KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - TRAVEL TIPS
While traveling, there are always unforeseen events that can occur. Although we will not be able to prevent everything, you have our commitment that we will plan your trip to the very best of our abilities to ensure your travels go as smoothly as possible. By taking a few extra steps, you can increase your chances of having a smooth traveling process. Below is our list of travel tips to consider before leaving town.
DESTINATION TRAVEL SERVICES, INC. is not responsible for travel cancellations/interruptions. These can occur for many reasons that are out of our control and can be due to passport/entrance requirements, airlines issues, etc. It is the client’s responsibility to ensure that they have the required documentation to enter another country. BE SURE TO READ THE BELOW information, visit the links provided, or even call the US Passport Agency should you have ANY questions regarding entrance and exit requirements. DESTINATION TRAVEL highly recommends the purchase of travel insurance. Although insurance coverage varies, travel insurance is the best option available to protect your travel investment.
IMPORTANT! CHECK PASSPORT EXPIRATION DATES:
Check on the passport requirements for the specific country in which you will be traveling. Many countries require that a passport be valid for more than 6 months AFTER your return date. You will be denied boarding if your passport expiration date is less than 6 months after your return date! Be sure to check and renew if needed! FOR QUESTIONS REGARDING PASSPORTS, VISAS, COUNTRY ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS, REQUIRED VACCINATIONS, ETC,
GO TO: : http://www.travel.state.gov/
IMPORTANT! PASSPORT CONTACT INFORMATION:
The National Passport Information Center is available to answer your passport questions. Please note: If you’re outside the United States, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
When traveling with a foreign passport, please check with the specific country for Passport and Visa requirements. Passport Inquiries Phone: 1-877-487-2778 | 1-888-874-7793 (TDD/TTY) Customer service representatives are available (except Federal Holidays): • Monday through Friday: 8:00 am to 10:00 pm Eastern Time • Saturday: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm Eastern Time • Automated passport information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. • Email: NPIC@state.gov. Most email inquiries are answered within 24 hours. • Please call for the status of your passport. We cannot email that information. • Do not email for travel emergencies. Contact us by phone only. • Life or Death Emergencies: If you have a life or death travel emergency outside of normal business hours, please call (202) 647-4000. You may want to register with the Embassy which you can go at https://step.state.gov/step/ in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
DO I NEED A PASSPORT BOOK OR A PASSPORT CARD?
A valid driver’s license is required for domestic travel within the United States. Travel must be booked in one’s FULL LEGAL NAME as it appears on their documentation of citizenship (Driver’s License or Passport) – No nicknames, incorrect spellings, different surnames, etc. will be accepted. For anyone traveling internationally, a valid passport is required and must be valid for 6 months after your trip end date, unless you are taking certain “closed loop” cruises from a US port. Even if the cruise line does not require a passport for this cruise, Destination Fun Travel recommends that ALL passengers travel with a Passport BOOK. If one would have a travel emergency and need to fly home from outside the US, they will be denied boarding without a passport BOOK. • A passport BOOK is required for all international flights. A passport book applies for international travel by air, sea, or land. A passport CARD cannot be used for flying. • A passport CARD is only acceptable for: Entering the United States at land border crossings and
sea ports-of-entry from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/card.html
CHECK COUNTRY VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS:
IMPORTANT: Some countries may require certain vaccinations for entrance. Because Destination Travel does not know your travel history as well as vaccination history, be sure to refer to the CDC website regarding any required vaccinations, etc. Destination Travel will not be responsible if clients are denied boarding or denied entry into the country. The CDC website link is http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.
Denial of Entry IMPORTANT!
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL AND DENIAL OF ENTRY: •
Passengers traveling to any international destination must have a valid passport and, for non U.S. citizens, valid entry documents. o Passport – Apply several months in advance for a new passport. If you already have one, it should be valid for at least six months after you return home and have two or more blank pages, depending on your destination. Otherwise, some countries may not let you enter. § Children’s passports – Passports issued for children under age 16 are valid for only five years, not 10 years like adult passports. Check passport expiration dates carefully and renew early.
DENIAL OF ENTRY –
Certain countries may deny entry to travelers with even a minor criminal record, and if not a U.S. citizen, entry back into the United States. Check with the U.S. Embassy and the embassy or consulate of the country being visited to ensure you can travel as planned. Destination Fun Travel is not responsible for any passenger who is unable to travel as a result of their failure to have the required travel documents, or is denied entry into any country or re-entry back into the U.S.
