Welcome to the December 2006 "Smart Traveler". The newsletter with tips and information to help make your traveling smoother.
Tips for Contact Lens Wearers
You are allowed to carry small amounts of eye drops and other
liquids with you on an airplane. However, volumes greater than a
few ounces may only be permitted in your checked baggage. Always
check with your airline or
Bring along two extra pairs of your lenses in case you lose or
damage your current pair.
Aircraft cabins are often very dry, and the lack of humidity may
cause your lenses to feel less comfortable than usual. If
permitted, carry a small bottle of rewetting drops just in case.
For a truly comfortable trip, consider applying a fresh pair of
lenses when you reach your destination.
Most contact lens solutions come in travel sizes. Rather than
packing a heavy full size bottle, opt for a travel bottle. Use a
one-step solution (ask your Eye Care Professional for a
recommendation if you’re not already using one) to save space and
When traveling by air, try to keep your lenses, case, and solution
in your carry-on luggage. DON’T pack your lenses in checked
baggage – unless you want to risk your lenses landing in
Cincinnati while you fly to Honolulu!
The pressurized environment in aircraft cabins can cause some
bottles and lens cases to leak slightly. To avoid a puddle in your
bag, place your lens case and solution(s) in a zip-lock bag before
While it’s unlikely, your eyes may become irritated while you’re
away. Because you should never apply your lenses if your eyes are
red or inflamed, bring along your eyeglasses for emergencies.
Please call your Eye Care Professional immediately if you
experience any discomfort with your eyes while traveling.
The Dept. of Homeland Security has set Jan. 23 as the new starting
date for a regulation requiring airline passengers entering the U.S.
by air within the Western Hemisphere to possess a valid passport.
new date for the regulation, referred to as the Western Hemisphere
Travel Initiative, was the result of a delay in the rulemaking
process that pushed back the original Jan. 8 start date by two
weeks. However, the passport requirement does not apply to U.S.
citizens visiting Puerto Rico and/or the U.S. Virgin Islands as they
are U.S. territories.
cruise and land passengers, the passport requirement takes effect in
June 2009, although that date could be moved up to as early as
Even the most savvy traveler has to
suffer through car rental realities: delayed airport shuttles, long
lines at the counter and lost reservations. Most business travelers
don't have the luxury of a car service picking them up at the
airport and dropping them off stress-free downtown. Here are ten
tips to ensure that your next car rental experience goes smoothly.
Gentlemen ...and Ladies ... start your engines.
10 Tips Before You
Leave the Lot
1. Do you have to rent a car? The best way to avoid rent-a-car
hassles is to avoid renting a car in the first place. Do you
absolutely need your own wheels or can you use public
transportation, shuttles and taxis to get where you want to go?
Conference resorts cater to the non-driver. In Orlando, Florida for
example, a variety of transport services are available to take you
to conference destinations -- at a fraction of a car rental cost. If
your final destination is an urban center, weigh the taxi fares
against parking garage costs, possible parking tickets and the
trouble you may have negotiating unfamiliar streets.
2. Membership has its privileges. No doubt about it -- if you are
going to rent cars, you should join car rental frequent traveler
programs. While upgrades and frequency points are terrific, one of
the best benefits you receive with some is the ability to bypass
lines. With National Car Rental's Emerald Club membership, you can
go from baggage claim to car without stopping at the counter.
Alamo's Quicksilver program lets you arrange for your car at a
kiosk. Car rental companies want the frequent flyer's business. Once
you pick the one that suits your needs -- try to
stick with it.
3. Review your company's travel policy. Does your company restrict
the type of car you can rent? Will the expense for the SUV or
convertible be turned back by the accounting department? Before you
rent, make sure what is and isn't approved. Some companies may cover
a car rental expense over the weekend if that mean a lower airfare
for the business trip. Does your corporate card cover additional
insurance and additional drivers? Check it out --
before you rent.
