Despite heightened security concerns and policies, interest in international travel is on the rise, according to Cheapflights.com, which is seeing an increase in searches for international airline tickets. Cheapflights data for the first three weeks of January shows a 25% increase in search for international destinations versus the same three weeks last year. Top search destinations include Cancun, Mexico; London, UK; Manila, Philippines; San Juan, Costa Rica and Frankfurt, Germany. Likewise, the volume of Cheapflights users searching for international flights from January 1-20, 2010, is up 28% compared to searches from December 1-20, 2009, only weeks preceding the recent security changes. "While airports have implemented more restrictions in the last month, it hasn't deterred consumers from pursuing their travel plans," said Melanie Nayer, consumer travel expert at Cheapflights.com. "With the right preparation and research, now is a great time for international travel. Airlines are working hard to win your business, which means, with a little homework, you can get where you want to go on your terms, and budget." To help international travelers stay on schedule and get the best deal while flying, Cheapflights.com has compiled some essential tips for booking flights. Highlights include:
Are you aware of how the new security directives affect international travelers? If not, your first stop should be the TSA Guidance for Passengers on Heightened Security Measures. The new rules require travelers flying to the U.S. via countries on the Department of State's watch list to pass through enhanced screening. Other passengers may be randomly screened for U.S.-bound international flights.
To secure a great deal on international travel, be sure to plan ahead and explore your options. Private and unpublished fares are more common on international routes as airlines may give the cheapest deals to select partners and smaller agencies. Take advantage of our deals database and search for your cheap international flights at http://www.cheapflights.com/book-flights-online/.
The travel industry is changing on a daily basis, so it's always a good idea to insure your trip in case of last-minute cancellations or other issues. In fact, you might already have some trip insurance coverage you might not know about -- check with your credit card company or auto club to see what type of insurance you qualify for before you travel. Some travel plans include overseas medical insurance, while others cover personal property and transportation expense. In addition, some airlines offer medical travel insurance for one-time trips. Consult your airline for more information. Check with your providers before takeoff in case your trip hits unexpected turbulence.
Worried about security lines at your local airport? An easy solution is to travel at off-peak times to avoid the long waits. Off-peak times are usually midday on weekdays for international flights. Besides landing a shorter delay at the airport, you will probably secure a better price on your flight, and more options for a better seat, as well. Be sure to check security line wait times in advance by visiting the Web site of your local airport.
The TSA and other agencies make it a priority to keep international travelers informed of security changes, and provide tips on navigating airports easily. Visit http://www.tsa.gov/blog before flying to make sure you're up to date on recent travel news and how it affects you.
To stay informed on the latest travel news and updates, visit the Cheapflights.com blog at http://news.cheapflights.com/.
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