Please check to make sure that your passport is valid.
Be aware of the fact that you may need to obtain a visa for entering or even transiting some countries. Some countries require transit visas of certain nationals even though the passenger does not leave the aircraft in transit.
Health, Inoculations & Vaccinations
Some countries may require certain inoculations and/or vaccination certifications of some or all visitors to those countries. Check with your travel planner well in advance in order to comply with these requirements before starting your trip. While some other countries may not have any such requirements yet conditions may exist which might necessitate some precautionary measures per your own health needs and recommendations of your physician. For up to date information concerning travel documents please visit the website of the Consulate/Embassy of the country concerned or call them on phone.
Embassies/Consulates in the U.S.A
To obtain contacts of Embassy/Consulates in the U.S.A and their website addresses you may try the following website: http://www.state.gov/s/cpr/rls
Airlines departure/arrival schedules may change for variety of reasons at any time. Before proceeding to the airport call your airline in advance to check departure/arrival times.
Do not forget to check your free baggage allowance before you pack up your bags. One airline’s rules may not be valid on another airline. Generally, an international airline should allow two pieces of checked-in bags and one carry on piece. Usually there is dimension/weight limitation for your checked in/carry on bags. The dimensions are measured by adding up one length, one breadth and one height of each bag. Although difference airlines may have different limitations, generally the largest of the two bags may not be over 62 inches in dimension as above and total of the two bags may not be beyond 107 inches, meaning if one of the bags’ dimension is 62 inches, the other may not be more than 45 inches. The weight in each bag also varies from airline to airline. Most airlines will allow not more than 50lbs in each checked-in bag and about 10lbs in the carry on. Some airlines are still allowing 70lbs of weight in each bag although the dimension requirements may be the same. Some airlines, especially the locals in some countries may only allow 44lbs of checked-in bag for economy class passengers and 30lbs for Business/First Class passengers. So it is important to check your baggage allowance before you start packing up your bags.
Do Not Forget To
Apply/secure strong name, address tags to the inside and outside of your bags so these may be returned to you by the airlines should they be lost. Do not pack your valuables in your checked in baggage. The airlines pay only a few dollars per pound/kilo of your baggage weight in case your baggage is lost while in the custody of the airlines. Also take all the security precautions with regard to your valuables, travel documents, money, credit cards and other possessions and belonging as necessary. Some passengers keep a copy of their passport main page, visa page, ticket/s etc separately for use just in case the originals were lost or stolen.
Most airline tickets, tour packages and cruises etc., sold in the market place are either totally non-refundable or carry substantial refund/change penalties, which may also include travel agency service fees. The travel dates for which the tickets, tour packages, cruises have been purchased may not be changed or changed with substantial penalties and difference in fares, if applicable. Ask and understand before you buy. Totally nonrefundable airline tickets are usually useable for the leftover value after deducting the stipulated cancellation penalty, for a new trip within a period of one year.
Prohibited Items & Travel Security
As you may be already aware you may not carry dangerous goods and/or weapons or weapon like usable objects in your checked or in your carry on baggage or on your person. Also some items may be carried only in your checked in baggage or the hand baggage or vice versa. To find out exactly what is what you may want to visit Department of Homeland Security website for more information and travel advisories at: http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/index.jsp, click on travel & transportation and then on Travel Security tabs
Know Your Destination In Advance
You want to make the best of your trip. You will double your pleasure if you know your destination in advance and prepare for your trip accordingly. The most important factors are the climate, the clothing you may need, the security issues to protect yourself from the elements and the hazards. One way to know your destination is to visit the websites of the government tourist office of the country/state concerned in the Internet, which is the rich source of information on almost any subject and tourism is no exception. You may also want to learn about U.S. Government Travel Warnings by visiting http://travel.state.gov
Frequent Flyer Program Membership
Most airlines have established special rewards for their frequent flyer passengers. These range from upgrade to Business/First Class to Free Trips as per your mileage achievement levels. If you travel frequently you may want to consider traveling a particular airline of your choice as far as possible to earn mileage credits for rewards by becoming members of their Frequent Flyer Programs and getting your Frequent Flyer Membership number input in your reservations record each time you fly with that airline.
Travel More For Your Dollars
Travel/Tour costs are not the same year round. Travel is more expensive during/around holidays specially school breaks. Plan your trips during non-holiday period like January to Mid May or September to November to make your dollar buy you more vacation for your money. Also watch out for sale around these times to save a little more on your travel trips. Low seasons may be difference for some destinations. Find out the low season for your destination and take advantage, if possible.