Things to Know Before You Go!
Below are some tips to help make your trip a success and answer questions you may have about travel.
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS – Proper documentation is your responsibility. The following information gives current requirements for United States citizens, effective at time of printing (September, 2010): Passengers of all ages returning to the U.S. by air from any international destination require a valid passport. A state- issued birth certificate with government issued photo I.D., or a passport “card”, is not acceptable. If your name on your passport (or for non-U.S. citizens, valid travel documents) does not match your name on your travel vouchers/tickets, you will not be allowed to travel. We recommend that all passports be valid at least 6 months after the date of your departure. For example, if you depart on June 1, 2024, your passport cannot expire prior to Dec. 1, 2024. For details on how to obtain or renew a passport, contact your local courthouse or post office. For information on obtaining expedited passports visit www.abriggs.com. If you are not a U.S. citizen, contact the embassy of the country to which you are traveling to determine required entry documents.
All passengers 18 and over traveling within the United States or to any U.S. territory (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) require only a valid government issued photo I.D. Be sure that your id is compliant with the Real ID Act (Missouri and Illinois might not be). We regret that we cannot accept unaccompanied minors under 18 for any travel. Failure to comply with the above requirements will result in you not being allowed to travel.
COVID-19 TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS – There are currently not many travel restrictions due to Covid-19, but please be aware that could change at any time should either certain countries, the CDC, WHO, TSA or other entities decide to institute new requirements. Please note that should new requirements become published before your trip and you choose to cancel based on your resistance to adhere to those guidelines, supplier cancellation penalties will be enforced by the tour operators and The Travel Gals. This could include, but is not limited to masking requirements, testing requirements, vaccination requirements, etc.
BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE –rlines have different baggage allowances and fees. Please check with your airline for specifics. Carry-on luggage is limited to one bag per person and must be small enough to fit beneath the seat in front of you; some airlines have a carry-on bag fee. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT
EXCESS/OVERSIZED BAGGAGE MAY BE DENIED AT CHECK-IN and if accepted, there will be additional charges. Anyone attempting to check-in excess baggage should arrive at the ticket counter a minimum of 2 hours prior to departure, or risk being denied boarding. Lap children under age two do not
receive a separate baggage allowance. Apple Vacations accepts no liability for loss or damage to luggage, although maximum care will be taken to ensure safe handling. All lost or damaged luggage must be reported to an airport representative at the destination before leaving the airport terminal. For details on baggage insurance, see your travel agent.
SPECIAL REQUESTS – The Travel Gals will provide the services and facilities of your vacation package as described in your quote and confirmed on your invoice. If you would prefer special arrangements other than those described, such as adjoining rooms, specific assistance needed or special meals, we will be glad to pass on your special request to the appropriate vendor on your behalf. However, since these requests lie outside our contracts with our suppliers, The Travel Gals cannot guarantee special requests unless otherwise stated.
NIGHTS IN YOUR HOTEL – The “Nights in Hotel” listed on your confirmation/travel voucher indicates the number of nights that your room has been reserved for you. If your return flight departs late evening, it is normal for your hotel to require that you check out of your room at midday. In these cases, a room MAY be made available for storing baggage and for changing prior to departure. However, this is at the discretion of the hotel. This also applies to those flights which land early when check in at the hotel is not until 3pm. The hotel may have your room ready upon arrival, but usually you will need to wait. The hotel will store your luggage and allow you access to the resort amenities, so we recommend you take your swimsuit in your carry on so you can change and enjoy the amenities while you wait. Be sure to keep your valuables with you at all times.
CREDIT CARDS AND TRAVELERS CHECKS – Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express cards are accepted in most destinations. Most local banks and hotels provide a currency exchange. It is not necessary to exchange currency in every destination, so if you have questions about that, consult your Agent. If you are traveling to Europe, Asia or other more exotic destinations which require local currency, we recommend you check with your bank to order some foreign currency ahead of your trip.
