By Raymond Fleckles
Keep all of your travel documents together. ID, passport, boarding passes should all be kept together in a place that you can easily access.
Keep it simple! Wear slip on shoes if possible and carry as little metal and electronic gadgetry as possible on your person. This will help speed your way through security. Not only will you appreciate it, but so will your fellow passengers.
What Can I Take?
Always check http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/prohibited-items before you travel. This site is updated regularly with any changes and will let you know what can be carried on and what must be checked.
When Do I Need to be at the Airport?
For a domestic flight I recommend a minimum of two hours before your flight. On heavy travel days (Thanksgiving and the 23rd of December through January 3rd) I recommend at least 3 hours before take-off. For any international flights I always recommend at least 3 hours before departure.
Do I Need a Passport?
This is a question I hear quite often. The answer is, if you are leaving the US then generally yes. The only exception to this rule is if a) you are a US citizen b) you can provide a copy of your birth certificate (issued within the US or by the State Department) AND a state or federal issued photo ID c) you are taking a cruise from a US port that will be returning to a US port. Only if you meet ALL three of these criteria can you travel outside the US without a passport. That said, I highly recommend a passport as it will simplify your boarding procedure as well as your return through US Customs. Also, should anything happen while you are on vacation at any port of call outside the US that requires hospitalization or a medical evacuation you will have to have a passport in order to return to the US. If you should have any questions regarding this please contact your travel agent!
What About Holiday Travel Bargains?
Anywhere warm is going be at a premium price during the holidays so plan accordingly. Caribbean, Florida, Hawai’i, Australia are all going to cost as much as double what they might in the summer months. The best deals for any kind of winter travel are typically going to be Europe. Yes, it will be cold, expect similar weather to here in the US. Prices for Europe in the winter time can be as much as 1/3 the price you would pay in the summer months. If you’re someone who just gets really into the Christmas spirit and loves the idea of the decorations, the food and are looking for something really special over the holidays I’d highly recommend Germany or Austria. The majority of the towns and cities in these two countries turn their town squares in to huge open air holiday markets from the beginning of December through Christmas with lights, food, gifts and live music.
This is the time of year that sees the highest number of flight delays and cancellations due to the weather. Relax! Getting upset with the gate attendants at the terminal will not help. Quite the opposite it may get you bounced from the flight or even arrested. Take a deep breath, realize you’re all in the same situation. It’s probably the hardest thing to do when things start to go wrong, but you truly will have a better chance of being moved to the next available flight or of receiving some kind of compensation from the airlines if you just remain calm and civil.
About Ray Fleckles: As co-owner of Raymond Fleckles & Karla O’Maille – CruiseOne, Ray strives to bring his extensive experience of world travel to the aid of his clients.
Over the course of almost forty years, Ray has lived in Europe, Australia as well as several cities and states within the US before settling in Kernersville in 2002. Ray has also travelled to both Canada and the Caribbean. For the past 23 years Ray has worked almost exclusively in customer facing positions including sales, sales management and customer service. This wealth of experience enables Ray to assist his clients in making the most informed travel decision possible.
Ray is an avid follower of several motorsports including Formula One, Le Mans style endurance racing, MotoGP and World Superbikes. His other interests include his children, music and movies.
For any travel related questions or to submit a topic for this blog please email Ray at firstname.lastname@example.org
Luxury Cruises: www.SeaLuxe.com/rfleckles