Moving from point A to B has never been easier, or at the same time more complicated. From choosing a reliable airline company, to knowing your driving license holder’s rights in a foreign country – there are numerous tricks and ambiguities that you should be aware of. Once you get the knack of proper planning and booking, it’ll save you a lot of money, effort and time.

Airport transportation

Naturally, not all airlines are the same and there’s a difference between knowing in advance that, for example, a low-cost flight equals a lack of comfort or canceled flights (in some cases), and more expensive airlines offer reliability and comfort. Look at it this way, what good is a cheaper flight if you miss your next connection? Even when searching among the low-cost airlines, opt for ones that live up to their popularity and reputation.

Low-cost airlines use different stratagems to get more money from you via add-on fees or extra services, so pay extra attention to what you click on while placing your order online. Also look for whether the airline of your choice has flexible flight dates, and do the research! At SuperCoucou, we’ve created a great flight search engine to help you with just that.

Booking a flight
When booking a flight, planning is essential. Procrastinating in this case is probably the worst way to go, since waiting for last minute deals can serve a severe blow to your credit card. Unfortunately, airlines don’t simply undersell the rest of the available seats on a flight; what’s more, if you buy your ticket a few days before departure, don’t be surprised to see the prices skyrocket minute after minute.

We recommend that you give yourself at least two weeks’ time before booking a flight, optimally three weeks.

Another rule is not to place your order too early; it may not be the cheapest option out there. A golden ratio rule of booking a flight is one to four months ahead. However, keep in mind that buying an airline ticket over peak tourist season or during major holidays is probably not a good idea. You can find the lowest fares by doing a bit of research and planning.

Connecting flights
Nobody likes them, but if you’re willing to endure a couple of hours of layover waiting time, your flight might become cheaper.

Round trip tickets
Might sound odd but sometimes it’s cheaper to book a two-way than one direction ticket, then just don’t use the return flight. Also, try to book your flights so that you get back to the same airport - it’ll remove some unnecessary charges from the bill.

Booking a rental car

The best option to book a rental car is from your home. The official car-rental websites usually have great deals and a helpful overview of what you’re ordering. Still, when you need information on additional service fees, collect and drop-off locations and the best arrangement suited to your needs, it’s best to pick up the phone and ask personally. Minor rental agencies might offer better deals, but be aware that a larger company also means a wider choice of collection locations, and if you experience some trouble on the road, they will respond almost immediately.

Whichever rental agency and agreement you choose, keep all the paperwork safely stored, even after your trip - you never know when a billing dispute might arise. This is usually the case with additional fees. For example, sometimes dropping off the car without filling up the gas tank might mean an extra cost.
Plan your itinerary wisely; if you’re going on a road trip, rent a car to transfer between smaller towns, but try to use quality public transport when there is one. Also, don’t drop off your car on Sundays or holidays, since there’s a chance that offices will be closed.

Traveling across different countries also means higher fees. If you’re driving just a few dozen kilometres into another country, why not drop off the car in an office nearest to the border and catch a train farther on? Also, check the price for weekly rentals since it’s cheaper to rent a car for longer periods. Always pay beforehand, read the fine print and be mindful of currency exchange rates.

International driving permit
You’ve decided to use the services of a rent-a- car agency but are unsure whether your driver's license is officially recognised in your destination country? Most countries today recognise an international driving permit which is an additional document to your original driver’s license allowing you to operate a vehicle in a foreign country. It consists of a booklet with translations of your driving permit, a photograph, and other vital information. Things to keep in mind are that an international driving license is not available to learner drivers, the period of expiry is up to three years or until the driver’s license is valid, and it is not valid for use within the country of your residence. The main regulations of this document are in special conventions, signed by many (but not all) countries, so check whether this applies to your next destination.

Public transportation

Whether you are a fan of public transportation or not, you cannot ignore the fact that buses, trains and subways are cheaper and mostly reliable transportation options. What most of us forget is our personal safety.

We recommend that you always know your itinerary inside out: arrival and departure times, pick up locations and how much money it’ll cost.

When you’re at the desired location, use public transport wisely by buying multi-day city passes that are marked down and valid across many transport options. If you’re traveling between different cities, organize a night bus or a train, and save some money on accommodation as well. Other than that, if you’re interested in a long road trip, do get a rental car, but be careful about pick-up and drop-off locations. If it’s in two different countries, it’ll be more expensive. Also mind the little details such as filling up the gas tank before returning the car to avoid paying extra obnoxious fees.

Be safe

Inform a relative or friend about your route. If you have to wait for late-night transport, wait in a well-lit busy area. On a bus, always sit nearest to the driver, in case you need help or extra information. If you don’t feel confident of your surroundings, don’t fall asleep, check for emergency exits, and try not to attract unwanted attention. Leave your jewelry and gadgets at home, carry a cell phone at all times, and trust your instincts, but don’t create unnecessary panic and trouble when there is no need for one.
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