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Ask A Philadelphia Expert: Tips For Traveling Internationally On A Budget

Many eager travelers are put off by the high prices and seemingly insurmountable amount of preparation it takes to travel abroad. But with the right research and advice, you can have your dream vacation on a tight budget and with minimal stress. It all depends on the planning, and Chesley Turner, marketing and communications manager for World Travel, Inc., has some tips to get you on your way.

Chesley Turner
World Travel, Inc.
1050 E. Philadelphia Ave.
Gilbertsville, PA 19525
(610) 367-9390

When it comes to your vacation, it always helps to have advice from an insider, says Chesley Turner, Marketing and Communications Manager for World Travel Inc.

Founded in 1983 outside of Philadelphia, World Travel Inc. is proud to be the largest travel management company in the United States today to have grown organically, without mergers or acquisitions. The company serves hundreds of dedicated World Travel clients from five reservation centers, 75-plus in-house branch offices and 92 ticket locations throughout the United States.

To provide CBS with tips for traveling internationally on a budget, Turner turned to the company's highly qualified team of vacation travel specialists located in Gilbertsville, PA. With more than 150 years of combined experience in the travel and vacation planning industry, the team of six highly qualified travel experts served up the following important tips for planning your next international vacation or business trip.

Start Your Travel Search Early

How early your search starts depends on when you plan to go. For holidays such as Christmas or Thanksgiving, you'll want to plan your trip at least a year in advance. There's usually limited space and everyone is trying to get away during those times of year. For spring break, start planning early, too, especially if interested in Mexico, the Dominican Republic or Jamaica. These islands offer many all-inclusive vacations which are popular and fill up quickly with spring vacationers.

Know Your Destination's Peak Season

Europe's busy season tends to be from June to September, advises World Travel Inc., which makes summertime the most expensive time to travel. To cut costs, try traveling during the "shoulder" season of April/May or October/November, when it's often cheaper and less crowded but the weather is still pleasant. Want to save even more? Try a "Winter in Europe" vacation, as wintertime is typically the cheapest time to visit.

Consider Booking An Escorted Tour

There are tour companies to fit every budget, the travel experts at World Travel explain. Consumers often think they can get a better deal booking everything separately, but by the time they've returned home, they find they've spent more than the cost of a tour and it wasn't nearly as relaxing an experience as they were expecting.

Related: Top Sightseeing Tours In Philadelphia

Check Your Passport, Credit Card and Phone

For some countries, your passport must be valid six months post-travel dates. Each country is different and a travel agent can check it for you. Also, before you travel abroad, contact your credit card company. They will often decline a charge abroad unless you've notified them ahead of time. They might even have a fee for international purchases, usually at least two percent. And don't forget to notify your cell phone provider about where you are traveling to avoid high roaming charges.

Travel Insurance Is Suggested, No Matter What The Budget

Travel insurance doesn't just cover cancellations; it also covers you while you're on vacation. If you trip and fall and need medical attention, you won't be asked for your insurance company, you'll be asked for cash or credit card. That can be a huge out-of-pocket expense. Having trip insurance means you can submit receipts for your medical treatment and get reimbursed for the cost of that treatment, provided it's covered. Insurance may also cover you when facing flight cancellations or flight delays. Once you've used insurance, you will never travel without it.

Related: Ask The Expert: Top Ways To Prepare For A Spring Break Staycation In Philadelphia

Book Through A Travel Agent

An experienced travel professional can save you time, money and prevent stress, advises the World Travel team of experts, who, collectively, have traveled extensively throughout most of the world. With the internet at their fingertips, warns World Travel, individual travelers are often overwhelmed with the volume of information that they have no way of verifying. An experienced travel agent acts as the traveler's advocate, ensuring the traveler realizes the best value while experiencing the maximum enjoyment from the travel experience. Additionally, adds World Travel, Inc., a qualified agent can book most tour operators and cruise lines for you. "We never charge additional fees for package bookings" Turner told CBS, adding, "and we are always happy to match our competitor's pricing."

Christy Ayala covers sports, recreation, the outdoors, and leisure activities in the Philadelphia area. She earned a masters degree in recreation administration from George Williams College and managed programs in the Midwest, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. Her work can be found on

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