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Becky's Travel Biz, Inc.

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FAQ ---What can we do to help you have a great trip?

 

Q: How do I obtain a passport?

A: Go to the government's website http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html and print out a passport form or you can pick up an application at some post offices (that have a passport office). First time applicants - fee is $110 + $25 additional execution fee ($110 for renewals, no additional fee) and the adult passports are valid for 10 years. I suggest getting the photo made at Wal-mart, CVS or Walgreen's. Photos are generally less expensive via these vendors as opposed to the post office.

Everyone who uses air transportation outside the US must have a passport to re-enter the country. Those passengers using the cruise ship industry for travels (if leaving and returning to the same US port), are not required to have a passport; however, if clients must fly back into the country suddenly, they will not be allowed back into the country without a passport. Clients may use a certified copy of their birth certificate and a government issued photo ID. I strongly urge clients to have a passport in the event of an emergency.

** Tip -- Have your passport photos made at Wal-mart, CVS or Walgreen's. Prices are usually $8.99 - $9.99 for the two photos.

 

Q:How long is a passport valid and when should I renew my passport?

 
a: If you were over age 17 when your passport was issued, your passport is valid for 10 years.

If you were age 16 or younger when your passport was issued, your passport is valid for 5 years.

The Issue Date of your passport can be found on the data page of your Passport Book or on the front of your Passport Card.

If possible, you should renew your passport approximately nine (9) months before it expires. Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six (6) months beyond the dates of your trip. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met.

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Q: How do I make a booking with you? 

A: Click on the "contact us" link. There are some questions I have that will help me put together a trip for you.  Create an email, and then submit it. I will be able to give you a quote within 24 - 48 hours.


 

Q: How much does it cost to book with a travel agent?

A: You will be surprised to learn that you pay us no additional fees to book your trip. The travel industry itself pays travel agents. More explained on the services tab.


 

Q: Why deal with a travel agent when there are plenty of "dot com's"?

A: As a travel consultant, we have access to many of the "dot com" sites as well plus others that the public does not have access to. In addition, by dealing with a consultant who has first-hand knowledge of the travel destinations, you will be given a great deal of advise that you won't get if you book a trip yourself. We can give you advice on how to stay within your budget but still have a great time on your vacation. Also, we keep up with the changes on trips (changes on air departures/arrivals, security changes, etc...) and alert you as needed.


 

Q: When are the best times to book a trip?

A: As with the economy, the timing for booking trips is not an exact science; however, as a general rule, cruise ship vacations are less expensive starting mid-September through about the middle of November, again from mid-January from mid-March, and then for late April through most of the month of May. Cruise ship specials come out periodically throughout the year with several usually coming out in late October/early November, mid-December, and again after the first of the year for future sailings. Also, planning well in advance of your cruise is a good idea as many cruise lines have discounts for sailings that are several months into the future.

As for destinations like Las Vegas and New York, the last of July through August is normally a great time to make a trip because schools start back in session so prices normally drop.

To get the best prices, try to be flexible with your dates of travel. Flights are generally cheaper on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

 

Q:  When is the best time to book a trip to the Mediterranean?

This response is from John Heald, sr. cruise director for Carnival Cruise Lines (John has been the cruise director on many sailings over several seasons in the Mediterranean).

 

A: Temperatures in July and August are similar to Florida although for the most part it is less humid. My favorite months here are June and September, and those will be warm in the day with temperatures around 70 degrees and around 65 at night…..perfect. The flight to Barcelona is around nine hours and many of the U.S.-based carriers have direct flights. I would recommend if you can to arrive one or two days before so you can see some of beautiful Barcelona.


 

Q: What about excursions while on a cruise?

A: Most cruise lines will allow you to book an excursion about 120 in advance of your travel dates if you have made your initial payment on the cruise. It is highly recommended to go through the list of options and pre-book online as soon as possible. Many excursions sell out prior to the sailing date. If you see one of the "I can't live without doing this" excursions, please book in advance so you don't miss your once-in-a-lifetime experience. It is highly recommended to go on the excursions that are recommended by the cruise line. If an excursion is running late returning to the ship and it was recommended by the cruise lines, the ship will wait for you. Otherwise, you are on your own to get to the next port. And for some of the tours on the islands that are not offered by the cruise lines, when the agent tells you they will "take you," at times that is what will happen...you can be taken financially. Feel free to send me an , and I will be glad to give you some advice regarding which excursions would be a good one to consider and which will most likely be available on a limited basis.

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Q: What things should I take on a cruise? What should I not take on a cruise?

A: There are a lot of answers needed here, and I provide a Helpful Hints sheet to clients who book with me. Some items to definitely take on a cruise-- camera, passport (or at least a certified copy of birth certificates and a government issued photo ID), sunscreen, bathing suit, bug spray (needed on some islands such as Jamaica and Belize--suggest using the product Skintastic), and comfortable shoes. Some items you should NOT take-- beach towel (provided for you on almost every cruise ship), any type of items that could be considered as a weapon (similar to airline policies), no more than one or two formal outfits (depending upon the length of the cruise).


 

Carnival Cruise Lines Q & A: