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Best Apps for International Travel

Earlier this summer, we posted a blog on 4 Great Apps for International Travel.  We wanted to add some additional apps to the list to ensure you were up to date on the latest and greatest apps for international travel.

  1. Trip Journal — Trip documenter :  Trip Journal is an award-winning travel app that lets you digitally document your trip on your iOS, Android, Bada or Symbian device.
  2. Converse:  Have a conversation with speakers of other languages with Converse, a $4.99 iPad app. Converse translates between English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Dutch.
  3. UNESCO World Heritage — Location guide:  For travelers who would like a bucket list of amazing places to visit in their lifetime, the World Heritage app will do the trick.
  4. Wikitude:  Award-winning augmented reality app Wikitude helps you explore as you travel. Take pictures of new sights and scenes — when you have an Internet connection, Wikitude will inform you about your surroundings.
  5.  WhatsApp:  Text any smartphone user with WhatsApp, the app that lets you send texts, photos, videos and audio files with your contacts. WhatsApp is also great for group texting among different smartphones, so we bet you’ll keep using it after you return home.
  6.  AllSubway:  This $0.99 iOS app is a pocket guide to the world’s subway maps. Featuring more than 160 maps, you’ll find guides to public transit systems in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Australia.
  7.  Photosynth:  Available for Windows Phone and iPhone, this incredible panorama creation app lets you shoot geo-located, interactive images. You can share your Photosynth with other users when you have an Internet connection.
  8.  Skype WiFi:  Hate when random paid networks pop up as you’re trying to connect to airport Wi-Fi? Skype Wi-Fi lets you use your Skype credit to connect in airports, hotels, coffee shops, and thousands of other locations across the world.
  9.  Google Goggles:  This free AR app for Android will help you identify everything from paintings in museums to ingredients in food. Just make sure you can find an Internet connection, and Google Goggles will take care of the rest.
  10. TripIt:  This one-shop-stop travel app organizes everything from your business schedule to your hotel reservation to your flight confirmation numbers. If you’re looking for a serious organization tool, this $3.99 app is for you.
  11. Wi-Fi Finder:  Preparing for the big, bad, cell service-free world outside your hotel? Load a map of nearby Wi-Fi locations with this free iOS app.
  12. XE Currency:  Don’t get ripped off changing currency — use this app to find the best local rates. If you often overspend while you’re abroad because you find conversions confusing, this iOS app will help you keep your budget.

Are you using something we haven’t listed?  Let us know what you are using and why you love it so much.

 

2013 Record International Travel Predicted

International travel will hit record highs this year, at least that’s the prediction from Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for leading U.S. airlines.

In its annual forecast, A4A predicts that this year U.S. airlines will carry close to 209 million global passengers during the height of summer travel (June through August, 2013). Included in that estimate are 27 million international travelers.

If this forecast runs true, summer air travel this year will reach its highest peak in five years. When will airports and airlines be most crowded? The busiest travel days are expected to be Thursdays and Fridays between mid-Jun and the first week of August.

Top 25 International Travel Destinations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: http://travel.usnews.com/Rankings/Worlds_Best_Vacations/

With the busiest international travel season ahead, passport processing times can be higher than normal.  If you are planning international travel and still need to apply for a new U.S. passport, name change, or add pages to an existing passport, get started now.

If your passport will be expiring within 6-7 months of your planned travel date, get it renewed.  Be aware that some countries require for your passport to be valid for 6 months beyond your arrival date – or from your departure date – depending on the rules in each country.  For example, Brazil and China base their six-month rule on the arrival date.

If you’re short on time (or patience), consider getting an expedited passport.

Are Expedited Passport Services Worth the Money?

Traveling in a hurry? There are several ways to get an expedited passport.

According to State Department spokesman Peter Velasco, the Department of State has 26 passport agencies across the nation that can assist U.S. travelers who need their travel documents immediately. The Department of State charges an additional $60 fee for expedited passport service.

If you have to travel abroad for business or family emergencies and you need to leave in a day or two, applying for an expedited passport through the State Department will not solve your problem. But you do have other options.

