When traveling abroad most travelers have set their focus on a particular vacation destination or cruise itinerary.
By the time they actually begin their travel they have spent countess hours reading travel guides, selecting hotels, and figuring out how to get around their destination or cruise port to experience the culture for themselves. This often involves making choices in where they stay, and for how long to stay within their budget.
What is often overlooked is the journey to their destination.
The experience of domestic air travel has trained us to expect very little relaxation from flying and to view airfare as a commodity purchase; it is what it is and there is little brand loyalty when it comes to getting from point A to Point B, lowest price wins our business.
But when traveling internationally there can be considerable differences in what your money buys in terms of comfort and convenience. International airlines tend to offer better amenities and service for even their economy class cabins with most offering meal service and entertainment as a standard of their basic fare. Further, international carriers are in a very competitive segment of the industry and take great pains to differentiate themselves from each other. There can be major differences in experience between carriers for essentially the same fare and this is one area where a professional agent can really make a difference in the overall enjoyment of your vacation; let a travel professional help you select the right carrier, they are not all the same.
Another point often overlooked by independent travelers is the use of domestic airlines in a destination country to expand your vacation and see more of a region at comparably little additional cost. Many foreign airlines still operate under significant governmental control and tend to have some degree of domestic price controls and generally higher levels of standard service. I have often flown Thai Airways to get to destinations outside Bangkok like Chiang Mai in the North or Koh Samui on the Bay of Thailand; it has always been relaxing, efficient and affordable making even a business class upgrade a no brainer.
Perhaps my favorite travel tip is to use the airline phenomena of hub and gateway cities to make the most of your investment in international airfare. Flying to Asia or Europe can involve long flights, and because of the concept of gateway airports, it makes economic and practical sense to take advantage of your investment and add several days to your vacation and enjoy these gateway destinations. You’ll get a greater return for your investment and by breaking up your journey be more rested and able to enjoy the entire travel experience.
My all time favorite city in Asia is Hong Kong and I never tire of spending time there. If I’m going to China, Bali, Thailand or other Asian vacation destinations I always plan my trip to arrive in Hong Kong or to depart from there; in fact its hard to avoid going through Hong Kong so why not add that to your trip! Singapore is another good example of a common connection point that is itself a fabulous vacation spot.
It can be intimidating to contemplate building a more complex itinerary but can make your travel dollars go farther and greatly enhance your overall experience.
The journey should not be something you endure to get to your destination.
A TripIndulge agent can work with you to craft the perfect vacation and we never charge a fee if you book with us. Give us a call and let us help you plan that next great adveture!