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International Connections

Here we provide helpful links for international travel & communications.  We are not a travel agent, rather we provide the resources for you to Do-It-Yourself &/or to use our travel consulting services.  Contact Us to let us know what you'd like to see added to facilitate your travel needs.

Travel Consulting Services

Think of us.  We offer a customized service to help you organize your trip.  When you need help organizing all your travel arrangements, Contact Us .  There is so much to think about beyond the basics:  your plane or cruise ship bookings, lodging, local transportation, & meals. Some other essential preparations need to be covered sometimes months before your trip.  Whether you are making all your arrangements yourself, or you'd prefer our customized TRIP PLANNER SERVICE, the following helpful PRE-TRIP CHECKLIST could help you decide which way to go, or to choose a combination of the two:

  • US & Foreign Government Requirements

    • Do you have a current passport (that won't expire while you are abroad)?

    • Are you familiar with the US State Department's travel abroad warnings & restrictions that pertain to your personal travel plans?  It is important to do all you can to keep safe, no matter where in the world you, your family, and fellow travelers will be!


    • Have you enrolled in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program?


    • Have you had any required shots &/or medical exams for travel to the countries on your itinerary?

    • Are your Visas approved from every one of those countries, yet?


    • For frequent travelers, have you applied for TSA Pre-Check? Even if you don't fly very often, being registered with this security program as a Known Traveler will enable you to go through expedited airport security screening lines.  This can save you time and hassles.  After your application and in-person interview, if you are eligible and approved, TSA will issue you a KTN #.

  • Medical Considerations


    • Do you have a medical plan & overseas insurance, if you become ill or injured?


    • Do you have a sufficient supply of your medicines & other medical needs for at least twice the length of time you plan to be away from home?


    • Have you had whatever medical exams required to ensure you are healthy enough for the travel?


    • Do you have current copies of all your prescriptions to carry with you, including your glasses prescriptions?


    • Do you have your medical insurance ID's (even if only useful while in USA)?


    • If needed, have you made arrangements with airlines &/or your cruise ship for their wheelchair service, to ease your interacting with the crowds (even if you don't need a wheelchair otherwise)?


    • Are you packing your medical supplies in your carry-on luggage?


    • Are you aware of time management of your itinerary, factoring into your sightseeing each person's need for rest & relaxation time? Overfilling your trip with activities could lead to unnecessary stress, especially for your youngest and oldest travelers.



  • Financial Arrangements


    • Have you considered all your immediate monetary needs not pre-covered in your itinerary: tips, food, traveling via taxis or public transportation, etc. Keep in mind you will also want to buy souvenirs.


    • Have you purchased sufficient traveler's checks to meet more than your needs?


    • Have you purchased country currencies in CASH for all of the countries you will be visiting (even if only a brief stop), at least sufficient for your initial arrival needs?


    • Do you have banking arrangements for within the countries on your itinerary?  Do you know what to do if you need more money than you brought with you?  Have you asked your current bank(s) which ATM's abroad will not incur fees when you use your credit and/or debit cards in them?


    • Have you pre-purchased any event, entertainment, tours, or local transportation tickets to take advantage of special prices & deals?  Besides saving money, preparing for every minute of every day will help you make the most of your limited time abroad.


    • Are you leaving at home every important document you don't need:  extra credit cards, extra ID's, Social Security card, membership cards, & other important documents &/or cards that you might otherwise carry with you when in the USA?


    • Do you have with you every important document you do need abroad?


    • Do you have a safe travel pouch to carry your passport & other important documents?


    • Do you have travel insurance, if you want/need it?


    • Is your travel club membership current & are you taking advantage of it's services & products to enhance your trip?


    • Is your cell phone compatible for use overseas, either thru your carrier or to insert a local country SIM card &/or code for temporary use while there?  Have you made arrangements with your cell phone carrier to use their international service, if necessary?  Or, do you need to purchase a compatible cell phone &/or calling minutes for use in the countries in your itinerary? Make sure your pre-planned arrangements will work everywhere you might need your cell phone.

  • Family Members


    • Children - special travel needs arranged
    • Teens - your travel rules & what you'll be doing for them
    • Seniors - special travel needs arranged
    • All travelers in your group - 
      • Itinerary printed & distributed to ALL, including the children (even keep a copy in baby's diaper bag &/or stroller), teens, seniors, single adults, & husband AND wife EACH, even if they won't be using this information by themselves (in case someone gets separated, so the police/others assisting will know how to find you).
      • Who is responsible for what - what others need you to do for them & what you need them to do for you, especially keeping track of children, elderly, luggage, tickets, hotel check-ins, restaurants, etc.
    • Family & Friends @ Home - Do they have all the information they would need in case of emergency &/or if they would need to find you in a hurry?  Do you have all the information you would need to contact them in an emergency &/or if timely concerns?

