Welcome to the October 2007 issue of "Smart Traveler". The newsletter with tips and information to help make your traveling smoother.


NEW PASSPORT REQUIREMENT
( U S Citizen Requirement )

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) once fully implemented will require all travelers entering or reentering the United States to be in the possession of a valid passport.

Anticipated Implementation

  • October 1, 2007 - The departments of State and Homeland Security reestablished the valid passport requirements for air travel. Valid passports are required for air travel to / from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.

U.S. lawful permanent residents will continue to be able to use their Alien Registration Card (Form I-551) issued by the Department of Homeland Security or other valid evidence of permanent residence status to apply for entry to the United States.

  • As early as Summer 2008 - A valid passport will be required for all sea and air travel. And subject to U.S. Government amendment, U.S. and Canadian citizens 15 or younger with their parents consent may cross the U.S./Canadian border by land or sea with a certified copy of their birth certificate.
     

Until that time

Sea Travel Only

  • For domestic travel which includes: the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico, a passport (valid or expired) is highly recommended.
  • In the absence of a passport, a birth certificate (original or certified copy), plus laminated picture ID card issued by a federal, state, or local government agency is required. Note: Baptismal papers and hospital certificates of birth (except for new borns) are not acceptable.
  • For U.S. Naturalized citizens, in the absence of a passport, Naturalization papers (either original or notarized copy) plus a picture ID card issued by a federal, state, or local government agency is required.
  • A voter registration card or Social Security Card are not considered to be proof of citizenship.
  • Children under 16 years of age do not require a picture ID.
     

International Travel

  • A valid passport is required; visas are required where they apply. This includes Europe, Asia, Central and South America.

For additional passport information visit U.S. Department of State.
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html

 
     
Non-U S Citizen Passport Requirement

You will need a valid passport and, in some cases, a visa. If you live in the U.S., you will also need your original Alien Registration Card (ARC or "Green Card") and any other documentation the countries on your itinerary require due to your alien status.

Canadian Landed Immigrants
All Canadian Landed Immigrants (inclusive of those who are citizens of the British Commonwealth countries) who reside in Canada must have valid passports and US visas. Also required is your original Permanent Resident Card (PR Card) formally the IMM 1000 or with respect to any country on the itinerary any other travel documentation required because of alien status.

Visas
Please contact the Embassy (Consular Services) of each country on your sailing itinerary or the visa service of your choice for specific visa requirements, information, forms and fees for your nationality.

Visa Waiver Program
Citizens from the Visa Waiver Program countries of: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom seeking to enter the United States will be required to have in their possession a machine readable passport with a digital photograph valid for the duration of the voyage.
A machine readable passport is one having an alpha-numeric code on the bottom of the picture page. Example:
P<<UKDOE<<JOHN<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<1234567890M1234567890
M1234567890<1234567890

Visa Waiver Program travelers arriving in the U.S. on or after October 26, 2005 with passports issued on or after this date must present passports with a digital photograph.
Visa Waiver Program travelers arriving in the U.S. on or after October 26, 2006 with passports issued on or after that date must present a biometric passport or obtain a visa for entry into the United States.

 
FIVE WAYS TO STAY FIT ON BUSINESS TRIPS


Squeezing regular workouts in between client meetings and business dinners can be a challenge, especially when you're operating out of a hotel in an unfamiliar city.

1. Keep your gear packed
You're less likely to work out on the road if you have to hit the mall when you arrive for a new set of gym clothes. Many business travelers keep a bag partially packed with essential toiletries to avoid scrambling when a new trip pops up.

Do the same thing when it comes to your workout stuff. Always have workout gear in the bag so you don't have to think twice about it. A pair of gym shoes that can double as running shoes, a sports top, shorts and a light jacket will usually do the trick.

2. Work out in the morning
An early workout gets you started with vigor and ensures that exercise makes it into your schedule. It's a better time because you can't predict when the client meeting is going to be end. The sudden 'let's extend this into a business dinner,' can happen at the end of the day."

