Summer is the time for travel. For families, kids are out of school, the weather is nice, there is more temptation to take time off and run away for a while to some exotic or not so exotic land. In terms of the exotic, international travel is becoming more and more popular, with 60% of people saying that they are interested in planning a trip to a foreign country. Logically, however, given financial situations and the difficulties that can accompany a trip across national borders or vast oceans, only about 14% of people are planning international vacations this summer.
Because of the increased demand for international travel, flight costs are going up, so it makes more sense for those planning a summer vacation to buy the tickets in advance. Many sites also offer deals. One that might be particularly useful to summer travelers is a program that sends customers a refund check if their flight is found to be cheaper from another site, or at a later date, after the ticket has already been purchased.
Hipmunk, the same site that reported the international summer travel statistics, has created a list of destinations that will give travelers the best deal on an international excursion, with prices listed for the summer months. Some tips for the cheapest international travel include: planning a trip for European destinations like Prague and Rome in May, because it is the least expensive month to travel to many European destinations; staying in a small hotel or apartment, which is typically cheaper than a large resort hotel, and offers more privacy; and this summer, Istanbul is the least expensive European destination for travelers, with a plane ticket costing about $1181 on average. (Of course, the current large-scale protests in Turkey are probably discouraging tourism there at the moment.)
Hipmunk also offers a list of the top five least expensive destinations in Europe for the summer months. Those planning a summer trip with family or friends should consider, in additional to Istanbul, Madrid, London, Prague, and Rome. All good cities for travelers looking to explore the world, these destinations have average flight costs that aren’t cheap, given the rising cost of international flights, but won’t break the bank either.
For those 60% of travelers looking for a vacation but not sure where to start, consider a program that offers luxury vacations that can be crafted to fit individual needs, are pre-planned, and provide housing and an itinerary. With the option to vary the quality of living arrangements, price of meals, and costs of items on the itinerary, these vacations can be crafted for those of greater or lesser means, and for a variety of interests. The website Zicasso offers a great planned luxury vacation program, with destinations on every continent. Zicasso also offers travel reviews, so that travelers can pick from the various tours to find exactly what they want, and make the most educated decision about their international excursion.
For small companies with few employees, programs like the Zicasso tours can be great as incentives for good work in the office, or as a company retreat. Instead of renting out a large space, small companies may get a more authentic experience out of a retreat that involves travel and excitement, rather than just drinks in a hotel ballroom. Because small companies have fewer employees, the cost wouldn’t be too bad, and the logistics of the tour can be varied to suit the needs of the company – particularly if working around a conference or event, or within a specific budget.