We understand that traveling requires you to expect the unexpected. A little preparation is all it takes to enjoy all the excitement of a fabulous trip. Here are a few things to help ensure a great travel experience...
Passport and Visa Information
- Passport- Make sure yours is current! Our country requires that your passport is valid for 6 months after your return to your country. If you need a passport plan on applying for one at least 3 months prior to your scheduled trip. For more detailed information regarding passports please visit the U.S. State Departments Passport Services and Information site- www.travel.state.gov/passport_services
- Record Your Passport Information- Record or copy, and retain your passport number, the date and place of issue. Keep this information separate from your passport in case it is lost or stolen. If you passport is lost or stolen contact the nearest American Embassy or Consulate and the local police.
- Keep Your Passport With You Or In A Secure Place- Do not pack your passport in your luggage, make sure you carry it with you. Once you arrive at your destination keep your passport in a safe or a secure place.
- Keep Records of All Your Important Documents- Make sure you copy credit cards, drivers license, itineraries, hotel phone numbers, airline contact information, passports and any other documentation. Keep one set of copies with you and leave the others with a family member and/or attorney.
Airports and TSA Restrictions
- Airport Travel Restrictions- There have recently been several Airline Security and Laptop Precautions. As many of you know the recent events in London have precipitated several new restrictions regarding carry on bags. The restrictions are causing more delays than usual, so please be prepared to spend a little more time in airport. Since the restrictions are changing frequently, please check the TSA site for an updated list before you travel. http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/new-items.shtm
- Arrive Early for Your Flight- Airlines require that passengers on international flights arrive a minimum of 3 hours before scheduled departure.
- Connecting Flights- If your plane is arriving late and you miss a connecting flight, have the airline rebook a protection flight and have your ticket validated by the airline that caused the delay.
Vaccination and Physician and Medical Information
- Vaccinations- Your doctor will review the plans for your trip and decide if you need any vaccines. The vaccines you got when you were a child also may need to be updated if you are not fully protected. Vaccines that may be needed to protect you include the following:
- Hepatitis A or hepatitis A immune globulin
- Hepatitis B
- Influenza (the flu)
- Japanese encephalitis
- Meningococcal meningitis
- Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids
- Typhoid fever
- Varicella (chickenpox)
- Yellow fever
- For more information regarding Vaccinations that are required for International travel visit the Centers for Disease Control and Protection at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/vaccinat.htm
- Physician Information- Plan ahead. See your doctor at least 6 weeks before you leave. Some vaccines don't reach the highest protection until about 6 weeks after you get the shots.
- Medical and Dental Check Ups- Have medical and dental check-ups before your trip, to be aware of problems and to find out about medicines you might want to take along. Make sure you have your medical history, list of allergies and your blood type documented and with you.
- What is Covered Abroad- Be prepared. Find out what your health insurance will pay for if you see a doctor while you're in another country. To find medical help abroad you can visit the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT) www.iamat.org
- Medications- Carry enough of your regular medicines in their original containers, along with extra prescriptions for them. Also bring your eyewear prescriptions. Wear a medical information bracelet if needed.
- Special Dietary Needs- Most restaurants, hotels, ships and resorts will accommodate you with special meals if they are given time in advance to prepare. Make sure you request your meals at least a week in advance.
Travel Insurance Information
- Travel Insurance- Only you can answer that question, but there are several things to consider in making your decision. Do you have health problems that could affect your ability to travel? Is the trip costly? Do you have a low tolerance for risk? If you answer yes, then travel insurance could be the right choice. The travel insurance can cover trip cancellation and trip interruption. It also assists with the cost of trip delay, missed connections, medical expenses and emergencies, lost baggage and baggage delays. Other services include bag tracking and cash advances for emergencies. The price you pay for a policy is determined by your age and the cost of your trip. For additional information regarding travel insurance, visit Travel Guard at www.travelguard.com
Weather and Geography Information
- Climate and Geography- Research your destination, ask about climates and weather patterns for your scheduled travel days. Also remember to consider altitude and planned activities so that you can be prepared. For additional information regarding weather world wide visit The World Weather Information Service at www.worldweather.org or www.weather.com
- Organize- Make a checklist of things you will need during a "typical day" when packing. Make sure to carry all valuables with you.
- Don't Over-pack- Take half as much as you will need and then take advantage of laundry and valet services.
- Pack Some of Your Clothes in a Companion's Bag and Vice Versa- If a bag is lost you will both have clothes along the way. Just a precaution, because we all know that luggage doesn't always make it.
- Label Your Luggage with Name and Addresses- Make sure your luggage tag displays your name clearly, write your address and phone numbers on the alternate side. Make sure you list a phone number that will be answered.
Centers for Disease Control
U.S. Customs - Traveler Information
U.S. State Department Travel Warnings
Universal Currency Converter
Travel Guard Insurance
Time & Dates Worldwide