Tips On Travel
When booking a domestic flight leave at
an hour between connecting flights. If making a connection on an
International flight leave at least 2 hours between
GLUTEN-FREE AIRLINE MEALS
As of this time there are no gluten-free meals provided by the any airline for US domestic flights (this usually includes Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean), but they are included on international flights (some of which are even shorter in time than the so-called domestic flights). ALWAYS request a Gluten-free meal, but ALWAYS bring back up food.
AIRPORT TRANSPORTATION AND PARKING
If you’ll be gone for a week or more you may want to check out
hotels that offer Stay-Park-Fly programs.
EXPIRATION OF PASSPORT
Make sure that your Passport date of expiration is more than 6
months after the date you are entering a foreign country.
BOOSTER SHOTS & VACCINATIONS
Make sure you have all the vaccinations and pills you may need about
6 months before your trip. Check with your doctor for what
need for where you are going and what vaccinations need a booster.
Many doctors will not give you advice and will refer you to travel
medical service companies. Use care in dealing with them - they often
try to sell you inoculations, medications and other travel items you
really don’t need or you can purchase elsewhere for considerably
less money. Caveat Emptor - Buyer Beware.
PRE TRIP CHECK LIST
Make a list of ALL the toiletries and incidental items you need to
take with you. Especially if you are going to a foreign destination
where many of the brands and items you use at home are not available
by the same name there. Also list all the things you need to do
before you leave.
Take with you enough for the duration of the Getaway and additional - just in case. Have copies of each prescription and your pharmacy information in case of emergency.
Make sure you file a “Stop Mail” request with your post office.
This may be done by computer or in person. There is no charge for
NOTIFY CREDIT AND ATM CARD COMPANIES
Many credit card companies will question out of country
transactions and not approve them unless they know you are in that
country. The same applies for bank ATM cards.
With the weight restrictions and limited number of bags for free (if
any) now enforced by most airlines, it is very important that you
wear clothes more than once. When touring in cool weather it makes
sense to bring clothing that can be layered and wear well on the
road. ALWAYS check the weather before you leave home to see what you
may have in store for you and dress accordingly.
DOCUMENTS TO TAKE
Passport; Airline Ticket or e-mail confirm of same; copy of
Passport - first page with picture and other pertinent data on it;
and copy of Medical Prescriptions.
LEAVE AN ITINERARY BACK HOME
Before you leave give your itinerary including names of hotels with
telephone numbers to friends or family in case of emergency.
Do not take or wear a lot of expensive jewelry on the trip - It
only attracts the attention of those you don’t want to put
temptation in front of.
PACKING YOUR CARRY-ON
Take a secure Carry-On with whatever you may need before you get to
your final destination, such as: prescription drugs, reading
material, electronics, some take minimal back up clothing in case of
lost baggage, and importantly for those of on the gluten-free diet,
back up food for those long trips where we need to depend on the
airlines for our meals. Carry your air tickets, boarding passes,
passports on your person - Secured in some way. At the airport never
leave your Carry On with anyone you don’t know. Treat it like one
of your kids - the ones you don’t want to lose.
Based on where we’re going and for how long, we usually only take
a few hundred American Dollars for each of us. We can use our ATM
card or some of our US $ to get local money when we arrive. Only
exchanging as much as we think we may need for small purchases and
tips. We use our credit cards whenever we can - even for small
purchase. Not frugal, but so much easier.
We have a challenge each time we leave the country and that is to
come back home with as little of the foreign money as we can. If we
have to exchange dollars for whatever currency is there, we usually
do that with our American Dollars at the hotel. Sure the exchange
rate may be higher, but for the small amount of money we’re dealing
with it’s not worth the effort to spend time looking for a lower
YOU’VE DONE ALL YOU CAN DO TO PREPARE FOR YOUR TRIP AND THE DAY HAS ARRIVED TO GET OUT OF TOWN. DOUBLE CHECK TO SEE IF YOU HAVE ALL YOUR IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS - PASSPORTS, AIRLINE TICKETS, CONFIRMS, ETC. TURN OFF THE LIGHTS - RESET THE HEAT OR A/C - LOCK THE DOORS.
ARRIVAL AT THE AIRPORT
With today’s crowded airports we ALWAYS try to arrive at least 1
- 1½ hours before departure time for domestic destinations. For
International flights arrive at least 2 hours early. Better to sit
and read a book, than to chase the plane down the runway.
PORTERS AT AIRPORT
In this age of travel carts and wheeled suitcases, DO NOT allow any
locals to handle your luggage for you at international
Please remember that the flight attendants are not responsible for
the availability or quality of your Gluten-free food. Don’t shoot
the messenger. ALWAYS request Gluten-free - ALWAYS bring back-up
DEPARTING THE PLANE
Before leaving the plane be sure you haven’t left anything in the
pocket in front of you or in the overhead bin.
Any trip worth going on deserves to be remembered and shared with
friends and family by taking plenty of pictures. But the most
memorable images will be in your mind, so get out from behind the
lens and appreciate the full real view and the total ambiance.
Other than the typical fantastic sights we have seen around the
world, some of our best memories are of the Eye to Eye contact and
smiles with locals - even when you don’t speak the same language
can be memorable.
DON’T BE AFRAID
Today all of the world is a dangerous place - some more so than
others. There are certain countries or areas of countries that should
probably be avoided. When we travel as a group the agents in each
area are very aware of where is safe and not as safe. Avoid
demonstrations and the shady side of any city. Keep aware and if
uncomfortable find a police officer to get you back to your hotel, or
go into a shop and ask them. Taks a hotel business card with you when you leave the hotel.
For years we have heard the same story from people - Your Gluten-free Getaways are a dream come true, but ... ! When we retire - when the house is paid for - I can’t leave my pets - I can’t leave the grand-kids - and on and on. We always tell them that if they should get ill and have to go to the hospital or stay in bed recuperating, would they “find” the time to do that ? Within reason - enjoy life while you can - who knows what tomorrow will bring.
AVOIDING FOOD PROBLEMS
Those of you that are on the Gluten-free diet can depend on us to
provide you with safe and great food during our Gluten-free Getaways.
When on free time and shopping around town be very careful of the
foods you eat - regardless of Gluten or not. Do Not eat any fruit or
vegetable unless you can peel them yourself.
To be safe - only drink bottled water. When buying bottled water,
make sure the screw on cap has not been opened before.
ICE IN WATER
To be safe do NOT get ice in your drinks.
Unless you are an expert in expensive items you’re buying, be very careful. Remember that if it is not worth what they tell you it is worth - the country of purchase is their country. You may have little recourse.
BON VOYAGE ! BON APPETITE !