It seems to me that very soon (really, just within the next year) most people will be taking a trip to Europe. The word is out; people are tired of sitting on the beaches; they are hungry for the new; they are looking for the experience of a lifetime and will spend whatever it takes to get it.
I know that I will need to get my body right before the trip and while I will of course want to see all of those things, I also want to make sure that I don’t totally blow my diet when I am there. Hence, plan.
This year let’s focus on Trip Essentials and give you some great tips to make sure that you have a great trip.
Let’s begin with the most important item and that’s your passport. Your passport opens all the countries of the world and gives you permission to travel anytime you want to. Now what I would do is take a good look at my passport and see what it can be done without.
First off, get a good type of plastic cover up. I use my passport cover. It can be used for a multitude of applications; it can be used to protect your passport while travelling to a foreign country, like the Bahamas, or it can be used to protect your passport when you are living states away from home, like the Philippines or Indonesia.
The other great thing about the cover is that when you arrive at your foreign country, you can immediately check the air traffic control tower to see if it is clear out there. Once you see that it is, you immediately call an airport to see what you can do to get on the plane.
Another great thing about it is that when you get to your destination, you can pick up your new passport and just pop it right into the nearest international passport acceptor. You will only have to take an additional photo and make sure you have your old passport tucked into the cover.
Ease of use is a huge plus. You will not have to fumble around trying to find the right passport office. You will know if you are within the correct hours because you will get a can of photo size gel (or better yet, a shot in the dark of the same color tone) and a clean passport within hours. The average time to get my “back pack” is about 30 minutes from the passport office to my hotel. That is why I like the fact that they have that option.
One thing you may not realize about the passport office is that you actually have several different levels of processing depending on the time of day. If it is after business hours, then they will not be necessary and you can go right to the office. If it is during normal business hours, then you will have more time to process the passport. To make the most use of this option, call the offices early so that you can get the necessary information.
It is always a good idea to print out the application and to completely fill it out. If you don’t know the exact name of the country you plan to travel to, you have to include the full legal name in the application. If you have to abbreviate, then you must do it in the singular. If possible, do this in English and use a fountain pen so that you can write down the abbreviated name without losing the fountain pen.
In addition to the application, you will need what is called a DS-11 form. This is the form used when getting a new passport. You can either fill it out online on your computer, or print it out for your lawyer to fill it out for you.
You will also need two color passport pictures. Most photo shops will have the largest size that will fit your requirements, but it is recommended that you go pick up an 8×11 picture from the local library. Don’t forget to bring a light jacket, unless you are going to a cold place.
As important as it is to have all of your application documents in order, it is equally as important to make sure that you have a place to stay. Secure housing is important and should be considered in order to protect your identity and your safety. A reputable motel should be able to accommodate you and your guest. If you have a home to live in, it is also recommended that you have a locks and signal system to prevent strangers from barging into your home uninvited.
If you follow these general guidelines, you should have no trouble acquiring your dream vacation. If you are still worried, contact a travel agent who will be able to guide you towards the safest and most enjoyable places to go.