3. Find out about gym partnerships
Your home gym membership may allow you to work out at affiliated gyms across the country. YMCA members usually are welcome at other Ys, sometimes for free. Even if your gym does not have branches in other regions, some health clubs will welcome members of other clubs that belong to the same professional organizations.

For example, if your home gym belongs to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, you may be able to work out at other affiliated gyms for a small fee. Some hotels also partner with local gyms. A lot of hotels acknowledge that their on-site facility is a closet and they do have a deal with a nearby health club.

4. Pack emergency food
Avoid getting stranded with unhealthy vending machine options by packing a few things that will tide you over. Healthy snacks such as energy bars, trail mix and turkey jerky.

Reward yourself with a great healthy dinner. If the day is just crazy, know at the end of the day you're going to eat something that's good for you and that you're going to enjoy.

5. Don't let stress determine what you eat
Travel is very stressful, and the first thing we do is we turn to something that's very comforting. Resolve ahead of time to stick to your healthy routine -- working out early and packing healthy snacks will help.

Then make healthier meal choices when you have a chance to slow down. "Most restaurants do tend to have at least one or two options that are a lot more sensible than other options.


KEEPING MONEY SAFE WHEN YOU TRAVEL

Nothing can spoil a vacation quicker than losing your money or credit cards - or falling victim to a thief. A few simple steps before you head out the door can help protect your cash, cards and personal information while you're traveling.

People spend a lot of time planning their trips, from buying guidebooks to finding just the right beach outfits. But their eyes glaze over when the subject of keeping money safe comes up.

Why not take a few minutes to do something that could potentially save your vacation? In most cases, the precautions are so simple that they can go on your to-do list with suntan lotion and everything else.

The top recommendation is to clean out your wallet.

Remove unnecessary credit cards, your Social Security card and any other unneeded documents that could compromise your identity if lost or stolen while you're on vacation. Then make a photocopy of the cards you've decided to take along and keep it in a secure location with you (not in your wallet) or leave it with a trusted relative or friend back home. Now you know who you need to contact and how to reach them if your wallet is missing.

Travelers should never leave their wallets or any identifying documents in their hotel rooms when they're not there. Use a hotel safe, when available, or keep your wallet and documents with you at all times.

Leave their debit cards at home when you hit the road, either in the United States or abroad.

Say you're carrying a debit card and it falls out of your pocket at the beach, or you leave it in a store after making a purchase. If it falls into the wrong hands, they can wipe out your bank account in a matter of hours. It can take several weeks to sort out debit card problems with financial institutions, potentially ruining a vacation in the interim. You're much better off with a credit card. You're not out the money ... while you're getting it sorted out.

Your natural reflex is to put everything in one place, but it's better to have your main credit card in one place and your backup card in another. That way, if a thief gets one - or you lose something - you have an alternative.

The same applies to cash.

Every time you pay for something, a pickpocket sees where your cash is held. Travelers should stash their cash in different pockets, in different parts of their purse, in their socks, in a tote, in the hotel safe. Consider unusual containers for money and IDs. How about a small zipper cosmetic case for your passport or photocopies of important documents? Or a small cardboard jacket, like those hotels hand out with their plastic room keys, for credit and bank cards?

Use traveler's checks or prepaid traveler's check cards for backup cash. Some financial institutions offer them free or at reduced fees to their regular customers. But use caution in cashing them: The best place is at one of the issuer's offices. Avoid cashing them at hotels, shops or restaurants - fees and the exchange rate are both likely to be atrocious.Or go to bigger rather than smaller financial institutions. That's because larger institutions generally offer a better exchange rate and lower fees because they handle larger volumes of transactions.

One place not to leave extra cash or backup phone numbers is inside checked baggage where dishonest security personnel or baggage handlers can find it.


Remember: Without a travel agent you're on your own


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