Step out your front door. Head east. Don't stop until you get back home again.
It's a bucket-list dream of ever seasoned traveler: the fabled "round-the-world" itinerary. Some walk. Some bike. Most fly — and many airlines, increasingly cognizant of the generational preference for "experiences over things," now offer such itineraries. Usually, though, they're seriously pricey. For example: SkyTeam's Round-the-World Planner is a fun itinerary-building tool, but throw a few cities in there and you're looking at a $4,500 ticket in a hurry.
Of course, things are changing.
Cheap fares used to be the province of short-haul carriers like Ryanair and EasyJet. But now we're seeing more and more inexpensive long-haul flights to and from the U.S. thanks to budget airlines like Wow and Norwegian.
The latter is primarily responsible for what just might be the white whale of cheap round-the-world tickets: a $1,161 itinerary departing New York City's JFK Airport in January before hitting Stockholm, Bangkok, Sydney and Honolulu, with a stopover in Portland.
The best news: This isn't travel hacking — no special tricks necessary. Or airline points, for that matter. It's just good, clean, cheap travel. And it's open to tinkering. When you can get across Europe for under $200, you can begin to think big, and long-term.
Anyone who's thinking of rebooting his life come New Year's should give it the attention it deserves.