Top 7 Important Tips on Jobs That Require Travel

Jobs that require travel can seem like dream jobs for people who have a passion for traveling and exploring different parts of the world. Although the main reason for travel is business, it’s not too hard to escape during your off-time to sight-see and take in the new sights and sounds of a foreign country.

However, before you pack your bags and belly full of butterflies, there are some things to know before departing home. Jobs that require travel involve knowing these 7 important tips:

1. Get your finances in order. Check your bank account balance; be sure you have enough funds in case of emergency. Ensure you have a good supply of personal checks or money orders on hand. Carrying cash can be risky, especially if traveling to seedier parts of the world where pickpockets abound. Credit cards are useful but there may be some locations that don’t accept a certain type of card.

2. Check with your local clinic or hospital for required vaccinations and make sure you get them before you leave.

3. Read up on the country you are visiting, particularly topics about diseases that are prevalent there (traveler’s diarrhea, malaria, etc). Also, check on the safety of local drinking water, ice, street vendor foods, and if they are considered safe or if alternate measures need to be taken such as drinking only bottled water and refusing vendor fare.

4. Review the expiration on your passport (if one is required). If you don’t have a passport but need one, check with a local travel office or county clerk’s office.

5. Tell at least one person, a close friend, co-worker, or relative where you’ll be going, what hotel you’ll be staying at along with the address and phone number. You never know when an emergency may arise.

6. Jobs that require travel can be hectic and fast-paced. Bring along an item that relaxes you, especially on the long plane ride to your final destination; this could be a book, IPod, laptop, sleeping pills, etc.

7. Pack the appropriate clothing and medication supply for your destination. If you’re going somewhere hot then a parka isn’t needed but sun tan lotion and light fabrics would work.

Remember, jobs that require travel can be daunting at first but the experience is something you will never forget. Finally, to add the icing on the cake, you’re getting paid to do it!

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Booking From an Online Travel Company May Actually Cost You More

You probably never thought you would be reading this right now, that booking your travel online would be actually costing you more money, but in many cases it is true, and I can prove it.

But first let me explain that there’s no question in my mind that using the Internet to find great deals is convenient and growing rapidly, and jumping on that last minute vacation package online is exciting and good for your pocket book. The only problem is that you never hear about the aftermath, the disasters, or the irreversible mistakes that arise from those great online deals. However, I do!

I hear about it from past travel clients, I hear it from new clients that swear they will not book another flight or package online, even if their life depended on it! Why, because unlike the majority that enjoy reserving their travel online, and have not had a major issue yet, the ones that do feel the pinch quickly see the true reality.

Now You May Be Thinking That I’m Telling You This Because I’m A Travel Agent!

That may be partly correct, but not for the reasons you may be thinking. As a travel agent I believe it’s my responsibility to educate you on the pros and cons. I get asked on many occasions by potential clients why they should book through a travel agent versus booking their travel online. In response to that question, all I can do is give a few examples of why you should deal with an agent, and normally the message gets through loud and clear. If at that point it doesn’t, I wish that person all the best, and tell them that my door is always open if they need my services in the future.

A Man Walked In to My Wife’s Travel Office At The Airport, Claiming He Missed His Flight!

OK, you probably think there’s a joke to transpire here, but this issue my wife experienced that day was no laughing matter. This upset and confused man walked into her office located at the airport one day and claimed he missed his flight, and didn’t understand why. My wife asked him where he booked his flight, and he said online through one of those travel websites.

When Maria proceeded to take a look at the print out copy of his flight itinerary, she quickly asked him, what time did you check in for his flight? He said 1pm, the exact time that states on his itinerary. Unfortunately at that time, Maria needed to give him the bad news. The bad news was that the print out had said 0100, which if you know military time is 1:00 am in the morning. This client assumed it was 1:00 pm and proceeded to take his flight.

Imagine his eyes popping out of his head when the person at the airline counter just told him his flight left this morning, and guess what? He’s not on it!

I can picture what you’re thinking now, but contrary to what you believe, this man is one of many victims of online travel bookings. You see, at one time he may have booked all his flights and vacations through a travel agent, and when he did, the travel agent took the liberty to explain all the rules and conditions, and go over the Itinerary with him to make sure he fully understood what he booked.

When this gentleman booked his flight online through the travel website, he assumed that he was booking the 1pm flight. However, because he didn’t understand military time, he booked the 1am flight.

Mistakes happen, and trust me I have made my fair share of them. But the one huge and major difference between someone booking with me versus over the Internet, is that if I make the error I normally catch it quickly and fix it, or while I’m talking with the client and going over the itinerary prior to booking the flight, we go over all the details, and at that time can avoid any errors all together if caught in time.

When this fellow booked his flight online, he had no one to go over the booking with him, or to reassure him that all was okay. Even if this guy was a veteran traveller and booked all his flights online, this could have been a simple oversight that he missed, but without a little bit of checking and consulting, this man was destine to pay the price.

He Paid The Price For Booking Online, Alright!

Because the moment he sat down at my wife’s desk, he knew that he needed to book another flight to where he was going, and that it was not going to be cheap!

