Travelling to US from India for the First Time

Tips for Travelling from India to US for First Time.

Travelling from India to US:

Hello friends, I have listed below some of things you should be aware of if you are travelling from INDIA to US on short business trip, Vacation, Studies and long business trip. This guide will help you ease your travel and also act as a guide to help you at every stage.

1. First book your airline tickets. There are many websites , where you can find good deals on air tickets. Some of them include makemytrip.com, cheaptickets.com , orbitz.com etc

Also you can book your tickets from airindia.com. Recommended is check with makemytrip.com

2. Once your tickets are booked, now start looking for accommodation. So that once you land here you know where you will be staying. If you don’t have friends then you can book a hotel. Also booking hotels you can also refer to the cheaptickets.com, orbitz.com, expedia.com etc.

3. If you are staying in a hotel and like to have home made food then you can book a hotel with kitchen. A hotel with kitchen will have a stove and few utensils for cooking.

4. Start your shopping for your trip to US. Based on my experience everyone need to bring almost every basic thing you need on a daily basis. These items are sufficient enough up to 3-4 months minimum. By when you will become familiar with the place and people.

5. Make sure your not bringing things in access, so that they don’t expire by the time you use them.

6. You can also get your India cell phone here for use. Almost all GSM phones can be used in the US with a pre paid cellular companies. There are 2 companies which offer you prepaid cards AT&T and T-Mobile are the 2 service providers.

7. If you already have a Laptop with you can bring the same, so that you have an access to internet as soon as you arrive. Internet is available in many airpots as well. If you don’t have a laptop and have plans for buying them please hold on…you can buy a very good laptop for cheap price in US than in INDIA. Check dell.com or deals2buy.com for good deals on laptops are other electronics.

8. Get to know more about the place to which you are travelling. Information like kind of weather over the year and the current temperature. So that based on that you can bring some warm clothes. You can check for information in goggle buy typing your destination name.

9. Buying the basic things like food, ready to eat, food grams and also few utensils for you to cook at least for few days.

10. Before you travel buy some good travel insurance and also you can buy a health insurance. Unlike in India, here medical services are very expensive without Health insurance. Try find some good insurance company in google. Also there are few companies who provide health Insurance before you travel. Example HDFC, ICICI etc

11. Make sure you have all the documents, whichever is applicable to you before you travel. Keep your tickets and passport and any other documents in a separate place. Has this will be checked at various stages before boarding the plane.

12. You are allowed to carry 2 big bags , 1 cabin bag and I laptop bag. Please check the airline which are travelling for dimensions and allowed weight limits if any. Usually you can carry about 23kg in each big bag and up to 8kg in cabin bag.

13. You can pack all your stuffs which are less expensive in your big bags. All important documents and expensive , delicate items should be packed in your cabin bags. Because the check in bags(2 big ones may not be handled smoothly.

14. Get some foreign currencies and also some Indian currencies. You also find foreign exchange stalls in all airports. But these could be little expensive. Get more of small denomination.

15. Food will be provided in the plane up to four times. So you don’t have to pack any food items with your to eat in plane.

16. Once you are here, you can buy calling cards to call your family back in india. SOme of them are airtelcallinghome, reliance calling card, reliable calling card and many more etc.

For more information Please drop in your comments and how this could be improved.

US Military Had Time-Travel Technology For Last 40 Years

Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla | Source

According to four American government whistleblowers, including Command Seargant Major Robert O’Dean, the US have been in possession of Tesla-based quantum access time-travel technology for the last 40 years.

This technology has been kept locked up in black projects being carried out by the United States and has been weaponized with it’s main uses for sequestration in time-loops of secret military installations including secret bases on Mars and, according to The Examiner:

“attempted imposition of a catastrophic timeline on humanity by withholding or manipulating information about future events.”

Michael Relfe is a whistleblower and a self-proclaimed former member of a secret Mars colony. Relfe claims he was recruited for the role in 1976 and was teleported to the Mars colony for a period of 20 years.

Relfe claims that once his mission on Mars was complete he was regressed by 20 years and teleported back to Earth in order to serve six years in the US Military before being honourably discharged in 1982.

Whistleblowers who have confirmed that there is a secret Mars colony include former member of the Armed Forces Michael Relfe, former US Army Command Seargant Major Robert Dean, DARPA Project Pegasus participant Andrew Basiago and former US DoD (Department of Defense) scientist Arthur Neumann.