US Passport Agency – Standard – 4-7 Weeks, Expedited 2-3 weeks
RushMyPassport.com – Standard – 8-12 Days, Expedited 24 hours

If you need your expedited U.S. passport for immediate travel, a passport expediting service is the ideal solution. If one of the tasks on your “to do” list involves getting or renewing your passport, you may discover that an expedited passport service is actually a godsend. Yes, you’ll pay a fee for the service. But you won’t have to do any of the legwork.

People take advantage of expedited passport services when renewing a U.S. passport or getting a first time passport, because the process takes a lot of time and energy. In addition to all the required paperwork, passport applicants can often wait in long lines for hours, eating up all your valuable time. Many feel it simply isn’t worth the hassle. Overseas travelers have plenty of loose ends to tie up before their trips – and very little spare time in which to do it.

How much is your time worth? Is it worth missing a day of work and the aggravation of standing in line at the post office or passport office to handle the passport paperwork yourself? More and more people are saying “no”. When time is at a premium, our expedited passport services can deliver a lot of peace of mind.

Should A Passport Be Packed For A Cruise?

Cruises are meant to be relaxing and fun. They are a great way to get away and spend time with loved ones. That didn’t work out so well recently for passengers of the Carnival Triumph. An engine fire turned their relaxing getaway into a living condition disaster with spoiled food and unworkable plumbing. What made the cruise even worse was that since it was a “closed loop voyage,” it wasn’t required for cruise passengers to bring their passports.

Passport Requirements for CruisesA “closed loop voyage” means the cruise ship begins and ends at the same U.S. Port, even if it makes stops outside the country. Carnival officials had initially planned to tow the ship to a Mexican port and let passengers fly home. Unfortunately though, 900 of them didn’t have passports which is required when flying into the U.S. If all the passengers had passports, an emergency like this may have been fixed a lot quicker. So if you decide to go on a cruise in the future, it is definitely recommended you make sure to bring your passport, just in case.

Is your U.S. passport expired? Did you lose your passport? Don’t worry; there are expedited U.S. passport services available like Rush My Passport that can help get your U.S. passport FAST. If you have a limited amount of time before your vacation trip (less the standard processing time of 4-6 weeks which it normally takes to get a U.S. passport), visit RushMyPassport.com and learn how to get a U.S. passport FAST. They can even help with getting your U.S. passport to you within 24 – 48 hours!

 

 

How to Get a Passport Quickly

The clock is ticking on your dream vacation. Without a passport, you’ll be stuck at home, staring at the cracks on your walls. You know the process usually takes weeks or even months. How can you get a passport quickly enough?

Don’t worry, here’s how to cut through the passport application process like butter:

Gather Your Documents

First, get your paperwork together. The documents you’ll need depends on the application form you’ll be using.

Form DS-11: Applying for a New Passport or Replacing a Lost or Stolen Passport

Form DS-11 is for first time applicants; applicants whose most recent passport was lost, stolen or damaged; applicants whose passport was issued more than 15 years ago or applicants whose passport was issued before they turned 16.

You must submit Form DS-11 in person at a passport office. For a complete list of the required documents, see How to Apply for a New Passport. Also, there are special requirements in place for kids under 16. See How to Get a Child Passport for details.

Form DS-82: Passport Renewals

Use form DS-82 if you’re applying for a passport renewal. You can use this form as long as your current passport meets the following qualifications:

  • Is in your possession and undamaged.
  • Was issued less than 15 years ago and after you turned 16.
  • Is in your current legal name, or you can submit a marriage certificate or court order to support your name change request.
  • To get your passport within the next two weeks, you’ll also need a copy of your itinerary.

See How to Apply for a Passport Renewal for a checklist of the documents you’ll need to renew.

Choose Your Approach

Next, decide how you’re going to expedite your passport application. You have three options to get your passport quickly: (more…)

How Quickly Can I Get a Passport?

