Just a few tips to make your trip run smoothly…
Government ID with photo: Make sure you have an appropriate form of identification before you leave for the airport.
Passport: If you are traveling internationally you’ll need a passport. Most countries require that your passport be valid more than 6 months past the date of your return. Make two copies of your passport; bring one with you and leave one at home with a trusted friend.
Other Documents: It’s always good to have a copy of your itinerary with you. Some countries require a paper copy of your flight confirmation before they will let you in the airport. A copy of your travel insurance plan is also a good idea to have handy.
- Most airlines allow bags up to 50 lbs. Please check with your carrier for their specific requirements. It’s easy to over-pack when you’ll be away for a week or more. If your bag is over 50 lbs the airline will most likely charge you an additional fee.
- Check the size of your bag; most airlines will charge you more for an oversized bag. Most trains in Europe are unable to accommodate oversized bags.
Keep all medication with you (in your carry-on or your purse).
Converting US dollars to local currency:
You will need some local currency; ATM’s at your destination will give you money in that country’s currency.
Tips are included in the overall price in Europe. You are free to leave a little something if your service was exceptional but it is not required.
Cruise ships: Most cruise ships will charge around $13 per day, per room for gratuities.
Let your bank know that you will be traveling so your credit card is not blocked. Check with your card issuer on foreign transaction fees in advance. Several places in Europe will only accept credit cards with microchips. Check with your bank if your card does not have one.
- Contact your cell phone provider for international calling plans. Most have plans you can activate only for the length of your trip.
- Leave your phone on airplane mode to avoid roaming charges. Take your phone off airplane mode when you are at a place with wifi and download your mail and text from the wifi service.
- You can also download Watsapp, Viber or Skype on your phone for texting over wifi.
- Before you leave please have a plan of communication with family, work and your travel advisor!
- Wear shoes you can slip on and off easily.
- Clear liquids up to 3 ounces are allowed in carry-on bags but they must be places in a clear ziplock type bag and taken out of your luggage before they go through the Xray machines.
- Cell phones should be placed in your purse or carry-on.
- Take everything out of your pockets and remove belts with big buckles.
- Laptops must be taken out of your bags; sometimes this includes iPads, electronic readers, etc. Each airport is different, ask the TSA agent if they don’t tell you.
- If you have TSA Prescreen you can leave your shoes on, liquids in your bag and breeze right through.
- Be aware of your surroundings and avoid large crowds. Europe and many large cities are playgrounds for pickpockets. Keep your wallet in your front pants pocket and your purse securely in hand (cross ways on your body if possible).
- In some countries small children will come up to distract you while another group picks your pockets.
- There are crafty individuals out there with scams abound, be on alert at all times.
- You can register your trip with the US State Department by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so they know where you will be in case of an emergency.