Now that your final payment has been made and you are about 45 days away from your trip, here ae some important items to consider as you start your countdown to departure:
ITEMS TO CONFIRM:
Passports – 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.
*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!
Travel Insurance - If you have not purchased a travel insurance policy through your agent, be sure that your current health insurer covers you for emergency medical situations, specifically in your destination and what the coverage limits are. If you find that your insurer does not cover you, please contact your agent to discuss options for insurance.
Currency - 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 as widely accepted outside of the U.S. so you should plan to bring a back up.
Baggage – Charter and budget airlines 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.
Speak with your agent to learn about discounts on baggage for travel with Frontier, Swift Air, Sunwing Airlines.
Major carriers generally only charge for checked bags for most fares to the Caribbean (usually free for Europe and beyond) and you can add these during the 24-hour check-in period prior to your flight. 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.
Enhancing Your Experience:
Excursions – Mexico & the Caribbean only - if you wish to pre-purchase an off-property excursion, you can do so through these reputable companies:
Spa Treatments – Mexico and the Caribbean - Most resorts and hotels allow you to pre-book appointments. If you know you want to visit the spa on a specific day of your trip, all you have to do is visit their website or contact your agent for more information.
Resort Apps – Mexico and the Caribbean - Many resorts now offer free apps that you can use to view menus and restaurant hours, book spa appointments, see daily schedules of activities, etc.
Apps can be downloaded here:
AM Resorts - will not be active until you are on property connected to resort wifi: