​​​   As a general rule, passports should have at least six months of validity when traveling internationally. Most countries will not permit a traveler to enter their country unless the passport is set to expire at least six months after the final day of travel. Be sure to check the entry and exit requirements for each country you plan to travel.  Also check with the United States Department of State to be aware of any travel advisories for your destination.


​                    Country Specific Entry and Exit Requirements



 Always let at least one person know your travel plans, exactly where you are staying, and how to contact you in an emergency.


 Make two photocopies of all your travel documents in case of an emergency or if your documents are lost or stolen.  Leave one copy with a friend or relative at home.  Carry the other copy with you stored separately from the originals.  In addition, email a copy of your documents to yourself or save a copy on a flash drive.


​​​  ​Documents to make copies of include:

      Passport ID  Page
      Foreign Visa (if applicable)
      Itinerary
      Hotel Confirmation​
      Airline Ticket
      Driver's License
      Credit Cards brought on the trip
      Traveler's check serial numbers



 According to a TripAdvisor survey, 3 feet is the closest distance that most people find acceptable to sit next to a stranger on a crowded beach; 20 feet is the preferred distance if the shore is not packed.



   When packing and deciding between what goes in a checked bag and a carry-on bag, a simple rule of thumb is to pack anything of value or importance in your carry-on bag, in case your luggage gets lost by the airline. If you can’t live comfortably without it, do not pack it in your checked bag. "Better safe than sorry!" You may even thank yourself for packing an entire outfit. The following are items you should NOT pack in your checked bag.


     Identification - Driver's License, Passport, Global Entry Card

     Travel documentation
     Boarding Pass
     Money
     Credit Cards
​     Jewelry

     Electronics
     Medications
     Breakable items



 When flying internationally, always pack a pen for completing Immigration/Custom's documents. This way you will not have to borrow from someone or have to wait it line for a pen to become available. It is nice to always have a notepad to jot important information or reminders.


   Packing properly can facilitate the security screening process at the airport.  Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a list of items of what you can and cannot bring on your flight.  Please reference the following link to ease your travel experience at the airport. 


​                    What Can I Bring?



  Air Travel Liquid Rule:


     *  3.4 ounces or smaller sized containers that fit in 1 quart-sized resealable bag may go in a carry-on.
     *  Containers that are larger than 3.4 ounces regardless of amount inside must be in checked baggage.


     Any liquid, aerosol, gel, cream, or paste that sets off the alarm during screening will require additional screening. Peanut Butter or Applesauce may be packed in both the carry-on and checked luggage; however, even though you may feel they are a solid item, they fall under the Liquid Rule.


Hotels often provide convenient travel-size bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc. for guests. If you plan on taking the convenience items home, you would want to plan ahead and bring a quart-size ziplock bag to contain them for the purpose of going through airport security in your carry-on when flying or just to prevent leakage in your checked suitcase. 



  Tips to avoid Lost Luggage: 


     * Check in early - Baggage handlers need time to process luggage and load it onto planes.

​    * Increase the length of your layover between flights - Tight layovers cause airport staff to have a narrow time frame to transfer your luggage to the connecting flight.

​    * Take a photo of your luggage - Taking photos of both the outside as well as the inside may help to locate the luggage if it becomes lost, and it will assist when filing an insurance claim for your lost belongings.

    * Personalize your luggage - You will be able to quickly identify your luggage at the baggage carousel.  If you have a colorful ribbon tied to it, hopefully, others will not mistake the luggage for theirs.



  When flying internationally, on your return trip home to the United States, and you have a connecting flight ... Be sure to allow enough time between flights. You may have to go through Customs, claim your baggage, recheck your baggage, and then go through Security again.


 Always check your flight times 24 hours before in case there have been any flight changes and always arrive two hours early when flying internationally to allow for flight changes and going through Security. (I had an international flight from Cancun to Dallas that was scheduled to depart at 8:30am, and my flight was moved up to 7:05am. The good Lord was looking out for me because I arrived early at the airport.)

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