As an avid traveler and owner of an upscale online travel agency, I am always looking for ways to find cheap flights for myself and my clients. This blog provides an overview of the different types of Online Travel Sites and the pro’s and con’s of using them. In addition, I have provided you with some helpful travel tips that can help you find cheap flights and airline ticket deals online.
A supplier website is a website that is owned directly by the airline. Examples of popular domestic supplier website are Southwest.com, AA.com and UA.com. Some of the more popular international airline websites are Qantas.com, SingaporeAirlines.com and Lufthansa.com. As 50% of the airline tickets booked online are done through a supplier website, it should be no surprise that one of the best way to find cheap flights is to book directly through a suppliers website. If you know exactly where you are going, and you know that only a few carriers fly to certain destination, then you may just want to go directly to a few of these airlines travel sites and compare prices. This can be time consuming and cumbersome however if you are dealing with multile airlines, require a connection or if you are traveling to an international destination.
Traveling abroad is an exciting adventure, but it is also an undertaking that requires additional preparation. As a U.S Citizen, one of the first things you will need to think about getting is a United States Passport. Before you even book your flight or reserve your hotel room, you are going to have to take care of getting a passport.
U.S. Passport Information
As of June, 2009, the U.S. State Department finalized the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. This initiative requires Americans to carry a passport when traveling by air, sea or land to Bermuda, Mexico, Canada and 17 Caribbean nations. The exceptions to this rule are the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Island and Guam as well as closed-loop cruises that begin and end in U.S. Ports. So, unless your are traveling to one of the countries considered exempt by the U.S. State Department, it is time to get a passport.
U.S. Passport Applications
One of the main questions we get from our clients is when should I apply for a passport? If you are planning on ever doing any international travel, you should just go ahead and apply for a passport. It is a great additional form of identification and it is nice not to have to worry about rushing to getting a passport when you are going on a spur of the moment international trip. In addition, getting a passport requires some time. Once the application is completed, it typically can take 4 to 6 weeks to receive your passport. By getting your passport in advance, you will not have to worry about not being able to go on your trip because your passport has not arrived in time.
For individuals who are applying for their first passport, have lost or had their passport stolen or have had a name change since their last passport was issued, you will have to apply in person to one of the 9,400 Passport Acceptance Facilities throughout the United States. To find a Passport Accemptance Facility close to you visit http://iafdb.travel.state.gov/.
U.S. Passport Renewals
If your passport is nearing its expiration date, it is a good idea to renew ASAP. This is important because some countries require passports to be valid for 6 months after a traveler’s entry or return date. In addition, in can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to get a new passport. By planning in advance you will not have to pay those exhorbitant expedited service charges.
As mentioned above, as long as you have not lost or had a passport stolen or had a name change prior to your last passport being issued, you can apply for a Passport Renewals through the mail. To renew a passport, you must first fill out DS-82 Application Form. You can get this application form at the US State Department website http://travel.state.gov/passport/. You will then mail this Application Form to the enclosed address along with your most recent passport, two identical 2-by-2 inch passport photos, and a check for $75.00. Your new passport should arrive within 4-to-6 weeks along with your original passport.
For expedited service, you can apply by mail or in person. For the mail-in application, send in the aforementioned materials plus an additional $60 processing fee. Be sure to write the word “Expedited” on the envelope and make sure that no proof of delivery is required. Also,pay for the two-way overnight delivery. This process should take 2-to-3 weeks. If you are leaving in 2 weeks or sooner, do not risk the mail. Instead you should make an appointment with your closest Regional Passport Agency and take care of it there.
U.S. Passport Status
To check on the status of your passport, go to the U.S. State Department website http://travel.state.gov/passport/ where the process is clearly defined. You can also contact the National Passport Information Center at (877) 487-2778.
Going on vacation is fun, but preparing for your trip can become overwhelming. So many things to accomplish and so little time to get them all completed.
This Travel Preparation Checklist will provide you with a quick overview of the main tasks to complete prior to going on vacation. Once these are completed. you can take your vacation knowing you have nothing to worry about on your return.
1) Notify your employer 6 months prior to your vacation – Believe it or not, many people are not able to take a vacation during a specific period of time (family reunion, the holidays, concert or sporting events) because they failed to notify their employer in time. For many of us who work for smaller companies, there are fewer co-workers that can cover for you while you are on vacation. In addition, those same co-workers may have already put in their time off request. Do yourself a favor and put your time off request in as soon as possible. To be on the safe side, I suggest 6 months prior to your vacation.
As the title says “hello world”! This is my first official post of the new blog that I am starting for a soon be released travel website named www.jetsetz.com.
I created this blog so that I can to provide you with some helpful travel information to assist you in planning your next vacation. Although Jetsetz is a website designed for travelers who wish to get a little more value for their investment, this blog will discuss all matter of things relating to travel. Hopefully you will find this blog interesting and helpful.
I look forward to sharing my many years of travel experience with you and hopefully having some fun along the way.