PASSPORT – Make sure your passport has been renewed and is valid for at least 6 months. Most countries require a minimum of 6 months remaining on your passport, or you run the risk of being refused entry.
INSURANCE – Always travel with insurance. There are hundred of reasons that could cause you to cancel your trip, return home early or force you to seek medical treatment while traveling, so don’t leave hone without it.
VACCINES – Check-in with your doctor or medical professional to make sure you’ve have all the proper vaccinations and renewed all essential prescriptions. Some countries require proof of vaccination before entering.
MEDICAL DOCS – Ensure you have the proper medical documentation to accompany your prescriptions, just in case you are questioned by customs. You physician can supply you with a letter.
VISA – Do you need a visa? It’s always good to double check if a country you’re traveling to requires a visa for entry. Try a visa specialist like A BRIGGS (www.abriggs.com). They have a quick check application and if you need a visa, they can assist you in getting one.
COPY DOCUMENTS – Make copies of your passport, visa, itinerary, drivers license and credit cards, and store separately to your original documents. Just in case any are lost or stollen.
LOYALTY PROGRAMS – Join loyalty programs, from airlines to hotels and cruise companies, be sure that you get credit to reap your rewards.
LANGUAGE – Try to learn a few words of the local language. Making the effort will get you far.
EXCHANGE RATES – Check and understand the exchange rate before you travel.
CREDIT CARDS – Inform your credit card company before traveling, especially if you’re planning to do a little shopping. Credit card companies will turn off your card if they see unusual activity. And make sure your credit card will work in the country you’re visiting. A lot of countries have switched to the chip technology and will not accept the outdated magnetic strip cards. If you’re then looking for a new credit card, choose one that offers travel benefits. Some cards allow you to collect miles/points for any airline, some co-branded cards are airline specific, but most airline or hotel programs will allow you to collect points while you shop.
LOUNGES – Airport lounges can be cost effective when set against the price of buying meals at airport terminals. They are not only for first class passengers. Some credit cards may allow automatic entry, or by paying a minimal fee.
For more frequent travelers, a Priority pass membership starts at just $99 and gives you access to over 850+ lounges worldwide. www.prioritypass.com
TRAVEL SAFE – Be smart and travel safe. Don’t carry all your cash and credit cards all in the same place. If some are lost or stollen, you always have back-up.
TSA/GLOBAL ENTRY – Traveling isn’t getting any easier so two smart ways to get fast-racked through TSA and Customs are to purchase TSA PreCheck ($85 for five years; tsa.gov), which will expedite you through security more than 130 domestic airports. For frequent international travel we recommend Us Customs and Boarder Protections, Global Entry ($100 for five years: cbp.gov); you get recheck as well as being able to zip through US customs.0