Travel sanity: Protect your passport by planning ahead
If you manage to get to the gate at the airport, you might feel that’s half the problem of travel solved.
But international travel has inherent hazards, not the least of which is what happens if your passport is stolen or lost.
A lost or stolen passport means your vacation could be over. It is possible to get an expedited full-validity passport, but it will take days, if all goes well. In the meantime, you can’t travel to another country.
You can get an emergency temporary passport, but that will only take you back home. If you are one-week into a multi-country 2-week vacation and your passport is stolen, then the sad truth is your next stop is probably home.
According to Business Insider, here are the steps to take if your passport is stolen:
– Call the police and get a copy of the police report. That might help you establish that you are the victim of a crime, which could possibly get you an expedited passport.
– Contact the US embassy consular section. Tell the officer if you were a victim of a crime and tell when you are planning to leave the country. This will help determine if you need an emergency passport of a fully valid passport.
– Get a new passport photo before you visit the consulate. There you can fill out the passport application and a stolen passport statement.
– Next you’ll have to provide ID at the consulate. This is where pre-planning makes a big difference. If you have planned ahead, you have a photocopy of your passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, and plane tickets or itinerary.
The new passport will cost $140, if you can wait for it to arrive.
Make copies of your ID documents and put them in a suitcase, one that locks will help.
Leave a copy of your documents with a trusted ally at home.
While traveling, experts recommend that you keep your passport on your body, not in a bag or purse.. Wear a waistband holder so you can conceal it under your clothes.
According to US News, If you are not required to carry your passport in country, then consider locking it in a hotel safe.
How to make air travel more eco-friendly
Although flying is the fastest way to get from point A to point B, it’s highly energy-intensive and emits polluting fossil fuels into the air. Here are a few things you can do to make your next flight more sustainable.
• Fly economy instead of business class. In business and first class, there’s more space between passengers, which is inefficient. In economy class, more passengers benefit from the same fuel amount, equaling fewer emissions per passenger.
• Choose an eco-friendly airline. Support airlines that take environmentally friendly routes and use new, energy-efficient planes. Budget airlines are also a great option since they offer more economy-class seats, making the best use of aircraft space.
• Take daytime flights. At night, planes’ contrails and cirrus clouds trap heat, causing extra warming. However, they reflect sunlight into space during the day, counteracting the heat-trapping effect.
• Take direct, non-stop flights. Avoiding stopovers can help curb emissions during takeoff and landing.
Finally, fly only when necessary and stay longer. You can also purchase carbon offsets equivalent to how much pollution your flight will produce.
Seven ways to travel responsibly
Are you planning a trip? If you want to conduct yourself in a manner that’s mindful of environmental, economic, and socio-cultural concerns while you’re abroad, adopt the following behaviors.
1. Take only the essentials
Packing light reduces the weight of your luggage and can help minimize greenhouse gas emissions. It also gives you space to bring back handmade souvenirs that support the economy in the regions you visit.
2. Put trash in the right place
Make sure you clean up after yourself. If you can’t immediately find an appropriate place to get rid of your garbage, carry it with you until you do.
3. Conserve water and energy
Going on vacation doesn’t give you the green light to be wasteful. Take short showers, and don’t leave your hotel room lights on when you’re away for the day.
4. Follow the rules
Whether you’re visiting a beach, park, or tourist attraction, respect the associated rules and comply with all guidelines that are in place.
5. Offset your carbon emissions
Estimate your trip’s carbon footprint with an online calculator. Then, help counteract the total by purchasing carbon offsets from a recognized organization.
6. Share your experience
When you return home, talk to your friends and family about your adventure and give them tips on traveling responsibly.
7. Plan your next trip
When organizing your next trip, consider trying slow tourism. This concept involves traveling for a prolonged period slowly to have a more meaningful experience.
To plan an excursion aligned with your values, don’t hesitate to contact a local travel agent for advice.
Five things to consider before driving abroad
Are you planning a trip abroad and thinking of renting a car while you’re there? Follow these tips to ensure you’re prepared.
1. Driver’s license. Depending on your destination, you may need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive on the roads legally.
