Planning a vacation is pretty stressful, especially if it involves an entire family. Plane tickets and travel arrangements alone are a nightmare to sort out, never mind choosing sites to visit that will make everyone in the family happy. However, the most important thing to consider when planning an international trip is passports. By ensuring that all passports are in order you will reduce your stress and avoid incurring expedited passport fees.
Passports are documents allow for an individual to cross international borders, whether by land, air, or sea. Without these documents entry into a foreign country may be denied as well as re-entry back into the country of origin. For this reason it’s imperative that all members of your family have their passports including infants and children. Children used to be able to travel on their parents passports, however due to stricter laws to prevent child trafficking even infants need passports.
Airfare will most likely be the bulk of your financial burden for the vacation. This is why it’s important to shop around for airfares. It’s always better to try comparative search engine sites over direct company sites. It is recommended that you check at least three sites to get a good comparison and quote on flights for your family. When traveling with toddlers be sure to have all necessary items for them as well as ask for assistance, like pre-boarding options. This will help reduce stress levels while traveling as well.
Although in the United States it is not practice to haggle a hotel price down, it is common in foreign countries. Often by calling ahead of time and paying in advance you can significantly lower the price. Small owned hotels often have the owner behind the counter and they are much more likely to give you a discounted rate, especially if you pay up front. Also, hostels are another great way to reduce costs. Basically instead of renting a room, you’re renting a bed and most feature a meal too whether it is breakfast or dinner. Hostels are a great way to experience cultures too, as often you’re residing with people from other countries.
Just like you wouldn’t certain areas of New York City at night, you should be wary of the not so friendly areas of the destination you are visiting. Always check in with the hotel or hostel attendants and ask what the safe areas are. By staying in safe well lit areas you will avoid any trouble.
Keeping Documents Safe
Before leaving for your trip you should scan all important documents such as your passport, plane tickets, and driver’s license, anything that you will have on your person. This way if something goes wrong or you have a damaged passport or a stolen passport you have a back up copy. Depending on the country visiting pick-pocketing is common, and passports are coveted items. Some travel companies even recommend placing a decoy wallet in your back pocket and safety pinning a secret pocket in your pants or even carrying your money in your shoe.
By keeping these tips in mind when planning your family’s international trip you are sure to save money and reduce stress. Make sure all passports are in order to avoid having to get an expedited passport and remember that even infants and children need passports too. Once all passports are accounted for the fun planning can begin.