Now that you’ve booked the trip of your dreams, here are some important items to consider as you start your countdown to departure:
ITEMS TO CONFIRM:
Now is a good time to just double check that your passport books (not cards*) are valid for your dates of travel and place them somewhere safe - away from dogs and water! Passports that are torn or water-damaged are not accepted.
Some destinations require a certain # of blank pages available in your passport to enter or a certain number of months left on the validity of your passport - you should visit the U.S. State Department’s website and review the requirements for your destination prior to travel.
*If you only have a U. S. passport card, please contact your agent immediately as you will not be permitted to board your international flight using this document. All travelers, regardless of age, require a passport book for international travel.
Cell phone coverage
If you plan to make calls from your cell phone or receive text messages while not connected to wifi, you may wish to contact your provider to explore options for adding an international calling/data plan. There are a number of apps that will allow you to make phone calls for free while connected to wifi such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and of course, FaceTime for Apple devices.
Even if you don’t use your phone while traveling, you may still want to take advantage of its camera!
Charter and budget airlines (Swift Air, Frontier, Spirit) charge for both carry-on and checked baggage. You can save money by adding them to your reservation beforehand. These airlines do still allow a free personal item that must fit under the seat in front of you.
Major carriers (United, Delta, American, etc.) generally only charge for checked bags for most fares to the Caribbean and Hawaii (usually free for Europe and beyond) and you can add these during the 24-hour check-in period prior to your flight or upon arriving at the airport. These airlines generally allow a free carry-on bag and a free personal item that must fit under the seat in front of you but you should refer to your specific airline for additional information. If you chose a Basic Economy fare, please review the information on baggage provided by your agent.
You can use your airline confirmation code/record locator # provided by your agent to purchase checked bags during the 24-hour pre-departure online check-in period with your airline and view baggage policies for the major carriers below:
Southwest - does not charge for regularly-sized checked baggage. You can review baggage policies to ensure your luggage fits their guidelines.
Don't see your airline? Ask your agent for details.
When traveling to Mexico and the Caribbean, it is not necessary to exchange USD to local currency. USD is accepted in cash for payments and tips at most resorts (with exceptions, per your agent). If you wish to use a credit card, you can do so easily but refer to your credit card provider’s policy on international transaction fees. Discover is not as widely accepted in the Caribbean so you should plan to bring a back up.
Travel to Europe, South America, Asia, the Middle East, Canada and other destinations will require currency exchange. You can do this beforehand by ordering currency at your local bank (allow 10 business days) or you can do so arrive when you arrive at your destination either at the airport, bank or using an ATM and your debit card. You’ll be able to utilize your credit cards anywhere they are accepted as usual but you should refer to your credit card provider’s policy on international transaction fees.
Discover is not widely accepted outside of the U.S. so you should plan to bring a back up. American Express is accepted at large resorts and hotels but not widely at small establishments like restaurants, gift shops, etc. Visa and Mastercard are accepted throughout Europe.
Need further assistance? Contact your agent at email@example.com