The Mars Records is a book authored by Relfe’s wife in which he claims to remember two different types of people who visited Mars:

1. Temporary visitors such as politicians. Relfe claims they travel to and from Mars by jump-gate for a few weeks but are not time-traveled. They are considered to be VIP’s and are therefore off-limits.

2. Permanent staff who spend a total of 20 years on Mars. After they have carried out their duty they are age-reserved and time-traveled back to their space-time origin after having their memory wiped.

According to the whistleblowers there could be one or more secret US bases on Mars used for the occupation or defense of the solar system.

Andrew D. Basiago was a participant in DARPA’s Project Pegasus who he claims developed Tesla-based quantum teleportation and time-travel in the time-space hologram, therefore initiating a US-based program of time-space Chrononauts.

Basiago claims that the US government had completely operational teleportation capabilities as early as 1967 and that the government had trained a wide range of gifted and talented American children, including himself, to become American’s first generation of space-time explorers.

Basiago also claims that the mission was prepared for him by CIA officer Courtney M. Hunt who accompanied him on his second visit to Mars. According to Basiago both trips were made from a “jump room” located at a CIA facility in El Segundo, CA. The ultimate goal of the mission was to establish the fact that Mars is an inhabited planet and the CIA knew of Basiago’s plans to publicly release this information, therefore it was deemed a necessity for Basiago to go to Mars and experience it’s conditions first-hand.

Dr. Jean Maria Arrigo, an ethicist who works closely with U.S. military and intelligence agencies, confirmed that Basiago’s story was indeed true as did US Army Captain Ernest Garcia, whose career in US intelligence includes serving as a guard on the Dead Sea Scroll expeditions of Israeli archaeologist, Yigal Yadin, and as the Army security attaché to Project Pegasus.

Basiago claims that between 1969 and 1972 he viewed past and future events via a device called a Chronovisor. He claims to have teleported back and forth across the country in vortal tunnels which were opened in time-space with the use of Tesla-based teleporters at the Curtiss-Wright Aeronautical company facility in Wood RIdge, NJ and also at the Sandia National Laboratory in Sandia, NM.

Basiago has made many fascinating claims regarding the program including the allegation that time-travel is being used for the political control of the human population, that time-travel was being used to pre-identify and train US presidents, that time-travel was used for political surveillance and even that he viewed moving images of the 9/11 attacks which had been obtained from the future and brought back in time to the 1970s.

In July 2010, as part of a presentation, Dr. Courtney Brown of the Farsight Institute claimed that there are anomalies which suggest the US government are covertly preparing for a 2012/2013 cataclysmic event whilst hiding the truth from the general public.

The anomalies include the rapid expansion of DUMBS (Deep Underground Military Bases) which suggests that the US government have accepted the 2012/2013 timeline as the most probable future.

However, it has also been suggested that it’s a possibility that there may have been a fundamental miscalculation and therefore possibly the wrong conclusion in assuming that the 2012/2013 possible unfolding timeline will be the actual future, when actually it was just a potential future timeline which may never unfold.

Top 50 US Travel Destinations of 2015

The Best Places to See in the USA, from Maine to California, Washington to Florida

When it comes to sightseeing in the USA, there’s really no comparison to anywhere else. Where in the world besides the United States can you find 18 mile wide canyons, giant geothermal calderas, historic cities, and some of the most dramatic coastlines found anywhere? This page will review some of the best places to visit in the United States, including favorites like New York City, California, New England, the Southwest, Gulf Coast, Midwest, and the Pacific Northwest (continental U.S. only – the lower 48 states).

Intro photo of the Grand Canyon by Jim Trodel.
Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Great Smoky Mountain National Park
East Coast USA Destinations
Places you’ll want to see from Maine to Florida

The East Coast contains not only a good percentage of the US population, but big cities like New York, the New England states, the middle Atlantic, and the southern states. A trip here is best planned using I-95 as your base. Read more about the attractions you’ll see along the way here:

1. Starting in the northeast, New England is a beautiful, relatively small region covering six unique states.

2. While you’re in New England, don’t forget to check out the over 550 miles of coastline on scenic Cape Cod.

3. Everyone from the United States wants to see New York City. Times Square, Greenwich Village, the Brooklyn Bridge, the former WTC site, and Little Italy make it one of the most unique cities in the world.

