Make Sure You’ve Got the Docs

adventure of the week, Allergen-free eating on the road, Caribbean, colorado, Colorado Events, europe, Florida, France, Iowa, Ireland, italy, mexico, Nebraska, new mexico, Scotland, Travel, United Kingdom, United States, wyoming

So many times I hear this classic “I didn’t know I needed a Visa”.

Here is the truth, you ALWAYS need a Visa.

“What?” You ask. Because in London they stamped your book and you were free to go as a US citizen. This is totally true, but that stamp, at customs and border, was your visa. No pre-registration and paperwork needed. Just the stamp.

Here is the thing though, sometimes the stamp doesn’t happen. And a big reason is that your passport may not have at least 6 months left on it for you to enter a specific country. Or more depending on where you are headed. In fact, many airlines won’t even let you board the plane if your passport is low on time. Meaning that week in Paris may be thrown away if you’re not prepared. This happens a lot.

Now for countries where you need advance permission, it’s vital to learn who needs what and what is needed. Meaning: countries like China may take longer and need you to buy plane tickets before you travel. Vietnam only takes a few days to process. Some countries only need a form when you land and a $50 fee. Just make sure you find out and find out at least a month or more in advance so you have time to plan.

Where do you find these details? Embassy websites and through the US state department’s website on travel: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages.html

Don’t forget to also check warnings on places you are traveling to. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/

Even consider registering with the state department in case you go missing. https://step.state.gov/step/

Other needs? Check with a travel agent or specialist that can at least point you in the right direction. Read a travel guide on your preferred country and ask around to others that have been to such locations.

Most of all, plan ahead, and have fun!

Happy Travels!

Advertisements

Throw Back Thursday – Childhood Travel Lessons

colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, new mexico, outdoors, Throwback Thursday, Travel, United States, wyoming

Many people gain a love of travel as children. Sometimes they’re crammed into the beck of a family station wagon, or a small camper, traversing open highways to neighboring states and countries. Others fly away to an annual beach escape, all-inclusive, beach, and drinks.

My family did things differently. As a product of low-income we did things a little less luxuriously. We crammed into a Dodge Neon, five of us. We slept in rustic cabins on our ranch or in canvas tents at a re-enactment. On occasion a worse than Motel 6 room was in the cards. This meant a shower and how to cram three kids in a twin or double bed, absolutely luxury was a queen. We ate at cheap diners and cheese and crackers as we rolled along plains lands.

We went through Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota to icons like Devil’s Tower, Jewel Cave, Helena, and De Smet. We saw where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived and a Palace made of Corn. And we have many pictures at Mount Rushmore in different outfits, an awkward ages, with relatives that have passed or friends that have moved on.

Reenactment with my cousin Nathan, aunt Mary and baby sibling McClellan.

These journeys taught me how important a hot plate and hot water can be. That boiled eggs are always a good snack. That learning to read in the car without motion sickness is vital to surviving 1,000 miles with two younger sisters. That you can survive 30 playthroughs of the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. That dogs can wedge themselves anywhere if given enough time. And most importantly, short legs make for an easier car ride.

All in all these things taught me to be better at travel in the big wide world. Hot plates turned into hostel kitchens. Small cars meant I can live through a long plane ride. Crappy hotel means I can survive…. crappy hotels and most hostels. I know the importance of hitting grocery stores to cut food costs. I know that picking light makes everything easier. I know that audio and physical books are life savers for endless journeys that have no service, wi-if, or charger.

The frugality of my parents has meant I knew how to save and travel at 19, 22, 23, 24, 26, and 27. It means I know how to pinch pennies and look for deals, to read and study and to plan my journey, to know the importance of flexibility and patience.

My cousin Nathan and I at the family ranch in Wyoming.

While I didn’t see much of the world until an adult, I know these lessons will carry me well into my old age.

Happy Travels!

Travels with a 4-Year-Old

adventure of the week, Iowa, musings, Travel

I recently traveled to Iowa with my Great-Aunt and her granddaughter Ivy. Ivy would then be my second cousin (I think) and her dad, who is the same age as my husband is my first cousin once-removed. Here is a chart I am basing this on: click here.

What was one of the best parts of traveling on this trip was going with a Ivy was how different it was to travel with a little kid. She was such a trooper too, but I also have to laugh at how amusing it is to travel with children. If you want to learn more on our adventure, read about the great Omaha Zoo!

Here is my list of observations:

Travels with a 4-year old

  • They will stick their finger into something that hurts, and start screaming
    • This episode was brought to you by a soda cup lid
  • They will refuse to eat, drink, and/or pee
    • Forcing them to is sometimes ok, and sometimes a match of wills
  • They will say they don’t want an ice cream cone
    • Then you buy the ice cream cone for you; they want it and take it.
    • Then they eat about four bites and don’t want it anymore.
    • All while you have since ordered yourself a NEW ice cream cone.
  • They won’t sleep in the car without a fuss
  • They will ask 20 times if you are there yet
  • They will cry over having to put pajamas on
  • There will be misunderstandings over mumbles, whining, and stories.
    • Someone may cry over this.
    • Multiple people may cry over this
  • Tears will be shed over automatic dryers and toilets at restaurants and rest stops on the way.
  • Someone will lose a sock, or socks.
  • Shoes will be taken off and misplaced
  • Beloved stuff toys will be misplaced
  • There will be unbelievable joy
  • Followed by horrific meltdowns
  • They will fall over their toes at least half a dozen times
    • Half of these times, they will cry out of embarrassment and shock, not actual injury
  • They will get lost and turned around in a crowd
    • This will also lead to panic and meltdown
  • They will be wearing some of their food
  • They will play a game of keep away when needing to get dressed.
    • This will put everyone in hysterical laughter at how cute and funny it is
  • They will get dehydrated and hot and whiney from being outside
    • Make sure you force water down their throat
  • Trains are seen as absolutely amazing
    • Stick them on one to prevent meltdowns over tired feet
  • They will want a giant lollipop from the gift shop
      • They will get the giant lolli
      • They will never eat the giant lolli OR
      • They will eat some of it and you will find the rest stuck to the car in the worst possible way

     

    What are your favorite kid moments?

    HAPPY TRAVELS!

    Travelswith4yo