4. Reserve ahead of time and try to arrive early in the day. Again,
it helps if you are a preferred customer -- but always try to make
your reservation as soon as possible. Write down the confirmation
number and verify the class of car and guaranteed rate. If possible
try to get the information from the company in writing, through your
corporate travel department. One day -- or even hours prior to your
trip, verify the reservation again. Even with a confirmed
reservation, you may be out of luck if you arrive late in the day
when cars have just turned over.
5. It's always a dilemma for travelers -- do you really need the
optional loss or collision damage waiver (LDW/CDW). Understand your
company travel policy about CDW. If you use a personal credit card
for business expenses, check to see if it covers collision and
liability for rentals. It may, but some cards don't cover certain
vehicle types, long-term rentals or rentals in some countries. Extra
insurance fees can really add up, but so can the cost of an
6. Gas up now or later? Should you prepay for gas? It depends.
Understand your company policy and the price implications. If you
think you will be running late, trying to catch the last flight
home, check off the fuel prepayment option. Review all of the rates
before you sign the contract.
7. Sign up additional drivers on the spot. If you're sharing driving
duty with a business colleague, make sure they are listed as an
additional driver before leaving the parking lot. You'll find that
most car rental companies have a policy where co-workers can sign on
for free. Don't skip this step - only authorized drivers should be
behind the wheel in rental cars - or you'll be liable if there's a
8. Study your car on the outside. Take a few minutes looking over
the car before pulling out. Check for scratches and dents. If you
find anything, be sure to get this documented. If there is a line at
the counter inside, have this documented at the gate leaving the
lot. You will be held liable for car damage, unless it is written
down. Don't get stuck paying for a stranger's damage. Look at the
tires, check out the brakes and lights. If the car is unsafe -
switch it - no matter how late you're running for your next meeting.
9. Familiarize yourself with the car's interior and control panel.
Get the air just right and find your kind of music on the radio. You
don't want to be searching for the windshield wipers while you're
doing 65 in a sudden downpour. If the car has anti-lock brakes - and
more than 50% of today's rental fleets do - practice braking before
heading out on the highway.
10. Know where you are going. Many overconfident business travelers
leave the lot without a clue how to get where they are going. If you
haven't been to the location before, get directions and a map. Some
car rental companies offer in-car navigation systems, such as
What Is Norovirus?
The recent news stories regarding illness aboard cruise ships
may cause some of our clients to be concerned about
vacationing at sea. So, we wanted to know, what is this illness, how
do people get it, and why do we only hear about this illness on
According to the most recent information, the facts are as follows:
Norovirus sounds exotic, but it’s well known as
the “24-hour stomach bug” and is the second most prevalent illness
in the U.S., after the common cold. Symptoms may include diarrhea,
vomiting and stomach cramps that typically last one to two days.
There are numerous incidents of norovirus across the country, but
the reason you hear about it with regard to cruise ships is because
they are the only ones required to report gastrointestinal illness
to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Hotels don’t have to
report it – neither do airlines, universities or hospitals!
On cruise ships, the illness is typically spread through
person-to-person contact by touching surfaces that someone with the
virus previously had contact with, not from the food or water. So,
you should heed you're mother’s advice and wash your hands! The
best way to prevent illness is to wash your hands thoroughly and
often with soap and warm water.
What are the chances of getting norovirus?
The CDC estimates that 23 million people in the U.S. – or eight
percent of the population – contract norovirus each year; that’s 1
in 12 people. In contrast, far less than one percent of all U.S.
cruise guests are affected by norovirus annually; that’s 1 in 3,600
people. The few cruise guests who experience symptoms should follow
the guidance of the ship’s medical staff to prevent the spread of
the illness to fellow passengers.
Cruise lines are vigilant in keeping a clean ship. Rigorous cleaning
procedures are in place to disinfect and sanitize public areas
including all door handles, railings, elevator buttons and slot
machine levers, to name just a few. In fact, according to the CDC,
cruise lines have the highest sanitation standards in the world!
The safety and well-being of our guests is the cruise industry’s
If you want additional information, including more
information on norovirus, tips for staying healthy on a cruise and
proper hand-washing techniques, please visit the CDC’s Vessel
Sanitation Program Web site at www.cdc.gov/nceh/vsp or
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