Every time we plan a vacation, the same issue arises. Should we book flights to a distant land, hoping to explore new sights and tastes or absorb some out of season rays, or should we take a look at what our own neighbourhood has to offer? There's no right answer here. Foreign travel works for some, but don't write off local vacations. There are plenty of pros and cons of travelling domestically, so let's take a closer look.
Sometimes, you'll find bargain domestic flights which undercut any foreign alternatives. Mix that with accommodation with family members and shop with your favourite store cards and you can often travel for less by remaining at home. However, don't be hasty here. Domestic isn't always cheaper. In some instances, domestic prices can rise rapidly, making foreign trips more affordable. This happened in India in 2012, as airline problems boosted local fares by up to 30%. British fliers also regularly discover that flights to city break destinations in Europe are cheaper than heading to domestic options. Check all of the current deals for global routes and make sure you've found the best possible prices. Airline fares aren't always what they seem. Moreover, when you get to foreign countries further savings can often be available in the form of low accommodation or food costs. Bundle all of that together and you might find local holidays are less competitive than they seem.
Familiarity can suit some travellers
Generally speaking, when people think about travel, they tend to think about crossing borders and heading somewhere different. But if you live in a country as pretty as Thailand or as large as the United States, that doesn't necessarily mean traversing national borders. Instead, you can often find destinations at home that offer something different. However, what you won't find (usually) is a cultural adventure with radically different sensations to discover. Meeting people who speak the same language and eat the same foods can appeal to some travellers who want to relax and just destress. But if you're the type of globetrotter who needs a total escape, you'll want to look outside your country's frontiers.
Quick domestic breaks could suit your schedule
Travelling abroad can entail more hassle than staying at home, what with the need to familiarise yourself with new surroundings, sort out transport, learn the language and buy anything required to handle a different climate. And you may even need to arrange documents like passports and visas - all of which takes time and money. Generally speaking, staying close to home avoids this complexity. You can just book flights and accommodation on the hoof and cross the country the next day if that's what you'd prefer. So if you're the kind of traveller who can't be sure when their free time arises, domestic breaks could be best.
Insurance issues could make a difference
When we travel anywhere, we need to be insured against property loss and health issues, but this is another area where the hassle and cost of travelling can differ. Sticking to domestic flights can eliminate the need to haggle for cheaper international travel insurance and cut down on paperwork. That's good for time-poor travellers who want to keep their admin tasks to a minimum. Then again, many insurance packages for international trips include everything you need in one purchase. When you can take care of health, property loss, potential travel cancellations and financial problems in one transaction, it's not going to be a huge drain on your time.
What kind of travel experiences are you seeking?
This is probably the most important thing to think about when weighing up the pros and cons of travelling domestically. One thing is obvious: if you want to experience something completely alien and unlike everyday life at home, heading overseas will be essential. Packing your bags for Manila, Nairobi or Rio de Janeiro can open doors to food, nightlife, music, landscapes and social opportunities that you can't get in your own country. That's pretty obvious, but don't write off your homeland when it comes to travel experiences.
Unless they live in Monaco or San Marino, virtually nobody has seen everything their country has to offer. Yet it's all-too-easy to assume that Thailand has less charm than other alternatives. Just think about it. There are over 300 islands in Thailand, plan on visiting a few. Or take a street food tour and and have a local guide to explain what everything is and what’s in it. Sometimes, all you need is a bit of imagination. Sure, you can't see the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Banff, and Angkor Wat isn't going to materialise in Bangkok, but if you take a closer look, flying to domestic destinations with CheapTickets.co.th can be just as exciting.