Sunday, July 12, 2009

International Travel

Booking international travel on your own can be tricky. I have often used travel agents to book flights when traveling outside the U.S. from country to country. Agents can be helpful, but it is nice to see your options firsthand and make the choices yourself, and you save money in booking fees. Discount airfare sites like Expedia and Orbitz don't offer you the ability to search internationally, once outside the U.S. While traveling to Europe, I wanted to be able to search flights from London to various European countries. In the past, I used Ryan Air to book those flights. Ryan Air is still a good place to go if you want to fly within Europe.
Yet, outside of Europe, these flights can be almost impossible to find. You have to know which airlines fly out of which countries and go directly to their sites. In the case of intra Africa airlines, the sites are not user friendly and not always in English. When trying to book flights to Mozambique, the Mozambican Airlines site kept telling me there were no flights available, but it was simply that I was not searching within the few days each week that there are flights out each week, but the site never displayed a flight schedule and I was searching the wrong days of the week. Also, sadly, I had major trust issues with these international airlines and was very uncertain about paying thousands of dollars and entering credit card information on their sites. Also, prices are often in the local currency and require you to do the math. is a California based site that allows you to search and book international travel. With Vayama you no longer need to book your flights through an agent and can do it all yourself. Airfares are offered on 100-plus airlines flying between the USA and over 190 countries. It has an interactive map that shows you where you are flying, displays flight schedules, 3-D seat maps and offers pricing in US dollars. It is safe and very user friendly.

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