World Travel

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Advertisement by Österreichischer Lloyd for a world tour (1911)

A trip around the world is a trip that is characterized by the length of the trip and the number of countries visited. Often several continents are visited within several months or years and as many countries as possible on each continent. Getting around is mostly done by a combination of plane, bus and train. The goal of a world tour is to get to know several countries instead of a single travel destination. World travelers are also known as "globetrotters" or "globetrotters".


Word history

The term Reise is documented as a legacy of the German language before the 9th century. The old high German word reisa meant 'departure, train, journey' and thus referred to getting started, getting on the way and the path to be taken at the same time. The corresponding verb was reisōn . The meaning of getting up has been preserved in the wake-up call that used to be common on sailing ships: “ Journey, journey ! “, Which meant the signal to get up for the sailors and is still used in the Navy today. The Old High German noun goes back to the old Germanic verb rīsan with the meaning 'rise, stand up' (cf. for example English to rise ).

Travel development

In 1988 Walter Freyer defined four epochs of tourism development:

1. Preliminary phase: until approx. 1850. Means of transport: on foot, on horseback, carriage, sometimes by ship. Motivation: nomads, pilgrims, wars, trade, discovery, education
2. Initial phase: 1850-1914. Means of transport: rail (inland), steamship (abroad). Motivation: recovery
3rd phase of development: 1915–1945. Means of transport: train, car, bus, plane (line). Motivation: cure, relaxation, trade
4. High phase: from 1945. Means of transport: car, flight (charter). Motivation: regeneration, relaxation, free time

Means of travel

Most world travel begins with a flight. (Photo: Airbus A380 )

As a rule, public transport is used for a trip around the world, with the airplane playing the most important role on long intercontinental routes for decades. The aviation industry offers around-the-world tickets for this, which can be used to fly around the world in several stages, including overland routes.

Before the aircraft, only ships - chronologically under sail, steam, and still with internal combustion engines - were used to cross the world's oceans. Since around 1970, covering long distances by scheduled flight has not only been more than a factor of 10 faster, but also cheaper. A rarely used and increasingly rare opportunity is to ride on cargo ships, be it purely as a paying passenger or hired as a worker.

Even today, ferries are very important for more or less short passages that supplement the overland route or for opening up rugged land without short road connections such as the west coast of Norway.

Railways play a different role depending on the continent, but the Trans-Siberian Railway is important for the intercontinental connection between Europe and East Asia.

The high cost and time required for shipping speak against global travel with your own vehicle. Only racing cars, such as Formula 1, travel by air freight. This is why cars and mobile homes are almost exclusively rented regionally, although they usually have to be driven back. Drive-away cars to be transferred (often within the USA) or a used car export to an area where there is a need are the options for using a car in one direction only.

There have already been individual trips around the world by penny farthing; A modern, compact (low) bike is comparatively uncomplicated with other - in principle with all - means of transport. A trip around the world by bike demands mental strength and physical effort, but it brings particularly intense experiences and encounters. People cycle sometimes as a couple or group, not infrequently, sometimes women too, but solo. If you cycle in a targeted manner, you will naturally encounter more long-distance cyclists from the opposite direction than those who are traveling in the same direction and with whom you can join forces for a while without course correction.


A trip around the world in which all degrees of longitude must be passed is called a circumnavigation of the world . Circumnavigations of the world often have a sporting or even competitive character and are then carried out according to set rules.


Backpacker world trip
Backpacker on a world trip

While there is a clear motivation for most of the types of travel mentioned , it is particularly wide-ranging for world travel and is discussed controversially in the literature. Some authors only name two, others twenty, the most common classification goes back to Claude Kaspar, he distinguishes five main motivations:

  • Physical motivation : expectation of physical rest and relaxation
  • Psychological motivation : Hoping for psychological relief and self-discovery
  • Interpersonal motivation : desire for experiences adventures
  • Cultural motivation : Interest in education and getting to know foreign cultures
  • Status or prestige motivation : desire for recognition and appreciation (prestige trips)

In addition to the motives, there are the modalities of world travel to be distinguished

  • By means of transport : by motorcycle, bike, mobile home, on foot, plane, car, train
  • According to social constellation : as a couple, as a group, as a woman alone, as a man alone, as a teenager alone, as a senior alone, as a senior citizen alone

In sociology , a connection is made between the reasons for travel and the individual social milieus :

  • The high - class environment , which is characterized by the high culture scheme, consists predominantly of people from the higher educated classes who, after establishing themselves in professional life and / or after bringing up children (“the children are out of the house”), now primarily strive for education and personal development, rather than amusement. Accordingly, they primarily opt for educational and study trips and visit churches and museums, but also “picturesque” landscapes and cities. For example , crowds of tourists , noise and entertainment are rejected .
  • The younger generation is more inclined to the self-realization milieu, which also participates in the high culture scheme . Above all, "untourist" and "unspoilt" places "off the beaten track" are valued. Today, remote villages in Burgundy or Tuscany , but also strange areas such as the Himalayas, are classic travel destinations for this group .
  • By connecting Hochkultur- and Trivial scheme predominantly by members of the medium forming layer and formed in prone particularly to adjustment is integration environment characterized. Tried and tested and well-known places, such as the coasts and beaches around the Mediterranean , but also the Austrian mountains and lakes, are valued . At the same time, components of the classic educational canons such as a study trip to Paris are also used to a lesser extent .