Most travel experts tell you to apply for a passport at least a couple of months before you plan to leave the country, and that’s definitely the safest way to go. However, depending on how much time and energy you’re willing to put into the endeavor, you may be able to acquire one much more quickly than that.

Regular  Processing

If you apply for your passport by mail or at the post office and don’t request any sort of special handling, you can expect to get it back in around six weeks, depending on the State Department’s workload at the time. Be sure you read the application instructions carefully, as mistakes can delay your passport.

Expedited Processing

If regular processing takes too long, the Department of State does offer an expedited processing option for an additional $60 charge. If you pay the $60 and spring for overnight delivery to and from the passport office, you should have your passport in about three weeks’ time.

If that still doesn’t cut it, you can get your passport even more quickly by making an appointment at one of the country’s 24 regional passport agency offices. These offices issue emergency passports only, so in order to make an appointment you must have already booked a trip out of the country that leaves in the next 14 days.

However, if you also need to get a visa for your destination country, you have a little bit more leeway and can make an appointment within four weeks of your travel date. Once at the office, you should have your passport within 24 hours provided you brought all of the required documents.

Of course, with only 24 offices serving the entire country, visiting a regional passport agency in person is extremely inconvenient for many people. Office hours tend to be limited, so people who work during the day have to take additional time off.  Plus, depending on where you live, it could take hours to get to the nearest office, or you might even have to take a plane.

An expediting service like RushMyPassport is a worthwhile investment because you don’t have to make an appointment or travel. Just go to the nearest post office, get your documents officially “sealed,” and send them to us. We personally deliver them to the Department of State, then FedEx your passport right back to you, often in as little as 24 hours. Plus, we take you through the application process one step at a time,  so you can avoid making common mistakes that might slow down your passport.

Need to get a passport quickly? Contact us today!

Get an Expedited Passport to Visit Paris In September

Fall is already one of the best times of year to visit Paris. The air cool and the summer crowds have begun to die down. Even better, a series of outdoor festivals and events take place in the city and surrounding countryside starting in September. Here’s a rundown on why this month is worth making the trip:

The Techno Parade

On September 17th, thousands of electronic music lovers will gather in Paris for a 3-mile-long parade through the city. Originally organized as an act of defiance against authorities that tried to quash the burgeoning rave scene of the 90′s, the Techno Parade is now recognized by the government. This year, the focus is on introducing Parisians to this unique subculture and its signature dances. Tommy Vaudecrane, the co-president of parade organizer Technopol, told the New York Times that “Many people in France do not dance and know very little about the dance culture associated with electronic music, such as house, vogueing, rave and the Melbourne shuffle. We have an official dance that was choreographed by professional dancers, which will be performed all day during the parade by dance schools.” Peace, love, unity and respect!

Fête de la Gastronomie

The Fête de la Gastronomie is a celebration of traditional French food. This is the festival’s first year, though organizers hope to make it an annual affair. On the 23rd of September, the entire country will join in paying tribute to France’s unique culinary heritage by feasting on it. Participating restaurants can be found all over Paris, of course, as well as the surrounding countryside. For more information, see the website (though it helps if you know some French).

The Autumn Festival

The Autumn Festival is an arts and music festival that runs from September the 15th to New Year’s Eve. Whether you like modern art, music, dance or cinema, you’re sure to find something exciting at the Autumn Festival. The program is available online. (more…)

Can I Expedite a New Passport?

When you apply for a passport for the first time, you are required to appear in person to do so. Does that mean that you can’t use an expediting company to get your passport quickly?

At RushMyPassport, we get this question a lot.  It’s natural to be concerned, but the answer is reassuring: Of course you can! You’ll still need to appear in person at a passport acceptance facility, but there’s no need to wait weeks for your passport to arrive like it you would if you submitted it without our help.

Passport acceptance offices are often located in post offices or libraries, so there’s almost certain to be one in your area. You can find the nearest one by searching for your city and state on the Department of State’s website.