4. The shore of Long Island is a New Yorker’s weekend paradise, and has some of the best stretches of pristine sandy beaches on the east coast.

5. Washington DC is the paramount of free vacationing. With hundreds of museums, memorials, and gardens to see and experience, it ranks amongst the top destinations in the USA.

6. Great Smoky Mountain National Park on the North Carolina-Tennessee border affords outstanding mountain landscape views, with winding scenic backroads and the famous Blue Ridge Parkway.

7. The Hampton Roads region of Virginia contains the cities of Norfolk, Hampton, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach. They are known for their beaches, giant naval station, and the seemingly endless Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

8. South of Hampton Roads, you can find the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This area is a series of barrier islands and peninsulas guarding the coast of North Carolina. On the islands, you’ll find lighthouses, blue skies, dunes, and unbelievable white, sandy beaches.

9. South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach provides a welcome entrance to the coastline of the Palmetto State. Boardwalks, ocean piers, and palmetto lined beaches make it a great place to take the family.

10. The other prize coastal jewel of South Carolina is the historic city of Charleston. The city boasts cobblestone streets, open air markets, and the Civil War battleground, Fort Sumter. Directly south along the coast is Tybee Island in Georgia, as well as beautiful Savannah.

11. Back on I-95 you can head directly south to the city of Jacksonville, Florida. The city is the biggest in the Sunshine State, and the commercial gateway to the attractions of the rest of coastal Florida. It is also where you can pick up the I-10 highway, part of the Southern Route.

12. One of America’s most beautiful pieces of coastline is the Atlantic Coast of Florida. Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Key West make for an unforgettable experience.
tampa
tampa
The Gulf Coast
Incredible places to see and visit in Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Missisippi, and Texas

The Gulf Coast, which includes the states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, has many unique attributes and influences that set it apart from the rest of the country.

13. One of the fastest growing cities in the United States is Tampa, known for its outstanding beaches, nightlife, and infinite water activities.

14. With an impressive collection of mangroves, waterways, and endangered species, seeing the threatened Everglades region of Southern Florida will inspire you to help take action to protect this beautiful landscape.

15. Museums, parks, and historical southern architecture are brimming over in the Gulf Coast’s third largest city, Mobile.

16. 62 miles of scenic coastline and beaches of the Mississippi Coast are slowly but surely recovering from the devastating BP oil spill.

17. New Orleans is a city of comebacks, as the city has been fighting to restore itself beyond its pre-Katrina state, and is home to the 2010 Super Bowl Champions, the Saints.

18. Roughly 624 miles of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico are awaiting, ready to explore along the Texas Gulf Coast.

19. Home of the Alamo, the Riverwalk, and Sea World, the mid-Texas city of San Antonio is an unexpected treat right in the smack dab middle of the Lone Star state.

20. Miles of unprotected borders along the Rio Grande, the massive St. Elena Canyon, and some of the least explored places in the country are all found at Big Bend National Park of Texas.
Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore
The Midwest and the Great Plains
The best places to see in the middle of the USA

21. Rural landscape has been reclaimed in Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

22. Towering beachfront sand dunes hundreds of miles from any ocean? The strange but beautiful views found at Indiana Sand Dunes State Park will inspire many photographs and stories.

23. Over 200 preserved Native American effigy mounds comprise the massive, enigmatic Effigy Mounds National Monument area of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

24. Wisconsin Dells is made up exquisite golf courses, spas, riverfront cottages, and perhaps what they are best known for, water parks.

25. While by appearance it looks like the jagged northern coast of Maine, what you are actually looking at is the incredible Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

26. Chicago, aka the Windy City, aka The Second City, is home to not just deep dish pizza, but the Art Institute of Chicago, the gorgeous Lake Michigan waterfront, and some of the best restaurants in the entire country.

27. Visit South Dakota’s unforgettable wide open space at Badlands National Park, containing sandstone buttes, the largest mixed grass prairie in the USA, and a view that extends for dozens of miles to the horizon.

28. The biggest sculpture in the world, Mount Rushmore, is best appreciated in person to view its full grandeur.

Traveling Abroad For Cosmetic Surgery

Many Americans have been doing it for years; “emigrating” for quality plastic surgery at more affordable prices. While the U.S. standards and credentialing processes for doctors, hospitals, clinics, and outpatient surgery centers are unrivaled, the high cost of certain cosmetic procedures has driven American patients to seek foreign plastic surgery. There is no doubt that there are very qualified surgeons and high-quality surgery centers in other countries. At the same time it is a fact plastic surgery costs less in countries like Mexico, Costa Rica, India, Brazil, Thailand or Russia. Here in Los Angeles, the closest neighboring country is Mexico, so no wonder American patients often seek Tijuana plastic surgery, just a short drive from Los Angeles and San Diego.

