Given an option to travel between domestic and international destinations for vacations, we will mostly choose an international destination. Often, the only constraint is money! But these days some international packages offered by tour operators for the South Asian countries cost as much as a domestic trip. Hence the question - "Why not go abroad?" There are some points which you must consider before finalizing your international holiday:
1. Hotel Category - The hotel in the international destination may not be as good as the hotel that you are choosing for a domestic stay. Generally, people would opt for economy or standard hotel category while traveling abroad. This is specially true with 'expensive' destinations like Singapore, HongKong, Europe etc. In India, you perhaps can choose a better category hotel with facilities including Jaccuzzi etc. But this is okay considering you want to get your passport stamped and be a foreign return!
2. Duration - This is one of the major differences. For the same budget, you will enjoy a longer vacation in India compared to an international package.
3. Meals - Please see whether meals (specially dinner) are included in the international package. Meals (and even water) in international destinations would cost you more than in India.
4. Transport - In India, you will perhaps have a personal vehicle to take you to sightseeing places. In an international tour, most of the sightseeing is on seat-in-coach (SIC) basis. The same holds true for airport transfers.
5. SightSeeing - Most tour operators only cover very basic sightseeing. Check whether all important places for the destination are covered. If not, ask for the additional cost for sightseeing tours.
6. Visa - Another factor to consider is whether the visa cost has been included in the package cost or not. In countries that offer visa on arrival, you will have to pay the visa cost at the airport after reaching the destination.
7. Foreign Exchange - You will also have to pay some forex charges for changing currency, though it may not be very high.
8. Phone/Mobile - International roaming is quite expensive and therefore you will have to take a local number. There are companies offering local SIM cards for various countries.
A few more points to consider before planning international trip:
In India you can spend 6 nights in Andamans in a 4 or 5 star equivalent property while the same budget might get you only 3 nights in Bali/Maldives.
For a trip like your honeymoon, you might want to be on a longer vacation and spend more leisure time together than travel abroad and spend days visiting sightseeing places with little time for each other.
If you have a small kid, traveling in private vehicle may be more convenient as you can schedule sightseeing as per your convenience. While in international packages, all sightseeing is as per schedule decided by the local tour operator in that country and not flexible.
Cancellation charges for an international trip are much higher than cancellation charges of a trip in India. If you have a small kid (who generally have a tendency to fall sick), a prospective wedding in the family or any event which might lead to cancellation of your trip, you might want to consider the risk of cancellation while planning the holiday.
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