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3 Travel Tips to prepare you for your International Vacation

You never know when the opportunity to sneak away to an exotic island, visit Europe or maybe another great location on your bucket list. We have had many clients over the years be surprised by a relative that wants the whole family on a vacation or they may have just won an incentive trip from their company and they have to get their ducks in a row so panic sets in. What do I need? Where do I get it? How long will it take? These are all great questions and important to make sure you are all set and ready to go. I have 3 things I have found for our family that has prepared us for any such occasion to get out of town!

  • Passports: Passports are needed anytime you travel outside of the country. They are not needed for domestic travel, however, having them as your identification is not a bad idea. Purchasing them even if you don’t have a trip scheduled is a great idea! Passports can be costly, approx. $150.00 per person. So this is a great item to budget out. The entire family doesn’t need to get them at the same time. You can get one a month or every few months. Passports for Newborn to 15 years of age are good for 5 years and 16 or older are good for 10 years. You will want to take this into consideration and plan the times for renewal as well. Visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.html for all the specific legal information regarding passports
  • Credit Cards: You may not be thinking of it now, but one snag when traveling abroad and wanting to purchase items on your credit card is a foreign transaction fee. This is typically 3% of the purchase price. There are some travel credit cards that waive this fee, which can be helpful if you are traveling where you intend to use your card often for dining, tours, souvenirs, etc. There is a lot more to think about with Travel Cards and I ran across a great article that will be helpful to you. The key is that this item too, takes time to get so planning ahead will relieve the stress! Check out this article for more in-depth details. https://creditcards.usnews.com/travel
  • Cell Phone Coverage: A simple call to your cell phone provider at any time to discuss international plans or plans just to use when you travel will have you ready to go. It is not just your calling that you should be concerned with, but text and especially data. If you are not in wi-fi, your apps and data can really add up. Check out this article in Smart Traveler for an in-depth look at phone plans and considerations. https://www.smartertravel.com/2018/01/30/best-international-phone-plans/

These are 3 simple things that can be done ahead of time and at any time to get you prepared for travel anywhere!

Helpful tips for Traveling Outside of the United States

Many clients have inquired about traveling outside of the United States and in particular to Mexico, Jamaica and other locations that have had recent travel advisories. I thought I would share some insight as to how to best know where to get your information and some best practices when traveling outside the United States.

First, let me say that no matter where you travel, even in the United States, you should take precautions to ensure safety and be discerning. When purchasing your trip, it is highly recommended to include Vacations Plans or Travel Insurance. This will protect you should you become ill or injured, and require medical treatment and/or evacuation. This is particularly important when traveling to foreign countries.

Mexico is a fabulous destination to visit, in particular the resort areas of Cancun, and Riviera Maya. These resort properties work very hard to ensure safety for their guests and employees. Recently, the travel advisory has been lifted to these areas and you can read the complete details on https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html.

Just as you would view your life at home, common sense is your best protection. Follow your instincts and avoid any areas or situations that seem as though they could become dangerous.

  1. Stay in the well-known tourist areas of the cities.
  2. Know and respect the laws in the country you are visiting.
  3. Visit only legitimate businesses and tourist areas, and avoid areas where prostitution and drug dealing might occur.
  4. Leave your itinerary with a friend or family member back home. Contact them should you plan to deviate from it.
  5. Check with your cell phone provider prior to departure to see if your phone is capable of roaming on GSM or 3G/4G international networks
  6. Do not display expensive looking jewelry, large amounts of money or other valuable items
  7. Make every attempt to travel during daylight hours, and stick to main roads
  8. If traveling with children, be sure to keep an eye on them at all times, especially near water as the resorts do not offer lifeguards.

When traveling to a specific area you can stay abreast of the latest advisories by visiting the https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html and also to register your travel https://step.state.gov.
Here you will receive the most accurate and updated information and can make an educated decision about your travel arrangements. Be careful not to get caught up in the media stories and stick with this official source and work with your travel planner. As Must Love Travel Planners we keep abreast of the latest information and work with our clients to assist them in adjusting plans should it become necessary.

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