PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIP

Passports & Visas

Make sure your passport is still valid or apply for a new one long before you plan to travel. Make sure you have the right travel documents and visas for your destinations. Including any medical vaccination certificates. No obvious vaccination are required for mainland USA but you can check on the Masta web site.

Driving Licence

Do not forget your Driving Licence if you are going to hire a vehicle. If you do however forget your licence the DVLA can fax a copy of your licence to you.


You can contact the DVLA on telephone : +44 870 240 0009 or Fax number : + 44 1792 783071

Luggage Allowances

The standard allowance on charter flights is 20kg (44lb) per person (excluding infants), unless your ticket says otherwise, there is usually a charge if you exceed this amount. On scheduled flights, the allowance is normally two pieces of luggage weighing 32kg (70lb) each.

You can also take one piece of hand luggage with you on to the plane, but this should not exceed 5kg in weight, and be no bigger than 43x28x23cms. Please note that hand luggage may be weighed, as well as cameras and handbags. The low dose x-ray machines used at UK Airports will not affect photographic film.

What you can't take with you.

These items are classed as dangerous goods, and are not allowed on aircraft:

  • firearms or replica weapons, including toys
  • locking blade knives or other implements with more than three-inch blades
  • explosives, flares, fireworks, toy gun caps or non-safety matches
  • gases of any type, including compressed cylinders, tear gas, mace or camping gas
  • flammable materials such as paints, thinners, lighter fuel, petrol or fire lighters
  • poisons, weed killers or insecticides
  • corrosives, including car batteries or mercury
  • irritating or radioactive materials
  • laser pens.

If you carry any of these items with you they are liable to be confiscated at the airport and given to the handling agent or security personnel. It will then be your responsibility to arrange for the safe return of the items when you come back from your holiday.

What to Leave Behind

Leave a detailed itinerary and a copy of your passport's identification page with a friend or relative at home. Include names, addresses and telephone numbers where you will be staying. Leave a copy of your flight and ticket information with them as well.

You may wish to establish certain check in dates when you will either call, e-mail, fax, etc. to let someone know that you are all right. But remember that if you happen to miss a check-in, your loved ones may assume that you are having a problem or are in trouble.

Leave any valuables, extra credit cards and jewelry - even fake jewelry - at home. Thieves often won't know the real from the fake until after they take it, so why risk your personal safety?

Health

Make sure you have adequate health insurance coverage while abroad and that your coverage includes medical evacuations. Your policy might not cover you overseas and you may need to purchase traveler's insurance.

If you have any condition that might develop complications, especially if you are pregnant, check with your doctor before you go abroad. If you experience complications, a medical evacuation might still take several precious hours to arrange.

If you take prescription medication, make sure you have enough to last the duration of the trip, including extra medication in case you are delayed. Always carry your prescriptions in their labeled containers as many countries have strict narco-trafficking laws and might be suspicious of pills in unlabeled bottles. Bring your prescription information and the names of their generic equivalents with you just in case.

Telephones

The US telephone system is different than that of most other countries, if you don't know what to look for, you can spend a lot of money on telephone fees. If necessary to make a call from a public phone box use a credit card as opposed to coins, if this isn't possible use a call box owned by a major service provider like Southern/Pacific Bell or Bell Atlantic as many phones operated by private concessionaries charge exorbitant rates.

Telephone cards are also available in the US they are sold in many gas stations, drug stores at at newsstands and come in denominations of $5, $10 or $20.

Alternatively remember to ask your mobile phone provider about making calls from USA.

OFF YOU GO

Safety and Security

Use common sense and be alert and aware of your surroundings. If you are unsure in general about the local situation, feel free to check with the American Citizens Services section of the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate for the latest security information. Do not leave luggage or bags unattended.

Masta

Masta Web site

The Masta web site. Health while traveling. What jabs you need, tips etc http://www.masta.org/index.asp

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