VALUABLES AND PERSONAL ITEMS –VALUABLES AND OTHER PERSONAL ITEMS ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. Most hotels offer safety deposit box facilities. You may want to deposit cash, computers, phones, passports, jewelry and other valuables for security. Do not pack cash, medication, jewelry, cameras, film, important documents or fragile items in your checked luggage.
DINING DRESS CODE – Although casual dress is the standard by day, many resorts and local restaurants have dress code requirements for dinner. In many cases, “casual yet elegant” dress is suggested for women. Men may be required to wear long pants (excluding jeans), proper footwear and shirts with collars. Gourmet restaurants may require men to wear a jacket. Before you pack, be sure to check with your travel agent or visit your resort’s website for detailed dress code information for your hotel.
HEALTH AND SAFETY TIPS FOR TRAVELERS – As you are about to embark on a foreign vacation, there are certain things of which you need to be aware. The Travel Gals strongly recommends that you visit the portion of United States Department of States’ website http://travel.state.gov/index.html, which deals with foreign travel. Specifically, you should read tips on foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries you plan to visit. Although foreign travel is exciting and rewarding, you must keep in mind that you are not traveling in the United States and extra caution is required to make your trip happy and successful. Just a few of the issues you need to be aware of are: medical standards and training of emergency responders and resort medical facilities vary greatly. If you have medical issues or concerns about medical services, we urge you to contact the particular property, as health care abroad may not be the same as you might expect at home. Sports and aquatic equipment, especially scuba gear, may not meet U.S. safety standards and many resort pools and beaches may lack lifeguards. Balcony railing heights in Mexico are lower than the mandated heights in the United States. Low balcony railings create a risk of falls, which may result in serious injury or death.
All Inclusive Travel Tips
Passports & Documents – A valid U.S. Passport is required for travel outside the U.S. We recommend that your passport be valid for at least 6 months after the date of your departure. The name on your passport must EXACTLY match the name listed on your Travel Gals invoice. If it does not, please notify us immediately. After your final payment, you will receive your E-Travel Documents via e-mail. This is all you will need to check in for your flight, transportation and hotel along with your Valid Passport. Please read both of these documents over upon receipt and notify us of any discrepancies or questions.
Traveling with Children: Before you travel, make sure you also know the entry requirements of your destination country which can be found by visiting the country’s consulate or embassy web site. Airlines may require special or additional documentation for children traveling without their legal guardian beyond what is mandated by the destination country. For example, if you are taking a child outside the country without one legal parent, a notarized letter is sometimes required. We encourage you to contact your travel agent or air carrier for clarification.
BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE – Scheduled Airlines as well as Charter Airlines like Frontier, Sun Country or Allegiant have different baggage allowances and fees. Please check with your airline or travel agent for specifics. Carry-on luggage is sometimes limited to one bag per person and must be small enough to fit beneath the seat in front of you; some airlines have a carry-on bag fee. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT EXCESS/OVER SIZED BAGGAGE MAY BE DENIED AT CHECK-IN and if accepted, there will be additional charges. Anyone attempting to check-in excess baggage should arrive at the ticket counter a minimum of 2 hours prior to departure, or risk being denied boarding. Lap children under age two do not receive a separate baggage allowance. The Travel Gals accepts no liability for loss or damage to luggage, although maximum care will be taken to ensure safe handling. All lost or damaged luggage must be reported to an airport representative at the destination before leaving the airport terminal. For details on baggage insurance, see your travel agent.
Airline Schedules and Check In – Watch your emails for any flight time changes that may occur prior to your trip. Notification of airline schedule changes will be sent via email to the email address given, up until the day of your departure. On the day you’re traveling, you can reconfirm your flight times by visiting the airline’s website or by calling them directly. If traveling on a charter operated flight the flight information may not be available on the airlines web site.
It is recommended that you arrive at the airport approximately 2 hours prior to your departure for domestic flights and at least 3 hours prior to departure time for international flights. Many airlines offer online check-in via their website.