Plastic surgery in Mexico can be quite beneficial if the planning is done right. Dr. Robert Kotler, a cosmetic surgeon in Beverly Hills, shared his thoughts on foreign plastic surgery, and what to keep in mind when choosing a surgeon and facilities. Factors like the doctor’s credentials: is the surgeon board-certified? A member of any prestigious medical associations? Have they had any medical training in the United States? What kind of surgery facility do they operate? Does it hold any safety accreditations? Will there be a board-certified anesthesiologist in attendance at all times during the procedure? What kind of safety measures will be handled before your departure home?

Tijuana plastic surgeon, Dr. Hector Milla is an example of what to look for in plastic surgery abroad. Dr. Milla is board certified in plastic surgery, an active member of the Mexican Association of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, the Mexican board of plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, the Mexican Federation of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, the Baja California Association of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, and the San Diego plastic surgery society. The facilities at Face & Body Design, Dr. Milla’s plastic surgery center in Mexico, are up to date with all the latest state of the art technology and equipment and trained staff members. Dr. Milla offers the full range of cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures, from the highly sought-after Fraxel Laser Treatment, to laser hair removal, to Tijuana tummy tuck surgery, liposuction, breast augmentation, facelift, eyelid surgery, and other popular plastic surgery procedures.

Luxury Vacation Travel For A Fraction Of The Cost

Sometimes, if you are not careful, you end up paying a small fortune for a luxurious holiday. However, you tend to pay less when you make detailed plans.

The first thing you need to do, is to devise clear goals. Going there to learn about the history and culture? Or you are traveling for leisure? There are many different goals. Try to reconcile your needs with those of your travel companions. Tension can be avoided if you talk it over with your pals. Work on your traveling goals together.

The details become clearer once you get your goals down on paper. For example, if you are traveling to relax, focus more on that. Who will you be traveling with? Are there any additional tools you need to bring along? How many days do you intend to spend golfing? If you are going to golf, do you intend to do any business while you are golfing?

Having a range of activities will help prevent boredom. For example, on top of golfing, you can also plan for a leisure day at the beach, or a massage at the SPA. When one enjoyable moment follows another, there is nothing that could possibly spoil your mood!

Finally, going on luxury vacations usually mean that it’s time to pamper yourself. Distractions are abundant, so you must be careful not to let them spoil your vacation. Just focus on enjoying the trip. Peace and quiet is great for healing the spirit. So while traveling, just relax!

Once you have made up your mind to go on a luxury vacation, you will now have to pick a destination. Destinations differ in terms of facilities, scenery, and price. But there will be a place that will appeal to your own personal preferences.

When we talk about luxury vacations, we are referring to villas. Holiday resorts don’t come into the picture. Villas are much larger, and definitely better equipped with facilities. Besides being well facilitated, villas are also very exclusive. Because of exclusivity, be prepared to pay a higher price for the accommodation. For the price that you will be paying, you will get the whole villa to yourself.

Top luxury destinations include those in highly developed countries like the US and the UK. The main reason why such villas are the most expensive is because real estate is costly in these countries. Therefore, it is common to have to pay a premium price for villas in these nations.

If you find it too costly to have luxury holidays in US or UK, try staying in an Asian villa. You will be pleasantly surprised by the prices that you can get.

In addition, you will also see sights that you don’t normally see in western destinations. For example, you can visit temples and learn more about the eastern culture. Villas in Bali are well known for being spacious, well facilitated, and reasonably priced. Even the look and feel of the majestic villas is different. You can choose to live in small one room villas, or you can opt to stay in large 4 to 5 room villas.

You don’t have to spend a bomb to stay in a luxurious villa. Just make an online search to see what comes up. You may also wish to check out destinations such as Hawaii, New Zealand, and the Caribbean.

Traveling With Your Bird – Some Tips From Folks Who Travel With Their Bird Every Day.

