Ever wondered how long it would take to travel around the world? Read on to find out long it takes to explore Mother Earth on a plane, train, boat or on foot.
Long-term travel is a dream for many who are stuck in the 9-5 grind. However, if you’re one of the lucky ones who has the opportunity to book a one-way ticket to explore the world, it’s a gratifying experience.
Traveling around the world is by no means an easy task. You would need to list out the places you want to visit along with your expenses and duration of stay in each location.
But arguably one of your biggest questions you may have before you depart on your adventure is how long would it take to travel around the world?
If you’ve watched the movie Around The World in 80 Days, you’ll know that there are countless ways to get from one place to another- each with its own time frame.
If you’ve ever been curious about how long it takes to travel around the world, we’ve broken down the best ways to make the journey by different modes of transportation, be it a car, plane or boat.
Table of Contents
How Long Does It Take To Travel Around The World
Long-term travel allows you to explore the city beyond its tourist attractions and immerse yourself in the local culture.
If traveling around the world is a bucket list item for you (as it is for many of us), here’s how long it takes to explore Mother Earth.
See Related: Why Traveling is Important
Hop On A Plane
The most common way to get from one place to another is by plane. But while you may travel a couple of hours at a time to get from your destination to the next, some people may choose to fly across the entire world at a single time.
This could either be to break a world record or just for the thrill of it.
According to Reference, it would take you 51 hours to travel the circumference of the earth.
However, this number could vary depending on a number of factors like the type of plane, the number of stops as well as the place of departure.
Traveling around the world by plane with no refuels may sound impossible but it has been attempted by various pilots before. The Rutan Model Aircraft 76 Voyager was one of the more notable non refueled flights around the world in 1986.
The aircraft was operated by American pilots Dick Rutan and Jeana Yaeger.
At a speed of 116 miles per hour, the pilots were able to make their journey across the globe in 9 days, 3 minutes and 44 seconds.
While this is an extensive period of time, planes today can fly around the world much faster thanks to improved technology.
More recently, the GlobeFlyer was another historical attempt to travel around the world at a single stretch. The plane was piloted by Steve Fossett in 2005 and sponsored by Richard Branson. It took Fossett 67 hours to travel the world at a speed of 342.2 miles per hour- a huge improvement from the first attempt in 1986.
Traveling around the entire world at a single time is unfortunately not possible by a commercial airline due to its fuel capacity. Currently, the longest passenger flight is from Singapore to New York which takes a total of 19 hours.
Flight travel is developed in leaps and bounds since the early 80s with the Boeing Aircraft pioneering new technology in this field.
While you may not be able to travel around the world on a single ticket, you will be able to travel to the moon in a couple of years!
Take A Train
Although you can’t hop on a commercial flight to travel the entire world at a single time, this mission is possible by train travel.
When it comes to traveling by train, many will tell you that the journey is more important than the destination. This could not be more true if you looking to see the world by rail.
Traveling around the world by train sounds like something straight out of Murder On The Orient Express but the British Company, Great Rails Journey, has made this cinematic experience a reality. The company sells a 53-day ticket that takes you across the globe by rail (first-class of course).
Passengers will once again need to fly to Shanghai for the rest of the trip which will continue only by rail.
The train in Shanghai takes travelers to Moscow with a detour in Mongolia. From Russia, the train goes right back into Europe and travels across cities like Vienna, Prague and Venice. The trip ends in London again.
While the trip sounds like a dream for those who enjoy train travel, the trip does come at a $36,500 price tag. The total number of passengers is also capped at 25 to make the experience as exclusive as possible.
If rail travel is something that you enjoy, there are various bucket-list train rides that offer a wonderful experience.
Some of the longest train rides in the world include Eastern and Oriental Express, The Indian Pacific and The Blue Train. Each trip covers different regions across the world.
You can check out the full list of train rides here.
See Related: Where Should You Travel for Your Birthday?
Sail Across The World
Traveling around the world by plane may seem like the most obvious choice for many but exploring new destinations on a boat comes with fewer logistical issues. For one, you would not need to find accommodation in each city you visit.
