In the past, traveling around the world took extensive planning, the booking of countless flights and the scheduling skills of a top flight executive assistant. That was before the advent of OneWorld, Star Alliance Round the World, Sky Team Round the World, Air Treks and other similar round-the-world airline tickets. Most of these tickets are provided by airline groups and partners, while others, like Air Treks, are third-party providers. These tickets make booking the adventure of a lifetime incredibly easy.
OneWorld, which includes flights from American Airlines and all of its worldwide partners, features a mapping tool that allows you to pick your destinations and also tells you how many connections it would take to get from your origin to your next destination. We picked eight destinations for our itinerary (OneWorld allows up to 16) that offer some of the best adventure on planet Earth. A stipulation of the ticket is that you must travel one direction. This means that if you fly from New York to London, your next destination after London can’t be Buenos Aires. There are infinite possibilities, but if you are on the hunt for adventure, these eight destinations are sure to please.
Editor’s Note: To book our around-the-world itinerary we chose to depart and return to New York City. You can book round-the-world flights using OneWorld from virtually any origin. There are infinite ways to book a round-the-world ticket, but we chose our destinations based on their potential for outdoor recreation and adventure.
Dive on Shipwrecks in Crystal Clear Water: Antigua is not only known for its resorts and white sand beaches; it’s also known for its diving and snorkeling opportunities with shipwrecks in fairly shallow waters. The Andes is a wreck located in Deep Bay, a very misleading name as it sits in roughly 30 feet of water at high tide. At low tide, it is possible to see the wreck in nothing but snorkeling gear, making it extremely accessible for divers of all certification levels. The wreck of the Jettias is another good option that sits in even shallower water at around 25 feet.
Fish for Monster Char in Glacial-Fed Rivers: Iceland is quickly becoming a world-famous fly-fishing destination, and for good reason. With monster char, brown and rainbow trout in relatively untouched and uncrowded rivers, it is not out of the question to have the best fishing of your life there every day you go out. Though ample fishing spots abound, we suggest getting a guide to gain the insider knowledge that’s key to any worthwhile fishing trip.
Ski Powder in Austria’s Most Posh Ski Town: Innsbruck, a city among Austria’s picturesque alps, is known for great skiing and even better nightlife. Be sure not to miss the Weekender or Tribaun for an excellent night out on the town. After a night of partying, head to Schlick 2000 for first turns. When the on-piste snow gets tracked out, be sure to hit any number of backcountry options — follow proper protocol for avalanche danger and if you are less experienced, hire a guide.
“Psicobloc” on Salt Washed Cliffs: First popularized by Chris Sharma and Dani Andrada back in 2007, Mallorca’s “Psicobloc” scene (or deepwater solo) has blown up. With crystal-clear water and arches carved by centuries of erosion, Mallorca is a world-class climbing destination sure to challenge more experienced rock climbers. If rock climbing isn’t your thing, the roads around Alcúdia are a cyclist’s dream; Team Sky has even been known to train there.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Go Sandboarding in the Desert: While the indoor ski slope may get all of the attention for adventure recreation, Dubai has other options for getting in turns on your snowboard. The desert surrounding Dubai is littered with massive sloping dunes that are perfect for sandboarding. Don’t take your good snowboard setup out to the dunes; either use an old board or rent one from one of the many sandboarding outfits in the area.
Surf the Eastern Pacific: Though primarily known for the US Air Force base that calls the island home, Okinawa is also a destination for another reason: its surfing opportunities. When swells are up, it’s known to produce waves of the same caliber as Indonesia (a world-famous surf spot known for breaks like G-Land). Paddle out at Aha-Yoko and enjoy both right and left reef breaks at around 10 to 12 feet.
San Francisco, California
Cycle the Marin Headlands: The Marin Headlands, situated across the bay from the city of San Francisco proper, hold miles and miles of some of the best cycling roads in the country. For a tour of the sites, ride out to Muir Beach from the Golden Gate Bridge and be rewarded with stellar views and even better roads. For more of an all-day epic, head out and ride the Alpine Dam and Mt. Tam tour, which climbs 5,445 feet over 53.7 miles.