A Short Covid Update
The game seems to change daily. Keep yourself updated on current
covid travel guides.
Have your masks with you at all times. Wear your mask in airports and train stations. Keep it on when on planes, trains and buses.
Keep your covid vaccine card with your passport. Laminating will protect it during travel.
Remember, having the vaccine doesn't necessarily allow you to skip the covid test.
Check the rules for travel out of the USA , into other countries,
and back into the USA.
What is REAL ID:
Effective May 3, 2023, only state issued Travel ID (enhanced driver license or ID card),
a U.S. passport and other federally approved identification will be
accepted by TSA for domestic travel.
Current US residents
· Visit your Department of Licensing website to learn how to get your Travel ID.
· The cost is usually about $25.00. Applicants must apply in person.
· The Enhanced Driver License or ID card complies with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005.
You must have a passport for foreign travel.
Allow 10 to 12 weeks for processing once your information has been received. For an additional fee of $60 this may be expedited to be processed within 6 weeks. If you need a passport and are traveling in less than 6 weeks, contact the National Passport Information Center (1-877-487-2778) to schedule an appointment and submit your application at a Passport Agency. Good luck!
First Time Applicants
You must apply in person if:
o You are applying for your first U.S. passport
o You are under age 16
o Your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were under age 16
o Your previous U.S. passport was lost, stolen, or damaged
o Your previous U.S. passport was issued more than 15 years ago
o Your name has changed since your U.S. passport was issued and
you are unable to legally document your name change.
Passport Renewal. Renew Early!!
If possible, you should renew your passport approximately nine months before it expires. Many countries require your passport to be valid at least six months beyond the dates of your trip. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met.
Renew by Mail if All of the Following are True
Your Most Recent U.S. Passport:
o Is undamaged and can be submitted with your application
o Was issued when you were age 16 or older
o Was issued within the last 15 years
o Was issued in your current name or you can legally document your name change with original or certified copy of your marriage certificate or the government-issued document evidencing your legal name change.
If any of the above statements do not apply to you,
you must apply in person.
Do I Need a Visa?
Many countries require travel visas. It can take up to 8 weeks to process your
application depending on the country. Most countries require you to apply through a visa service. Artisans of World Travel uses www.Travisa.com.
What to do if your passport is lost:
Contact the US Embassy immediately with proof of who you are.
Have Copies of All Important Documents:
“It’s on my phone.” Wrong!
Remember that your cell phone and apps may not work or be accepted in all countries.
Make two or three photocopies of all your travel documents to use if your documents are lost or stolen. Leave one copy with a friend or relative at home. Carry the other copies with you stored separately from the originals.
Documents to make copies of include:
_____Passport ID page
_____Foreign visa (if applicable)
_____Credit cards brought on the trip
_____Travel Insurance Card
_____Medical Insurance Card
_____Emergency telephone numbers for family and friends
_____Emergency telephone numbers for credit cards
_____US Embassy address and phone number for the countries visiting
All About the Money:
Take the time to prepare for issues before you leave on your trip.
Artisans of World Travel suggests bringing some local currency with you. Bring enough to cover your basic expenses for 24 hours. Currency may be ordered from any major bank. Shop for foreign transaction and currency conversion fees. They vary greatly and may be waived depending on your relationship.
To see what the exchange rate is in the country that you are visiting go to:
When traveling, never keep all your money together. Carry a useful
amount of cash for a day hidden discreetly on you. Keep the
rest in a secure spot, such as your hotel safe. Everyone has his or her
own trick for hiding the money, including money belts,
secret pockets, and suitcase linings.
When exchanging money or getting local currency from an ATM, get
larger amounts to minimize fees. Local merchants prefer cash
and there are times when cards are not accepted. Keep enough
aside to support yourself for several days.
Remember, ATMs rely on electricity supply and a phone signal,
two things that are notoriously unreliable in the developing world.
