If you want go on an around the world trip you would be an absolute fool to pay for your flights one at a time. Save yourself heaps of headaches and purchase a round the world ticket ahead of time; they’re flexible, and uber cheap. Here are some tips I’ve picked up during my best Phileas Fogg impression:
Get off the beaten trail, just not with flights. Around the world flights are relatively cheap due to the fact they are bought and sold in large volumes. It naturally follows that the major cities of the world receive the lion’s share of the wholesale fares, which can mean a savings of thousands of dollars (or ten British pounds, last time I checked). Think of a RTW ticket as a general concept for your trip, then use local flights (or better yet, overland) to fill in the gaps.
Surface to surface savings. There are two benefits to traveling overland rather than flying: 1) you’ll see a whole lot more of the country you are traveling in, and 2) you’ll save a good chunk of change doing it, especially if you can sleep on the train or bus (tuk tuks may be a little hard to catch a cat nap on, but you’re certainly welcome to try). Twenty thousand feet is so overrated.
Go big, go go home. Dude, you’re traveling around the world! Pick some places you’ve always dreamed of going to; don’t just settle for the ubiquitous New York-London-Paris-Rome thing…challenge yourself. At the end of the trip, you’ll find out that you are a very different person. This is the point of travel!