which takes you through the planning stage, gives you all the resources you need once you’re on the road, and even addresses what happens when you come home from a RTW trip.

You can search trip prices on our multi-stop international trip planner and start planning your trip today!

Next: RTW Myths »

RTW Guide - Table of Contents