Maria asked this upset man if he called the online travel company, and he said he did not, and this is where he received more valuable advice that more than likely saved this man thousands of dollars.

You see the fact that he did not show up for his flight in the morning, constitutes a “No Show” in the airlines systems, Maria explained to him. What that means is that if he had a return flight booked as well, and he didn’t contact the airlines to notify that he missed his departure flight, the airlines would cancel his entire itinerary.

So Maria advised him that he needed to contact the airline he was supposed to be flying with and advise them not to cancel the return portion of his flight. This yet again was something this guy was not aware of, and thankfully consulting a professional travel agent, he was given the proper information to avoid additional financial loss.

The moral of this unfortunate story is that even though you think you’re getting the best deal booking your travel online, if you don’t fully understand the fine print, or may be slightly confused on the details listed on many of the online travel companies, we always recommend that you call or visit a travel professional to assist you. You will truly have peace-of-mind, and you can’t put a ticket price on that!

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Passports – Your License to Travel

A passport is very similar to a driver’s license in the United States. It is an globally recognized document, typically used for international travel, verifying who you are and where you’re from. Most countries require a valid passport to enter or exit. All countries issue their own globally recognized passports, the US included. The U.S. Department of State is the division of the government with the authority to grant, issue and verify United States passports.

To apply for a new passport, you’ll need some documentation proving who you are and some time to go apply. Recent changes in the passport regulations require that most applicants must appear in person to apply for one.

US citizens that have never received a passport before should bring a certified birth certificate; current and valid driver’s license, government or military ID; two passport photos that meet the requirements below and fees of $97 plus optional $60 expedited service.

Children under 17 years old are required to hold a passport for most foreign travel. Children under 14 are required to have consent of either both parents’ or guardians’ to apply for a passport. For children born in the United States, a birth certificate, two photos and the fees are all that will be needed. Parents or guardians will need to show proof of citizenship and identity, like a valid passport, birth certificate or driver’s license.

Children or adults born outside the US will need to obtain a foreign birth certificate, report of birth abroad, certification of birth abroad or an adoption decree.

Photos for passports are required to be 2×2 inches. They must be identical, taken within the past 6 months, be in color with the full face, front view showing on a white background. The face must be between 1 and 1 3/8 inches from the chin to the top of the head. Hats, headgear and uniforms except religious dress word daily may not be worn. Prescription glasses (not sunglasses) or wigs worn as part of everyday attire may be worn if they are not obstructive.

To find a passport location near you, visit travel.state.gov and click on “Passports” then “Where to Apply for a Passport”. It typically takes between two and six weeks to receive a passport once it’s been issued. After you received your valid passport, you won’t have to worry about expiration for a full ten years.

Renewal of your passport is easier, quicker and less expensive than the original issuance. You are eligible to renew your passport if you have received it within 15 years, it is not damaged, were older than 16 when it was last issued and still have the same name or documentation for a legal name change.

To renew your passport, you must submit a completed application, two identical passport photos, the fee of $67 and your current, valid, not-mutilated passport. Expedited service is an additional $60. Renewals are usually processed and returned within two or three weeks.

You can check the status of a new or renewed passport by going to travel.state.gov, clicking “Passports” then “Online Application Status Check”. You’ll input your name, date of birth and the last four digits of your social security number.

Electronic passports are in the works in the U.S. The electronic passport, “e-passport”, will be very similar to the current paper passport. The addition of a small integrated computer chip on the back cover and a digital photograph will provide a number of additional benefits. First, the data stored will be much more difficult to penetrate and alter. Second, the digital photo will allow for biometric comparison through facial recognition technology. Additional anti-fraud security features will also be included on the e-passport. Traditional paper passports will still be accepted through their full period of validity.

Regardless of where your travel will be taking you, it is always a good idea to carry your valid, current passport with you. When things go astray, whether in Mexico, Malaysia or anywhere in between, your passport is your ticket to receive protections and rights you are due in that country. Keep it with you as you would your driver’s license in the US.

When are you required to have a passport? If you travel to Afghanistan, Antigua, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Cambodia, Chili, China, Cook Island, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iraq, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom / Great Britain, Venezuela, Vietnam and the British Virgin Islands, a passport (and possibly a visa) will be required.

For air travel to Aruba, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Grenada, Jamaica, Mexico, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Turks and Caicos Islands as well as the US Virgin Islands beginning in 2007, a passport will be required but hasn’t been in previous years.

Special passports are issued for diplomats or those traveling on behalf of the US government. These are issued for no-fee and are only valid for travel when on official business. Military personnel should contact their installation office. Federal employees should contact their Agency headquarters. Peace Corps officers should contact their travel office and Department of State personnel should contact their Bureau Executive or Personnel Technician.

As you enter foreign countries your passport will be stamped. As you exit, the Customs department of the US will verify where you’ve been, how long you were there and what items you have to declare (for taxation purposes.) The stamps are often considered the greatest souvenir of an international trip.

When venturing outside of the United States, always keep your passport on your person. Even if you are required to check all of your baggage, keep your passport with you. Should you lose your passport while in a foreign country, contact the Travel Department of the US Government at 202.955.0430 or the US Embassy in the country you are in.

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