Know Before you Go

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

READ THIS BEFORE YOU LEAVE!

Important information when traveling:

Domestic Travel: Government-issued Photo ID*

For domestic travel in the United States and Puerto Rico, all adult travelers 18 years and older must present government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license for check-in at the airport. For travel to the territories of the US Virgin Islands, an additional proof of US citizenship, such as an original US birth certificate or a US passport, is also required for all travelers regardless of age. Please check with the airline for additional information on acceptable forms of identification and for information on unaccompanied minors. The airlines reserve the right to deny boarding to anyone with insufficient documentation.


International Travel: Passports and Visa Requirements*

For international travel outside the United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, all US citizens (including infants and children) are required to have a valid US passport for entry into the United States. US Passports must be valid for at least an additional six months after the passport holder’s scheduled return to the US. This includes air travel to and from Canada. Driver’s licenses and birth certificates are no longer accepted as proof of US citizenship for international travel. Information on passport applications, where to apply, forms, fees, requirements, and emergency application services are available from the US State Department’s travel website www.travel.state.gov or by calling 1-877-487-2278. This website also has contact information for consulates by country to find out more on entry and tourist visa requirements. Please allow a minimum of 10 weeks for processing a passport application, and possibly longer during the busy season. Check the US State Department passport website www.travel.state.gov/passport for current processing times.

Non-US citizens, including permanent residents with “green cards,” must verify entry and visa requirements with the nearest consulate of each destination country.

PLEASE NOTE: It is the personal responsibility of each international traveler to ensure that they have the correct documents for entry into each country on their itinerary as well as for re-entry into the United States.


Special Requirements for Children Leaving the US*

To ensure the safety of children around the world, countries have adopted special requirements to protect children traveling abroad. If a child is traveling outside the United States and is not accompanied by BOTH parents or BOTH legal guardians, certain documentation and authorization are required:

  1. For single parent travel: A notarized letter of permission from the non-traveling parent or legal guardian authorizing travel with the other parent or legal guardian on the authorized foreign itinerary.
  2. When no parents are traveling: Notarized letters of permission from both parents or both legal guardians authorizing travel with the accompanying adult(s) on the authorized foreign itinerary.
  3. Official forms and paperwork from the consulate of the destination(s) may be required before departure from the US.
  4. Certified translations into the language of the destination(s) may be required before departure from the US.

Regulations vary by country. Contact the consulate or embassy of each country for the latest legal requirements, child age limits and required forms.


Re-confirmation of Flights and Baggage Information*

It is recommended that you call your airline at least 72 hours prior to each departure to reconfirm your flights, provide them with any phone contacts for home or hotel, provide your passport information if necessary, learn about baggage restrictions and make any changes to seat assignments, when possible. Many airlines are now charging fees for oversized and overweight baggage, so do pack wisely! Remember to keep all important documents such as passports, valuables and important items such as medicines in your carry-on bags.


Airport Check-In*

Due to increased security at the airports, it is important that you arrive at the airport early for check-in and TSA screening. For domestic flights, please check in 90 minutes prior to departure. For international flights, please check in 3 hours prior to departure. Leave extra time during holiday and peak travel times, bad weather, and heavy traffic or terminal congestion. Don’t miss your flight due to late check-in: There is nothing we can do if the airline cancels your reservation and denies you boarding due to late check-in.


Travel Tips
  1. Credit cards and ATM cards are becoming more and more accepted worldwide. Replacing lost or demagnetized cards may take time, so be sure to diversify your travel funds with travelers cheques or cash. Leave excess credit cards such as store cards at home. Always have some small denominations of bills handy for tips along the way.
  2. For international travel, exchange money at banks, bureau de change or at the hotel. Foreign currency can also be ordered in advance from banks and some travel services in the US.
  3. Make photocopies of your passport, driver’s license, and front and back of all credit cards and any vital medical prescriptions including eyeglass prescriptions. Pack a set of the photocopies separately and leave a set with a trusted relative or friend. It will be easier to replace lost items and documents with this information.
  4. Remember to suspend your mail, newspapers and other delivery services.
  5. If you are going to a sunny or tropical destination, bring plenty of sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) and a hat. Excessive sun exposure has ruined many vacations.
  6. If traveling with young children, bring along play activities for the airport and the plane ride.
  7. Important medicines, jewelry, and expensive electronics should be carried in your hand luggage. Keep your valuables and important documents in a hotel safe deposit box in your destination.
  8. Make sure your luggage has identification both inside and out.
  9. Check with the airline before leaving for the airport to verify any last minute delays.
  10. Bring comfortable clothes, neck pillow, eye-shades and earplugs for overnight or long flights.
  11. When traveling, use the hotel concierge or the services of the ground operator for information about the destination, taxis or restaurant recommendations.

Additional On-line Resources:

For Duty Free Allowances, contact Customs & Border Protection at www.cbp.gov. Please note that security restrictions on carrying liquids onto flights are applicable to items purchased in duty free. If you fly in from overseas, and will be connecting to a domestic flight after clearing customs and immigration, you will not be allowed to carry on liquid duty free purchases, including liquors, onto your domestic flight. Consult the Transportation Security Administration at www.tsa.gov for complete details on liquid restrictions.

For Health and Vaccination information, contact the CDC at www.cdc.gov

For Travel Tips and Advisories: www.travel.state.gov


*All information in this booklet is provided as a reference guide and is subject to change. Check with your airline, the US State Department and the consulate of your destinations for the most up-to-date requirements.

Happy traveler at an airport.


Travel Resources