Many might say I am a fool for sharing my secrets. But, I know my clients see my value and will always seek me for their travel advice and plans. Like you the consumer, many travel professionals are also scrambling to figure out what they and their clients need to travel to the many destinations. It is hard! Trust me, I know! Today you know what you need to go to XYZ and tomorrow you wake up and what you thought you knew is no longer true.
I am going to show you a quick tool to use when trying to figure out what you need for your next adventure. Even when booking with me or your trusted travel advisor, I recommend you always do your due diligence and check the requirements for yourself. Check at the time of making your booking. Check a month before you go and then check 15 days before departure. Finally check again 7 days before and 3 days before and 24 hours before. It's important that you keep checking, especially if you are doing your bookings yourself against my most recommended advice.
A month before - It's important you check a month before you go. This will help you get any visa requirements squared away and make sure that any documents that take days or weeks to process get taken care of with plenty of time for your travel date. When you do this, also check your passport PLEASE! I can not tell you how many times a client assumes their passport is good and a few weeks before their trip they realize it's expired. Some don't notice until they are doing their online check in. At that point, often times, it's too late.
15 days before departure - A two-week check point is a good safety check. It will let you ensure that everything is still the same, and no new documents or requirements are needed. In today's age, vaccine requirements are changing by the minute. So this check is really important to ensure that your vaccination status is still compliant with your destination. Also ensures that testing requirements have not changed.
7 days before departure - If you didn't already check at the 30 day mark, please check your passport status. Make sure it has not expired and does not expire when you are in destination. At this point you still have time to secure a same day passport appointment if needed. If your trip requires a Covid-19 test, this is the perfect time to make your appointment to ensure that you have an appointment that lines up with the test date requirement set by your destination. If you are waiting on a visa or any other documents for your trip, today is a good day to make calls/send emails to make sure you will have those documents in time. 7 days before you are usually within time to make changes to your hotel arrival date without penalty. Of course, you will want to ensure your cancellation/change terms before making those updates.
3 days before departure - this may seem tedious. However, you want to ensure that testing or vaccine requirements have not change at this point. 3 days before your trip will give you time to change your testing appointment or schedule a new one if needed. 3 days should also give you the opportunity to change your plans without penalties.
24 hours before - this check is just for peace of mind. No one wants to worry about their status or documents being valid before the arrive at the airport. Those that are traveling already have enough jitters and don't need any added stress. If you booked with an agent, check in with them and just ensure that you are all set to go.
Here is the site I use when verifying information for my clients. It will give you information and share the links for the sources so that you can verify the information yourself.
Make sure you click the correct status for vaccination and passport issuer after you select your departure and arrival airports. As always I recommend you use a competent travel advisor to assist with your planning. I hope these tips help you make better travel habits.