All Articles Tagged "international travel"
Traveling internationally can be fun and exciting, but also scary and intimidating. You are in a foreign land unsure of the customs and lifestyle and the worry over causing some sort of international incident by committing a cultural faux pas can be intense. But there are a few things you can do to ensure you international jaunt goes great.
Dispatches coming out of the Middle East report non-stop bombings, oppressed women and unimaginable oil wealth. But, of course, there’s much more to the region, and Jordan is a prime example.
Tucked at the center of Egypt, Israel, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, the small nation is chockablock with paradisiacal escapes, spiritual landmarks, archaeological wonders, even pop-culture destinations (remember the desert mountain horse chase scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade?).
Definitely a destination to put on your “Must List,” we’ve put together a guide for where to go and what to do. Check out visitjordan.com for more info.
Michelle Thornhill’s first trip abroad — in fact, her first time on an airplane — was for a visit to Finland when she was 17 years old. It was not only a voyage beyond her familiar surroundings, it was an eye-opening experience that Thornhill, now the senior VP of Diverse Segments for Wells Fargo, describes as “transformative.”
In a special guest column, Thornhill offers advice for making the international excursion of your dreams a reality. From the start, you have to be prepared for one thing above all else: “tradeoffs.”
Click through to the next page to read on.
With the economy still in a downturn and gas prices skyrocketing, for some traveling may be seem like a distant, unattainable dream. Still Forbes reports that 53 percent of consumers look forward to traveling even more in 2012 than last year, even with a shaky confidence in the economy. Two-thirds of these traveling consumers want to increase their travel budgets. If you’re a travel-loving, vacation-craving and adventure-seeking person included in this percentage, there are ways to get around without breaking your budget. Here are a few tips:
If you can’t get afford to get away for a week or two, think about a weekend trip. But try thinking beyond your typical out-of-town by the pool or beach kind of getaway. Sites such as the up and coming Vayable offer a new and unique kind of experience created and hosted by local residents in communities around the world. Activities range from a Tesla Roadster ride in San Francisco, touring with celebrities to touring an eco-farm in Costa Rica or a nightlife tour of underground Berlin. The average adventure on this site ranges from $30-$60, but there are also some offers that will only run you $3.
If you can afford to take a week-long trip, think of more affordable destinations. By traveling to lesser-known but still interesting places you skip the inflated prices offered to tourist as well as the crowds. For instance, instead of traveling to Paris, France try Metz, France. The prices drops drastically from around $3,000 for the flight and six-day hotel stay to only $813 a person. Sites such as Wanderfly help you find and budget these lesser-known traveling destinations.
Lastly, do an extended meaningful holiday trip. Abroad volunteer work or “voluntourism,” allows you to have immerse yourself in another culture through a unique and impactful vacation. Habitat for Humanity is a good place to start looking for these voluntourism experiences.
Keep in mind that foreign transaction fees can add unnecessary costs to your experience. Try to find a card with no foreign transaction fees such as the Capital One Venture Card. In addition, the Capital One Cash Card has great travel rewards and no annual fee. Now that you’ve got a few ideas to get your thinking about travel both domestically and internationally, start thinking creatively and plan your next trip!
(Black Enterprise) — Taking a vacation can be more stressful than restful. From the cost to the tedious details of planning to finding your way through foreign cities—traveling can be intimidating—especially for the novice adventurer. Despite the hassle, getting “out there” is an invaluable asset to both your personal and professional life, raising your awareness about cultures outside of your own and giving you the opportunity to become more worldly. That’s why a growing number of black travel bloggers are stressing the importance of travel, especially for African Americans.
(Black Enterprise) — If your summer travel plans will take you abroad, youmight be a little bit concerned that all the fun activities you’re planning may wreak havoc on your finances. Fortunately, going overseas doesn’t have to be a budget killer, as long as you travel smart and do some planning ahead of time. Here’s how to get the most for your travel dollar on your next international vacation.
Score Flights for Less: Airline tickets are likely to be one of your biggest travel costs if you’re heading out of the country. Whether you’re going off to Italy, Brazil, Egypt or elsewhere, try these suggestions to land terrific airfare bargains.
(Bankrate) — As college tuition continues to skyrocket, studying abroad may appear an academic luxury. But for even the financially neediest of students, study abroad remains within reach, experts say. So instead of putting the brakes on your kid’s desire to roam the world, it’s time to get that passport ready. ”The biggest thing in study abroad, if budget is a big concern, is that the student plan ahead,” says Brett Berquist, executive director of the Office of Study Abroad for Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich. “An awful lot of students, particularly in public schools, end up making the choice of study abroad toward the end (of their academic career). And when they wait that long, they often miss the opportunity to really compete for big scholarships.”
(Bankrate) — In addition to the weak dollar and rising airfare, travelers headed overseas this summer have yet another headache to contend with: the possibility that their credit card might not work, especially at unattended kiosks in train stations or tollbooths. That’s because the United States is one of the few countries that has not adopted the chip and PIN credit card system in place of magnetized strips. The U.S. pay infrastructure is set up so after you swipe your credit card, “the terminal instantly contacts the bank’s servers and asks for authorization,” says Philippe Benitez, a vice president of secure transactions for Gemalto, a digital security firm that also provides chip-based cards. “This mechanism has worked well for the U.S., and they’ve been able to keep fraud at an acceptable level for banks.”
Africa has a lot to offer the eager traveler. From the fledgling drummer drawn to the music, to the student of politics trying to wrap one’s mind around apartheid’s legacy, to the seeker in search of a personal connection to their ancestral homeland, the continent extends its welcome. And while it’s certainly possible to go on one’s own, some may want to enlist the help of a travel professional. The Atlanta Post has rounded up eleven black companies that specialize in coordinating tours from the US. While all help with standard requirements like airfare, accommodation, tour guides, translation, etc., some go further, organizing trips that explore such concepts as spiritual development or investment opportunities. Whatever your interest, you’re bound to find a firm that can assist you in realizing the ideal travel experience.
Opening its doors in 1955, Henderson Travel considers itself the first full-service, black-owned travel company to operate in the United States. In 1957 when commercial travel between the US and Africa did not exist, Freddye and Jake Henderson chartered a flight to Ghana to celebrate its independence. Today the founders’ daughter, Gaynelle Henderson-Bailey, heads the firm, continuing a long tradition of promoting African travel. Itineraries reach across Africa and, of late, Brazil, where African culture has strong resonance.
(Smart Money) — Searching the web recently for an affordable international trip to take with friends, Suzanne Powell found a $550 three-night getaway to Iceland, including airfare. Extending the trip to five nights bumped the price up to about $900, but it was still the best deal around. “All the other places we’d discussed, the airfare alone was that expensive,” says Powell, who says she’s looking forward to lounging in Iceland’s geothermal spas, touring on the land on ponies and visiting the infamous Eyjafjallajökull volcano.
Iceland is one of a handful of destinations hit especially hard by the financial crisis of 2008, along with Greece, Portugal and Ireland, where hotel rates are still down, vacation hotspots are less crowded and getaway packages are on deep discount. Consider: During 2010, hotel rates in popular and more economically stable destinations such as London and Paris jumped 13% and 7%, respectively, to $210 per night, according to the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index. But the average nightly rate in Athens dropped 10% to $132, and continues to fall. A seven-day packaged trip to Ireland now costs $800 per person, including airfare, hotel and car rental, down 11% from 2008 — and $500 less than some of the cheapest July flights to Rome.