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20 Plus Travel Tips for Your Next Vacation

While traveling, there are always unforeseen events that can occur.  Although, we will not be able to prevent everything, you have our commitment that we will plan your trip to the very best of our abilities to ensure your travels go as smoothly as possible.  By taking a few extra steps, you can increase your chances of having a smooth traveling process.

1. Book Your Trip EARLY: There are typically many advantages to booking your trip early:

  • Better Airfare Times & Prices
  • Traveling with Large Groups
  • More Likely to have Pre-Assigned Seats on Airplane
  • More Likely to Sit Together on Airplane
  • More Likely to have More Hotel Room Options Available
  • So you can take Advantage of GREAT prices and specials!

There are often “last minute deals” available, and these still can be very good deals.  Typically, you might get a very discounted hotel stay, but you likely might pay more for the airfare and have less airfare options.  Your best bet, usually, is to still book very early.  If that’s not possible, let’s see what we can find for you.

2.  **IMPORTANT!** Check Passport Expiration Dates:

Check on the passport requirements for the specific country you will be traveling to. Many countries require that a passport be valid for more than 6 months AFTER your return date.  You will be denied board if your passport expiration date is less than 6 months after your return date!  Be sure to check and renew if needed!

3. **IMPORTANT!** Check Country Vaccination Requirements:

Some countries may require certain vaccinations for entrance. Because Destination Fun Travel does not know your travel history as well as vaccination history, be sure to refer to the CDC website regarding any required vaccinations, etc.  Destination Fun Travel will not be responsible if clients are denied boarding or denied entry into the country. The CDC website link is http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.

4.  Travel with a traditional CREDIT CARD:

There are many hotels and car rental companies that do not accept debit cards or even debit/credit cards. To avoid problems, it is important to ALWAYS TRAVEL with a CREDIT CARD that is not a credit/debit card.

5.  Be aware of possible credit card foreign transaction fees:

Many credit card companies charge foreign transaction fees.  Be sure to check with your credit card company to find out if they do charge these additional fees.  You might also want to find a credit card that does not charge those fees to use when traveling.

6.  Call your credit card company and notify them where/when you will be traveling beforehand:

It is also advisable to notify your credit card company that you will be traveling, where you will be traveling and when you will be gone.  That way they know to expect charges from you that are legitimate from a different destination.

7.  Carry Extra Clothes in Carry-On Bag:

In case your luggage may be delayed in arriving at your destination, pack what you might want right away.  For example, if you are traveling to the beach, put your swimsuit, cover-up and sunglasses in your carry-on.  Thus, if your luggage is delayed, you will still be enjoying your stay from the get go!

8.  Pack Suitcases “Together”:

If traveling with another person, pack some of each person’s clothes into each suitcase.  That way, if one suitcase is delayed by the airlines, you both have clothes to get out and have a great time!  Put your name and address INSIDE your suitcase as well, just in case your name tag on your luggage gets lost.

9. Make a Master Packing List:

Make a master packing list, and make many copies of it.  Keep it in a convenient place to add/subtract items you will need for each specific vacation.  Thus, when it’s time to begin the actual packing process, you are more likely to bring exactly what you need and enjoy your trip even that much more!

10. Check the Weather:

Google the weather for your destination, so you will have a better idea of what to pack to make your travels more pleasant.  If specific weather forecasts are not available, you can see averages for the month plus rainfall averages, etc.

11. Bring Small Denominations of Dollars for Tipping:

Start saving your one and five dollar bills or visit the bank prior to your trip.  This will ensure you will have lots of small dollars to tip your drivers, bellman, concierge desk, skycap, etc.

12. To SAVE money, consider an “ALL-INCLUSIVE” option:

The original price may seem high, but all-inclusive options are usually VERY cost effective!  All-inclusive hotels do vary as to what is “included”, but most of the time it includes not only hotel & food, but also beverages, alcoholic beverages, taxes, tipping, airport/hotel transportation, snacks, entertainment, etc.  Most importantly, you know what you are spending BEFORE you go…and you can relax once you’re there.  It feels great to lock your wallet in a safe and not get it out until you check out!

13. Purchase Travel Insurance:

Insurance plans vary, but if you are purchasing a nice vacation, you might also want to consider purchasing the travel insurance.  Unforeseen things can always happen, and it usually is not a very expensive addition to a trip.  It might just come in very handy when you least expect it but when you really need it!  If you run into snags while traveling, get documentation from wherever possible, such as proof of airline delay reason, meal receipts, etc.  You will might need these when filing claims, so keep everything!

14. Make Copies of Important Information:

*Make COPIES to place in each traveling suitcase:
In case you might lose your passport, wallets, or travel documents, make a copy.  I recommend putting a copy of each traveler’s passport & travel documents in each suitcase.  Thus, if you would lose your passport or travel documents, you would have all of your information needed to get it replaced while traveling.

*Make COPIES to leave in a safe place at home:
Leave a copy of your passport & travel documents at home in a safe place.  Also, make a copy of both sides of your credit cards, driver’s license, etc. Thus, if you lost your wallet, you can call someone to get to those important documents.  You will have the phone numbers to call each credit card company as well as your credit card numbers to get things cancelled ASAP.

15. Be Aware of Hagglers:

When leaving the United States especially, be aware of “hagglers”.  These people might try to “lure” you in by offering free drinks, spa services, etc…only to try to sell you their version of a “time share” or other items.  This can happen at the airport, along shopping/tourist areas, and even at the nicest hotels.  Be aware of this, so you know what you might be getting into!

16. Be Aware of Hotels “Over-Booking”:

Very common while traveling to other countries is a hotel “over-booking”.  Be aware that this occurs, and if, unfortunately it happens to you, don’t hesitate to ask for something for the inconvenience, such as a room upgrade, spa credit, etc.  It can’t hurt to ask, and most hotels are very “customer service” friendly…you just might get something extra!