  • And, there is much more to consider, including these PRE-TRIP HOME DETAILS:

    • Pets -
      • Staying at Home - Make arrangements for while you are away, including veterinary contacts.  Whoever will be caring for them needs to know your vet, emergency, food, exercise, toys, and other daily requirements.
      • Traveling with You -
        • Cages & Tickets - Make sure you have approved carry-on cages and that you have paid for your pets' tickets, too.  Once I was on a flight that was delayed because a passenger had tried to sneak a pet in his luggage! Major No-No.
        • Health Certificates - All pets traveling need to have been pre-checked by your veterinarian, who can provide you with the appropriate document/per pet.
    • House sitting - Make arrangements for someone to stay in your house, or at least watch it for you.  Give him/her your contact information and/or a local contact, in case of home emergency (fire, flood, evacuation, plumbing leaks, weather damage, etc).
    • Utilities (for cost factors & safety concerns) - Consider suspending service, if you'll be away over 2 weeks, or adjusting settings to decrease billing costs, if house will be unoccupied.  Consider making arrangements to have your trash cans put out, even though empty, & set up automatic lights within/around house.
    • Mail - Have your mail kept at your Post Office until you return, or have someone pick it up for you from your house.  This goes for any newspaper deliveries, too.  Your house should give the appearance of being occupied, even when it isn't.
    • Bills - Your regular bills should all be paid & current, at least up to 1 month beyond your expected return (in case you extend your trip while away).
    • Elderly relatives who aren't going - Make sure all their needs will be provided for while you are away.
    • Children who aren't going - Likewise, make sure all their needs will be provided for while you are away, no matter what ages.
    • Front yard - Handle all issues to make sure your yard is up to local code & make arrangements for care while away, if needed.
    • Local transportation - Are you driving to the airport/train station/bus depot, & if so, what arrangements have you made for your own vehicle, while you will be away?  Or, is someone driving you to your travel transportation and picking you up when you return?  If so, who and have you given him/her a copy of your itinerary?
    • Cameras, Laptops, Cell Phones, and other Media - Are all your batteries charged?  Are you taking with you AC plugs compatible with the countries in your itinerary?  Do you have appropriate carry-on cases for these items?
    • Luggage -
      • Requirements - Have you checked with ALL the airlines and other transportation carriers you will be using, regarding each of their size, weight, and maximum quantity requirements, for both checked and carry-on luggage, per person and per group?  Note that what might be OK with one airline, might not be OK with another.  So, choose luggage in advance that will pass inspection requirements of all possible transportation carriers, for all travelers.
      • Special Needs - Keep in mind the special needs of any infants, elderly, and/or disabled among you.  This could include diaper bags, strollers, wheelchairs, canes, etc
      • Medical Bags - All medicine and medical equipment should be carried with you.  Ask if these are exempt from carry-on limits.  If a passenger needs to carry oxygen, the airlines require obtaining prior approval, first.  Note that they have a special medical form to fill out in advance of the trip, as needed. 
      • Locks - Nowadays, if you use regular locks, security might break them to manually review inside your luggage. So, if you want to use locks, and any of your trip is by air, make sure they are approved for air travel (so authorities can open them).  You can purchase these special locks in advance.
    • Packing Smartly
      • Climate - Have you researched the potential weather conditions for the countries involved, so that you so that you will be prepared appropriately for hot, cold, humid, dry conditions?
      • Clothing - In every case, regardless of how hot you expect the climate to be, still pack a jacket for each traveler. Bringing something for each type of climate is a good idea.
      • Personal Grooming - Remember to bring small quantities to met your needs for twice the length of time you will be away from home.  Keep in mind airline security requirements and pack these items in your checked luggage whenever possible.
      • Other Travel Necessities - Try to pre-pack whatever else you want to take, several days prior to your trip.  This way you won't be looking for items at the last minute.  If you are bringing any gifts for family/friends overseas, pre-packing will ensure you don't forget these.
      • Pack Light - Try to pack only what you will really need. Carrying luggage around with unnecessary weight can become burdensome!  Keep in your carry-on luggage only what you will really need during travel to your destinations.  Freedom is the key to enjoying the journey on the way there and the return.  Yet, do keep with you items you will need:  medicine, immediate grooming, a jacket, perhaps reading material.  Of course, your laptop and cell phone are necessities nowadays, and should not packed in checked luggage.
      • Space Available - Also, remember to leave room for gifts, souvenirs, and other purchases in your checked luggage.


    • You name it!

Global Resources

Whether you are a seasoned traveler - for business, pleasure, military deployment, study or teaching abroad - or a beginner, pre-planning your trip can reduce potential difficulties overseas.  Even if you are considering a backpacking &/or freestyle adventure, helpful pre-planning can greatly enhance your pleasure & minimize obstacles.

US Embassies

Here is a link to ALL the US Embassies & Consulates globally:


Here is the link to STEP:

U.S. Department of State

Travel Tools

Transportation Security Administration
World Weather

Accuweather Global:


Pilot Information


Are you a pilot?  If so, we have a special webpage for you.  See:  For Pilots Only.



World Time Zones

It is helpful to get oriented to the local time where you are going, compared with your USA home & with each leg of your trip.  This is especially helpful when considering jet lag, as well as your itinerary.  Here is a helpful link with cool stuff - times around the world, an interactive world map, & country flags:

Military Deployment

TBA.  If you have this need, Contact Us.

Travel Arrangements

Here are some helpful links for making your travel arrangements:

Flying, Hotels, Tours, & Other Helpful Websites to cover your travel needs

Viator - comprehensive source for all your travel adventures

Deals on Entertainment Passes:  see London Pass &/or Paris Pass (more cities to come, ask me via Contact Us) on Suppliers Alphabetically.

Many More Travel & Other Connections:  see Travel & see Suppliers Alphabetically

Hostels Abroad

We are evaluating links for this.  Contact Us if you are interested in hostels.




For links to books, maps & other travel materials, translations, TEFL & teaching abroad, see:

Education Solutions
Career Education
Suppliers Alphabetically