Traveling internationally is a special experience that can truly expand your world. Overseas trips require a bit more prep work than domestic ones—but your anticipation while planning such a journey is half the fun. Here are some things to keep in mind.
International flights aren’t cheap but buying in advance—though not too far in advance—can save you money. The least expensive time to buy international plane tickets is 160 days before travel to Europe, 120 days for Asia and 110 days for South America, according to research from CheapAir.com.
Be aware of any festivals or major events at your destination that might drive up demand and require earlier purchasing. Also consider going outside of peak season. For example, if you’re arriving at Pisa for your stay at the Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Borgo alle Vigne, you might want to stay during early spring, late fall or winter rather than summer when flights to Italy are the priciest.
Think about how you’ll get around once you’re at your destination. If you’re going to rent a car, check to see whether you’ll have insurance coverage through your auto policy or credit card.
Going to The Bay Forest Odawara by Hilton Club in Odawara, Japan, and want to drive to Mount Fuji (pictured above)? You’ll need an international permit, plus the knowledge that cars travel on the left side of the road and the driver’s seat is on the right.
If you’re traveling by train or subway, research whether it makes more sense to buy tickets one at a time or get a weekly or monthly pass. Flights between cities and countries in Europe and Asia are often reasonably priced and provide a much quicker trip than a train—though you won’t see the countryside.
There’s a fine line between planning and over-planning. Select a few must-dos at your destination, such as visiting Balmoral castle while staying at the Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Craigendarroch Suites in Scotland. But also embrace spontaneity—sit in a pub and ask locals where to have dinner, or go for a walk without knowing where you’ll end up.
Finally, check if any vaccines are recommended for your trip. After all, you’ll want to be healthy for your big adventure.
*Photo by peaceful-jp-scenery/Flickr.