2. Rules of the road. Find out about speed limits, tolls, and alcohol regulations in the country you’re visiting. If you have to drive on the left-hand side, watch a few videos on the internet. This will help you anticipate the maneuvers you may need to make in the opposite direction, such as changing lanes and going through roundabouts.
3. Signage. You may have difficulty interpreting the road signs if you’re not visiting an English-speaking country. Do your research so you know what to expect.
4. Child car seats. If you’re traveling with young children, ask the car rental agency to provide you with car seats. Some American models don’t meet the safety standards in every country.
5. Insurance. Determine if your insurance provides overseas coverage or if you need to purchase insurance through the car rental agency. Also, make sure you have sufficient liability coverage.
Visit travel.state.gov and talk to a travel agent for valuable advice. They’ll tell you what to look for and what vehicle is best for the region you’re visiting. Have a good trip!
Find your flight — in a parallel reality
A busy Midwestern airport has a new feature that’s straight out of Star Trek.
Instead of losing precious minutes scanning a long list of hundreds of flights to find their information, Delta passengers at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport can enter Delta’s new parallel reality experience to get an instant personalized itinerary.
Passengers scan their boarding passes and look up at a large display screen to see their name, frequent flyer status, departure gate, flight number, and flight time. Their information is invisible to everyone else — meaning that the person standing next to them sees something completely different. Passengers who don’t scan their passes only see a blank screen.
The board, which was unveiled on June 28 after years of development, uses motion sensors to detect passengers as they approach the gate, while facial recognition technology identifies those who stop to scan their passes. The specialized screen, with pixels that can simultaneously project different colors in many different directions, flashes information that is only visible where the identified passenger is standing. Up to 100 passengers at a time can use the screen to view their personalized itineraries in their preferred languages.
Detroit is the only airport in the world with parallel reality so far. Still, Delta eventually plans to roll this technology out to other airports across the country and the globe.
Air travel tips: flu season
Are you planning to fly during flu season? Here are some helpful tips to avoid contracting or spreading the virus when you take to the skies.
• Maintain impeccable hand hygiene. This applies both on and off the plane. Sinks aren’t always accessible. Therefore, keeping a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your carry-on luggage or purse is a good idea.
• Avoid borrowing potentially contaminated items. Avoid asking for a pillow or blanket on the plane. Other people with the flu may have used these items. Instead, bring your own pillow, blanket, or travel kit.
• Stay hydrated. You’re more vulnerable to infection if your nose and throat are dry. Drink water or fruit juice fortified with vitamin C, or chew sugar-free gum to keep your mouth moist.
• Be respectful of others. If you’re sick and cannot postpone your trip, take steps to protect other passengers. For example, disinfect your hands often, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing (or, better yet, wear a surgical mask) and touch as few surfaces as possible.
Depending on where you’re going, you may need to visit a travel health clinic a few weeks before you leave to get the appropriate vaccinations and purchase health insurance. Enjoy your trip!
How to navigate busy airports this Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is one of the year’s busiest travel times, as millions of Americans take to the sky to visit loved ones. Crowds, however, can make airports a stressful place. Here are some tips on how to remain calm and collected before your flight.
Pack and dress smart
Do your part to make the security line move quickly by packing your bags as lightly as possible. Make sure electronic devices are easy to access, wear shoes that slip on and off without laces, and avoid wearing a belt with a metal buckle.
Ship your gifts
You may want to arrive at your in-laws with presents in hand, but traveling with gifts will make your luggage heavier. The airline may even end up charging you extra fees for overweight bags. Instead, consider shipping your gifts ahead of time.
With so many passengers and planes in the air, it’s not unusual for things to go wrong. Flights may get canceled, or you could be denied boarding due to an oversold flight.
The best advice is to avoid getting angry at customer service representatives. Airline employees will be more inclined to help you if you can stay calm and show empathy. Also, be aware of your rights as a passenger under federal law. This way, you’ll know what you’re entitled to if you’re denied boarding.
Finally, to ensure your flight is as pleasant as possible, be sure to stay hydrated, wear comfortable clothes, and use a lumbar pillow to support your lower back.
Wind: 4mph S
UV index: 2