That Spectacular Vacation- Ready, Set, GO

Your bags are packed, the taxi’s waiting, but are you ready to go?

I’m a believer in checking and re-checking, so here are a few last minute preparation tips.

Day Before Travel

1)If you are flying, print out or download your boarding pass

2) If someone is taking you to the airport, cruiseport or train station verify what time they will arrive to pick you up.

3) Have you let the post office you know you’ll be away? If not, do it now or make sure someone is picking up your mail and newspapers. An overflowing mailbox and a stack of papers  advertise that no one is around.

4) If you are boarding pets, today is a good day to drop them off instead of stressing about it tomorrow when you are ready to leave.

5) Re-check your luggage, make sure everything is in there. Tip: Luggage tags should be on each piece but don’t put your home address or phone, use a business address instead. One less way to invite the ‘wrong’ kind of guest.

6) Let a neighbor you trust know that you will be away for a while.

Here is a link to some advice from the TSA.

Day of Travel

1) Make sure your passport/identification and boarding pass are readily available at the airport, cruiseport, etc.

2) Bring the minimum number of credit cards. Tip: Let your credit card companies know that you are traveling to avoid the ‘frozen account due to security measures’.

3) Check your carry-on for the essentials, medications, electronics, toiletries and one change of clothes. Tip: Carry an empty water bottle that you can fill up after you get through security at the airport.

4) If you are driving to the airport, check the traffic reports. Arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight. Tip: If your boarding pass shows ‘pre-check’ you can save time at the shorter lines where you don’t need to take off shoes and such. TSAPre-check link

5) If you are sailing, have your cruise line luggage tags on the luggage. For most cruise lines your cabin should be available around 1pm. If you arrive early treat yourself to lunch onboard the ship at the buffet.

6) Make sure the appliances in your home are off. Leave a light on somewhere in the house.

7) If you are traveling outside the USA and haven’t gotten any foreign currency, get about $50 worth at the airport.

Now, go and have a great time.

If you’d like an email of today’s tips or more info, Like my Facebook page, Unique Travel Events or sign up for my free newsletter on www.uniquetravelevents.com or send an email to asavitch@uniquetravelevents.com

Do you have a great idea for travel preparation? I’d love to share your idea with my readers.

Lots more tips to come on the do’s and don’ts, advice from good sources and more

Remember, travel is medicine for the heart, mind and soul and your travel agent has the cure.

Andrea

 

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That Spectacular Vacation- The Dreaded Paperwork

That Spectacular Vacation- the Dreaded Documentation

While envisioning all the great things you’ll be doing on your trip the idea of the ‘paperwork’ needed to make it happen makes most of us cringe.

Yet, without the proper documentation the trip may not happen.

Let’s keep it simple.

The Basics

 ID– If you remember nothing else when you leave for your trip, remember your ID.

For domestic travel bring your drivers license or other photo id. Keep it readily available for inspection at the airport.

For foreign travel it can be a little more complicated.

For any travel outside the USA a passport is required.

  •  If you don’t have a passport it is not difficult to get. There are two requirements, besides filling out the form. Go to state.gov  for the form new or renewal.(If you are not a US citizen contact the country of your citizenship)
  • You must have a birth certificate from a government agency
  • You must provide two passport photos

If you do have a passport, check the following

  •  Expiration date- There are a variety of rules regarding how long your passport must be valid to enter a country, it varies a lot
  1. Visa pages- Make sure there are at least two available for Visas and passport stamps
  •  If your passport is expired or close to expiring get it renewed. If you are traveling in less than 3 months use an expedited service.
  •  Visas- Each country has different requirements. There is a good website visahq which can let you know what you need.

Tip-Many people ask about passports when cruising. As of today (it does change), technically you can use your birth certificate and government id or passport card in lieu of a passport when sailing on a ‘closed loop’ cruise. This means that you leave and return to the same port in the USA. Keep in mind, if you had to fly back from a Caribbean island, you would need your passport, the other forms of ID will not work at the airport.

Boarding Passes- There are a variety of options for boarding passes on the airlines.

  • Print out your boarding pass –Tip-If you are traveling internationally you may not be able to do this if it’s the first time you are flying internationally with the airline
  • Download the boarding pass to your phone
  • Pick it up at the airport at the check in desk

 Cruise Line boarding pass

  •  Print it out at home- You will generally need to do your online check-in to do this
  • Get it at the check in desk

Printing out boarding passes at home saves time.

Tour companies vary and your travel agent should be able to give you the proper documentation.

Train Tickets-

Amtrak- Depending on where and when you travel you may be able to print out your boarding pass at home or at the train station. Note-Many Amtrak stations do not have personnel or machines for printing out your pass

Eurail- These vary depending on where and when. Check with Eurail or your travel agent.

Luggage Tags-Cruise lines will usually allow you to print luggage tags at home or mail them to you. This helps get the luggage to your cabin.

If you’d like an email of today’s tips or more info, Like my Facebook page, Unique Travel Events or sign up for my free newsletter on http://www.uniquetravelevents.com then send me an email to asavitch@uniquetravelevents.com

Do you have a great idea for travel preparation? I’d love to share your idea with my readers.

Lots more tips to come on the do’s and don’ts, advice from good sources and more

Remember, travel is medicine for the heart, mind and soul and your travel agent has the cure.