If you have not traveled internationally before here are some tips to get you started.
First…you need a passport. The current processing time is about four to six weeks and the cost is about $100. In an emergency passports can be issued in just days through expedited means. Keep in mind there are extra fees attached.
Some countries require a visa to visit. China, Russia, India and most of the Middle Eastern countries are some of those requiring visas. Check out the State Department’s web site at www.travel.state.gov for info on visas and any travel advisories.
TSA is now suggesting three hours prior to departure to check in for international flights. They are also saying that if you are going to Israel, plan on at least five hours ahead of time.
And pack smart. Know what you can and cannot take on board with you. If you pay attention and heed the rules, check in can go much more smoothly.
Hike through vineyards in the fall…with the owner’s permission of course.
Take time to savor amazing views…
Saving money is important…yet you want to get away for a few days…try a vacation home and travel like a local.
Traveling like a local could mean renting a vacation home instead of a hotel. Usually vacation home rentals are located in residential areas…not in row after row of hotels. This gives you a flavor for the city or area you are visiting. Also, you end up with more space than in a hotel room, allowing you more room to stretch out or relax.
You could save some more money by cooking or eating in for a few meals. Usually equipped with a kitchen, buy a few groceries and have breakfast or lunch at “home”. If you are into cooking, check before you book to see if the kitchen comes fully equipped for cooking. It’s not only cheaper but can be a fun experience.
What is your cat reading these days?
Every winery should have some winery cats…right?
These two from The Terraces Winery wanted their photos taken.
Check out these simple but useful tips to use at Disneyland…especially if you are traveling with kids.
Take an afternoon break…take a nap, a swim or anything that will get you out of the park for a little while.
Too much planning might not be a good thing. Let the adventure come to you. If you are having fun, get distracted with a street show or watch Mickey for a while.
Since you won’t see it all in one trip…have everyone pick a couple things they really want to see or do. Then if you get all those done and have time for extra stuff…everyone is thrilled.
Have fun…no complaining allowed! After all…this is the Magic Kingdom.
Traveling with some necessary items in your carry-on luggage can make a difference.
Baby Wipes…these versatile wipes are not just for kids. Clean up after a meal or a long flight, refresh before you land or use in an emergency as toilet paper.
Toothbrush…especially useful after a long flight.
Pen…how many times did you need a pen and could not find one for immigration forms, crossword puzzles or jotting down some good information?
Granola bars…good for flight delays, hungry kids or in place of expensive airport food.
Resealable bags…collect your garbage on a flight, keep your seashells from getting crushed in the bottom of your bag, keep your documents together or store your damp toothbrush.
Mini flashlight…use instead of the overhead light to get some reading done on your flight.
I’ll bet you have some more great ideas…want to share?
What do you use when packing to avoid as many wrinkled clothes as possible? Did you know that plastic reduces friction? Did you also know that friction causes wrinkles?
So my packing aficionado…plastic should be your friend when packing. Save those dry cleaner bags. Either pack your clothes inside or layer the bags in between clothes.
Resealable plastic bags are great to keep any items gathered together and then can be used for countless things when you get to your destination.
With Christmas fast approaching, who wouldn’t like to receive a trip? Give one to your kids and they can come see you, give one to a friend that needs a break or surprise your spouse. How do you do it? Here are some ideas.
Give an airline ticket. But…you may not want to actually BUY the ticket. There are better options if you do not know all the details of when they can travel.
Purchase an airline gift card. If that’s the route you take, be sure to look at the redemption rules. Some have expiration dates, some cannot be redeemed online and some have fees to redeem them.
Think about purchasing a gift card from American Express or etc. and the person can use it on a variety of airlines.
Or purchase miles for the passenger if they have a frequent flyer account with that airline.
Use your own miles to book their trip…if you know the details of the trip.
Think of buying a gift card from Southwest Airlines…where there is no fee to change flying dates nor for checked bags.
At any rate, think fast. According to USA Today fares are expected to be 17% more expensive this holiday period compared to last year. There probably won’t be as many last minute deals either.