TSA 3-1-1 Liquids Rule & Duty Free Purchases
You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes through the checkpoint. These are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. This is also known as the 3-1-1 liquids rule. If you purchased duty free liquids that are larger than 3 oz. and you have a connecting flight, you must put the liquids in your checked luggage after immigration before checking your luggage to its final destination. You will need to go through TSA again after customs/immigration. Here is a link for important TSA Travel Tips: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/travel-tips
HOW EARLY SHOULD I ARRIVE AT THE AIRPORT FOR MY FLIGHT?
According to the TSA travel tips, you are encouraged to arrive at the airport two hours prior to flight departure for domestic travel and three hours for international travel. This allows time for parking and shuttle transportation, airline check-in, obtaining a boarding pass, and going through the security screening process, which includes screening of your carry-on baggage. You are encouraged to contact your airline as times may vary depending on the airport and date of travel.
24 HOURS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE/ONLINE CHECK IN: As flight schedules/time can change, it is important to confirm your flights with the airline 24 hours prior to departure to be sure you have the most updated flight schedule. Many airlines allow for online check in 24 hours prior to departure. Many airlines also now charge for checked luggage. By checking in “on-line” you can print your boarding pass and have your seat assignment confirmed. Also, some airlines may discount their luggage fees if paid on-line verses at the airport. Some hotels might also offer on-line check in to make your travel process go even smoother!
GENERAL FLIGHT INFORMATION:
Sometimes clients may purchase their own flights. If you do, be sure to get pre-assigned seats on the plane as soon as your flights are booked. If there are schedule changes, you will also want to confirm that you have pre-assigned seats. If you do not have complimentary pre-assigned seats, some airlines offer premium seats that you can purchase. The airlines leave a certain percentage of the plane to assign at the time of airport check in, so be sure to arrive even extra early to get those. Flights do oversell, so it is important to get pre-assigned seats. If you are traveling and a flight is canceled or delayed, you need to contact the 24/7 help desk for your wholesaler that we provided in your travel documents. You will need to let them know of your new flight arrival time and information so they can arrange your transfer times accordingly.
Also, once you arrive at the airport, you will need to work directly through the airline for any changes, cancellations, etc. In case there is a line, you may also want to call the airline too while you are in line. If the airline does not have a good alternative flight, be sure to ask the airline if they can reroute you even through another carrier. Sometimes, an airline may work with another carrier and that may be a possibility.
CHANGES TO TRAVEL:
Once a trip is made, changes can be very expensive. It is BEST to book your trip exactly as you will travel. The airlines often charge $250 – $300/person in addition to any fare difference to make changes, plus there are usually hotel penalties as well. Flight prices usually become very expensive the closer to travel. Often times when changes are made, it subjects the package price to the current sale rates and availability. Packages are great and can save money, however, changes to them are expensive, especially at the last minute. To save money, try to book your trip exactly as you will travel. Corrections to names is also a cost of $100 or more per person so once you want to book please verify before sending us your payment.
HOTEL CHECK IN & CHECK OUT TIMES:
Most hotels offer a check in time of 3:00 or 4:00 p.m. In case you arrive prior to your room being ready, be sure to have easy access to your items you want or anything else that you may need once you arrive at the property. If your return flight is later in the day, you can request a late check out from the property. Some properties will allow you to check out later and/or some offer a late check out for a fee. Prior to the check-out day, be sure to inquire if a late check out is an option, and if there is a fee associated with it. A late check out is not a guarantee but may be an option for you.
BE AWARE OF HOTELS “OVER-BOOKING
Very common while traveling to other countries is a hotel “over-booking.” Be aware that this occurs, and if, unfortunately it happens to you, don’t hesitate to ask for something for the inconvenience, such as a room upgrade, spa credit, etc. It can’t hurt to ask, and most hotels are very “customer service” friendly…you just might get something extra!
HOTELS MAY CHARGE “DAILY USAGE FEES or
hotels keep their room costs low is to charge guests for items they use during their say and some hotels just charge all guest “daily access fees.” For example, some hotels charge a per day fee to use the work out facility, internet, pool, phone, etc. While you check in, ask the front desk if there are any services at the hotel that are not included in the price of the room. You can view the hotels website prior to your travels to see what is included and what is considered available.
