Category Archives: Travel Tips

Holiday Travel Tips

We at Willamette Intl Travel wanted to share a few travel tips with you, our readers and clients, for this holiday season. 

 Following the horrific attacks in Paris, the US Department of State has issued strong advisories to travelers. Experienced travelers already know that it’s important to stay vigilant while visiting tourist destinations. We don’t believe in halting travel out of fear—but we do believe in staying smart. 

Before Your Flight 

  • Register your trip with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. This free service allows citizens to enroll their trip with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. You will receive important information regarding safety conditions on your destination and help the Embassy, friends and family contact you in an emergency. Go here to enroll: https://step.state.gov/step/
  • Domestic Travelers should utilize online check-in within 24 hours of departure. Most airlines allow check in 24 hours prior to a flight—be sure to go online and check in, pay any domestic baggage fees on the website, and, if you can, print your boarding pass. This can reduce wait times at the airport. Traveling with as little carry-on luggage as possible will also speed up your time at the airport.
  • If you’re traveling internationally, flight records can get a bit complicated. It’s best to check in directly at the airport with the airline. 
  • Arrive 3 hours prior to your flight. This gives you ample time to check in your luggage, collect your boarding passes and pass through security lines.  
  • This holiday season, leave your presents unwrapped while they are in your luggage—whether in your carry on or checked bags.  
  • Update your phone contact list to include your airline, hotel, car rental, for clients of Willamette Intl Travel our emergency phone number 503-224-0180 and any other phone numbers you may need quickly. 
  • Fully charge your cell phone before leaving home. Keep your charger in your carry-on bag. Do not keep your cell phone with your credit card. Many iPhone cases are now including places to keep your cash and cards—however, we advice not using these, as iPhones are among the most popular items to be stolen. 
  • If your flight is cancelled and you are directed to a re-accommodation line, get in that line ASAP, and if Willamette Intl Travel issued your ticket, call us ASAP.
  •  Traveling with someone and checking luggage? Divide everyone’s items over the bags, so if 1 bag goes AWOL everyone still has clothes.
  • Keep a change of clothes in your carry-on bag, with toiletries & medications.
  • Dress in layers as temperature can vary in airports, aircraft cabins. 

During Your Trip

  • Be aware of your surroundings and people around you, especially in crowded and busy locations.
  • Keep your purse or day pack on you; a cross body bag is excellent since you can pull it in front of you and anchor with your arm and hand.
  • Think before setting your bag somewhere in public. Is 100% of the bag visible? Keep it in your sight. A bag under your chair can be taken behind your back.
  • Traveling with others? Always have a meeting place defined before you split up in airports, cities, stores. 
  • Be aware of hotel scams. Do not give your credit card information over the hotel’s phone line—always go down to the front desk. Scammers often call people in hotel rooms posing as hotel staff to collect your sensitive info. 
  • If you misplace your room key at a hotel, don’t ask for another key. If they make a copy, the old key is still floating around and cab be used to enter your room. Ask the hotel instead to reset the lock and issue you a new set of keys. 

 

For more Paris security news and tourist destination opening hours, check the website of the US Embassy in France: http://france.usembassy.gov/sm-11152015.html?utm_source=Paris+Perfect&utm_campaign=9bbac78234-Paris_Perfect_Newsletter_16_NOV_2015_Paris_Attacks&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e2dbac07d5-9bbac78234-159877733

 

Important! Our Holiday Office Hours: 

November 26-29 closed for Thanksgiving weekend

December 24 closing at 2.00pm

December 25,26,27   closed for Christmas weekend.  

December 31 – closing at 3.30p

January 1,2, 3 – Closed for New Year weekend.

Have an Emergency? Call 503-224-0180 and our after hours service can address your needs & connect you to one of our agents if needed.

 

We wish you all a good Thanksgiving. 

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Midweek Travel Tips

Welcome to Wednesday! Here at Wittravel we’re launching a Midweek Travel Tips program, where we share the best of our tips for travel on our blog—pre-trip, post-trip and during. 

It’s getting quite chilly in the Pacific Northwest, so we’re asking all our clients to bundle up! When you travel, your risk of infection worsens as you’re forced to deal with irregular sleep schedules, jet lag, unknown foods and unfamiliar temperatures.

Our Top Tips for Health while Traveling:

Jet Lag is a serious condition that can leave you exhausted and out-of-it for days. To reduce its effects, try sleeping on the plane. Stay hydrated and relaxed. When you arrive at your destination, eat according to your host country’s meal schedules. Walk around in brisk air and try to stay awake at least until evening!

Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate! Water is a staple of life, and hydration is all the more important when you are tired and exposed to airplane A/C and unfamiliar germs. That said, drink bottled water and avoid the tap—in many countries, tap water contains serious bacteria and is not potable.

The dreaded Traveler’s Tummy (aka traveler’s diarrhea, aka Montezuma’s revenge, aka Delhi belly) is certainly no fun—stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or worse. It’s easy to become severely dehydrated or malnourished. Stay hydrated, carry imodium and eat with caution. Symptoms usually clear up in a day, but should they worsen, check in with a doctor.