17. Room Requests:

Note that specific room requests, such as location of a room, adjoining rooms, etc. are just “requests” and cannot be guaranteed.  These are based on availability, and in most cases the hotel will try to accommodate your request to the best of their ability.

18. If Considering one, go ahead & Volunteer for a “Bump”:

If you are one who likes to “bump” your seat on oversold flights for airline compensation, it is a good idea to proactively let the airline employee at the check in desk know.  They appreciate your willingness, and it might put you at the top of the list if they need you to bump.

19. Ask for Help:

Most importantly, when traveling, if things don’t go the way you would like them to, politely ask, “Can I get your help?” and explain the situation, rather than demanding something differently.  Don’t hesitate to ask for a manager as they have more options available to them to make things “right” for you.  You are more likely to come up with a satisfied solution by “working together”.

20. Entrance/Exit Fees:

Be aware that many cities/countries charge fees while traveling in their country.  While many vacation packages do include these fees with vacation packages, occasionally you might be required to pay these fees while traveling.  If you come across a situation where exit/entrance fees are required and are not part of your vacation package, this is a customary fee that you would be required to pay.

21. Different Communication Options Available:

There many communication options available to you while traveling.  The first option is using your cell phone.  I would recommend calling your cell phone carrier to see if service is available through your carrier at your destination.   Some carriers have to add international service to your plan which allows the cell phone to work abroad.  Then be sure you ask your carrier about all of costs of using a cell phone at your destination.  (For example, if you have internet service on your cell phone, you could incur high usage costs just for having your phone power on.)  Your second option is call direct from the hotel.  This can be a very expensive option and be sure to check with the hotel regarding all of their phone fees + long distance charges.  Lastly, the internet is also an option for communication while traveling.  Some hotels charge a per day fee to use the internet, some offer a lounge with free wi-fi, and a few even offer wi-fi in your room with either a fee or complimentary.  Check with your hotel website to see what internet services are available at your destination.  This could be a very economical way of communicating while traveling!

22. Hotels May Charge for Services:

One way hotels keep their room costs low is to charge guests for items they use during their say and some hotels just charge all guest “daily access fees”. For example, some hotels charge a per day fee to use the work out facility, internet, pool, phone, etc.  While you check in, ask the front desk if there are any services at the hotel that are not included in the price of the room.  Often times you can view the hotels website prior to your travels to see what is included and what is considered available.  “Available” often times means it is available at a fee, so be sure you know exactly what you are looking for.  That way there will not be any surprises on your bill when you go to check out!

23. Be sure to always book through a Travel Agent!

The best way to work with a travel agent is to be open about your travel budget, flexible with travel dates to get the very best prices & flights, book early, and be ready to jump on great deals!  As prices & availability can vary tremendously, there might be a very narrow window of opportunity to get the very best prices/flights/specials etc.   Be ready to move quickly…what you want might not be there later!  Typically, prices only go up the longer you wait.  Remember, it’s FREE to use a Destination Fun Travel travel agent.  We get paid from the hotels themselves!  Sit back & dream of that perfect vacation, and let us do the work for you!

24. On-line check in

Many airlines allow for on-line check in 24 hours prior to departure.  Many airlines also now charge for checked luggage.  By checking in “on-line” you can print your boarding pass at home and have your seat assignment confirmed.  Also, some airlines discount their luggage fees if paid on-line verses at the airport.  It’s more convenient and might save you a little money!  Some hotels might also offer on-line check in to make your travel process go even smoother!

25. Drinking ages/laws of countries

The legal drinking age in most countries outside of the US is 18 and inside the US is 21.  Be sure to abide by these country drinking laws as these drinking ages are strictly
enforced.

26. Duty Free Purchases of Liquids:

If you purchased duty free liquids that are larger than 3 oz. and have a connecting flight, you must put the liquids in your checked luggage after immigration before checking your luggage to its final destination.  You will need to go through TSA again after customs/immigration.

27. Have a GREAT TIME:

You have dreamt of this trip for a long time, so sit back and relax and enjoy every minute!   Be sure to explore what is available at your destination upon your arrival, so you can enjoy every aspect of what the resort has to offer from the beginning!  This is a great time to check out the resorts many restaurants and make dinner reservations etc.  Or, check out the hotel spa and enjoy your anticipated massage on the beach!

We want to thank each of you who has booked through Destination Fun Travel or referred us to friends & family.  If you know someone thinking of planning a fun destination get-away, thank you in advance for passing our information along. We love to find GREAT deals and help others take advantage of the fabulous traveling specials available RIGHT NOW!  We look forward to hearing from you! Call us anytime at 913.244.4343.

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My Trip to Punta Cana

This was an amazing photo of view upon arrival at the adults only Iberostar Grand in Punta Cana! There is a boat on the right of this photo that has a disco below and they perform occasional shows on it as well! This was a stunning property!

Enjoy some morning waves with your coffee from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. This video was taken at the beautiful Excellence Punta Cana, which is an adults only resort. It is voted as one of the most “romantic” resorts. This resort is a popular spot for clients of Destination Fun Travel.

Enjoy this short video with your morning coffee.

We experienced some great countryside and culture in Punta Cana with some phenomenal excursions. Here is a sneak peak from Monkeyland.

I am enjoying the Punta Cana Airport’s optional VIP service lounge! One can purchase this one way or round trip. This service will bypass most of the long check in lines and TSA lines for the return flight. Plus there is a lounge with complimentary beverages, comfortable seating and wifi to enjoy while waiting for the flight to board! Many clients have enjoyed this service and I’m glad to experience it as well! The only thing missing is my Destination Fun Travel coozie!