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A study completed by AARP Travel found 94 percent of its respondents expecting to take personal time to travel in 2019. Among Baby Boomers planning vacations, more than half are traveling internationally.

Millennials, too, are heading overseas, but without the time or resources of the older generation, and not in the same numbers. Those Millennials who are going abroad are a little farther ahead in the planning process than Baby Boomers.

Patti Bradley from Far Horizons Travel provides the following international travel tips:

  1. Take empty water bottle or cup with a lid. Once you pass through security, you can fill the bottle with water and take it with you on the plane. Lots of airports even have the water bottle fill stations now. Buying water at the airport can be $3-$4 a bottle.
  2. Take a wash cloth. If you normally use a wash cloth, you may not find them in a lot of countries. I always put one in, just in case. I have been to several places that don’t use them. Or even if they do, they don’t always replace used ones when cleaning the room.
  3. Make a copy of your passport and put it in a separate place from the original. I do this just in case my passport gets misplaced. If you have a copy and need to go to the consulate to get a replacement, it takes a lot less time. It’s expensive to replace, so try very hard not to lose it.
  4. Separate your money. When taking cash, even if not a ton of it, put some in your purse or wallet, and some in your carry-on. That way if you get pick-pocketed or lose your wallet, you will still have some cash left. Also, buy foreign currency before you go. They do not take USD in most countries so if you want to tip your baggage handler, buy a soda or food or anything else, you have their money. You can exchange in most international airports upon arrival, but the exchange rate is not the best. Also, get smaller denominations if you can.
  5. Call your cell service provider, your credit card companies and your bank to let them know you will be gone. I do not take my debit card when I travel because you cannot replace cash. However, credit cards have a fraud clause that will safeguard you in case of theft. Take only a Visa or Mastercard. They don’t take American Express and Discover cards in most countries. Not all cell phones will work abroad, and some have a temporary international plan. I have AT&T and it’s $10 a day for when I use it for texting, talking and data. I do believe Verizon also has that. Otherwise you can pay over $3 a minute in most countries.

Far Horizons Travel
608 258-1600
www.far.horizons.travel

 

Our readers also had tips for Maricopans planning to go international:

Donna Fisher

Definitely get a TSA precheck ID as well as a passport card. The passport card will also work when traveling domestically when the ID laws change soon.

Ev Glasser

Don’t forget your neighbours to the north; international travel doesn’t need to cross an ocean. As a Canadian with a home in Maricopa, I recommend visiting our Rocky Mountain national parks in the summer.

Jorge Antunez

TSA precheck/Global entry always helps, especially if you are connecting with different airlines, as in some cases you have to exit one terminal and go through a different one. And check in early as airlines have different cutoff times to check in on domestic and international flights.

Adriane Borrego

Put some toiletries in carry-on luggage; for long flights you may need to freshen up in the airport bathroom. Best experiences I have had was having drinks with new people and finding places off the beaten path.

More Tips: USA.gov/Americans-Abroad


This story appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.

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By Joan Koczor

U.S. passport fees are going up $10, effective April 2. Adult passport books will be $145, children 16 and younger $115.

Joan Koczor

The less expensive passport cards, which are good for border crossings and travel by sea to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean but are not valid for international air travel, will increase to $65 for adults and $50 for children.

The price hike is due to an increase in the passport acceptance, or “execution,” fee. The U.S. State Department says it is increasing the passport acceptance fee from $25 to $35 to better cover the costs of processing passport applications.

The $10 increase does not apply to passport renewals by mail. Application fees, the biggest part of the cost of a passport, are not increasing.

This year, travelers from some states may need a passport card and not just a boarding pass and driver’s license to get through domestic airport security. While Arizona is already compliant with the REAL ID Act, which went into effect in January, other states received an extension to become compliant.

Ohio, for instance, is scheduled to become compliant in July, and Michigan will be compliant in October. Until then, travelers from those and other non-compliant states may need to show TSA agents a passport card.

REAL ID established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses (and ID cards) and prohibits the Transportation Security Administration from accepting cards that don’t meet the standards.

Passport cards were largely designed to be a smaller, less expensive alternative to a traditional passport book. It serves the same purpose as a regular passport book in that it allows you to prove both your U.S. citizenship and your identity while you’re traveling around the world. Instead of being a large book such as a passport book, a passport card is similar in size to a traditional credit card.

It also contains a radio frequency identification chip, also commonly referred to as RFID, as a security measure to help protect against identity theft.

Travel.State.gov

Joan Koczor is a senior advocate and a member of the Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Board.

Source: https://go.usa.gov/xn7Ph


This column appears in the April issue of InMaricopa.