International travel is an expensive and time-consuming exercise. Many of us go on international trips either for business or work related trips, to visit families, for studies in foreign countries or just for a vacation. Here are some tips to make this travel pleasant and easy on you and your pockets.
Planning your trip:
Plan your trip well in advance, if possible. This presents you an opportunity to get better air ticket deals. Airfares for international travels are seasonal. There are three main seasons: Low, Shoulder and Peak. Traveling in peak season is always the most expensive. If your trip is not time bound, plan to travel in the low season to get cheapest and low airfares. For travel in peak season, shop for deals well in advance. This assures you good price, your choice of airlines and your choice of dates. If possible, keep the travel dates flexible, as that would help you in getting lower fares. There is a notion that you can get cheap air tickets if you wait till the last minute. This is not necessarily true and during the peak season, you may run the risk of not getting a seat on any airlines at all.
There are many ways on how you can save money. Many airlines have different fares for weekday and weekend travel. If you are planning to break your journey midway, some airlines offer free stopovers while others charge a fee. Sometimes, direct / non-stop flights are expensive than the ones with one or more stops. Less known airlines can offer hard to resist deals. You can either call individual airlines to get their air fares and then compare or search on travel websites, which offer online booking facilities. While calling individual airlines can be a time consuming and tedious process, online booking sites may not be the right option if you have a few twists in your trip. And both these options may not give you access to the promotional and discount fares. The best bet will be to call a travel agent and let them do the job for you.
Travel agents are a good source to get great deals. They can help you in finding deals with more than one airline and can offer tickets for discounted prices. They have access to almost all airlines and have the expertise to search for the cheapest tickets in the market. Travel agents are a great source of information. Do not hesitate to ask them questions. They can provide valuable tips on how you can save money. Travel agents deal with more than one traveler at a time and hence may not be able to give you the details in the first call. Give them your trip details and give them some time and they can come up with really good deals for you. Travel agents are easy to spot as many of them have websites. A travel agency with excellent customer service is an asset. Some travel sites like (http://www.TravelWorldServices), (http://www.LowfareAlways.com), etc. offer personalized over-the-phone services on travel to various destinations across the world.
There are several travel agencies around the world. However, it is important that you choose the right travel agency, which offers the best customer service at the cost of a few additional dollars. This is better than booking the ticket online or offline through a travel agency who may offer really cheap deal but may end up not delivering you the ticket or not confirming your seats.
So the first step to planning your next international trip is to get yourself a really good travel agent.