5 Trip Ideas To Inspire Your Planning

With a global community of seven billion and nearly 200 countries to select from, trying to organize a long-term, RTW trip can be quite a daunting affair. Overwhelming, even.

Where to start? How to narrow it down? I would think, as with any large project, that it’s necessary to formulate a plan, a travel outline, if you will. Break it down into do-able size chunks.

Who’s to say? Maybe a single RTW trip won’t be enough.

When planning a big trip, you can follow this same sort of script. It’s not necessary to plan out every detail, but having a theme or a few main highlights, pillars, or must-sees makes it much easier to plan your route.

Even though we have yet to embark on our own RTW adventure, as my husband, son and I map out our yearly vacation schedules, we try to follow a regimen. We’ve finally determined that we are really captivated by deserts and volcanoes. The forces of nature and Mother Earth at their most unpredictable.

For us, keeping to a central idea helps narrow our choices and still stay within the parameters of what we enjoy best.

When planning a big trip, you can follow this same sort of script. It’s not necessary to plan out every detail, but having a theme or a few main highlights, pillars, or must-sees makes it much easier to plan your route.

If you’re having some difficulty deciding how to design a route for a big trip, here are a few suggestions to plan your itinerary around.

Historical RTW

Trip Itinerary: London>France>Netherlands>Berlin>Poland>Egypt>Libya>Japan>Hawaii>New York City

Maybe you’re a serious history buff like me. My biggest interest is WWII, and mostly just the European aspect, but what a great round-the-world trip you could forge from that.

  • Stand at the rebuilt Reichstag in Berlin, looking out at the Brandenburg Gate and cross the ill-fated Wall at Checkpoint Charlie.
  • Pay homage to the dead at Auschwitz in Poland, and praise the tenacity of a ghetto’s citizenry as you stroll the streets of Warsaw.
  • Stand on the beaches of Normandy, in France.
  • Capture the essence of a nation sent scurrying nightly into the bomb shelters in the heart of London.
  • Show your respects to the resilience of the human spirit and young love at Anne Frank’s house in ‘The Hague’ of the Netherlands.
  • Follow in the footsteps of Rommel, the Desert Fox, as his Afrika Korps conquered their way from Alexandria, Egypt through modern-day Libya (Note: Exercise caution if you want to add Libya to your trip as the situation is volatile at the moment).
  • Imagine Messerschmitts droning overhead and panzers flanking alongside the ranks of Wehrmacht soldiers.
  • Stray from the North African continent to the isle of Japan, to the decimated cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and witness first-hand the horror of man’s foray into the atomic age.
  • Continue down the path that had led to this terrible retaliation and set a course for Pearl Harbor, where the Emperor’s Kamikaze pilots had sunk U.S. naval ships and crippled an unsuspecting air force.
  • End your RTW venture in New York City, and picture yourself in the midst of the ticker-tape parade the day the Armistice with Germany was signed and United States’ infantrymen were being sent home.

If this trip idea stands out to you, price the route we designed, then tweak it to fit your specific needs.

Exotic Cultures RTW

Trip Itinerary: Greenland>Istanbul>Kenyua>Kalahari Desert>India>Bhutan>Mongolia>Thailand>Japan>Bali>New Guinea>Australia>New Zealand>Tahiti>Panama>Brazil

Many of our readers can be pretty hard core, and they talk about getting “off the beaten track.” This trip idea is the epitome of “off the beaten track.” If you wish to embrace more “exotic” cultures, here’s what you could do:

  • Mush sled dogs with the Inuits in Greenland.
  • Trek with bushmen of the Kalahari or ‘jump’ with Masai tribesmen in Kenya.
  • Watch dervishes ‘whirl’ in Istanbul.
  • Be awed by elephant mahouts and snake charmers in India.
  • Hike up the mountains of Bhutan to mingle with the clergymen of these monasteries ‘in the sky’.
  • Camp out overnight in a yurt with a Mongol and meet the Hill Tribes of Thailand.
  • Admire the dainty beauty of the geishas of Japan or the women of Bali.
  • Check out the face paintings on the Papua New Guinea natives or go on walkabout with the aborigines of Australia.
  • Study the Maori of New Zealand or learn to hula with Polynesian dancers of Tahiti.
  • Buy traditional ‘molas’ (blouses) stitched by the Kunas of Panama’s San Blás Islands.
  • Promote conservation with the indigenous tribes of Brazil’s Amazon.