Carefully check the layout of the keypad on ATMs. Many travelers lose their cards by entering the right pattern but the wrong numbers on a foreign ATM keypad. Be aware of bank charges – banks charge a fee for every withdrawal, and most offer poor exchange rates for credit and debit cards.
Have more than one credit card with you to use in case of
emergencies or if your primary card goes missing.
The chip. If your card has a pin number; know it.
Never let your card out of your sight. Most credit card scams require time alone with your card – if you don’t see an electronic-point-of-sale machine, play it safe and pay with cash.
If you have the option, pay in the local currency on your debit or credit card when abroad, as your bank’s rates will be better than the retailer’s.
Prepaid cards: Can be used like debit cards.
Many have the same benefits as debit cards, such as emergency cash
and card replacement services. As a bonus, most cards offer
favorable exchange rates you can lock in before you travel, and you can
recharge the card online or by phone. https://www.travelex.com
Debit cards: Allow you to access your money immediately.
If your ATM debit card is linked to a major credit card company,
you will have no problem making withdrawals in hundreds of
countries worldwide. Many card programs also include
emergency cash or replacement card services.
Money & Credit Card Check List:
_____My credit, debit or prepaid cards are accepted in the country I plan to visit.
_____I have chips on all cards and know the pin numbers
_____I am bringing multiple cards to store locked away in my room’s safe in case of emergencies.
_____I have notified the bank and credit card companies of my travel plans
_____Emergency credit card & bank phone numbers are noted, copied, and stored properly
_____I have back-up cash or travelers checks.
_____I have ordered enough local currency for at least the first 24 hours of my stay
Renting a Car
Use Your Travel Advisor:
Artisans of World Travel will find the best car rental program tailored to meet your needs during your journey. We will help you decide when and where to pick up your auto and what type of insurance to obtain. We will make sure that you are properly insured for the correct number of days. We will advise you on licensing requirements and help you find access to each country’s driving laws.
Credit Card Insurance Coverage:
Check with your credit card company to know what will be covered for your car rental. If your card offers coverage, domestic coverage is usually covered up to the deductible of your personal auto insurance; while international coverage may cover the cash value of the automobile. Your card may pay for the damage up front or it may require you to pay for all of the damage and then apply for reimbursement. American Express currently offers “Premium Rental Car Coverage” that is quite good coverage for only $25 for up to 42 days of rental coverage.
Check to see how long your card will cover the car rental. Many cards have a 30 day limit. If you will be using a car for longer than the 30 days, talk to your travel advisor about other options.
Credit cards do not cover car rental insurance in Australia, Ireland,
Northern Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, and New Zealand.
Be prepared to buy insurance coverage from the rental agency in these countries.
Do I Need an International Driving Permit?
Many countries will not accept your driver’s license as legal identification for driving a car. An IDP is a valid form of identification in 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo, and driver information. It translates your identification information into 10 languages — so it speaks the language even if you don't. Artisans of World Travel highly recommend an International Driving Permit.
Only two private entities in the U.S. are authorized by the US Department of State to issue IDPs.
To apply for an International Driving Permit:
· be age 18 or over
· present two passport-size photographs and
· present your valid U.S. driver’s license
· The cost of an IDP from these organizations is $20.00.
International Driving Permits
may not be issued more than six months in advance of desired effective date.
Driving Abroad Check List.
____Obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP).
____Photocopy your IDP and your U.S. state driver's license. Keep with you at all times.
____Obtain a copy of the foreign country's driving laws before you begin driving.
____Know about special road permits needed to use divided highways
____Always "buckle up." Besides facing potential fines, it is the safe thing to do.
____Make sure you have sufficient liability insurance. Have contact info with you.
____Know the route you will be traveling. Have a good road map and chart your course.
Use common road safety sense: Do not pick up hitchhikers or strangers and be aware of your surroundings when entering or exiting your vehicle.
Barbara d. Allen & Susan Southwick
Products and services supported by World Travel Portland Oregon
Office: 928 583-9490 Cell: 928 899*9426