- Travel Documents
- Photocopy all your travel documents including your passport and any document that has your signature on it and leave them with a relative or friend that you know you can contact in the event that you loose all your documentation. The copies can be faxed to you.
- Foreign Immigration
- Most countries allow you to visit for up to two or three months if you show your valid passport upon entry. Some countries have an airport departure tax of up to $25. For authoritative information on a country's entry and exit requirements and on its customs and currency regulations, contact its embassy, consulate, or tourist office in the United States.
- Returning to the United States
- Make certain that you can return to the United States with your PASSPORT or you may not get back into the country! It is now MANDATORY for all vacations outside the United States with the exception of some cruises that leave and return to the United States from the same port. We still highly recommend you get a passport. Even if you are on a cruise that does not require one ... if you get seriously sick or injured you will not be allowed to Life Flight home without a passport ... sick or not! So why take the chance for a $100 document?
- Forget it! Do not bring drugs to a foreign county, or try to bring them back into the United States. You will get caught and it is not a pretty picture ... especially in a foreign country! Your perscription drugs need to be in a bottle with your name on the label and have exactly the pill as described by the manufacture in the bottle. ( color - size -shape - markings )
- Don't over pack when you are traveling, especially now with extra bags costing you extra with the airlines. Sure the women need their clothes and shoes for every occasion, but just try to remember the one suitcase 50 pound rules and work from there.
Make sure ahead of time you have each and every bag with a proper label stating your name and cell phone number so you can be reached. NEVER put your home address on a suitcase! Putting your home phone on a suitcase is also not a good idea if you loose one while you are traveling and do not have access to your home phone.
Many women pack outfits in plastic bags and use the food vacuums to take the air out of the bags to make it possible to pack more skimpy outfits in one suitcase and make them easy to access. You can also roll your clothes for a better outcome.
Pack a dryer softener sheet in your suitcase to keep a fresh, non-travel smell to your clothes when you arrive. Instead of lugging bulky, breakable perfume bottles, soak some cotton balls in your favorite scent and stuff them into empty film canisters. The airtight canisters keep the fragrance fresh!
Bring some large freezer bags to place your wet bathing suits ( if you wear them ) into right before you leave. You do not want to pack wet clothes in your luggage.
Bring a "Day Bag" with you to the resort. Maybe even a nylon bag that will fold up inside your main suitcase and you can keep it in the outer zipper pocket with suits, sun-block, lip balm, and so on. This way when you arrive and your room is not ready, you can take your Day Bag and head for the pool. They will come get you when your room is ready.
- Travel Insurance
- Travel insurance is the best way to protect yourself against financial loss. Surprising enough, these travel insurance packages are basically pretty reasonable. The most useful plan is a comprehensive policy that includes coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, default, trip delay, and medical expenses (with a waiver for preexisting conditions). You can now even buy a "FOR ANY REASON POLICY."
Without insurance, you will lose all or most of your money if you cancel your trip or have to cut it short, regardless of the reason. Default insurance covers you if your tour operator, airline, or cruise line goes out of business. Trip-delay covers unforeseen expenses that you may incur due to bad weather or mechanical delays. Study the fine print when comparing policies.
NOTE: Travel Insurance very rarely covers for other members of your family being sick or being in an accident. Most travel policies just cover the travelers. Make sure you buy a FOR ANY REASON POLICY if you have any inclination there will be a family member that causes you not to complete your travel.
- Travel Sickness
- When traveling to other countries, some people with low immune systems can be affected by local bacteria. This does not mean the resort has food poison problem, it means these people can not easily adapt to local bacteria. If you are susceptible to sickness, call your doctor and tell him you are going to Mexico or Jamaica and get a booster shot.
When traveling to these areas you can also take two teaspoons of Pepto Bismol before each meal and the chances of you getting diarrhea are reduced.
Be sure to pack an effective topical antibiotic cream. The smallest scratch or insect bite can quickly become infected. Try "Bactriban" or "Polysporin". To prevent ringworm, the most effective product is "Nizoral" - sold over the counter as an anti-dandruff shampoo.
- Take extra precautions. In your carry-on luggage bring an extra pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses and enough of any medication you take to last the entire trip. You may also want your doctor to write a spare prescription using the drug's generic name, since brand names may vary from country to country. Never put prescription drugs or valuables in luggage to be checked. To avoid customs delays, carry medications in their original packaging, or bring photocopies of your prescriptions to prove you have the right to own this drug. Especially pain meds!. Bag it: Bag it. Plastic bags -- for everything from toiletries to shoes to aerosol cans -- have prevented many a suitcase fiasco.
