We’ve all heard tales of friends or family getting killer deals on last-minute travel to exotic locations; however, there are some major benefits to planning your international travel sooner vs later. Planning ahead really does pay off!
Reason 1: Tuition Savings
Thinking of traveling with Global Leadership Adventures this summer? We have a rolling admissions process, which means that there are no generally no deadlines to join a program*; however, the application fee goes up to $145 from $95 on April 16th, which means you’ll be doing your pocketbook a favor when you apply in the next two weeks.
Reason 2: Flight Availability
There are many myths surrounding finding the best flights at the lowest cost, one of the most pervasive being that all flights will at some point go waaaay down in price. Unfortunately, this isn't typically the case. For every flight that gets rock-botton discounted shortly before takeoff, there are ten that actually go up significantly in price. Additionally, the most direct routes to some locations can sell out of seats altogether, leaving you with less direct options or sometimes no options at all for the travel dates you need.
Once you introduce minors into the mix, there is even more reason to act quickly: depending on the traveler's age, the process may not be as straightforward as booking for an adult, and may even come with restrictions. Sites like Expedia and Priceline, which offer discounted flights, do not permit booking for minors unless they are accompanied by an adult.
Our tips? Hunt for flights on Tuesdays for the best pricing, and aim to book at least two to three months in advance. This will give you plenty of time to explore all of your flight options and get the most bang for your buck. We also recommend reaching out to our travel partner, STA Travel--they are the experts in student travel!
Reason 3: Avoid the “Travel Prep Frenzy"
Regardless of where and when you go, international travel requires some degree of preparation. Necessary evils like applying for a passport or a visa, booking travel, and obtaining any required vaccinations take time and energy. Why not space them out? Checking these items off your list at a leisurely pace sure beats the frenzy of getting items together a mere few weeks before departure.
Completing the necessary paperwork can be done in an abbreviated timeline with expediting services and rush appointments; however, you will thank yourself for starting your preparations early! For example, applying for a passport with standard processing time will run you about $110, whereas a rushed processing passport can cost upwards of $180 and up to $300 if opting for 1-2 day processing.
Reason 4: Connect With Friends
While it’s certainly not required, many GLA students like to reach out through SnapChat or Instagram (or via ancient means such as Facebook or email) to get to know the students they’ll soon be flying, living, and working with on their program. Planning travel early allows more time for students to forge these connections from the get-go. This is especially useful for first-time or nervous travelers.
Reason 5: Location, Location, Location
Every year we have students who have their heart set on a particular program, only to find that when they apply in May that it has filled to capacity. It can be difficult to guess which programs will be in highest demand from year to year. Waitlists often do not clear, and students are either forced to go with their second choice or opt out of travel altogether. Don't let this happen to you! Applying as soon as you know you're interested in a particular program will ensure that you get your first choice of program, location, and travel dates. If your summer plans change (it happens!) we're happy to help switch you to another open session or a different program altogether.
If you know you're ready to plan travel but just can't decide which program is best, give us a call at 858.771.0645, or check out our programs by theme on our website. April is the perfect time to get the wheels in motion!