Skip to Content

10 Places That Should Be On Every RTW Itinerary

Planning a Round-The-World Trip? We have handpicked this list of our favorites from our RTW trip. These are 10 places that should be on every RTW itinerary, and if you aren’t taking an RTW trip (you should, but) you still should put these places on your short list to get to soon.

Antigua, Guatemala


The beautiful colonial town of Antigua is full of brightly painted houses and overflowing with charm. Your money goes a long way in Guatemala. The city is a great place to brush up on your Spanish by taking lessons from local teachers. Antigua is surrounded by tall volcanoes and the temperature is just right year round. There are tons of things to do in Antigua it’s worth a week for sure.

Rome, Italy

Once the center of the western world, Rome is full of ancient ruins and packed full of 2,000+ years of history. Throw in some Italian food and cheap wine and it almost makes up for the high price tag of the accommodation. Avoid the summers if your schedule allows as the streets overflow with tourists in the months of June through August. Rome may not be your cheapest destination, but a trip around the world wouldn’t be complete without a visit to this cultural capital.

Prague, Czech Republic

Of all the places we visited in Europe, we were most impressed with Prague. Maybe it just surprised us, but Prague is a huge city full of impressive buildings and landmarks. There is much more to the city than just the Charles bridge, plan a few extra nights in Prague to see all of what the city has to offer. Be sure to bring a thirst because Prague has the largest beer selection we encountered in all of our 730+ days on the road. There are a ton of things to do in Prague we always find something new. We loved drinking our way all the best beer gardens in Prague.

El Nido, Philippines

If you were to ask us what is the most beautiful place we have ever visited, we would probably respond with El Nido. The small cluster of islands off the tip of the Palawan is some of the most dramatic and breathtaking we have encountered. Tall jagged limestone cliffs jet out of the hyper blue waters. The landscape is out of this world. El Nido is still tough to get to which keeps the crowds down some, but being named the best island in the world last year has definitely increased its popularity. Get there soon. As an added bonus, the Philippines is a very budget friendly place and perfect for an RTW destination.

Koh Lipe, Thailand

The only place we have visited that would rival El Nido in raw beauty it would be Koh Lipe. The furthest south island in all of Thailand, Koh Lipe is a paradise on earth. Quiet and clean with a good beach vibe this island is always a contender for our favorite place on earth. Throw in some amazing green curry and forget about it. It’s a place you’ll never want to leave. Make sure to check out our ultimate Koh Lipe Guide.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu - Short Inca Trail - Day 1-18

As one of the seven new wonders of the world, Machu Picchu is no secret, but it’s well worth the trip. Built by the Inca’s in the 1400’s the modern wonder is as impressive as they get. Make sure to hike the Inca trail for the full experience. Use Cusco as your base to explore the area. Cusco is a beautiful mountain town situated high in the Andes at 11,000 feet above sea level. The city is great, but it will test your fitness level with its elevation.

New Zealand, the whole damn country

New Zealand Cover-1

New Zealand is another one of those special countries full of amazing landscapes. The scenery will have you pulling off the road around every turn. The country is packed full of dramatic landscapes with tall mountains and pristine lakes. We spent a few weeks circling just the south island, and we would have spent a couple months. Rent a camper van make your way around this beautiful place.


There are no clouds in Namibia - Africa-9

The stark beauty of Namibia is what makes this African gem a must on any RTW itinerary. Namibia is a photographer’s dream. You have plenty of wildlife in Etosha National park, a 900-year-old petrified forest, and the world tallest sand dunes.

Not to mention the world’s oldest desert. The red sands of Namibia’s deserts will suck you in and capture your imagination. There are so many things to do in Namibia, we can’t wait to go back.

Cape Town, South Africa

Helicopter Tour Getting Stamped - Cape Town, SA-12

A city like no other in Africa, Cape Town could fit in anywhere in Europe or California. The city has a stunning coastline, a celebrated wine region, and the iconic table mountain towering behind the city.

However, it’s still Africa. It’s a city of contrast with the very wealthy, and then those with nothing more than a tin shack to call home. There are miles and miles of white sand and pounding surf. It also has the world largest population of Great White Sharks where the cold Atlantic meets the warm Indian ocean. Cape Town holds so much to do in a very pretty package.

The Serengeti, Tanzania

The Real Life Lion King-3

When you think of African Wildlife you think of the Serengeti. Tanzania’s premier game park is like a real-life Lion King. The lion population in the park is so strong you won’t have any trouble spotting one, two, or even fifteen lions in a tree. The Serengeti is a very special place and is probably one of the best places in the world to see wildlife.

country map route highlight-final

When planning an RTW trip it’s about more than just where you are going to go, there’s a lot more to it than that. What you pack will dictate who good of a time you’ll have while on the road. We packed too heavy at first and started to be held back by how much stuff we had. You don’t want to be constantly worrying while on the road either. Make sure to get quality travel insurance that covers you and your gear while you are traveling. Trust us, we have been robbed and had gear destroyed in the middle of the desert. Our travel insurance has always got us back in business.

The last piece of advice is to go to a new destination with an open mind. Read enough to know where you are going, but not so much that you expect too much. Give yourself time to experience places for yourself. Too many times we have traveled somewhere on the recommendation of others or from a top 10 list only to be let down. These are our favorites and I don’t think they will let you down, but every experience is different, make it your own.


Monday 30th of September 2019

The Dalmation Coast in Croatia has some raw, natural beauty. Dubrovnik should be on your 11-20 places list.


Thursday 31st of October 2019

True! Croatia's Coast & islands are amazing.

Alireza Mirhadi

Monday 22nd of February 2016

Add Iran to your list, I promise you will be amazed in first trip.


Wednesday 12th of August 2015

I have been to six of these and will be going to another two in the next year (El Nido and Koh Lipe). I agree with the six I have been to except Rome, I really enjoyed my time there but there are a lot of other cities and towns in Europe that I much prefer


Saturday 15th of August 2015

You are going to fall in LOVE with both El Nido and Koh Lipe! I want to go to Rome just to eat....makes me hungry thinking about it, ah the pesto and fresh pasta, can't forget the espresso and gelato!


Thursday 30th of July 2015

Totally agree with Namibia and Cape Town! We were there for our honeymoon and were blown away by the gorgeous scenery and beautiful people. Koh Lipe is so close to Singapore where we're from so we should definitely check it out soon (: We want to add Iran to my RTW list.. What do you think? (:


Sunday 2nd of August 2015

If you are in Singapore you must check out Koh Lipe. The middle east would be amazing to see, hopefully it's a place we can visit in the next 10 years.


Tuesday 28th of July 2015

Love the suggestions and your photos. They're exquisite.


Tuesday 28th of July 2015

Thanks for the great comments!