Before we get into specifics, let’s start with the basics. Emergencies aside, if you’re planning to travel with your bird, get the travel cage a few weeks in advance. This will give your bird time to get accustomed to the new cage. Also measure – measure – measure. Make sure it will fit in where ever it will be going car, travel trailer, family vehicle, motor home, commercial airliner, vacation cottage – just make sure it fits.

We don’t have a flock, we have one small Indian Ringneck – Sunshine. Sunshine is 17. Catherine acquired him as a baby. He loves being with mom. We know about traveling with a bird. At home he has a 30 x 30 California cage (1), a large playstand (2) in the dining room and another playstand (3) in the kitchen. Every work day Sunshine climbs into his custom, 18 inch long carrier (4) and comes to work with us.

We open the carrier, he climbs up his Booda perch in to his 26 x 20 HQ cage (5) and finishes breakfast. Afterwards he’ll walk back out via the Booda perch onto his King’s acrylic playstand (6). When he gets bored he fly’s onto his Prevue playstand (7) or his Prevue 20 x 20 wire cage (8) where he’ll stand so he can watch mom oversee the shipping of packages to our customers.

We spend many of our summer weekends at a campground. When we get there he usually goes right into his 18 x 18 (9) Prevue cage. We modified our small travel trailer so the cage fits nicely into a closet where we removed the top of the door and provided a gentle light. When we’re outside the trailer, we have a large canopy/tent where Sunshine spends time in his 32 x 21 HQ aviary (10) under the canvas. He always has one side of his cage against a wall for his own privacy.

If you’ve been following my notes, you’ll see our little 3 ounce bird has 10 cages and stands. We’ve never had a problem getting him into a new cage because 1) we don’t make of an issue of it and 2) he’s happy just to be with us.

A travel cage can be metal, fabric or plastic like – rigid or collapsible. Because it’s a travel cage only makes it slightly different than his home cage. If it’s metal, bar spacing should be appropriate. If it’s fabric, the fabric should be durable enough and well designed to discourage chewing. Clear plastic cages allow for great vision but may be confining for extended travel periods. It may only have one perch instead of three or four. Make sure it’s comfortable on the feet. Stopping and starting in traffic should not cause your bird discomfort. A couple of small toys should be introduced to keep birdie boredom down. If you’re traveling by auto, keep the bird in the back seat away from airbags in case of “god-forbids.” Keep it strapped with a seatbelt to avoid sudden movement.

If your driving at night, cover the cage, the intermittent glare of auto lights can be scary, especially if its after bed time. If you’re taking a road tip stopping at motels, find a place to put the travel cage where you bird can sleep with as little disturbance as possible through the night. We usually find the bath room counter to be the best spot, it’s out of the way and once the cage is covered, affords privacy. In terms of temperature, it’s simple – if your comfortable, your bird is comfortable. No hot cars with the window cracked or in front of air conditioners in hotel rooms.

If traveling for the first time, we suggest a few trial runs before the big trip. Go to a friends, the vet or even just a ride, the bird gets accustomed to the procedure, travel process and change in general. If you let the bird out of the travel cage while in the vehicle don’t forget to put him back before any passengers open the door. Some birds don’t like to poop in their travel cage. This is a judgment call. Choose carefully where you’ll let them out to poop. You also may want to check out the nearest avian vet to your destination, before you get there – just so you have the info.

Remember. birds in the wild are natural travelers. Larger birds will fly 50 or miles per day seeking food. Many migrate thousands of miles twice annually. It’s usually less of an issue for the bird than for you. Lastly, we know you love showing off your bird. Unknown places would not be the time to do it. Unscrupulous people may have ulterior motives. While traveling with your bird it’s no ones business but your own.Have a great trip

Confused With All the Travel Information on the Internet?

There is so much information available on the internet right now regarding travel. There are online travel sites for cruises, hotels, air, trains and any other type of travel. But what is the correct product for you? Is the location of the hotel where you want to be? Is the type of room or cabin the right fit for you? Is that cruise line the one you should be booking? Not all products are created equal nor are the products right for everyone. How do you tell? Contact a travel professional.

Do travel agents exist?

There have been multiple articles, and even the President of the United States, has said travel agents don’t exist or are going away. In a way they are right. Travel agents in the past were just someone who booked a trip for someone who called or came in to the storefront office of a travel agency. Storefront travel agencies are few and far between now a days as most of the “travel agents” have gone home to work. Even the term “travel agent” is going away because what they do now is different than what they did before.

