Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Where to Park?

I'm packed the ready to head for Venice, or Paris, or Denver. Where do I park at SFO Airport?

Check out this site...http://airportparkinghelper.com/

If you've got a trip planned, don't forget to use the airport parking coupons below to save some cash. They expire June 30 but are good for travel any time in the future.
·  Get $5 off with code DAD5 at off-site lots with free shuttle service.

·  Get 20% off your deposit with code DAD20 at hotels with free airport parking and shuttle service. (You can skip the pop-up ad and just use the DAD20 code if prefer.)

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Getting a Visa

Many countries have multiple types of visas. There are tourist, work, business, and student ones.

The application process and turnaround times vary for each of those...sometimes dramatically so.

Some embassies and consulates require appointments to apply for a visa and yet others process visas only through a third-party agency. It all varies by country. You may need a plane ticket or even a letter of invitation.

If you need a visa, start the process three months in advance. Keep in mind you will need to give the agency your passport for this process. So, don't plan any international trips during your wait time.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Even More Passport Info

No, you cannot take a selfie as your passport photo. At least not now.

The requirements for the photos are...the photo must measure two inches by two inches; your head must measure between one and 1.375 inches; you will be asked to remove your glasses; you will be asked to not smile.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

More Passport Info

Continuing on with your passports...

Remember to check your expiration date. Why? Because some countries require your passport be valid for 90 days after entry, but a safer rule of thumb is to be valid for six months.

You can visit Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam without a passport.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Passports and You

There has been a ton of information on travel sites about passports in recent months. I've even written a bunch about them.

Here are some reminders and some new info.

In 2007 it became mandatory to have a passport for travel between the US and Canada, Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Those expire 10 years from the time they were issued. If an influx of travelers applied for their first passport in 2007 or 2008...those will be expiring soon. That means there will be a bunch of people renewing their passport.

Since the passport offices can only handle so many renewals every day...check your expiration date now and get ahead of the rush.

Also, check out information on the Real ID Act. You can read more about it here https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-enforcement-brief.

If you're from California or several other states...you need to keep aware of this. Don't panic...just pay attention to what is happening with driver's licenses.

Friday, June 17, 2016

What Do You Know?

Have you thought about planning a specialty tour, like art history, Tuscan cooking, chocolate tasting, or landscape painting? If so, you might want to see if the tour is the right one for you.

Is it tailored to and designed for beginners or for experts? That will make a difference on how much you enjoy it. No sense being bored as the tour guide explains the difference between oregano and basil. Yet, all the art history information geared to college professors might be a little over your head.

Ask yourself some basic questions. Is this a hands-on tour? Will I be able to try my hand at making gnocchi?

Is my guide trained in Renaissance art? What language does my guide speak? Are there additional fees associated with this tour...or is the wine included?

What happens if the tour gets cancelled?

How many people will actually be in the group?

Now, read the reviews. Are they recent ones or all over a year old? Read reviews on more than one site. Are they ALL positive? If so, I would be little concerned. Is the site reputable? Do they post both great and not-so-great reviews? You want the truth.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Collioure, France

Great views of the Mediterranean from Collioure, France.

Great way to enjoy those views.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

What Should I Pay For My Flight?

I read an interesting fact about airfare and what it should cost. This might come in handy when you're looking for your next flight.

The Adobe Digital Index's 2016 Travel Report say the total cost of a domestic ticket should come to less than the total number of miles you're traveling, times 3.2 cents, plus $230. Whew!

That means Roundtrip Miles x $0.032 + $230.

Got it?

For international flights, Roundtrip Miles x $0.08 + $200.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Where Should We Stay?

If you find yourself going to Beaune, France, check out this hotel. The Abbaye de Maizieres.

You'll thank me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Don't Watch the Video

Before your trip, do you read guide books, do you check out the Internet, do you ask friends who have been where you're going, do you read reviews, do you watch travel videos, or do you do all of the above?

There are so many resources available, that it is wise to take advantage of any and all of them.

Get your information ahead of time and then keep learning while you are on your trip. Guide books and videos can give you so much information. However...

I'd suggest NOT doing what we saw one couple do in Venice last year. They were sitting at an outdoor cafe with a glass of wine. That's the good part.

They were watching a video about Venice on their tablet...with the volume turned up so loud everyone at the cafe and on the street could hear it. That's the not-good part.

Watch the video at home. Perhaps make a list from that video. But, don't make everyone within a block listen to it.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Not Travel Related...

I was mentioned in Terry's daily post. This book was written several years ago about my dad and his box of memorabilia from WWII.

Like so many of us, I wish I had taken notes or recorded the stories he was willing to tell. Maybe I could have learned more about his time in the Army with the Red Bull National Guard from Minnesota and Iowa.

I think about him as Father's Day approaches...

Check out Terry's link here: http://www.ctsdaily.net/2016/05/daily-inspiration-5-4-16.html

Friday, June 3, 2016

Airport Parking

You're driving to the airport to start your vacation. Do you know where you're going to park?

Recently, I found a site you need to check out. Take a look at http://airportparkinghelper.com/dollar-shave-club-thinks-were-awesome/

Not only will they help with parking, there are coupons for parking, there is a downloadable packing list (and you know how I like lists), plenty of info on traveling, and so much more.

This is one site I'm going to bookmark. Take a look.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016