When is your next vacation? You need this vacation planner and these tips to make sure you have the best vacation ever!
We just got back from Paris and it was an amazing trip! I learned a few things that you should know as the family vacation planner!
To make it easier for you, I have this vacation planner printable so you can have all your details in one place. I like to have hard copies to look at because sometimes the internet isn’t as great when you travel. It also has a place for you to have a budget.
Vacation Planner For An International Trip + Tips
Tip #1 To Vacation Planning – Make A Plan
It’s important to make your plan. Once you know where to visit, decide what attractions you want to visit the most. This will help you determine where you want to stay.
When we went to Paris, I knew that I really wanted to spend the most time at the Eiffel Tower. So when I booked our hotel – it was just a few minutes from the Eiffel Tower.
Make a list of all the tourist attractions you want to visit. We wanted to visit the Arc De Triomphe, Louvre, Trocadéro, and Disneyland. Then we made our plan on what day we would visit each attraction so we could plan our transportation.
Tip #2 – Use a Cashback website when you book your travel
I love to get paid to shop online! So when I buy anything online – I try to see if I can get cashback. This even includes your airline tickets, hotels, rental cars, attraction tickets and more!
Here is a look at some of the cashback I got from TopCashBack from our Paris Vacation:
- $53.65 for our Hotel in Paris
- $22.01 on some of our attraction entrance tickets we bought through Expedia
- $4.13 on a hotel we stayed at the night before we left
Every little bit helps! So use a cashback website like TopCashBack or Rakuten to get small amounts of money back from your vacation. I check both of them to see who pays back better and if they are close I prefer TopCashBack because they pay out faster.
In my experience with a family, vacation packages aren’t always the cheapest so look around for deals. But if you are traveling with a spouse or friend, you may find a really great deal!
Tip #3 – Get International Health Insurance
Many people do not think about this when they are taking an international trip because they just assume their health insurance will pay for anything when they are traveling. But most of the time, that isn’t true! A short term international health insurance plan is really affordable and could save you so much money if you need medical care while traveling.
For example: I have Humana. If I had to see a doctor or go to a hospital while we were in Paris I would have had to pay those bills and then submit my bills to Humana. They would decide if it was something they would cover and if they did cover it, it would be at an out-of-network reimbursement.
There is also the possibility that you would have to be flown back to the US on a medical flight and that would be a very expensive trip. International Health Insurance would cover you in both of these situations. They have different levels of coverage and are very affordable.
Since we lived overseas for so long, we have had great international health insurance coverage for long term and short term trips thru International Health Insurance. They have been helping me for over 15 years and if you have any questions, email them at [email protected] and they will help you.
You can click through and find different companies that offer these services and pick different coverages and deductibles. We paid $63.99 for 5 people for 9 days of coverage. This policy covered us at 1 million dollars and we would have only had to pay only a $500 deductible.
It’s totally worth it!
Tip #4 – International Travel Money Tips
Nowadays you don’t need so much foreign currency when you travel. Maybe some for tips and street vendors but you can pretty much use a credit card everywhere you go. It is also better to use a credit card because you get the best exchange rate.
Visa and MasterCard are the most accepted overseas. You can use American Express at some places but you will hardly find places that take a Discover Card. Make sure you have at least 2 credit cards with you and keep 1 in the hotel safe in case you lose a card.
Notify your credit card company that you will be traveling so that they know it’s you making the charges. You will also want to see if you have credit cards that do not charge you a foreign transaction fee.
Get foreign currency before you leave. People usually say you can just get it at the airport – but that is crazy expensive. I only wanted to exchange about $50 USD into Euros and the currency exchange place in the Atlanta airport changed me $9.95 just to use their service and then a percentage to make the exchange. (I was so mad!)
If you have a Bank of America or Chase account you can go online and order foreign currency to be picked up at your local bank. (I’m sure other banks do it but I know these banks do it.) Make sure you order the currency about 10 days before your trip so it arrives on time.)
Also, find out if your bank has a partner bank in the country you are visiting. You can usually withdraw money from that ATM without fees and you will get a good exchange rate. (Check with your bank to see if this is an option.)
Tip #5 – Check all your travel documents
Check the country’s passport and visa requirements before you travel. Many countries want your passport to be valid for a few months after your stay – so check your expiration date! Most countries make it pretty easy to enter when you are on a vacation.
These are just a few things to think about to make your vacation easier and a little more affordable! Do you have any tips to help make international travel easier?