States Where a Driver’s License Won’t Fly At The Airport Next Year

businessman at the airport

If you haven’t gotten your passport, the time is now. Many travelers may find themselves stranded come January 22, 2018 if they reside in a state that does not yet comply with the Real ID Act. The Act has been slowly taking affect since 2005, with many states already in compliance, there are others that have filed extensions with the government allowing their state residents to continue to use their Driver’s License for domestic travel. If you live in any of the following states your ID is valid for domestic air travel:

States in Compliance:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
Real ID Map.DHS
Source: Department of Homeland Security. Compliance status of each state as of Oct. 11, 2017.

The remaining states have either been granted an extension or are under review. Extensions will expire but the expiration differs for each states. States under review have already reach the expiry date of their extensions and are now in a grace period. During the grace period, which ends January 22, 2018, driver’s licenses from these states will still be accepted. To avoid any interruptions in your travel plans we recommend applying for or renewing your passport as soon as possible. Travelers can also apply for a passport card, which may be more cost effective, however, the card is only valid for domestic travel. Travelers wishing to leave the country must have a valid passport. Since a passport is good for both domestic and international travel you may find it to be a better value for your travel needs.

To stay on top of the Real ID Act as is pertains to your state you can visit the Department of Homeland Security website for up to date information.

 

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Travel Insurance: Don’t Leave Home Without It

When it’s time to secure your investments, don’t forget your travel plans. Travel Insurance is more than a money maker for travel agencies.

ryan-johnson-219566Travel Insurance is not just another way for Travel Professionals to earn more money. Think about it, when you purchase homeowners, renters, auto, or life insurance you don’t call it just another ploy for someone to take more money from you. The listed insurance policies give you peace of mind and a sense on financial security because you know should a issue arise you will be covered. Travel Insurance does the same for you heard earned and well deserved vacation.

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Here are some of the things a travel insurance plan may cover:

  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption
  • Emergency Medical & Dental Care
  • Emergency Medical Transportation/Evacuation
  • Baggage Loss/Damage
  • 24-Hour Concierge Service

In some cases travel insurance can be purchased up to 14 days after your first deposit while some companies allow coverage to be purchased up to final deposit or beyond. Given the recent devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey & Irma it’s important for travelers to understand why and how they can cover themselves. Many travelers found themselves stranded as a result of one of the storms or were forced to cancel upcoming travel arrangements. Those who planned their trips on their own are less likely to travel with proper insurance, while those who utilize a travel professional are more likely to purchase insurance that fits their needs because Travel Advisors take the time to explain the benefits of insurance so clients can make an informed decision. This does not mean that 100% of clients booking through a travel agency will elect to buy insurance.

Many agents have been working double time trying to help travelers that declined insurance in the wake of the hurricanes but to no avail. Insured travelers, with cancel for any reason insurance, were able to file claims for refunds. This means those travelers will receive cash refunds instead of vacation vouchers with time limitations. Uninsured travelers are out thousands of dollars because they declined travel insurance that could have been added for as low as $17 depending on the level of insurance needed.

You work hard everyday and once a year you treat yourself and/or family to a vacation. Don’t you deserve to have peace of mind knowing that you’re covered should unforeseen circumstances arise? From unforeseen situations that can arise before travel to a medical emergency while on vacation that could costs thousands in upfront fees, you’ll be covered. The next time you book your well-deserved vacation be sure to ask about your travel insurance options.

Quick Tips For Baby Proofing Your Hotel Room

Written by Jeniece Drake

After a long drive, flight, or train ride, a nice and quiet night in a hotel room probably sounds perfect but if your little one is anything like mine a peaceful night’s rest is most likely the furthest thing from his/her mind. If you don’t want to wake up in a room decorated in baby wipe with Hotel Shampoo accents, a bit of baby-proofing might be in order before settling down to sleep.

