The world has changed a lot over the past century. Thanks to the invention of airplanes and high-speed trains, the world is now widely open to travel. After a day we can travel to the other end of the world without using our savings throughout our lives. We also have a number of options open to us to help us plan our trips, and choosing wisely can help save you time and money.
1. Travel agents. Many people have the misconception that using a travel agent involves paying a fee. Nonsense. In fact, most travel agents receive commissions from sellers (airlines, hotels, travel agencies); they are the ones who pay the fee, not you. The travel agent has access to deals that are often not available anywhere else. He or she can help you take the headache out of planning by letting you sit and relax while the logistics are outlined. Another bonus is that travel agents often include travel insurance in their packages to ensure you get what you pay for.
2. Internet. With the widespread use of the World Wide Web, travel prices have dropped significantly. Using travel sites like Orbitz, Expedia and Travelocity, buyers can find lower prices than ever before for hotels, hotels and package deals. The downside? Finding the best travel deals often takes a lot of time and patience as you compare prices with other sites and direct bookings. Another downside is that you can always find availability with these lower prices, but it's good to plan right at home.
3. Guides. Tried and true, guides are the traveler's best friend. Experienced travel writers research and compile guidebooks based on their own experience, and who better to give advice to than someone who has been there? Depending on your preferred level of luxury, you will surely find a guide to suit your needs. Best of all, guides are often available at your local library – for free!
4. Reservation direct. Sometimes travel companies will offer special offers to clients who book directly. This is especially true with travel and cruise companies that advertise travel deals to repeat customers. You can often find prices as low as half price (or lower) if you book at the last minute. If you have the flexibility and determination, this may be the way to go.
In any case, the trip opens our eyes to worlds our ancestors could never have dreamed of visiting. Whether you're traveling around the world or just in a city, a little careful planning and an open mind can allow you to live a lifetime. Happy Travel!