How to divorce your travel agent and plan your own trip
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How to divorce your travel agent and plan your own trip

When thinking about international travel, the first thought most people have is to hire a travel agent. Why? In several years of traveling, I have never been able to find a travel agent that can beat the offer I found for myself. It takes a little more time, yes, but it makes the trip more valuable when you realize you are the one who designed the trip. It’s yours.

Research your goals The first thing you have to do is research your goals. If, for example, you go to England, decide whether it will be better if you drive or take the train. If you decide to drive, you need to investigate things like insurance, road rules, and mileage. You also need to find out what interests you – do you want to see historic sites? Do you want to visit an amusement park? What do you think is fun? Use the internet to find tourism sites for the area, but don’t ignore YouTube or a simple internet search to find out what other people find in the area.

Cut your biggest expenses The first cost you will encounter on international travel is your plane ticket. There are many sites out there that will be useful for you. ,, and only three sites. Some sites allow you to receive email alerts when prices drop. Start searching for a few months and make sure you check the closest airport. It seems strange, but sometimes smaller airports can have better offers than bigger ones. Check daily rates or at least every day.

For hotels in Europe, I have found that it is best to mix and match. Travelodge or Premier Inns are cheap hotels that are good for the wallet, but also great for shopping a little. Bed and breakfasts are one reasonably-priced way to do that. Don’t forget to take into account that you save money on breakfast!

One way to find cheap hotels is to type “cheap Paris hotels” and see the results. Make sure you check the reviews on the hotel, before ordering!

For transportation, one cheap car rental place is. Just type in your destination and the site attracts the best prices it has. If you can find a cheaper rate through a rental agency, an AutoEurope customer service agent will often match it. Also, check to see how much it costs for gas in your chosen location. If you live close to big cities, it might be better to stay by train or bus, because it’s not easy to drive in big cities. If you plan to drive and visit a big city, plan the city to be the last and drop the car beforehand. Paying for parking is often expensive.

Despite the current economy, travel is still a luxury you should not miss! With a little planning, you can enjoy a pleasant vacation and go right where YOU want it. There are no pre-packaged offers for you!