Keep Cruising and Keep Traveling – It is Safe

In the time that has followed since the tragic events of September 11, we have seen numerous changes happening to us all.These changes began with shock, disbelief and anguish and so overwhelmed us, that they made all work related issues seem trivial and personal relationship seem especially dear. And believe me, this hits very close to home with a wife who works in the cruise industry in the United States.Those of us in the travel business began to see numerous cancellations of long planned holidays and vacations, mostly from fear and misunderstanding of security, schedule changes even with the combined will and effort of the cruise industry attempting to keep passengers traveling and enjoying the process.Should you take a vacation? Should you travel? I think we North Americans pride ourselves on our freedom to travel and enrich our lives by interacting with cultures from all over. To cocoon and avoid travel allows those who seek to destroy our freedoms the power to bring us to our knees.I believe that America will not stop travelling, it is in our blood. The key is to increase your knowledge of travel related issues and to understand how the process has changed. What follows is a synopsis of the changes you can expect to see for the near and distant future.What can I expect at the airport? There are stricter security measures on airport employees, merchants, airline employees, and vendors that service the airports…and also on travelers. Expect the line that you are standing in to take longer than before. Plan for longer time at the airport to park, check-in, and get to departing gate. You may also experience some inconveniences and delays – please be patient.There will be thorough searches of all airports and airplanes before passengers are allowed to enter the aircraft. You will be required to limit carry on baggage and to possess government issued photo identification, and as always, I strongly urge you to obtain a passport as the most important piece of identification. You may also notice additional uniformed law enforcement officers and canine teams patrolling airports – all to guarantee your safety.What changes will you see regarding your cruise experience? Embark and Disembark may take longer due to additional security measures. Strict enforcement of required identification and nationality/travel papers. Boarding will be denied without presenting proper documents. Your documents must be original – no copies will be allowed.Here are the Top Ten Cruise Traveler Tips1. Purchase trip/vacation interruption insurance. Check with your travel agent as to the coverage benefits and limitations.2. Review your cruise documents in advance for important guidelines and travel tips. Again check with knowledgeable cruise agents to ensure you are well prepared.3. Prior to leaving home, call the airline – or check their website for flight arrival and departure information4. Be at the airport early – 2 hours or more unless local circumstances dictate allowing a longer time. Security screenings will take additional time.5. Minimize carry-on luggage OR be prepared to have them searched and suspicious items confiscated (nail files, scissors/clippers etc.) Please make sure luggage is clearly tagged with the complete color bag-tags provided with your documents.6. Make sure necessary medical items are with you rather than in checked luggage.7. Make sure you have your passport and other identification on your person – not in checked baggage.
8. Lower the stress level of “getting to the ship on-time” by arranging a pre-cruise land package. Consider coming in a day early – especially when flying a long distance to the cruise.9. Expect delays and longer lines than usual – and be pleasantly surprised if they are not that bad.10. Be patient – once on board your cruise, you will have the fantastic time cruising is noted for.To be very practical consider that if you look at the damage on September 11, the total number of deaths on the airlines is 288 including crew and militants. I will guarantee you that since September 11 more than 288 people have lost their lives on America’s highways. It is estimated that greater than 34,000 will lose their lives traveling on the road and if you average that per day, 93 people daily will not make it to their destination via car. Flying is still the safest form of traveling.This writer believes we have an obligation to continue the business of life, to live freely and to travel when and where we want within the constraints of common sense. To do other would suggest the terrorists have won.Rest assured the cruise lines have made major changes in itineraries to place their ships in the safest and most enjoyable voyages possible. The Middle East itineraries may be eliminated for the duration but there are fantastic values on hundreds of other itineraries.If you are concerned, sit down with a cruise expert and discuss your situation face to face to learn why cruising remains a safe, and enjoyable vacation and why now is the time to make your plans.The good news today is that more people than are enjoying the hassle free way of cruising than ever before – securely!Talk to your agent about price protection, deposits, penalties or lack of for cancellation and all the little details that will help assure a vacation like none other on earth. See you on board!Sid Kaplan
Cruise Vacations Guide

7 Ways To Cut Travel Expenses From Your Next Funding Round

You’re on the funding round trail to secure cash to boost your start up or to take your existing company to the next level. If you’ve tried and failed at all the sources you could try without leaving your office, and you simply must travel with following seven suggestions for getting you there – and back – without doing it on a wing and a prayer, and without giving your bank balance too much of a pounding.

Why are you booking all this travel? Yes, I know, you couldn’t get funding sitting in the office. But that’s why you’re travelling, not why you’re booking it. Get a travel agent involved. They’re specialists and you’re not. Every trade has its tricks, and the travel business is no different. Giving a list of dates and destinations, and let them iron out the hassle. You could spend the time saved with the family to iron out the hassle of being away on another business trip. Hey, I’m just saying…

Set the rules. Don’t let the travel agent upsell you into upmarket hotels with complicated pillow menus and in-room saunas. You’re trying to generate cash on this funding round, not spend it. The hotel room is a place to sleep for one or two nights; you’re not moving in. Set a budget and have them work within it. Being clear at the outset helps them to help you.

Get on the chain gang. There’s something comforting in the familiar, and that’s what you’ll find if you work with the same chain of hotels. What’s even more comforting is that you’ll be able to tap into loyalty schemes that will make your trip cheaper. We’re trying to raise money here. See tip 2.

