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    * Passport & Visa Information

    * Foreign Entry Requirements

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    * Travel Warnings

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Passport & Entry/Exit Requirements:

Effective June 1, 2009, all U.S. citizens are now required to present a passport book, passport card, or WHTI-compliant document when entering the United States.

Please Note: Children under age 16 will be able to continue crossing land and sea borders using only a U.S. birth certificate (or other form of U.S. citizenship such as a naturalization certificate). The original birth certificate or a copy may be used.

The passport requirement does NOT apply to U.S. citizens traveling to or returning directly from a U.S. territory.


•U.S. Passport: U.S. citizens may present a valid U.S. passport when traveling via air, land or sea.

•The Passport Card: The passport card is only valid for land and sea travel between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean region, and Bermuda.

•WHTI-Compliant Travel Documents for U.S. citizen travel via land and sea, as of January 31, 2008:

oTrusted Traveler Cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST)

oState Issued Enhanced Driver’s License (when available)

oEnhanced Tribal Cards (when available)

oU.S. Military Identification with Military Travel Orders

oU.S. Merchant Mariner Document when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business

oNative American Tribal Photo Identification Card

oForm I-872 American Indian Card

Entry/Exit Requirements to foreign countries: Most countries require a passport valid for at least 3-6 months beyond the period of stay.  Please check with the consulate of the country you are visiting.

Make two copies of the personal information page of your passport.  Keep one at home and the other with them - away from the original.  Lost or stolen US passports bring thousands of dollars on the black market.  A photocopy helps the local U.S. Consulate reissue a new one in 24 hrs.  Without a photocopy it could take weeks.  PLUS...never let a shop keeper take your passport to a back room for "processing".  Hotel safe deposit boxes are dubious at best.

In addition to keeping a copy of your passport with you while you travel is a good idea; scan your passport and then email it to yourself.  You can access this email from anywhere, print the passport or send it to the proper authorities via email as well.

Know where You Are Going!

Research your destination!  Find out the politics, religion and some cultural points about the place you are going.  This way, you will know what is respectful and what is not.

Phone # on Baggage Tags!

Put your number and the number of someone who is NOT on the trip.  If your luggage gets lost; at least the airline or tour operator can find out WHERE the bags need to be if they cannot reach you.

Take a business card from the hotel you are staying at

Always take a business card from the hotel; it helps the cab driver identify the correct hotel & location.  If you get lost while walking around, it’s easier to ask for directions back to the hotel.


Take half the clothes and twice the money! Also, when traveling with your family or a companion: pack part of each of your clothes in each other's suitcases. That way, if one suitcase gets delayed or lost everyone will still have some clothing. 

Take lots of old clothing that you don't mind leaving behind when you return. That way there will be extra room in your luggage for purchases made on the trip.  Old items, such as gloves, sweaters, tee shirts, socks, and even shoes can be left in the hotel rooms. The room attendants have the option of discard or recycle them.

Take a power strip along.  Nowadays there are so many electronics that people bring (cell phones, cameras, camcorders, laptop computers, etc.) but there are never enough outlets to charge them all.  By taking a power strip, you are able to just plug in all of your devices each night (in one place, and not all over the room!) and by morning you will be all charged up and ready to go!

It is always a good idea to pack a small flashlight in your bag. That way you can find your way around your hotel or cruise room at night without disturbing others. It could also prevent you from tripping or falling to find a light switch.


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