Literature and travel guides on world travel

Literature on world travel

The Austrian world traveler Ida Pfeiffer , who made two world trips in the middle of the 19th century, published a large number of travel literature, including "A Women's Journey Around the World". Jules Verne's novel Journey around the earth in 80 days from 1873, which was filmed several times, is based on the world tour of the American George Francis Train , who made this journey in 1870.

Travel guide for world travel

In the German-speaking area, the Bibliographical Institute published two editions as part of its Meyer's travel books series , in which world travelers could find descriptions of routes and locations during a world tour through Asia and North America. First an edition appeared in one volume in 1907. It was followed by two volumes in 1912, namely for India, China and Japan (1st part) and for the United States of America (2nd part), with the African, separate descriptions for its northern part existed, and the Australian continent was not dealt with. On the other hand, there is no comprehensive volume from the House of Baedeker . However, the volumes Russia , India as well as North America and Canada described the world travel guide von Meyers analogous areas.

Due to the wealth of information for a world tour, which can no longer be tamed in a book, there is no longer a world travel guide as a book title in the classic sense. Travel guides are still being published for a maximum of individual continents. However, using electronic media such as e-book readers , travelers often compile their own “world travel guides” by storing and successively calling up the individual descriptions of the countries along a planned route. Alternatively, travelers are increasingly using travel guide apps that are only used on site for tourist orientation and thus gradually provide information on a trip around the world.

Economical meaning

Tourism is one of the most important industries worldwide. In 2013, global travel revenues were around 900 billion euros with 1.09 billion arrivals. Europe accounts for around 100 billion euros of this. In terms of the number of overnight stays in Europe, Germany is one of the most popular travel destinations. In 2014, 424 million overnight stays were registered in Germany. In Austria the number of overnight stays in the same year was 131.9 million and in Switzerland 16 million. The most popular European travel destinations are Spain, followed by Italy and France.

Environmental protection & travel

According to estimates by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), tourism causes more than five percent of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. The worst are long-distance flights, which are responsible for 17 percent of the climate-damaging emissions caused by tourism. CO 2 emissions are far more damaging to the climate at high altitudes than emissions on the ground. Many online portals now offer emissions calculators that you can use to find out how badly you are polluting the global climate with a trip. A number of organizations advocate soft tourism and ecological travel. There are numerous tips for travelers, from environmentally friendly travel to rules of conduct on vacation (do not change towels daily, prefer regional dishes, choose environmentally conscious hotels) to various quality seals on the subject of sustainable travel.


At a time when telecommunications were still based on mail by steamship, the Austrian Ferdinand von Hochstetter discovered the connection between earthquakes and tsunami in the Pacific in 1868 . The information about the events in August 1868 he received from contacts he had made on a research trip around the world from 1857-1859 with the Novara and other ships.

Rapid intercontinental communication did not emerge until 1866 with the first permanently functioning transatlantic cable only for telegraphy , i.e. via telegram.

Web links

Wiktionary: World tour  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Sources, notes

  1. ^ Freyer, Walter: Tourism. Introduction to tourism economics . 10th edition (1988 1 ). Munich, Vienna: R. Oldenbourg 2011, pp. 10-16, ISBN 978-3-486-59673-1
  2. Kaspar, Claude: The structure of the tourism demand with special consideration of the Federal Republic of Germany . In: Storbeck, Dietrich (ed.), Moderner Tourismus. Trends and prospects . In: Materials for tourism geography, issue 17, Trier: Geographische Gesellschaft Trier, 2nd edition (1988 1 ), 1990, p. 281 f.
  3. Compare: A women's journey around the world. Journey from Vienna to Brazil, Chili, Otahaiti, China, East India, Persia and Asia Minor. Carl Gerold, Vienna 1850. (1st volume digitized and full text in the German text archive ; 2nd volume digitized and full text in the German text archive ; 3rd volume digitalized and full text in the German text archive )
  4. Welttourismus 2013 ( Memento of the original from July 24, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF). @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. ^ Travel receipts and expenditure in balance of payments, 2005
  6. Overnight stays in German accommodation providers from 1992 to 2017 (in millions)
  7. Accommodation statistics in December and in the course of 2014 ( memento of the original from May 12, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. Top 10 tourism destinations - nights spent at tourist accommodation establishments, 2013 (million nights spent in the country by non-residents)
  9. Climate killer tourism: How vacationers travel in an environmentally friendly way. In: FOCUS Online.
  10. The tourist climate footprint. (PDF) WWF Germany , 2009, accessed on April 29, 2016 .
  11. Julian: Sustainable Travel - 10 Tips ? |. October 26, 2018, accessed on February 20, 2019 (German).