Travel light. You can move faster if you travel light. Get your packing down to a fine art, and manage with a carry-on bag. Be sure it’s a size that airlines will accept, and you can be the first to the cab rank when the flight’s landed, rather than watching a broken push-chair trundle round the baggage carousel. Look, it’s coming around again… I wonder if your case has gone to Birmingham, UK, rather than Birmingham, Alabama? Maybe that’s why it hasn’t appeared yet… Oops…

Eat out. What kind of crazy advice is this? Why would you eat out, when you’re staying in a hotel? Well, a couple of reasons, actually. Firstly, if you’ve squeezed the budget very tight, you may well be staying in an hotel with no restaurant, but even if you’re not, getting out in the evening will get you some exercise whilst you’re walking around to find the right kind of eatery, and secondly, you’ll get a flavour of the city you’re visiting, and that’ll come for nothing. Exercise and sightseeing at no cost? What’s not to like?

Whose money is it anyway? If you’re on the hunt for finance, chances are it’s your business that’s footing the bill, so consider this. How about paying for your own meals? It’s what you’d do at home, having shopped for groceries or picked a restaurant, so why not do the same on a business trip? In the grand scheme of things, it might save only a few pennies, but hey, it’ll all add to the profitability, even if only a tiny bit. Travel expense management software is a brilliant tool for keeping track of what you’ve spent, allowing you to reassure yourself that you’ve had value for money.

OK, you win. So, you want to do it yourself, all this travel booking malarkey. Go ahead – but do me a favour. Use some travel and expense management software. Failure to do that means the whole thing will be out of control, and no matter what it says on the plane ticket, you won’t know where you are financially.

Quarantine and International Pet Travel

QUARANTINE AND INTERNATIONAL PET TRAVEL – WILL YOUR PET BE QUARANTINED?Before your travel, it is important that you are aware of the classification of your country of origin (where you begin your travels) and the rabies classification of the destination (where you end your trip). If you have layovers on your trip, you need to be aware of quarantine requirements of countries in which you clear customs. The intelligent traveler will be able to avoid quarantine requirements of rabies free countries by planning in advance.The countries of the world have been divided into three classifications that relate to pets: rabies free countries, third countries (low incidence of rabies) and countries with high incidence of rabies. Third Countries include all the countries of the European Union except the United Kingdom which is rabies free. The United States, Canada, Mexico are also considered third countries. For a complete list of countries in each category, go to Pet Travel and click on the Immigraion tab.Below are scenarios for people traveling worldwide with their pet:Traveling with a pet from a RABIES FREE COUNTRY to a THIRD COUNTRY or a COUNTRY WITH A HIGH INCIDENCE OF RABIES:
If you are traveling with your pet from a RABIES FREE COUNTRY, you can visit any THIRD COUNTRY or any COUNTRY WITH A HIGH INCIDENCE OF RABIES with minimal paperwork and without quarantine or a blood titre test. However, there will be restrictions and perhaps quarantine upon your return.Traveling with your pet from one THIRD COUNTRY to another THIRD COUNTRY:
Your pet must have resided in a THIRD COUNTRY for a minimum of six (6) months prior to your travel date. You can then travel to another THIRD COUNTRY fairly easily. You will need a microchip for certain countries and the proper veterinary certificate for the country that you are entering. Your dog or cat’s rabies vaccinations must be current. There are a limited number of these THIRD COUNTRIES that also require an import permit for entry.Traveling with your pet from a THIRD COUNTRY to a RABIES FREE COUNTRY:
If you are traveling from a THIRD COUNTRY to a RABIES FREE country, a blood titre test will be required, and the pet must have a microchip as well as the proper forms for the destination country. There is always a waiting period from the time you have the blood titre test until the time you enter the RABIES FREE country. In some cases, it is 120 days and in other cases, it is 180 days. If your schedule does not allow for a waiting period, quarantine will be imposed at the destination country. Jamaica is an exception as it does not allow any animals other than those born and raised in the UK.Traveling with a pet from a THIRD COUNTRY to a COUNTRY WITH A HIGH INCIDENCE OF RABIES:
You can also travel to a COUNTRY WITH A HIGH INCIDENCE OF RABIES from a THIRD COUNTRY without a blood titre test and, in many cases, without a microchip. The problem may occur when you return from that country with a HIGH INCIDENCE OF RABIES to a THIRD COUNTRY. In most cases, except for the United States and Canada, a blood titre test will now be required.Traveling with your pet FROM a COUNTRY WITH A HIGH INCIDENCE OF RABIES to a THIRD COUNTRY:
With the exception of the United States and Canada and a handful of other countries, anytime you travel from a country with a HIGH INCIDENCE OF RABIES to a THIRD COUNTRY, a blood titre test will be required, your pet must be micro chipped and you will need the proper forms for that country.Traveling with your pet from a COUNTRY WITH HIGH INCIDENCE OF RABIES to another COUNTRY WITH A HIGH INCIDENCE OF RABIES:
In most cases, a blood titre test will NOT be required, and you will only need the proper paperwork for that country.Travel from a COUNTRY WITH A HIGH INCIDENCE OF RABIES to a RABIES FREE COUNTRY:
If you enter a rabies free country with your pet from a country with a HIGH INCIDENCE of rabies, then you will either be refused entry, or your pet will be placed in quarantine for a period of four to six months. As COUNTRIES WITH HIGH INCIDENCE OF RABIES are not included in the UK Pet Scheme, quarantine is unavoidable.There are several destinations where quarantine is unavoidable unless you are entering from a RABIES FREE COUNTRY.NOTE: the above rules apply to 95% of travel between countries with a pet. Be sure to check the pet immigration information section of Pet Travel before travel. If you have questions, post to our blog or send us an email. We respond within 24 hours. The above rules only apply to dogs, cats, and ferrets.