Travel Professionals/Travel Counselors

Travel Agents are now more a counselor and an adviser so they are now called Travel Professionals or Travel Counselor. Even the travel industry is trying to get away from using the term “travel agent”. They no longer just book a trip for someone, they know more than what is available to the traveling client. The travel professionals now are constantly learning, constantly traveling, receiving input from other travel professionals about where they have traveled and are a resource for what is required to travel now a days.

When you use an online travel agency like Expedia, Travelocity, etc. you aren’t able to have someone protect your back. They book the travel for you and then you are pretty much on your own. Say your flight gets cancelled, who is going to book a replacement flight? You are, not them. If you use a travel professional that travel professional will do it. If something goes wrong on your trip, if the room you booked is not like what you thought it would be, who is going to make it right? A travel professional will also check constantly for price drops before final payment and whether a new promotion offered would be more beneficial than what was booked with a deposit. All these things can be addressed before final payment.

A travel professional works with you from the time you first talk to them until you are home safe and sound and any and all problems have been solved or addressed.

It Costs More to Use a Travel Professional

This is not always true. True, some travel professionals charge fees but not all of them do. This is because some vendors, like airlines and some hotels, don’t pay commission or some of the vendors have decreased the amount of commissions paid to the travel professional. In order to make ends meet, some travel professionals charge fees. I charge $50 per person for airline reservations domestically and $100 for airline reservations internationally. I will also charge a fee sometimes for hotels for the same reason or if I am putting the various sections of the trip together myself. If I book a cruise or a tour, I don’t charge a fee as the vendor pays me a commission. Remember, whether you use a travel professional or not the commission is still being paid as it is automatically included in the price from the vendor. So, why not use a travel professional and avoid the hassle and save your time?

The rules for traveling are constantly changing and it is the travel professional who is able to keep their clients on track with them.

Examples: Passports

For instance, did you know that come January, 2016 you may need a passport to travel by air domestically? This is due to a law called the REAL ID Act. This requires all travelers to have a REAL ID compliant identification that includes all of these fields: full legal name, signature, date of birth, gender, unique identifying number, a principal residence address and a front-facing photograph of the applicant. Unfortunately there are still a handful of states that are non-compliant. Do you know which states are compliant and which aren’t? Your travel professional does. By the way, outright non-compliant states/territories are American Samoa, Louisiana and New Hampshire. The states of Minnesota and New York offer an optional Enhanced ID at a cost, so because it is optional, a large percentage of residents don’t have one. Some states have applied for additional extensions, but it is unclear if those will be granted. Currently, only four states (Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire and New York) and American Samoa are technically non-compliant.

Also, we still don’t know if January 1, 2016 will be the date of the requirement or will it be later? Because of this law, the passport processing time for all will be affected. All the passports issued in 2006 to meet the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative that went into effect in 2007 are now expiring, causing a slew of renewals. So, because of those renewals coupled with the possible REAL ID enforcement, passport waits are expected to further increase. As of October 11, the current wait has already increased a week to four to six weeks for standard passports and three weeks for expedited. Expedited in person could be up to eight days based on travel need.

Ultimately the REAL ID Act will require all state-issued drivers’ licenses to include “machine-readable technology” or chips to help keep us safe and secure while traveling. For more information on the REAL ID Act go to http://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs.

Also, passports are recommended for cruises just like they are required to fly outside of the United States. The reason being is if you do need to fly back to the United States from a foreign port you have a passport to do so. Just because you are on a cruise leaving a United States port, technically you are traveling internationally just as soon as you step on the ship as most ships are registered outside of the United States!

Example: Visas

A travel professional would be able to help you determine if visas are required to travel to where you want to go. If they don’t know for sure, they know where to send you for that information and get confirmation that you do or don’t need one for the type of travel you are taking. For instance, for most cruises if you leave an U.S. port and return to the same U.S. port you probably don’t need a visa to visit the ports. This is called a “closed loop” trip. But, again, most of the cruises. Always double check to see if one is needed.

