How to Travel Around the World — Without Flying!



Traveling around the world without boarding a plane is entirely possible. Of course, you may be content to use airplanes to fulfill your dream of staying in exotic and far-flung places. But some travelers, who want to take their treks farther and want to see more of the world, might consider alternative travel methods. Recently, Graham Hughes was able to visit every country in the world without flying, proving that the endeavour is possible.

Reasons to Travel Without a Plane

Maybe you’re not convinced. Why would someone want to travel so far without an airplane? The following are reasons travellers might skip the airport:

  • Seeing more of the world. Maybe you hadn’t considered it, but when you’re above the ground, trapped in your seat, you miss a lot. Think about the places below you that you could be exploring and the people you could be meeting.
  • Fear of planes. Some people have a fear of flying and assume they won’t be able to travel the world; however, this isn’t necessarily true. You can travel anywhere — to Mumbai, to the Bahamas — without being trapped in a plane.
  • Bragging rights. Sometimes we do things simply to tell people that we did them. Well, travelling great distances, without the aid of an airplane, is something most people would want to hear about.

Methods of Travel

  • Cruise ship. Ocean crossings require the most planning, so decide what you’re going to do ahead of time, preferably three to six months in advance. Cruises are an option that come with delicious food and entertainment.
  • Freightliner/cargo ship. Another ocean-crossing option is a freightliner, also known as a cargo ship. These vessels normally carry goods and materials from one place to another, but they will sometimes transport people, too. They only can carry a few people, however.
  • Yachts. If you know how to sail, ocean-crossing yachts often need extra (and competent) crewmembers. If you don’t know how to sail, take some classes and achieve your basic qualifications. Sometimes you might ride for free, or you might have to make a minimal contribution for food, but it’s more affordable than other options.
  • Trains. Trains run throughout many countries. It’s an especially popular option in Europe. The Eurorail pass will save you money and time.
  • Busses. Busses can be a good way to travel by land. They will also be one of your best options for travelling long distances in the United States (you can also opt for the Amtrak train).
  • Cars. In some countries, renting a car is a good idea. In others, you will want to stick to public transportation. You can also check for rideshares online, but be careful when doing so.

Tips for Travelling the World Without a Plane

  1. Plan Ahead. Talk to people, do research online and determine what places you must go, as well as your appropriate accommodations. Perhaps you’re trekking through India and need to investigate your options for staying in Mumbai. Or maybe you want to check out castles in Italy but need to decide which ones you’re most interested in.
  1. Save your money. You’ll need a lot to finance your world travels.
  1. Plan for your travels to take longer than expected. Maybe you think you can make it around the world in a year, but it could actually end up taking a few years.
  1. Research mass transit. In some cases, you can buy tickets and passes ahead of time. In others, you’ll have to buy them when you arrive.
  1. Study languages. In some countries, you won’t be able to successfully navigate without learning the basics of the language. Russia is an example.

Travel Without Flying

Your dream of travel can come true, and if you choose to skip the airplines, you’ll have a rich experience. As Graham Hughes said, “Nobody knows what’s waiting at the end of the line, so we might as well enjoy the trip.”


Lahar Payal is a contributing writer who developed a love of travel as a child. His goal is to visit every country in the world by cargo ship.

Photo courtesy of szeke.

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