Different continents are linked to each other by water bodies making sailing one of the easiest ways to the earth. If you are sailing around the world for leisure- making stops at different places along the way, the journey will take you approximately 3.5 years. However, if it’s all about the journey and not the destination, the trip can be made in 40 days.
According to Improve Sailing, there are three different ways to sail the oceans and seas. A non-stop sailing journey can take 100 days if you are traveling on the right boat, albeit a fast one.
The second type of sailing would be Express sailing which is ideal for amateur sailors. This involves sailing for two days straight and then docking for a day at a time for food and provisions. This trip would take you 1-2 years.
The last type (and probably the most common) is the recreational journey.
Sailors will spend 5 days on land for every 1 day at sea. This gives you plenty of time to explore each destination at your own pace. Time is of the essence here as this journey can take 3-5 years.
Traveling by sea may come without the added burden of finding accommodation but the process of planning your journey takes a lot of time and preparation. You will need to plan your route, the time spent at the dock while also factoring in the weather and tide levels. But if you set your mind to it, exploring the world on a boat is possible.
Walk The Earth
If you consider yourself a true daredevil and more importantly have a lot of time on your hands, would you ever walk across the earth? As crazy as it sounds, walking the circumference of the globe is actually possible. In fact, it is a feat that has been attempted by some.
Depending on your health, stamina and perseverance, it is estimated that it takes 20 million steps to walk across the earth. This is by no means an easy accomplishment and takes a lot of mental courage to accomplish.
Some famous people that have made the journey across the earth include Dave Kunst who in 1970 walked across Europe, Asia, Middle East, North America and Asia.
The whole trip took them 4 years. Steve Newman attempted this incredible feat in 1987 and broke the world record for the first person to walk the earth solo. He walked across 20 countries over a span of 4 years.
Although walking the earth is possible, it does require a lot of mental and physical endurance. You would need months of preparation before you embark on your journey.
Nevertheless, exploring the world on foot in any city or country you visit is an experience that remains unmatched by any other.
Taking on a new place by foot enables you to immerse yourself in the local culture and meet new people. You may find the world is more connected than you think.
As they say, the journey is more important than the destination.
See Related: 13 Best Travel Purses
Take The Long Road
Taking the road less traveled is a phrase you hear often but traveling around the world in a car would be taking this line in its literal sense. Cars have revolutionized the way we get from one place to another, making it faster and easier to get from one point to the next.
Taking a cross-country road trip is very common these days but taking this journey across continents and oceans would be taking this to a whole new level. Logistically it is not possible to travel the entire circumference of the earth by car because of the oceans and seas that separate continents.
However, if you were to load your car onto a ship between countries, the journey will take you 3-4 months.
However, this is wholly dependent on various factors like the number of stops along the way and the type of car you driving. If you don’t want to change your mode of transport between places some of the most common overland routes include Istanbul to Cairo, London to Palermo and Cairo to Cape Town.
Nevertheless, traveling around the world by road is the most economical option. The journey also requires a lot less planning and lets you remain flexible with your time.
Before you travel between countries by car, you can start by taking road trips within your country to get acclimated to life on the road. This can help you plan for any potential obstacles you may come across in your world travels.
Traveling around the world (if you have the liberty to do it) is an incredibly gratifying experience. You get to learn about different cultures and people which can help expand your perceptions of the world we live in.
If you strongly believe that traveling is more about the journey than the destination, then the vehicle you choose to travel in plays a huge role in your trip.
Although travel times may vary, each mode of transport offers its own unique experience. We hope this article on how long it takes to travel the world inspires you to take a different mode of transport on your next trip.
Related Product Guides
- 7 Minimalist Travel Backpacks
- 9 Best TSA Approved Luggage Locks
- 18 Gifts for Couples Who Love Travel
- Best Travel Credit Cards
- Hotel vs Motel vs Inn: Pros and Cons of Each & Differences
- 30 Cheap Places to Travel [Ultimate Guide]
- Travel from London to Amsterdam
Via Travelers is a modern travel blog providing the best tips, hacks, and itineraries to ensure you have an amazing adventure.