- Many of the resorts we sell have Theme Nights. Please feel free to ask what the themes are so you have the correct dress for the evening if you wish to participate. By all means you are not require to participate in any theme night, but can be very fun for the two of you to get into the festivities of the evening. It's fun!
- Beach Shoes
- There are many cool water-wear and beach wear shoes you can buy for walking on the beach and going in the water. We recommend you have some for taking those long walks on the beach.
- Pool Floats
- Most resorts do not provide flotation mats for you to float in the ocean and pools. But an inexpensive float from Walmart and a permanent marker to put your name and exit date on. When you leave, just leave the float there for others to use.
- Dive & Snorkel
- Bring your own fins and masks if you are snorkeling. The masks they give you to use are old and warn out. You want to be comfortable and not fighting a leaky mask and fins that do not fit. For DIVING, most divers do not trust the equipment of other people, so they generally just take air bottles. But for those of you who will use resort equipment ... BE AWARE and check the equipment well before using it.
- Water Safety
- Some resorts have undercurrent in the ocean. Make sure you are a good swimmer before entering unknown waters. Besides undercurrents, there are jellyfish, corral and sea creatures that sting and will ruin your stay.
If you get caught in an under-current, stay clam even though things are looking bad. The main thing is to go-with-the-flow as you will be released at the end of the current, or swing parallel to the shore to be released. Once you are free, swim to the shore.
Never go into the ocean alone unless you know what you know how to swim. Especially watch out for the snorkeling trips that could care less about your health and more about your payment for the excursion. Snorkeling too close to rocks and shorelines when there is a current of waves, you can easily be thrown into rocky shorelines.
Remember ... you and only you are looking out for your welfare. You must look out for yourself in other countries. Only in the US does the government have regulations that watch out for your life.
Make certain that sports equipment, including scuba equipment, that you rent or buy meets international safety standards.
If you use a beach without a lifeguard, exercise extreme caution. Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for Americans in the Caribbean.
Do not dive into unknown bodies of water because hidden rocks or shallow depths can cause serious injury or death. In some places, you may need to wear sneakers in the water for protection against sea urchins.
- Drinking Water
- Most resorts are safe for water issues. Many of us are responding to myths from the past about bad water. The resorts have responded with very expensive water purification plants for sink water, cooking and ice cubes. . Their tap water is probably as good as you have a home or better. In any case, bottle water is available for brushing if it makes you feel better and try not to wash your mouth out with sink or shower water.
- Cameras and cell phones with cameras are not allowed in the resorts we promote. If you are caught taking photos from a no camera area, or your hotel room window into a crowd, YOU WILL BE ASKED TO LEAVE THE RESORT. So don't do this because it is really embarrassing and the resort does not refund the unused nights. Discretion is very important to most travelers to clothing-optional destinations.
If you need to take some "special photos," ask a staff member when and where the photo opportunity times and locations are available for you. All resorts offer places where you can take photos and not infuriate the rest of the guests. Some people are at ease with nudity and lifestyle-oriented resorts, while others prefer to keep this part of their lives very private and do not want to be photographed and posted on the internet!
- Driving/Rental Cars
- If you plan to rent a car, be aware that most jurisdictions of the Caribbean drive on the left. The only places where you drive on the right are Aruba, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique, and the Netherlands Antilles. In other places, if you are not used to driving on the left, proceed slowly and with utmost caution. You may wish to ride as a passenger for a while before trying to drive yourself.
Driving conditions and local driving patterns are different from the U.S. Many roads are narrow or winding, signs may not be in English, and in some places, domestic animals roam freely. Defensive driving is a must.
- Safety Tips
- Jamaica --- Always be on alert when not in your own country. Third-World countries like Jamaica have some pretty impoverished areas and you should not leave the resort unless you are on a sanctioned tour. Many people do go solo sight seeing, but we recommend you do not in Jamaica. If you are gong to go sight seeing in Jamaica, PLEASE use the Excursions Desk at the resorts to set the trips up. These trips have been cleared for your safety by the resorts.
Mexico --- Mexico is actually pretty safe. Most of the stories you hear about are from border cites where the drug trafficking is ramped. Resort cities like Cancun and Cabo San Lucas are pretty safe, but always be aware as there are bad people even in your own neighborhood. Besides, search Google for your home city and compare the crime rate to Cancun or Cabo San Lucas and you will see you will be vacationing where there is less crime!
Safety begins when you pack. Leave expensive jewelry, unnecessary credit cards, and anything you would hate to lose at home. Do not take valuables to the beach. When possible, use the hotel safe when you go to the beach or into town.