Example: Travel Insurance

Again, not all travel insurance is created equal. Should you purchase travel insurance? Absolutely!!! I recommend to my clients not to purchase travel insurance, for the most part, from the supplier of the cruise or product. The reason being the coverage is not as comprehensive as third party policies. Travel insurance is not only purchased for travel delays, luggage lost/damage or cancellation protection. Some health insurance companies do not cover you when traveling outside of the United States. Medicare does not. Travel insurance will act as your primary health insurance during your travel, from the time you leave to the time you return to your home. Also, it provides emergency evacuation for health reasons and protects you for other items. Always read the policy and information provided by the issuer of the travel insurance to see what is covered. Your travel professional will know which is a good travel insurance issuer.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9274584

What Travel Agents Need to Know About Corporate Travel Today

This is rightly named as the age of traveler-centricity and with the evolution of the new era of personalized travel; it is leading to research and development of a host of new so-called intelligent services. The command-and-control perspectives of traveling have changed a lot from the past and the focus has shifted more on the traveler and the productivity of each trip. It has become essential to maintain that the travelers have the greatest return on investment on each trip. New generations of young employees and managers, who have been growing up and dwelling in a digital age, are moving up the ranks as travelers. It has become essential to recognize the need for greater flexibility acknowledging that the employees who travel on corporate trips also consider a percentage of their trip to be a leisure outlet. With increasing globalization and rise in companies sending their staff overseas to network and connect with their offshore prospects/customers/suppliers, corporate travel is a highly profitable tourism segment. Before we talk about how tourism companies can better cater to business travelers, let us first look at why they prefer to use specialized corporate agencies over traditional agents

Why do businesses use Corporate Travel Agencies?

This might be the most basic question for a travel agency as to why they need to use agencies specializing in corporate travel when there are plenty of regular travel agents in the market. Here is the importance of corporate travel agencies who have online systems which allow business travelers access to their complete itinerary.

The following information is at the fingertips of the CTAs:-

full business itinerary details
up-to-date tracking details of flights (including delays or rescheduling)
transparent details about additional costs such as baggage fees or in-flight fees
travel alerts, if any, in the destined area
complete and up-to-date details about the visa procurement policies and identification required
currency requirement and conversion rates

What do corporate clients expect from Corporate Travel Agencies?

Negotiated Fares

The Corporate Agencies tend to have tie-ups with hotels, car rentals, flights etc. giving them access to lower fares which can be used only by the frequent business travelers. Discounted prices are not the only advantage though as they also offer flight upgrades, room upgrades, and VIP check-in lines as required.

In-depth information about the travel industry

Corporate travel agents have access to many travel resources and most importantly, quickly, than any other leisure travel agent. Additional information helps to make the business trips convenient and comfortable.

Changes in Itinerary

When an airline ticket needs to get rescheduled or cancelled, chances are the airline or the online service provider will charge lofty fees. When booking with a corporate travel agent, most of the times schedule changes can be done at zero or minimal extra charges.

Viable emergency contacts

It is important for the business travelers to reach the correct person at the need of trouble. Corporate travel agents have the experience and professionalism to relieve stress for both the traveler and the company.

What you need to consider as corporate travel increases?

Business Travel Barometer reported that corporate travel is witnessing an accelerated growth. However, when poorly managed, it may be no longer an advantage to companies and may, in fact become a burden. There are some factors which the corporations and CTAs must consider to get the best out of the time spent traveling.

Adopting a travel policy

The corporate must define a travel policy which is applicable to and respected by travelers at all levels. This policy should be used to establish the standards which will help to track the improvement of business travel. It will eventually help to reduce the costs of the entire package.

Do not limit the traveler’s autonomy

The management is responsible for budgeting the travel policy which helps to improve cost management however, it is also essential to give a degree of autonomy to the traveler. The policy should be flexible enough to allow the employee to adapt the trip as per the situation.

Traveler’s security should be a major concern

Business travelers need to have security in place. The company needs to stick to its definition of standards to ensure the employee’s integrity. The CTAs should have reliable partners (travel insurance, airlines, hotel chains etc.).

Mobility and automation

To optimize time and ease the processes, the administration of management platforms should have automated processes. This means they should adopt mobile solutions where search options, travel alerts, ticket reservations etc. can be accessed quickly, easily and on the go.

Corporate Travel Trends in 2016

Corporate travel trends tend to change regularly. 2016 has also not been any different and the travel management companies (TMCs) and corporate travel agencies (CTAs) are quite focused to provide steady if not strong axis all over. A growing MICE sector, investments in mobile and big data and enhanced focus on duty of care are some of their areas of focus.

Rising prices

The consolidated buzzword among global suppliers, airfares, hotel rates etc. is the rising fares. It is sometimes the move of the suppliers to generate discounts which encourage travel if there is a strong decline in demand. A positive 2016 world economy has been bringing an increase in air fares of a few percentage points, hotels are expected to see 4%-6% rise in average global rates and the competition will remain moderate in the car rental services.