Hotel Transportation – Most all inclusive packages have roundtrip airport transfers included that drops you directly in the lobby of your hotel. Be aware when you arrive at many airports, once you proceed through Immigration and Customs and claim your bags, you will then head toward ground transportation. At this time there are several companies trying to grab you for a time share presentation. They will pretend to be your transfer driver or will offer free tours and a ride to your hotel (with a stop at their time share hotel for a few hours along the way). If you are not interested, please just firmly say “No Thanks” and keep heading outside the terminal until you see the sign for the company you are meeting for your included transfers. Most E-Travel Documents will contain instructions on where to go and who to look for when meeting your transfer. If not, please contact your travel agent.
Currency & Credit Cards – We do not recommend that you exchange money if visiting Mexico or the Caribbean, as they take US dollars quite easily. There are limitations on how much money you can exchange, so we don’t recommend you carry a lot of cash in resort. We do recommend that you take small bills because you will get change back in foreign currency. Be sure to notify your credit card companies before you depart so they do not cut off funds to your card due to potential fraud.
Tipping – Tipping is not required at most all inclusive resorts, but is recommended for your baggage handlers as well as maid service in the hotels. Most tipping is considered included in your all inclusive package for wait staff, bartenders, etc., but you will sometimes see tip jars and other people tipping in resort. It is solely at your discretion of you would like to tip, although be aware that some resorts do not allow their staff to accept additional tips.
Optional Tours –Optional tours are available for you to book before you travel in conjunction with your travel package, or once you are in resort with the tour operator. There will be a representative from your tour company on duty in the lobby of your hotel certain hours each day to answer questions for you and help you book tours. If you would like a list of tours available to pre-book, please contact your travel agent. These tours are very safe and most include transportation directly from your hotel lobby and back.
In Resort Issues – Hotel taxes, gratuities, meals and beverages are included in your vacation price if you have booked an all inclusive resort vacation. Crib and rollaway charges are sometimes additional. A credit card or cash deposit may be required upon check-in for incidental charges. Special service requests for bedding, rollaway, refrigerators, views, low or high floors, etc. are made to the supplier and are not guaranteed. If you have any issues with your room or reservation, please contact the front office staff, hotel manager and your Vendor Representative within the hotel. There are also local phone numbers on your documents to contact if you have issues while on vacation. You are always welcome to contact your Travel Agent, but usually these local contacts can get things taken care of with much more expedience.
Time Shares – Most all inclusive hotels have a time share, vacation club or some other sort of membership program. They will offer you free tours, spa services, credits and all sorts of things to convince you to listen to their 20-30 minute presentation. Unfortunately that 20-30 minute promise usually turns into hours, where they give you a tour, share a meal and take you back to their headquarters for the hard sell. Please be aware of this practice when approached by anyone at the hotel (typically they have a slightly different uniform from the hotel staff, but not always. Proceed with caution and be prepared to be firm if you choose to attend and are not
interested in buying in.
Specialty Dining Reservations – Specialty dining is included in your all inclusive package, but some restaurants do require advanced reservations. Most hotels do not accept reservations until you arrive in resort, but a few do. We recommend that you check the resort’s website for any dining reservation options. This is also a good time to check out the dress code for each restaurant. Some resort restaurants have surcharges for lobster, certain cuts of steak, bottles of wine or other specialty items. The Travel Gals does not take any responsibility for a lack of reservations at the times you prefer, as it is at the sole discretion of the resort as to availability.
Hotel Partnerships –The hotel you are staying at may be a part of the Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott or other hotel partnership. Most of these programs do not allow you to earn points on your all inclusive travel package since it was not booked direct with the partner and is offered at a discounted rate. Please keep that in mind when trying to check in with your membership number, but sometimes they will offer you extra perks based on your status or allow you to earn points on other costs paid directly to the hotel like spa services, laundry or other additional costs.