When you go to the acceptance facility, bring the following documents:

At the acceptance facility, you’ll fill out passport application form DS-11, show the acceptance agent your ID and provide them with your proof of citizenship. Let the acceptance agent know that you are using a private expediting company, show them the authorization letter, and the agent will place your documents into a special sealed envelope that you can then send overnight to the expediting company.

This process saves you the hassle of having to make an appointment and possibly travel out of your way to an emergency passport office, while still allowing you to get your application processed in as little as 24 hours. When you consider that standard processing times at a passport acceptance office without the assistance of an expediting company are 6 weeks or longer for routine service and 3 weeks for “expedited” service, the advantage of using an expediting company is clear.

For passport help, contact us today!

An Expedited Passport to See Venice in Winter

Summer is Venice’s high season, so most travel guides recommend visiting the city in spring or fall instead. But what about winter? As New York Times reporter Rachel Donadio recently discovered, winter in Venice has its own special magic. In the article, she writes about seeing the city in winter for the first time: “The light, as always, was beyond compare and there was a watery chill in the air. I loved it immediately. ”

In winter, it’s easy to get into normally busy attractions like the Doge’s Palace, and the damp chill can be easily kept at bay with hot coffee. Even better, Alitalia is having an excellent special on tickets at the moment. You can fly directly to Venice from Chicago for $867 round trip, or fly into Milan from New York for $622 and then take the train to Venice. If you take the Eurostar, you’ll be there in less than three hours. For more potential itineraries and prices, see Smarter Travel.

The sale is on until March of 2011. If you’d like to take advantage of it, keep in mind that you’ll need a passport if you don’t already have one.

If you apply for a passport without expedited processing, you can expect to get your passport back in the mail about 6 weeks after you send your application in. The State Department’s expedited passport processing normally takes about 3 weeks, which is still a long time to wait.

If you need to travel sooner than that, you have two options that can further reduce the time it takes to get an expedited passport. First, you can apply in person at a regional passport agency office. You’ll have to make an appointment to do this, and you may have to spend a lot of time and even money to get to the office since there are only 21 passport agency offices that serve the general public in the United States.

The second option is to order an expedited passport from a private expediting company like RushMyPassport. We meet with the Department of State on your behalf to submit the application, so you get processing times as low as 24 hours with no need to make an appointment or travel to a passport agency.

Apply for your expedited passport with us today!

An Expedited Passport For The World’s Largest Food Fight

Every year in August, crowds of tourists and locals pour into the streets of Buñol, Spain, for La Tomatina, a festival that is otherwise known as the world’s biggest food fight. The festival takes place every year on the last Wednesday of August, but the action starts with partying and drinking the night before. When the sun comes up, the tourists who couldn’t get beds in town start to pour in for the “Ham Up a Greasy Pole” Contest, in which contestants try to climb a greased wooden pole to reach the ham on top.

To prepare for the big food fight, approximately 90,000 pounds of very ripe tomatoes are trucked into the town square, the epicenter of the combat. At precisely 11:00am, the fun begins, as locals and tourists alike begin pummeling each other with the tomatoes. Traditionally, women wear white to La Tomatina- I wonder if Clorox or another detergent/bleach company has considered a corporate sponsorship? Men have it easier, as they are traditionally shirtless.

No matter what you wear to La Tomatina, you should expect it be absolutely saturated with tomato juice and sauce by the end of the fight, which lasts for an hour. Clean up involves hoses and, if you’re staying in another town, waiting in line for the showers in the local train station.

If you’d like to attend La Tomatina, you’d be wise to apply for an expedited passport if you don’t already have one. Generally, if you apply with standard processing, you can expect to wait at least 6 weeks before receiving your passport in the mail. If you apply for the government’s expedited passport processing, you’ll still have to wait at least 3 weeks, and that’s cutting it close.

If you need to get your passport more quickly, the most convenient option is to use a private passport expediting company. An expediter, like RushMyPassport.com, can hand-deliver your application to the Department of State, resulting in processing times as low as 24 hours, without the hassle and inconvenience of making an appointment at one of the Department of State’s passport offices.

Apply for your expedited passport today!