Hey HIS fam!
So I just booked my first international flight and just thinking about it makes me want to scream like a 5 year-old who doesn't know what to do with herself!
The idea of booking your first international trip will do that to you . . . make you scream out loud from sheer excitement :D
Let's talk about one of the scariest moments, which is booking your first international flights.
Now I won't spill all my secrets here (you'll have to buy one of the HIS Travel Guides HERE), but there are certain steps you can take to be a more savvy traveler.
First, hands down shameless plug, get one of my HIS Travel Guides. It will save you a world of headache because I've provided a detailed excel that breaks it all down. You just simply have to type and save over with your own details and presto, DONE!
I actually love planning the details of trips so I've done the work for you, literally. Simply follow along and save over with your details. Also, once you buy one guide you can use it for future trips! The template is super easy to switch up and learn.
Hands down best investment you'll ever make for planning trips. Ever!
Okay, now here's are my top 3 for booking international flights:
1 - You want to fly out of a major city, if you don't live in one. Smaller cities can have nice, small, easy to maneuver airports. Leaving from them is super convenient because you're not driving hours to a bigger city and you don't have to worry about dealing with overwhelming crowds, getting lost finding a terminal and missing a flight. But honey, when you check those online prices it's worth it to drive hours to save hundreds (unless you have a circumstance that proves otherwise). For some reason a return flight can be $1,300 even though flying out may be $800 or so. Flying domestically I'm sure is less expensive to leave from a smaller home airport, but when flying international you'll be saving hundreds by driving a few hours and yes, that can include cost for gas, parking fees, and maybe even booking the night at a decent hotel. Use those savings towards experiences or shopping on your trip!
Pro Tip: If you have to drive more than 2 hours to a larger city it may be worth booking a hotel anyway to ensure you're well rested and not stressed or rushing dealing with last minute surprises. Always plan to give yourself enough time for those unexpected emergencies or delays. Always make sure you'll be comfortable and not too stressed or tired to enjoy the experience you're already spending so much on!
2- Did you know? You can and should check the quality of the airline online. One of everyone's biggest fears is an airline that sucks. Last minute delayed and cancelled flights. Lost baggage. You can actually see how well the airline you're considering has done in the past to try to avoid a nightmare experience!
Go to this website: https://www.transportation.gov/individuals/aviation-consumer-protection/air-travel-consumer-reports
The only thing is this report is monthly, so you won't be able to see the airline's details over the period of one year summed up in one report. The report provides details on the number of issues (from baggage to flight problems).
Use a simple control find to find the airline you're considering. Plan to succeed by allowing ample time to do your research, especially if it's your first time! I provide more details in one of my HIS Travel Guides.
3 - Depart the day before you want to arrive. When it comes to international travel don't forget the different time zones! Plan for success by allowing one full 24 hours in advance before your arrival. You can literally be flying into the next day and flights usually take 10+ hours depending on where you're going, so if you book your flight on the same day you plan to arrive you will find yourself already a day late (or early if the time zone you are flying to is behind your current time zone). Keep this in mind when booking your hotel reservations & activities as well.
To save yourself the stress, book your flight the day before you want to arrive. Also, read the fine print on the time zones when booking your flight. Most times the time reflected on the website and ticket will be the time zone of the location you're heading towards.
Pro Tip: As exciting as it may be to arrive in a new destination you need to allow time for the unexpected so it doesn't throw your plans for fun out the window! Booking a flight 1 day in advance helps, but it's also wise to have another full day of no plans to follow upon arrival to buffer any flight delays or cancellations! Once you land, give yourself another full day (or at least 3-4 hours) of just getting settled in. If all goes well with no flight delays you'll have extra time to explore and maybe do some of the fun things you had planned in advanced. That's much better than having to reschedule your fun due to a delayed or cancelled flight!
Don't book flights and fun activities back to back. Try to leave enough space in-between for unexpected delays. This is especially important when you're country hopping, trying to do the most!
Traveling the world has never been easier or more affordable (and it keeps getting better)!
Become a pro and snag one of my HIS Travel Guides for more pro tips to make the most out of your future travel investments. My guides provide an easy to plug in template for planning all of your trip details!
BONUS PRO TIP: Again, leave plenty of leeway on the day(s) you'll be flying between different countries because some will require you to get a visa in order to enter their country! There may be a long line and it's possible you can miss your connecting flight! Research the country's requirements for entry and make sure you have enough time to complete any transitioning before needing to board your next flight or starting your next activity. I know it can be tempting to squeeze in as much as possible, as quickly as possible but you gotta plan for those unexpected factors you don't have control over.
Happy flight booking!
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