Your Travel Tips To Go

Beyond the horizon lies an insatiable curiosity to explore the world once again and connect with one another. The past year grounds us on a level most unimaginable only to take us on a higher level of appreciation for everything Life has to offer. We now travel with greater enthusiasm and find little delights enriching that we previously overlooked.⁠
Go where your heart longs for the visit and your wallet allows for the luxury. Luxury is defined by you. It sometimes is a walk on the beach or having a personal travel advisor. Plan well and most importantly stay flexible as everything is still adjusting back to an almost normal life. Let us know if these travel tips are helpful and share with us your favorite! 
Tip #1: Check your passport
You thought you have it then you couldn't find it. You thought it would still be valid until the gate agent denied your boarding at the airport. You swore you checked everyone's but has forgotten the youngest ones. The dog ate (chewed) your passport. The list goes on.

Check your passport for the expiration date and store it safely somewhere that you could find it later. The expiration date is valid for at least six months past the dates of any planned international trips. Passports have a life span of up to 10 years so it is easy to forget the renewal date, especially when they are not used frequently. 

If you can not renew the passports in time for domestic flights, REAL ID has been extended to May 3, 2023.
Tip #2: Plan in advance
The cost of travel has increased due to the rising cost of being compliant with COVID-19 protocols. The surge in travel is resulting in demand higher than suppliers are able to meet. Pricing and availability adjust quickly and by a large margin at the slightest policy change. 

It is becoming a normal trend for booking to go as far in advance as 2023. Low deposits and flexible cancelation options offered by travel suppliers better leverage your chance of traveling than facing sold-out trips. You will be guaranteed space while others search for availability.

Dear Debbie
As your Travel Specialist,
it is my pleasure to help and serve your needs.
Tip #3: Reserve the car first
The pandemic has forced car rental companies to let go the majority of their fleets resulting in a shortage of cars for the current level of demand. The situation could last two years.

Before reserving your flights and hotels, be certain you have a car if your trip will require one. Call to confirm your booking and the quoted price as they could change when you pick up the vehicle. Craigslist and Uhauls have been the latest and most popular alternatives.
Tip #4: Avoid direct airport pick-up
Due to the shortage of drivers and new regulations for Uber/Lyft at the airports, fees have seen an increase as much as four times the normal amount for pick-up inside the airports such as Los Angeles International Airport.

Pre-arrange your pick-up. The cost of taxis has been lower than that of Uber/Lyft. If you must use Uber/Lyft, it is ideal to select a location outside of the airport which could offset the price from $160 to $40 one way. It could be a hotel across the street or a parking facility nearby. These locations often have a free airport shuttle available to travelers.
Tip #5: Opt for direct flights
Given the dynamic situation of COVID-19, it is best to book direct flights whenever possible since travelers must comply with the requirements of the country of stopover. A connection where no transfer of plane or however short the transfer between gates could still be subjected to the country's protocols.

If a connection is inevitable, the layover is best in-country. A longer connection gives peace of mind in event of the previous flight is delayed.
Tip #6: Travel insurance as part of the plan
Travel insurance pays more than the bills should you require medical treatment during the trip. Medical services could be a simple doctor visit to the hotel or a helicopter transfer to the nearest medical facility.

The value is also in the assistance to find the nearest medical facility to your location and one fitting your needs and insurance coverage. The service agent acts as a liaison to coordinate and translate for all services.
Tip #7: The right insurance policy
When things go wrong, what's your plan? An unexpected break in plans could break the bank. Choose the policy most fitting for your needs. Equally important is the travel insurance company used in the purchase of the policy.

There are insurance companies such as Trip Mate whose policies when purchased standalone or via a third party could act as secondary coverage and exempts services despite the available medical coverage. Always read the fine print or consult your Travel Advisor.
Tip #8: Flexibility and patience go a long way
The demand for travel has left everyone in the industry overwhelmed. The world is adjusting as fast as it possibly could to the surge post-pandemic. Stay flexible with backup plans. Pack Patience with you as airports, hotels, and restaurants likely don't have enough help. Work with a Travel Advisor to help you navigate the new landscape of post-pandemic travel. The world is looking forward to connecting with you for incredible experiences once again!
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