9 Websites To Visit Prior To Your Next Vacation

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Your friends at Holiday Travel have your back…before, during and after your travels. In today’s travel environment, having a professional on your side can make all the difference! We here from our clients all the time that our personal touch is what makes us a must-have asset when planning their vacations.

However, the web can also be your friend - and offers some important resources. So, when you’re ready to take off on your next Caribbean cruise, African Safari, or Australian surfing adventure have a look at the following 9 websites…they might just help set you at ease allowing you to fully enjoy your experience!

1. Get or Renew Your U.S. Passport

Let’s face it - there are virtually zero international destinations you can visit in 2019 without a valid U.S. Passport. For adults 16 and older, they are valid for 10 years and cost either $145 (new) or $110 (renewal). For children under 16, they are valid for 5 years and cost $115, whether new or a renewal. Since many countries require your passport be valid for up to six months after your intended return date, it is always smart to renew ASAP - processing takes 4-6 weeks and additional rush fees for getting one more quickly can easily run another $100…money you can’t spend at the famous shops of Milan.

2. TSA Travel Tips

Packing medications, fashion do’s and don’ts through the security checkpoint, traveling with strollers and car seats - all important topics. These and many more are discussed and answered on this helpful site. You can even ask questions through the TSA Facebook page - like how much wine you can pack home from your trip to Napa Valley.

3. Flight Tracker

With hundreds of airlines, thousands of airports, and tens of thousands of daily flights, only one flight matters: yours. This handy little site lets you track the status of your flight for virtually all domestic and international airlines. You can also view current airport conditions and delays at airports from Aruba to Monaco to Zimbabwe, and everywhere in between!

4. U.S. State Department Traveler’s Checklist

Covering all things International travel, this “Know Before You Go” guide is put out by the U.S. Department of State - and is a resource worth reviewing before your next trip abroad. Everything from enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to customs & immigration details to travel advisories are covered .

5. U.S. State Department Travel Advisories

Everything from simply “Exercise Normal Precautions” to full “Do Not Travel” designations are outlined for all affected countries on Earth on this helpful site. While some may be obvious - like the current Do Not Travel order to North Korea - it is always prudent to explore the safety of your destination before you travel - especially if you like to push the envelope during your worldwide experiences.

6. Worldwide Currency Converter

What will one U.S. Dollar get you in Euros? In Rand? In Yen? This great tool will offer up the current exchange rate for the U.S. Dollar vs. any currency in the world. A handy little tool for budgeting your Baht savings for your next visit to that beachside cafe in Thailand.

7. Worldwide Baggage Fee Chart

Baggage fees are on the rise here in the U.S. with airlines announcing increases daily. But what about baggage fees for passengers of Aer Lingus heading to experience the wondrous Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland? Or those of Air Tahiti Nui on their journey to their overwater bungalow in Bora Bora? Or lucky travelers aboard South African Airways seeking that perfect picture of elephants trudging through Kruger National Park? It won’t make paying the fee any easier - but at least you’ll know before you arrive at the airport!

8. Worldwide List of U.S. Embassies & Consulates

Primarily, these government outposts help travelers help themselves out of whatever predicament they might find themselves in including replacing lost or stolen passports, assist in obtaining local medical care or legal expertise, and help in reaching out to family, friends, and employers back home in case of emergency. There are many things U.S. embassies and consulates can do for you if you find yourself in trouble or in need of help when traveling abroad - but it’s mostly for the reasons you can’t think of. Be informed.

9. Worldwide Weather

Why wouldn’t you want to know what to pack for your spring journey to Buenos Aires, or your winter weekend in Bermuda, or your summer experience in San Francisco? From temperature and precipitation to wind and cloud cover, this site will help you pack to avoid the infamous excess baggage fees (see above).

While it’s important to note that we do provide our clients with updated information about their vacation destination, and we have LOTS of first-hand knowledge and knowledgeable contacts, it’s always smart to educate yourself! Here’s to your next worry-free travel adventure…planned perfectly by your friends at Holiday Travel!

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