First, take anything that can be opened and sprayed or spilled, like the tiny hotel soaps and shampoos, and move it out of reach. You might consider leaving the bar soaps as a distraction, since a couple of scattered soap bars are a cinch to pick up compared to finger-painting in conditioner, however, if your toddler is good at opening things and may go in for a taste test, we recommend keeping those out of reach. Likewise, move any toxic or messy substances you brought with you out of reach, as well. Check the dresser drawers for things left in the room that could be torn up, or for helpful items like pens and notepads that could be used for redecorating.

Bring along a pack of baby electrical outlet plugs, so that any free electrical outlets can be locked down. Check for lamp power cords that reach out where small fingers can yank on them, and double-check the settings on air conditioners and heaters.

You might consider blocking off a play and sleep area with luggage, depending on the child’s climbing ability. Also, keeping the bathroom door shut at all times might not be a bad idea either. It’s much easier to contain the child before, than clean up after.

Make sure the child can’t open the front door, and if he can, keep it locked from the inside. Make sure that all windows are locked and can’t be opened far enough for toddlers to squeeze through.

A few minutes of forethought should be enough to make sure that every member of the family can spend a safe and comfortable night in the hotel room.

Happy Travels!

Destination Highlight: Cancun

As one of the most popular beach destinations in North America, Cancun, Mexico, is famous for its turquoise waters, white-sand shores, luxury hotels and endless nightlife.

cancun

As one of the most popular beach destinations in North America, Cancun, Mexico, is famous for its turquoise waters, white-sand shores, luxury hotels and endless nightlife. Cancun is a part of the state of Quintana Roo, or Mexican Caribbean, which attracts over two million visitors to this Mayan beachside city a year.

The Zona Hotelera, or Hotel Zone, is home to a 14-mile stretch of hotels that range from high-end, all-inclusive resorts, to student-friendly budget hotels. Though this area may teem with tourists who only seek constant pampering and sunshine, there is an authentic Mexican city just down the round in downtown Cancun. Unseen by travelers who don’t leave the confines of their resort, downtown Cancun offers a mix of tradition and modernity, and is home to many restaurants, shopping centers and outdoor markets where the locals spend their time. Not far from Cancun, travelers who seek out history and culture can delve deep into the Mayan ruins and archaeological sites at neighboring Tulum, Chichen Itza and Coba.

Because Cancun is bordered by the Caribbean Sea on one side, and Nichupte Lagoon on another, there are a myriad of outdoor, water and adventure sports to partake in. Featuring some of the best fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling in the world, the Great Mesoamerican Reef is located just off of the city’s coast. Most resorts, as well as independent operators, will offer a variety of water sports, such as windsurfing, parasailing, jet-skiing, water skiing and kayaking to those looking for an aquatic thrill. Championship golf courses overlooking the Caribbean and eco-parks with underground rivers and cavern tours are also popular draws for visitors.

Showcasing everything from traditional Mexican cuisine downtown, to chic bistros and upscale international restaurants, the Cancun dining scene has something to suit all tastes. Puerto Madero serves a fusion of Spanish cuisines. Menu highlights are the spicy beef empanadas, lobster tail and grilled ribeye Madero. For a beautiful Mediterranean meal on the water, Terraneo is located on the lagoon side of the Hotel Zone, and offers well-crafted Mediterranean classics. Pik Nik is a wonderful and inexpensive lunch spot serving up homemade localized Mexican dishes such as fish tacos and ceviche.

Located just six miles from the Hotel Zone, Cancun International Airport (CUN) is Mexico’s second-busiest airport, and serves the region’s international and domestic air travel. Many hotels and resorts will provide transportation to and from the airport. If not, rental cars are available, though rules of the road tend to differ here than in most of the United States. The most efficient way to get around is by taxi. They are plentiful and can get expensive, but make sure a price in negotiated before taking off. There are also public buses that have frequent stops throughout the downtown and Hotel Zone areas.

Cancun has a tropical climate and is characterized by warm year-round temperatures and a pronounced rainy season. The average annual temperature stays around 80.8° F (27.1° C) and tends to remain in that vicinity for the entire year. The tropical storm season lasts from May through December, with peak precipitation coming down in September. The best times to visit Cancun are in the late winter and early spring months, when humidity and rainfall is at a minimum.

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