Curious what a trip like this would cost? Register for a free BootsnAll Membership, and you can build, price, and book a trip just like this on on Indie!

Exotic Animals RTW

Trip Itinerary: Iceland>South Africa>Okavango Delta>Madagascar>China>Indonesia>Tasmania

On the other hand, you might be one of those individuals who prefer animals to people. You can plan a trip around a search of ‘exotic’ wildlife.

Check out our collection of Wildlife Travel Articles

Religious Quest RTW

Trip Itinerary: Rome >Jerusalem>India>Cambodia>Taiwan>China>Hawaii>Utah

Even if you’re not a religious person, religion has shaped our world, and designing a trip around religious religious quests, to seek personal enlightenment or simply to view other cultures in their houses of worship, could make for a pretty amazing learning experience.

  • You might begin your tour of discovery at the Vatican in Rome, the seat of Catholicism.
  • From there, a stint across the Mediterranean Sea to Jerusalem, the cradle of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
  • From Israel, onward to India, the birthplace of Hinduism.
  • Then over to Angor Wat in Cambodia, where Buddhist monks dedicate their entire lives to their sacred beliefs.
  • Follow with a flight to the island of Taiwan to explore Yin and Yang, the spiritual tenets of Daoism, or mainland China and its Confucianism.
  • Across the South Pacific, you’ll be transported to the island of Hawaii, where you can explore the traditions of their polytheistic past. Visit the ruins of Mo’okini Heiau, a temple dating back to 480 A.D., or discover the beauty of Hawaiian music at Kawaiaha’o Church on Oahu, with lyrics sung in their native tongue.
  • On the way back to the States, end your journey in Salt Lake City with tickets to a performance of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Enter your departure and arrival cities on this route to see what a religious RTW trip would cost

Historic Churches

Trip Itinerary: Iceland>London>Paris>Barcelona>Rome>Venice>Milan>Istanbul>Slovenia>Ukraine>Russia

Perhaps the exploration of theology itself is a bit too overbearing, theme-wise. Stay along the same lines, but narrow it down. Set off across the globe in search of the world’s most alluring churches.

  • Stop first in Reykjavík, Iceland, for the Lutheran Church, Hallgrimskírkja, made of concrete, with a 5275-pipe organ.
  • Head to London to see Westminster Abbey and cross the Channel for a peek at world-renowned Notre Dame and Sacré Coeur in Paris.
  • Check out the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain, Anton Gaudi’s spectacular conceptual masterpiece, still under construction 88 years after his death.
  • Italy offers the world’s largest church and home to the Pope at the Vatican in Rome–St. Peter’s, built over the apostle’s tomb itself.
  • St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice draws thousands of visitors to its main square, Piazza San Marcos, while Milan’s Duomo boasts Gothic styling and 135 marble spires.
  • Across the Mediterranean sits Hagia Sophia, an exquisite Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.
  • In Slovenia, the Church of Assumption straddles its own island and is only accessible by wooden row boats made by hand.
  • Pastels and candy-color striping brighten the baroque façade of St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kiev, Ukraine, and pale by comparison against its golden domes
  • Bright swirls decorate the spires of St. Basil’s in Moscow’s Red Square.

This itinerary isn’t technically a “RTW” trip, but that’s okay. We don’t abide by any rules saying you have to literally circumnavigate the globe. If you’re looking to do that, though, consider adding South and Central America onto this itinerary, as both regions are chock full of beautiful, historic churches.

No matter what your style and preference, set an action course across the oceans, in whatever direction the trade winds are calling. Feel the zephyrs whipping through your hair; the spray of sea salt on your lips, the crust of desert sand on your brow. That great big world out there is beckoning, whispering your name on a bluster of breeze.

Head on out. I’ll be behind you on your RTW soon enough, creating my own footprints in the sand.

If you’re planning a big trip right now, we want to hear from you! How are you building your route? What is driving your decisions? Comment below to let us know!