I have to admit, if you haven’t flown internationally before the process can be quite daunting to think about. What airline should you fly? What do you need to bring? There are so many questions and not a lot of answers available. Today I am sharing my list of things I look for when booking an international flight.
I always prefer to travel non-stop when possible. It can be more pricey sometimes, but if you look at different times or days you can usually snag a good deal. It cuts down on travel time, and saves you from having to navigate an airport in a (possibly) foreign country. If I can’t travel non-stop, I look for domestic layovers. Or if coming via Europe, a layover in London would be perfect. I really like what Thomas Cook Flights has to offer. Be forewarned that when coming back into the United States for a domestic layover, you will have to go through customs, gather your luggage, and go back through security before you get on your next flight so leave an ample amount of time in your layover. We usually do that and have time for a meal before boarding the next flight.
Long flights can be rough. Not only are they long, but you’re stuck in a small area with lots of other people. Some airlines have better perks than others. I’ve been on flights where a multi-course meal was served, complete with hot towel service, and others where we were lucky to get a beverage. I personally look for meal service, outlets or USB Plugs, seat back entertainment, and priority boarding for children (so much easier with a toddler!).
Baggage is not usually a huge issue for me because I travel light, but some airlines offer larger allowances for international flights which works out better if you are going on a very long trip, or planning to bring back lots of souvenirs. You can pack a carry-on inside of a larger bag if you want to have a big bag to check on the way home.
I try to cut down on my to-do list at the airport so online check-in is a blessing for me. It’s so much easier than fighting with the kiosk or waiting in a long line. When purchasing tickets, I love to be able to choose my seats. Often I will choose seats that are closer to the front of the plane if I know I have a shorter layover.
I hope that these tips help you figure out what to look for when booking an international flight. If you have any additional tips, please share them below!
This conversation was sponsored by Thomas Cook but all opinions and text are my own.