Around the world travel packages are an amazing way to see the world, and save a bundle along the way. Many friends of mine have taken these travels with great success (including myself), and everyone who has traveled around the world has said it is not only an economical way to see places they’ve only dreamed about, it is also a life affirming event.

The more popular travel packages come either from the airlines themselves (which are rarely you’re best bet) or special travel agencies such as Airtreks.com. Here’s how it works: These agencies pull together flight specials from two or more airlines, usually connected to major hubs around the world (the biggest are San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, London, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Sydney, Auckland, New Delhi, Mumbai, Nairobi and Rio de Janeiro). The logic behind these is that buying in bulk will get you lower fares overall than if you bought them separately. For example, I bought a round the world ticket from Sydney-Saigon-Singapore-Kathmandu-London-Toronto-San Francisco-Sydney for less than $1400. Excited yet? On Airtreks they have a list of specials, and currently offer a ten country package deal for $2799. That’s the cost of two round trip tickets, and you get more than twice the destinations!

The best thing about round the world travel packages is that most providers allow you to stay in countries where you have a layover, which is like handing someone a free plane ticket. I have stopped in Austria, Singapore and Laos free of charge.

A final word to the wise: if you bought an around the world travel package, try to pack only enough clothing to last you a week. Remember, what you pack today you will have to carry for the next year, so keep it light!