Regardless if it’s your first bigger trip or if you are a flying veteran better than the Red Baron himself, it’s always worth to check if you have all your travel documents. Everyone knows about ID card and the passport. These two are obvious but you have to remember that your ID works as a passport only if you are a EU citizen and you travel within the EU borders. Anywhere else – you need a passport like it used to be “back in the days”. And let’s not forget about the visa! Just like with the European ID, if you’re going outside EU or you’re not EU citizen, you’ll probably need a visa to enter the destination country. Check at your embassy, if you do need it and how to get it. There are also transfer visas, used for stopover airports. Check if you need this one as well, because lack of the stopover visa is quite a common mistake and a source of many misunderstandings. But how about the European Health Insurance Card? It’s almost as important as your ID. In case – hopefully not – anything happened during your trip, any national medical centre in EU would know what to do and that you have a medical insurance. It takes lots of pressure off your mind.
The airlines always change the prices and generally the longer you wait, the higher the price gets. Special offers and discounts are not as common as they say. If you want to be certain, you better take action as soon as possible. When it comes to being certain – check your data twice or even three times. Usually passenger data can be changed… but for an extra fee and you guesses it – it’s not a symbolic price.
The rule is simple, the sooner the better. If you are flying within the same continent, the safe time limit is about 3 months, intercontinental – 5 months. It’s both about money and availability of seats. If you are flying with traditional carrier, you can usually return the ticket on the day of purchase but let’s be honest – in 95% of cases the reasons do not occur on the same day.
If you buy your tickets early enough, you benefit not only with the ticket price. First of all, you will have plenty of time to check the expiry dates of all your documents and act beforehand. Plan your airport layover and transfers (if the airport is really big). Pack your luggage in advance, leaving only the stuff you use every day for the last moment. And finally, check if you need any vaccines! You have to do them at least a month before your departure or they won’t work as they should!