An Introduction to Plan Your Trip
Traveling from the United States to other countries is exciting but it can also be confusing. Here are tips to plan your trip around the world:
Make sure your passport is current. Your passport should not expire within 3-6 months of the start of your trip. Even if you are traveling to a US territory, invest in a passport.
To travel anywhere by plane within in the United States, you need what is called a REAL ID. So even if you think you won't go outside of the United States, an enhanced official ID or even a passport is needed.
Invest in both types of passport, including the card. You can use to the card to travel within the United States, as official ID for everyday life and to cross the border of some neighboring countries.
There are several ways to see other countries and different methods work for different areas of the world, sometimes more than one. For example, you can visit several Greek islands on land, by plane and by ferry and all the planning that goes with it or you can hit several islands in one week by cruise. Meanwhile, you can see at least 3 European countries in one week using a combo of planes and trains. You can get to there initially by plane and then travel within the continent by train or a smaller airline.
If you do not come from an area where public transportation is the norm, know that public transit is part of normal life in many cities and countries. Tip to plan your trip: try a domestic trip to a big US city to practice your touring skills before navigating Europe.
Of course, some people enjoy totally guided tours. All you have to do is show up. These trips are usually much more expensive but everything is done for you: lodging, dining, sightseeing, excursions, activities and more. There is some individual time built in.
As with all multiple stop flights, allow enough time to get to the next flight if you have a layover or have to change planes. You might also have to pick up your luggage, go to another terminal, check your luggage again and go through security again. However, long layovers don't have to be a total inconvenience. If your luggage is not checked through, check to see if storage is available and do a quick tour of the layover city. Allow enough time to get back to catch your flight.
Do you really need a luxury hotel? Maybe a boutique hotel or an apartment will be good for you. You might even find one close to the train station or bus terminal that gets you back to the airport without paying for a car service.
Sightseeing can be just that: seeing places without paying. Bad weather might prevent you from going up in the Eiffel Tower but you can still see it! The same goes for many famous sights. Figure out what is essential, pay for those and admire the others from outside.
Many cities now have city passes: one fee that covers admission to many of the major places. There are different levels, such as how many days and how many places. Also, some places have lower prices later in the day or on certain days of the week. Research these before you book your trip to see if the days will coincide.
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