Welcome to the October 2007 issue of "Smart Traveler". The newsletter with tips and information to help make your traveling smoother.
( 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.
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.
Until that time
Sea Travel Only
passport information visit U.S. Department of State.
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.
1. Keep your gear packed
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
3. Find out about gym partnerships
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
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
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.
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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