SPECIAL REQUESTS/ROOM REQUESTS:
Destination Travel will note your booking of any special needs and requests and those will be sent with the reservation to the hotel. It is the client’s responsibility to also follow up regarding those upon check in with the concierge at the hotel. Not all hotels will be able to accommodate all requests. Specific requests such as location of a room, adjoining rooms, etc. are just “requests” and cannot be guaranteed. These are based on availability, and in most cases the hotel will try to accommodate your request to the best of their ability.
DRINKING WATER, BRUSHING TEETH ABROAD:
It is recommended to only drink bottled water and brush your teeth with bottled water when traveling abroad. When traveling, clients eat and drink differently than what they are used to at home. Be sure to pack some Imodium in case you need it. I always take a daily probiotic as well that seems to help when traveling. Here is a very useful website with great travel food and water safety tips: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/food-water-safety
CALL YOUR CREDIT CARD COMPANY:
It is also advisable to notify your credit card company that you will be traveling, where you will be traveling and when you will be gone. That way they know to expect charges from you that are legitimate from a different destination.
Many areas in Mexico and the Caribbean do accept the US Dollar. However, many other counties do require that you to exchange currency. Be sure to check with the country in which you are visiting to see if they require you to exchange money before you go or when you are traveling.
Suggestion is to bring SMALL DENOMINATIONS OF DOLLARS FOR TIPPING: Go to the bank and get one and five dollar bills. This will ensure you will have lots of small dollars to tip your drivers, bellman, concierge desk, skycap, etc.
It is important to leave your valuables at home. However, if you do take them with you, be sure to keep your valuable and essential belongings in your carry-on bag or on your person, NOT in your checked luggage. Your passport, identification, money, credit cards, jewelry and other valuables should always be brought onto the plane with you. If something happens such as your luggage is lost or items are removed from your luggage you will have peace of mind that your valuables will arrive when you do. Carrying travel insurance will also help for any value lost during travel.
PURCHASE TRAVEL INSURANCE:
insurance plans vary, but if you are purchasing a nice vacation, you might also want to consider purchasing the travel insurance. Unforeseen things can always happen, and it usually is not a very expensive addition to a trip. It might just come in very handy when you least expect it but when you really need it! Travel insurance can vary between companies, so be sure to understand your travel insurance policy. If you run into snags while traveling, get documentation from wherever possible, such as proof of airline delay reason, meal receipts, etc. You will might need these when filing claims, so keep everything! And, contact the insurance company right away should you have questions or need to start a claim.
Duplicate Your Information
MAKE COPIES OF IMPORTANT INFORMATION:
Make COPIES of important information to take with you and leave a copy at home. In case you might lose your passport, wallet, or travel documents, make a copy. I recommend putting a copy of each traveler’s passport & travel documents in each suitcase. Thus, if you would lose your passport or travel documents, you would have your information needed to get it replaced while traveling. Also, leave a copy of your passport & travel documents at home in a safe place. Also, make a copy of both sides of your credit cards, driver’s license, etc. Thus, if you lose your wallet, you can call someone to get to those important documents. You will have the phone numbers to call each credit card company as well as your numbers to get things cancelled ASAP.
BE AWARE OF PEOPLE TRYING TO SELL TIME SHARES:
When leaving the United States especially, be aware of “free offers for a small meeting” These people may deter you or tempt you in by offering free drinks, spa services, etc . . . only to try to sell you their version of a “time share” or other items. This can happen at the airport, along shopping/tourist areas, and even at the nicest hotels. Be aware of this, so you know what you might be getting into!
BE SURE TO ALWAYS BOOK THROUGH A TRAVEL AGENT!
The best way to work with a travel agent is to be open about your travel budget, flexible with travel dates to get the very best prices & flights, book early, and be ready to jump on great deals! As prices & availability change constantly, knowing your budget before contacting us and ready to pull the trigger can narrow window of opportunity to get the very best prices/flights/specials etc. Be ready to let us place it on hold to lock in the rate for a day so you can decide. Typically, prices only go up the longer you wait. Remember, we offer experience and you know what you are getting and have someone to back you on all aspects of your trip. We get paid from the hotels themselves! Sit back & dream of that perfect vacation,and let us do the work for you!