You can go around the world for 800 USD Pt IV – North America to Southeast Asia

Pt I – Introduction
Pt II – Southeast Asia to Europe
Pt III – Europe to North America
Pt IV – North America to Southeast Asia
Pt V – Sample Itineraries

All prices quoted are accurate as of 8 March 2017. They include all taxes and fuel surcharges but exclude checked luggage and meals (except otherwise stated).

The previous posts covered the options between Southeast Asia and Europe and between Europe and North America and this will check out the budget options between North America and Europe.

Option 1 – Via Hawaii and Japan with AirAsia X

There are many airlines flying between continental United States and Honolulu although none of them are low-cost carriers. The direct flights are mostly from the cities on the west coast with the cheapest fare usually around 200 USD to 250 USD (~280 to 350 SGD).

San Francisco to Honolulu with Hawaiian

AirAsia X’s fare from Honolulu to Kuala Lumpur is as low as 199 USD (~280 SGD).

Honolulu to Kuala Lumpur with AirAsia X

For around 450 USD (~640 SGD), one is able to make the trip from continental US to Southeast Asia via Hawaii with AirAsia X. There is also a choice of stopping over at Osaka but that will push the cost up as two separate bookings (Honolulu to Osaka, Osaka to Kuala Lumpur) are needed.

Option 2 – Via Hawaii and Australia with Jetstar & Scoot

One can also travel via a detour to Australia.

Maps generated by the Great Circle Map & copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

Jetstar flies to Honolulu from both Sydney and Melbourne and an one-way flight is as cheap as 199 USD (~280 SGD).

Honolulu to Sydney on Jetstar

Scoot connects Melbourne and Sydney to Singapore for as low as 150 USD (~210 SGD).

Sydney to Singapore on Scoot

Traveling from North America to Southeast Asia via Hawaii and Australia will cost at least around 600 USD (~850 SGD). This is the most expensive option but one can get to experience Hawaii and Australia along the way.

Option 3 – Cheap deals with full-service carriers

As their market positions are not strong in the North American market, Asian carriers often offer discount fares out of their US gateways.

It’s even possible to fly from North America to Southeast Asia for less than 400 USD (~560 SGD).

San Francisco to Kuala Lumpur on Singapore Airlines for 390 USD (~550 SGD)

Toronto to Singapore on China Eastern for ~190 USD (~260 SGD)

If you are actually not planning to visit Hawaii, these discounted fares with these Asian carriers are be your best option to travel from North America to Southeast Asia. Please note that there are usually no discounted fare for travel in the other direction.

Despite having low cost carriers such as AirAsia X and Jetstar flying into Honolulu, the lack of low cost options between Hawaii and mainland North America means that trans-Pacific flight will remain as the costliest segment of a Round-the-World trip. Asian-based full-service carriers are known to offer deeply discounted fares out of United States and the cheapest option between North America and Southeast Asia is likely to be with them.

In the next post, we will piece together a round-the-world itinerary for 800 USD and share some of the tips on planning a round-the-world trip.

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