If you’re thinking about a trip abroad but you think it might be out of your budgetary reach, you are in for a pleasant surprise. You can have your dream vacation across the pond and save money, too. You just have to learn a few insider tips to make your American dollars go further. With the help of a South Florida expert, Candice Ferguson, your international trip could be right on the horizon. And if you’re thinking of taking your family, even better. She’ll show you how to navigate with ease – and save money, too.


Candice Ferguson
Norwegian Cruise Line
7665 Corporate Center Drive
Miami, FL 33126
(877) 416-9722, Ext. 4169
www.ncl.com

Candice “Candi” Ferguson is a professional cruise consultant with Norwegian, one of the world’s top-rated cruise lines and one of the best loved for family cruising. She has been with Norwegian for over five years. During her tenure, she has acquired a wealth of knowledge not only from on-the-job experience but also from the feedback of the hundreds of guests she has assisted. You can rest easy knowing that Candi will be there to answer all of your questions and concerns. After all, planning an affordable vacation on the other side of the world can be much more stressful. Eliminate the stress by speaking with an expert, like Candi.


Consider Cruising

Cruising is not only an affordable option for seeing Europe, it’s the headache-free way to go. Think about this, you only have to pack and unpack once; you wake up in a new city each day, no worrying about booking hotel rooms and what condition they’ll be in; planned shore excursions are the easy way to tour all of Europe’s most beloved monuments and there is no guessing which ones will be kid-friendly. Norwegian Cruise Line is a favorite for Europe with its young fleet and onboard amenities. You can also book a cruise with just a deposit and pay it off gradually. You can even book several years in advance.


Flights

Money-wise, summer flights to Europe are double in price, while winter is the bargain season. But the big question for families tends to be, “To red-eye or not to red-eye?” This will depend on the age of your kids. Babies tend to do great on overnight flights but older kids will suffer in a coach seat. Flights to Europe leave the East Coast of the U.S. around 8 a.m. and land at 8 p.m. For families, it makes sense to fly all day and arrive just in time for dinner.


Food

While on shore, have your big meal at lunch to save a few bucks and eat light for dinner. Food carts are an affordable and fun option, too. You might want to carry around a bag of snacks and protein bars if your family is full of picky eaters. Be sure to have your standard medicines handy so you’re prepared for upset stomachs. You can also hit one of the buffets onboard before you disembark for the day or have a quick meal in one of the dining rooms, all with amazing views of the cities you’re visiting. Also, learn the food customs of the country you’re visiting.

Related: How To Look Like A Local When Dining Abroad


Electronics

BMake sure you know the voltage of the electronics that you’re bringing and that you have the correct adaptors for the country you’re visiting. Since plugs and voltage vary by country, it’s best to triple check. As much as kids (and adults) depend on electronics, you won’t want to be without your high-tech toys. This goes for hair dryers, shavers and hair irons as well. Of course, if you’re cruising, you won’t have to worry. All NCL ships are equipped with 110V and 220V outlets (although some hair dryers with a high voltage, electric rollers and electric razors may require a converter). One more tip – download any phone apps you’ll need before you go.


Airport Transfers

There’s not much worse than arriving in a foreign country with kids in tow who are tired and cranky, then trying to figure out where the taxi line is, how much it should cost you, if it is safe to just hop in a car-for-hire…the list goes on. Making arrangements ahead of time for your airport transfers will spare you the headache, even if it costs a few dollars more. It’s very exciting to arrive in the baggage claim area and see your name on a sign. The kids will love it and you will, too. Ask your cruise consultant about airport transfers.

Related: Top Summer Backpacking Trips Near South Florida

Jill Martin is a family travel expert, appearing on numerous television and radio shows. She spent five years as the VISIT FLORIDA Family Insider, has penned children’s books, and is the creator of Sunshine Brain Games – trivia cards about Florida. A Miami native, Jill resides in Redland. Her work can be found on Examiner.com