Travel Tips

 

AIRLINES

Air flights may not be booked more than 330 days in advance of the return flight.

It is best to use the same airline from your originating airport to your destination and back. If you are flying out of your city on a carrier different from your international carrier, it is possible that you could have a misconnection due to weather or other issues. If you miss that connection, you may be responsible for taking care of yourself until the next flight which may mean the next day. On the next day there may be no seats to accommodate you.

SEAT ASSIGNMENTS:
Some air carriers, most often international carriers, do now allow advance seat selection, or will charge an additional fee to select seats at the time of booking.

CHECKED LUGGAGE:

Most domestic air carriers charge a fee for each checked bag, with an significantly increased price for each additional piece.  Some carriers do allow fee checked bags.  Some airline loyalty programs will allow one free checked piece for their members.  With some airlines, if you use their credit card to purchase your seat, you get free checked bags and priority boarding.


 

CRIME AND SAFETY

Before traveling please consult the following website for tips regarding safety:
http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/safety/safety_1747.html

 

INSURANCE

1. We highly recommend the purchase of adequate insurance.

 

MONEY

ATMs
Rather than visiting money exchange vendors, we recommend that you withdraw cash at ATMs to save money. We suggest you do this at an ATM in the airport as soon as you arrive in a foreign location.  Take advantage of favorable exchange rates offered by ATMs. Cash is dispensed in local currency, and debited from your account in US Dollars - this eliminates additional conversion fees and commissions assessed by currency exchange bureaus. Your PIN should be 4 digits. If your PIN is longer, contact your issuing financial institution and ask for a new PIN number. If you have an alphabetic PIN, translate the letters to numbers before leaving the US. Test your PIN before you travel.

Financial institutions may have restrictions on daily withdrawals even when you are in another country. Check with your financial institution.

 

CASH
Normally, you will not need U.S. dollars when traveling abroad.  However, there are some areas o the world that will readily accept U.S. currency.  Talk to us to before you go and we can advise you. 


ORGANIZE A GROUP TOUR

GETTING STARTED

1. Check with your hierarchy.

2. When you have clearance, give us an ok to get started.

3. Send us a printable picture of you and your wife for the brochure.

4. Send us a very short paragraph that we can use on the brochure inviting your people to join you on a trip of a lifetime. 

5. Float a rumor that you are going to lead a group to your chosen destination; i.e., the Holyland, Greece, England, etc.

6. We will mail/fax you a letter of commitment and understanding which will spell out details of the itinerary, estimated price, what is covered in the trip, deposit dates, and our respective responsibilities. Airline prices fluctuate occasionally, so the estimated price is subject review 11 months from your scheduled return when the airlines are capable of locking in their price.

7. Sign the COMMITMENT LETTER and mail/fax it back.

8. Brochures will be sent/brought/faxed to you for proofing before printing.

9. Brochures will be printed and we will bring/send them to you along with sign up forms, etc.

10. Begin to promote the tour in earnest via bulletin, newsletter, website, email, word of mouth or whatever means is appropriate.

11. Schedule an “interest meeting” if possible for everyone who may be interested in going with you. A Sunday after church or a Sunday evening is always good. If possible, we will attend the meeting to answer questions and to present the short video and a Powerpoint presentation of the itinerary.

 

PASSPORTS AND VISAS

Passports must be valid for six months beyond the return date of you trip. If not, the airlines will not let you fly. If you do not have a valid passport whose expiration date ends more than six (6) months after the date of your tour, you must apply for one immediately. Passports may be obtained at many post offices.


TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN

Children being children, it is not advisable to bring young children on group tours. As precious as they are, they are sometimes worrisome to other travelers and it is doubtful whether the children will absorb the full meaning of the experience. The cost of bringing a child is the same as for an adult.
 

GROUP TRAVEL ADVICE

Tranquility, harmonious relations and a successful journey can be ensured if each tour member, personally, adjusts their mode of behavior to following some simple ground rules.

Make a commitment to the concept, “If you’re on time -- you’re late!”

1. Report to the bus 30 minutes before any scheduled departure, when moving from one city to another and luggage transfer is required.

2. Report to the bus 15 minutes before any scheduled departure if the destination does not require luggage transfer.

3. Exercise discretion if engaging in unscheduled, independent activities. It is suggested that you join with four or more others in such excursions. Stand by and assist if a fellow member of your group encounters a problem.

4. Be aware that holding a bus beyond its scheduled departure time may be ordered only when the tour leader, in his/her discretion, determines that there is an emergency.

5. SPECIAL NOTE
Because of the serious threat to members who suffer allergic reactions to cosmetic scents, we ask that you please do not use perfumes or strongly scented cosmetics on the bus.


PACKING TIPS

Plan for variations in weather from warm to cold to rain. Bring layers. Think washable, wrinkle-free, cool and compact.

Comfortable shoes are a MUST!

Take toiletries in small containers—just the amount needed. Take disposable items that can be tossed when you are finished. 

Plan for medication, health and hygiene needs. You may not be able to run out and buy what you need. 

Ship purchases home whenever possible. Carry as few as possible. 

Make a list of luggage contents and approximate value in case you have to fill out a baggage claim form. 

Practice Pack! Lay out everything and start packing by priority. (Write it down; then pare it down!) 

Carry a bag to see you through all emergencies (Kleenex, towelettes, passport, cash, ID, credit card/traveler’s checks, your hotel list, local maps, something edible. Buy water after security. 

CLOTHING: casual clothing, walking shoes, underwear, nighties, sweater/light jacket, rain poncho, minimum jewelry. 

MAKE-UP ITEMS and TOILETRIES: Keep a meticulous list over a week’s period of the “stuff” you cannot live without. 

HEALTH ITEMS – vitamins, aspirin, medications, extra pair of glasses and a copy of your Rx, contact lens stuff, laxative, diarrhea needs, decongestant. 

PASSPORT / CREDIT CARD/ATM CARD/TRAVELER’S CHECKS!!* (Most items forgotten from above can be replaced with these! 

MISC.: Consider also the following: small sewing kit, plastic folding cup, wash cloth, mirror, shower cap, small scissors, travel alarm, curling iron, hair dryer (alt. Current), travel iron, camera, film, umbrella, voltage adaptor, outlet adaptor, watch, other books and small binoculars.
 


ADDITIONAL ADVICE

Be aware and be careful. Always carry small coins in local currency.