Planning a trip around the world, How to travel for cheap
By: Staff (justin) 2012.03.04
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80 Ways Around the World: Planning Your Trip
Use these tips, compiled from books, brochures, travel agents and other experts, to plan your next trip.
VOLUNTEERING AND TEACHING
Choosing (6 months before departure)
* Visit your school's international resource library and read a bit about different countries.
Write to each city's tourist office (addresses at any travel agency) to receive free information about the city.
* Decision Time: Go to travel bookstore. Buy a travel guide and best maps available.
San Diego: Rand McNally (619) 234-3341, Travel Depot (619) 483-1421, Barnes & Noble (619) 674-1055
Orange County: Rand McNally (714) 545-9907, Borders Books (714) 367-0005
Los Angeles: California Map & Travel Center (310) 396-6277, www.mapper.com, Rand McNally (818) 242-6277 or (310) 556-2202
Santa Barbara: Magellan's (800) 962-4943
Planning (5 months before departure)
a.Tours can be worthwhile if you know how they work. College tours organize group tours with others near your age around the world. Tour operators only make money off day-by-day excursions and commission on what you buy. But you can use the tour to get to a city, have a good accommodation and then venture out on your own.
- TOUR RADAR click here for a listing of all tours you can choose from around the world
- CONTIKI tours for 18-35 year olds (800) CONTIKI
- TREK America for 18-38 year olds (800) 221-0596
- Road Runner (800) TREK USA
b. Independent travel takes more time in planning, but you will have your own itinerary, or no itinerary, as opposed to tour's schedule. Traveling solo, with a partner, or multiple travel partners each has its Good and Bad. If traveling solo, read books by others who have traveled solo for information. Travel partners work if there is a mutual give-take on what to see and do. Go on a day and night camping trip with the person(s) and talk about what each wants from the trip. See how you feel after one day with him/her and multiply by 30. Will solve problems. Multiple travel partners can save a lot of money in car rental and accommodations, but everyone traveling together without a leader or without splitting into smaller groups is a disaster waiting to happen.
Purchasing (3 months before departure)
* Travel agents are important for finding the best prices for airline flights, transportation, student discount cards, tours and insurance.
* Airlines-understand airline terminology. "Open jaws" is flying to one city and leaving from another cityinstead of having to return to original destination. "Open ended" is leaving your departure date open.
* Trains vs. Cars-depends on distance between cities and time spent in each city. Use a train to travel long distance to major cities. Use a car to out-of-way places closer together. Or use both at different parts in travel.
a. Trains-Europe is the most likely place you will travel by train. Choose from point to point tickets, Eurail Pass (consecutive days and months) to fit any itinerary. See your travel agent or call Rail Europe at (800)4-EURAIL for more information. Check on countries that use train passes. Buy Thomas Cook Timetable for different routes.
* Automobile-car rental companies cringe at people under 25 using their cars. In the U.S., only Alamo and Dollar, with offices worldwide offer rentals to this age group, with an additional $25 a day for use. Hertz has locations in 120 countries Alamo Rent a Car (800) 522-9696, Auto Europe (800) 223-5555, Hertz (800) 654-3001. Ask about options for leasing to buy that more car rental companies offer for long time travelers. Buy Int'l Drivers License at AAA $10.
* Accommodations-4 different ways to sleep overseas and cost range: Camping, hostels, pensions, hotels.
- Camping($10): Good-cheapest of all beside train station. Usually bathrooms and showers. Con: lugging gear.
- Hostels($20+setup fee): Good-meet other travelers,mini tours. Con: curfews, little privacy. Hostelling International (202) 783-6161, www.hiayh.org
- Pensions($25): Good-Key to own room with sheets. Con: share shower, still not safe to leave valuables.
- Hotel ($40): Good-own key, own shower, no curfew, TV. Con: not many if you can pay the price. Mostly tours.
* Discount Cards
International Student ID Card. Discounts for hostels, attractions, transportation + basic medical insurance. Buy at campus travel agencies $18.
Student Travel Network Student Ticket saves 50% on published fares and flexibility in change of plans. Call (213) 937-6274 for more information.
* Passports- Two passport photos from most camera stores and birth certificate are needed for passport. Application at your county's federal building. Cost $65 for 4-6 weeks delivery ($30 addition for same day). Call (800) 688-9889 (ext. 6) for more information
* Visas-Some countries ask for visas to ensure visitors don't stay for good. Call Center of Int'l Travel and Business at (800) 925-2428 for those countries.
* Insurance and medical information.-In case your trip is suddenly canceled, you have to leave for home early, your baggage is stolen, or you have a medical emergency. Call for more information.
- Access America (800) 284-8300
- Council Travel (800) 423-3632
- The Center for Disease Control has information on health concerns in many countries (404) 332-4559
- Int'l Assoc. Medical Assistants gives names of English speaking doctors in foreign countries (716) 754-4883.
Good Rule: Take half of what you want.
On the Road
* Upon arriving to a new city, go to the visitor center for local festival information, discounts, and accommodation availability.