Here at Simply Juicy Travel, we believe that every opportunity for travel is more than just a vacation; it’s an experience. We’ve been all over the world and dedicate our days to creating the ideal experience for you, your family, and your friends. We’ve learned a lot along the way and think you can benefit from our experience. We’ve compiled a few of the most frequently asked questions that we receive from clients, however, if you don’t see what you’re looking for below feel free to contact us for more information.
Q: How do I apply for a passport?
For information on how to obtain a U.S. passport, visit the U.S. State Department’s passport web site at Travel.State.gov. If you are in need of a passport for a trip, be advised that it can take up to 8 weeks to receive your passport in the mail and to plan accordingly.
Q: How long does it take to get my passport?
Processing times can vary depending on the time of year and unforeseen circumstances, such as natural disasters. During busier times, like the summer travel season, travelers are encouraged to expedite their applications if traveling in less than 6 weeks. Click on the link for current application processing times Application Processing Times.
Q: Is it true that your passport needs to have at least 6 months of validity remaining?
It depends on the destination. Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six months beyond the dates of your trip. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met. Check for Country Specific Information to learn about entry and exit requirements for the country or countries in which you are traveling.
Q: How early should I plan to arrive at airport?
Generally, I recommend you arrive 2 hours prior for domestic flights and 3 hours prior for international travel. Feel free to shave off 30 minutes if you:
- a) Do not have a bag to check, or
- b) Are registered forTSA Pre-Check
When in doubt, plan conservatively. You never know when a curve ball will be thrown your way. I’ve yet to see a client regret getting to the airport too early, but many whose vacations were ruined by a late arrival!
Q: What is TSA Pre-Check?
TSA Pre-Check is an expedited security-screening program connecting travelers departing from the United States with smarter security and a better air travel experience. Available at more than 150 airports with 12 participating airlines, the program is open to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and lawful permanent residents.
Those approved pass through security quickly, without having to remove shoes, belts and light jackets or take out laptops and 3-1-1 liquids from their carry-on luggage. For more information on the TSA Pre-check program and how to apply visit: www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck
Q: What is STEP and how do I enroll?
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
As a benefit, you will receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans. It helps the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency. It also makes it easier for family and friends to find you, if an emergency should arise at home while you’re traveling.
Q: What happens if my flight is delayed on the Tarmac?
Legally, the airline can force you to stay on the plane for 3 hours for a domestic flight and 4 hours for an international flight. If you find yourself delayed for more time than that you are allowed to request to leave the aircraft.
According to a legal website, “new U.S. Department of Transportation regulations on tarmac delays went into effect in late April 2010:
- Airlines must return planes to the gate and let passengers off any time a flight is sitting on the tarmac for three hours.
- Airlines must provide passengers with adequate food and water within the first two hours of any tarmac delay.
- Adequate toilet facilities must be maintained and made available to passengers during the delay.
- Airlines must designate one employee to monitor flight delays and cancellations, respond to passenger complaints, and instruct passengers on the complaint filing process.
- Airlines must post and maintain updated flight delay data on their websites — including information on flights that are frequently delayed — for each domestic flight they operate.”
You also might be eligible for compensation if your delay caused you to miss a connecting flight. You can read more about it here: http://nypost.com/2014/05/15/how-to-get-compensated-big-for-irritating-flight-delays/
Q: How can I check whether or not it’s safe to travel to my destination?
The U.S. Government updates the State Department Travel Warnings website to help educate U.S. travelers abroad about potential dangers. Whether the warnings are due to civil unrest, terrorism, health epidemics or inclement weather you will be able to stay ahead of trouble with these alerts.
Q: How can I stay updated on health epidemics within the U.S.?
The Centers For Disease Control is a one-stop-shop for health in the U.S.! This is especially helpful when traveling with infants or young children.
Q: Where can I find information about U.S. National Parks?
The National Parks Service has great information about events and news from all the National Parks across the country.