Duty of care

Risk management is one of the major points of emphasis for corporations. Corporate customers are allowing new policies and improved technologies to monitor employees’ location in case of an emergency, especially when they are travelling to foreign destinations. For instance, Concur Risk Messaging helps to identify the travelers moving around in the world and alerts them with alternate travel arrangement as and when needed.

Focusing on MICE

Meetings industry is a major growing sector and the corporate travel trend is developing on it. The corporate travel agencies should better start aligning the various meeting procurement methodologies with its transient travel sourcing. One of the ways could be to broaden the variety of meeting services by incorporating incentive trips within it.

Investing in technology

A sharper focus on increasing value and becoming more traveler-centric can be done by bringing in mobile friendly technologies. Mobile and big data are definitely the two most significant technological investments which any corporate travel agency must focus to make their platform more appealing.

Business travel analysis after Brexit

Following Brexit, ACTE and CAPA shared their speculations. According to them, the greatest short-term effects on the travel industry will come from the weakening of the pound against other world currencies. Greeley Koch, executive director for the Association of Corporate Travel Executives said that the business travel industry will trend on currency fluctuations; with some companies taking advantage of the weaker pound and traveling more, while others may withhold business travel until world markets find their own level.

Impact of terrorism on corporate travelers

Travel policy makers and administrators need to be guided by rising terrorism scare. For executives and staff undertaking travel on behalf of businesses, the travel agents and corporate travel agencies (CTAs) should prove the reassurance for their safety through the travel policies. It is more than likely that the surveys conducted over corporate travelers reflect the general concern of the global business travelers about the spate of terrorism. However, there is no denying the fact that terrorist threat is changing the patterns of business travel. The key impact of this is to keep in mind that the companies providing travel services for business travelers need to enhance their focus on security and the associated risks in delivering the services to corporate clients. According to a recent finding, travel managers have higher estimation of their policy’s effectiveness in addressing risk compared to skeptical business travelers.

Concluding

Although the corporate travel sector has continued to progress, there are a plethora of challenges faced by the industry. A rapidly changing consumer market, the emergence of new business models, the impact of technology, man-made and natural crises are some of the fulcrum points that need to be considered before planning corporate trips.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9512656

Platinum Seed Digital Marketing acquires new client

Platinum Seed Digital Marketing has recently added William Grant & Sons to its successful and dynamic portfolio of clients.

William Grant & Sons, is an independent distillery founded in 1887, with a number of spirits in their portfolio. Platinum Seed will be responsible for creating digital campaign content and managing all social media for Glenfiddich, Grant’s, Hendrick’s Gin, and Monkey Shoulder Whisky.

Online relationship management for the brands will include improving the online exposure for each brand and creating digital content that will strategically drive engagement and influence consumer behavior.

When defining the success of a brands online presence, Platinum Seed’s social and content marketing manager, Mzo Ntuli, says engagement rates and interactions with the fan base are key. Creating talkability with an engaging target market indicates success in the reach and exposure of the brand. Grants engagement rate is 10%, which is well above the industry average of 1-2%.

As the number of people accessing social media via mobile technology continues to increase, so does the potential to reach larger audiences.

The ability to strategically tailor a message for a particular audience, is key to achieving high levels of engagement and in turn the success of the online presence of the William Grants & Sons portfolio of brands.

Platinum Seed Digital Marketing acquires two new clients

Platinum Seed Digital Marketing is excited to announce the renewal of two of their accounts, Rémy Martin and Cointreau.
Platinum Seed was approached to launch various social media platforms for Cointreau in October 2013. Cointreau has enjoyed a successful couple of months with the average engagement rate of 7% per month. Platinum Seed has created a distinguishing online presence for the brand that is in line with the brands identity and objectives.

Rémy Martin is one of the world’s most famous fine champagne cognacs, their account was awarded to Platinum Seed mid 2013. Since becoming a client the brand’s online presence has continued to grow with their average facebook fan growth rate per month at 2,230 and their average engagement at 11%, which is substantially higher than the international industry average engagement rate of 1-2%.

With the skill and resources provided by Platinum Seed to create digital campaign content and managing all social media, Rémy Martin and Cointreau will continue to strategically engage with their targeted audience across a number of social media platforms.