Stay informed and know the Emergency Numbers of your destination. USA is 911, Iceland is 112 and so on. If you’re car breaks down on the road or you’re in some kind of emergency, you’ll need to know how to contact an ambulance, police, or fire department. Here’s a great reference list: http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/students-abroad/pdfs/911_ABROAD.pdf

What do you think of our travel tips program? Tell us in the comments! Is there anything you’d like to know from our travel agents?

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Travel News from Wittravel

Our Agents read and keep abreast of all the latest travel news! Call us to book an appointment to your dream destination today. 503-224-0180 or info@wittravel.com.

Follow us on Twitter to stay in touch with the newest travel tips and tricks!

Here’s this week’s roundup of top news highlights:

At least three top hotel companies are bidding to acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Among those starting negotiations are Hyatt, Jin Jiang Intl Hotels and HNA Group.

Holland America Line cruises has partnered with BBC Earth to boost their “edutainment” offerings, for example a concert based on Frozen Planet. This is similar to last year’s Princess Cruises partnership with Discovery Channel. The program will include enrichment activities, game shows, fun workshops, and animal and dinosaur themes.

Anteroom becomes the first dedicated LGBT cruise line, beginning in 2017. Anteroom will sail its 400-passenger ship around the Mediterranean in coordination with Europe’s Pride festivals.

The Department of Transportation announced a ban on electronic cigarettes in checked luggage, citing 26 incidents where e-cigs were responsible for explosions or fires. Taking them in carry-on bags is still permitted but recharging is not.

Jimmy Fallon gets his own ride at Universal Orlando Resort, opening in 2017. The ride is dubbed “Race through New York starring Jimmy Fallon.”

Xiamen Airlines To Launch North American Flights, from Xiamen to Vancouver starting July 2016.

Airlines Increase Efforts To Tackle Cyber Security Risks. This follows a report from a security researcher that was able to hack into flight controls via his undersea entertainment unit.

Norwegian Escape To Get Separate Smoking Area in Casino, and the new area will be retrofitted with full ventilation.

EU Mobile Data Roaming Charges To Be Banned, starting June 2017. Mobile phone users within the EU will be charged the same as they would in their home country.

Last Monday, a massive dog was given a first class seat on an American Airlines flight.

Emirates plans to codeshare with Alaska Airlines, pending US government approval. Emirates flies twice daily from Seattle to Dubai.

British Airways launches daily direct flights from London Gatwick to New York on May 1, 2016.

London’s Big Ben is in such poor condition it could grind to a halt pending restoration. The mechanism could be shut down for four months for repair.

Work has started on Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia Basilica, designed by Gaudi. It is still 70% complete, and is currently planned to be completed in 2026 for the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death.

Aer Lingus will add three transatlantic routes in 2016. Year-round service will run between LA and Dublin, Newark and Dublin, and Hartford and Dublin.

2015’s Best Airports to Sleep In

1. Singapore’s Changi International: fish spa, sauna, butterfly garden, showers, koi pond.

2. South Korea’s Incheon Intl.

3. Japan’s Haneda Intl.

4. China’s Taiyuan Intl.

5. Hong Kong Intl.

6. Munich Intl.

7. Helsinki Intl.

8. Canada’s Vancouver Intl.

9. Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur Intl.

10. Zurich’s Kloton Intl Airport.

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Attention All Solo Travelers!

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Sign up for Our Solo Adventurers Email Blast Today!

Are you a solo adventurer? If so, you may be familiar with the high cost of traveling single on any tour or cruise. On cruises, the single supplement can be up to 200% of the per person cost for two! Throughout the year, we receive notifications from various tour & cruise operators offering a special single rate on certain trips & departure dates. We have seen these as low as 20% higher than the per person cost—and sometimes they are even waived altogether!

Receive the latest opportunities on select cruises and tours who meet the needs of the solo traveler! Email frontdesk@wittravel.com to sign up today.

We only send marketing information via email if you have signed up, and we never give away our client list.

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Travel News: No more ability to add passport pages as of December 31

Beginning December 31, 2015, you cannot add pages to a U.S. passport. If you have run out of visa pages, you must renew your passport. All passports issued after December 31, 2015, will be issued with 52 pages. Anyone who would like more pages, do be sure to submit your application before the end of the year.

photo by swimparallel, Creative Commons

photo by swimparallel, Creative Commons

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Filed under North America, Travel Tips, USA

The TSA Blog

Here are Willamette Intl Travel we strive to keep ourselves updated on recent developments of all things travel. One of our sources is the TSA Blog, where the US Dept of State publishes everything there is know about how to make your TSA screening go just a bit smoother.

Click here to read their popular post: A Cornucopia of TSA Travel Tips

It covers helpful tips ranging from TSA pre-check to packing smart to traveling with oxygen.

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TRAVEL NEWS: New Carry-On Size Limits!

Airlines are changing their rules on the size of carry-on luggage.

American Airlines and United Airlines issued a notice last week that their standards for carry-on bags have changed to the following new requirements: Maximum dimensions cannot exceed 22” length x 14” width x 9” depth.

Do note that a significant number of carry-on bags used today are over 14” width!

New sizers at check in will be the next step the airlines take to check oversize bags well before they arrive at the gate. If an airline decides to subject your carry-on to their sizer, they require your bag to get through it without being forced.

This policy is likely to spread throughout all the national airlines. Where one airline goes, the rest usually follow.

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