The Building Blocks of Your Journey
Have a Nice Journey! | Have a Good Time! | Enjoy Yourself! — These phrases are heard very often, when referring to upcoming vacations and have a special meaning with regard to overseas ones. But what has to be done in order for you to have a nice journey, great vacations and enjoy yourself?
There are two answers to the question, which we can think of:
either turn for help to specialists, having travel business as their profession (tour operators and travel agents) or you can compile your journey all by yourself.
On our website you'll find all the elements required to actually build yourself a nice, smooth, pleasant and carefree journey, have fantastic vacations and thoroughly enjoy yourself. So here they are:
1. Choose your preferred mode of transport to the place of supposed vacations. We've put the topic on the first place, while exactly it often accounts for the main part of our travel expenses. But here usually you can choose between flight (tips for booking flights cheaply), railway (booking railway tickets in Europe), bus (booking bus tickets in Europe and the US), rental car and ridesharing options (rental cars and ridesharing in Europe).
All the listed alternatives to flights and taxis (yes, you shouldn't neglect the last one, it can be more expensive, than your air ticket, proved through our personal experience in Norway), if not take into account quite special types of travel such as cruises (or places where you can get only by plane, for example), will provide you an opportunity for significant savings.
And it also possible to get great deals on your airfare, if you know when and where to book your tickets, how to avoid air ticket scam and take into consideration such factors as free baggage allowance or pet travel fees (if it's relevant in your particular case, more info you'll find on the page Tips for booking flights cheaply).
So, if you want to learn to travel on budget, visit the links in our links in the Transport section of our website.
2. Provide yourself with appropriate accommodation. Here again, usually, but not exclusively (we won't speak about rental property, for example), you have to chose between hotels and B&Bs/Guest Houses.
In one word: local flavor & affordability vs conveniences & (perhaps, but not necessary) luxuries.
Depending on your personal preferences, see either How to book a room in a hotel cheaply or Find best B&Bs and guesthouses.
3. Provide yourself with valid health insurance. It's not only advisable to have a decent one, when visiting another state, but in some cases it's compulsory and necessary in order to obtain permission to enter a specific country (visa).
For more information on travel insurance (including from international insurers and extreme adventure sports coverage) at Travel medical insurance page.
4. Stay connected during your travels. A smartphone / tablet / laptop will allow you to stay in touch with your friends, family and the outside world in general absolutely free of charge, at the same time using abroad cell phone plans of your domestic mobile network operators (even with activated international options) can get really expensive, so it'd make sense (will be much less expensive) to have a mobile phone equipped with a SIM card of a regional service provider for cheap local calls while being abroad.
International calling cards (though at the moment it's perhaps even more relevant to call this type of cervices simply access numbers) must also not be ignored if you want to be able to make cheap international calls.
For more info you can read Staying connected while traveling abroad.
There're still other communication devices: walkie-talkie is one of them, though somewhat limited in its range, but with some imagination you can find for it an application and not only while being engage in outdoor activities.
5. If applicable, provide yourself with a valid visa! It's very important. And often exactly this item must be the first on your list. You can ask us, why is it the last one in our list? And the truthful answer will be: because our company doesn't meddle (for the time being perhaps) in visa questions. So we leave it where it is :).
And for you here's a link to the page of Wikipedia on the Visa policy of the Schengen Area with a nice map or for those of you who prefer lists here's another one from schengenvisainfo.com.
6. When traveling, there can always appear unforeseen circumstances and additional costs associated with them. To avoid unpleasant situations, even before you travel, try to get the necessary information about the currency of the country you are going to visit, the ways of sending money to that country and the options for receiving it. In some countries it is also quite easy to open a bank account or apply for a credit or debit card.