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Posts Tagged ‘Caribbean’

Where Do You Need a Passport?

Most people are aware that you need a passport to go to Europe, Africa and Asia. But what if you’re staying closer to home? A decade ago, getting into Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean was as easy as saying “I’m an American citizen,” but not anymore.  After 9-11, The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative was enacted making it much harder to get in and out of the US without a passport. Don’t get caught off-guard if you’re heading to one of these destinations:   Canada Visiting Canada? Check your passport, eh? You definitely need one if you're flying in or out of the country, unless you have a NEXUS trusted traveler card and you are flying to a Canadian preclearance airport with a NEXUS kiosk. If you're traveling by land or sea, you need one of the followi


New Caribbean Resorts: Good Reason To Get a US Passport Renewal

Is your passport about to expire? Are you wondering if you should bother with the US passport renewal process, or just let it go for a while? The New York Times has a review of some new Caribbean resorts that just might motivate you to get down to the post office with your renewal application! All of the resorts the Times reviews focus on immersing travelers in local culture and local experiences. My favorite resort out of the 5 mentioned in the article is the Hotel Chocolat on St. Lucia. The resort consists of private cottages located on a real, working cocoa plantation. Perks include gorgeous, lush Caribbean scenery and, of course, chocolate. However, James Bond fans might prefer a stay at the newly renovated GoldenEye, the same Jamaican property where Ian Fleming wrote his famous


Get a Fast Passport And Snag Cheap Flights to the Bahamas

Fall is here, and the days and nights are starting to get a little bit chilly. I love fall, but my bones are starting to ache and I can't deny that I'd also  love to lounge on the beach and chase autumn's chill away with some sun and sand. Spirit Airlines' new special makes it much more affordable to do just that (via SmarterTravel). Right now, they're offering flights from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Nassau in the Bahamas and back again, for $1 each way! Nope, that's not a typo. If you fly on the right dates, you can snag a round-trip ticket to the Bahamas for just $2. Of course, there's still taxes and fees to consider, plus Spirit is notorious for its baggage fee structure. If you can travel light, it's probably still worth it, but it's not a bad idea to guesstimate how much lu


Get Your US Passport Renewal Now For Pirates Week in the Caymans

In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, the following post is written mostly in Pirate. Arrr! September 19th be International Talk Like a Pirate Day, but just 'cause it's in the past, that doesn't mean that your buccaneering days are over 'til next year. Hoist yer sails and make your way down to the Cayman Islands, which come November 11th through the 21st will be filled with the dirtiest scalawags this side of Tortuga! In other words, it's Pirates Week in the Caymans. The Pirates Week  festival has been going on for 33 years, long before pirates became the pop culture darlings they are today.  The islands were originally settled by pirates, slaves and other outcasts, and Pirates Week is a chance for citizens of the Caymans to celebrate their freewheeling and colorful hi


Get an Expedited Passport for cheap fares at Spirit Airlines!

Have you always fantasized about visiting a tropical Caribbean beach but never thought you'd be able to afford it? What if your plane tickets were only $2? At first glance, joining Spirit Airlines' fare club seems like it just might be the ticket to bring your dream vacation within reach. Membership costs $39.95 per year, but it allows you to access sales that aren't available to non-members. For example, right now club members can fly from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to the Bahamas for just $2 round trip, and from Fort Lauderdale to Cancun for $18 round-trip (plus the usual fees and taxes, of course). Spirit has a members-only sale once every 6 weeks, and as long as you move quickly, you can snag those cheap fares on all the tickets you purchase. But is it worth it?


New Passport Cards Confuse Travelers

In 2008, the US Department of State introduced a new passport option: the US passport card.  The wallet-sized card was meant to make international travel to Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean more convenient and less expensive. Passport cards are the same size and shape as a driver's license, and they cost much less-only $45 for a card compared to $100 for a passport book. Passport cards are gradually becoming more and more popular, but as Las Vegas' Fox 5 News reports, there is still a lot of confusion about what type of travel they can actually be used for, and that means people are missing their vacations. You see, passport cards may be much cheaper than a regular passport, but they are much more limited in terms of where and when you can use them. They are ONLY valid for land or s


Get an Expedited Passport Renewal This Summer

The warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico are the summer vacation spot of choice for many American families, supporting a tourism industry worth $20 billion per year. However, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is growing larger every day, making tourists understandably nervous about vacationing anywhere that might be in its path. Currently, no oil has washed ashore in Florida, home of some of the most popular beaches.  However, as of Monday of last week, the Miami Herald was reporting that the oil was about 80 miles away from a "loop current" that could coat Southern Florida's white sand beaches in oily muck. The bottom line? Nobody is sure if or when the spill will hit Florida's beaches.  The Miami Herald quoted Igor Kamenkovich, a professor at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel Schoo


Do You Need a Passport to Go To The Caribbean?

If you live in one of the areas of the US that is currently buried in snow, taking off to the sunny Caribbean probably sounds perfect right about now.  However, before you book that Caribbean cruise, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the new passport requirements. Up until June 01, 2009, you could visit the Caribbean with just your state-issued photo ID and  a birth certificate as long you were traveling by  sea. You only needed a passport if you were flying. However, on June 01 of last year, the final phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) went into effect. The WHTI requires US citizens traveling by sea to the Caribbean to carry one of the following documents: A US passport book A US passport card A "trusted traveler" identification card, such a


New Passport Rules Don’t Slow Border Traffic

Today, Border Patrol officials began asking Americans for passports at the American and Canadian borders.  The final phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is in effect, and a passport or another government-approved document is now required to re-enter the country. How has this affected traffic across the borders? Not much, it seems. The Houston Chronicle is reporting that wait times at both the northern border with Canada and the southern border with Mexico are normal today, and that the new rules haven't caused an increase in travel time for most American citizens. However, not everyone who regularly crosses the border has the correct documents.  FoxTV in El Paso reported that a flood of people applying for a last-minute passport has led some residents to camp out at t


Traveling to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean: Carry US Passports!

US citizens planning a trip to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean need to be aware of new travel requirements that will become effective June 1st, 2009. After June 1st,  the days of being able to cross the border by flashing your driver's license and your birth certificate are over.  US citizens traveling to these regions will need to show US passports or passport cards to re-enter the country...or else! Right about now, your inner three-year-old is probably asking "Oh yeah...or else what?" What happens if you try to get back in to the US without a passport after June 1st? Will you be trapped at the border forever? Arrested? Fortunately, the consequences for American citizens trying to re-enter the country without US passports after the deadline are not quite that grim. According to t