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Five tips to traveling like a pro

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While it’s obvious that a passport is necessary for overseas travel, many people do not realize that some countries require six months remaining validity on a passport for entering visitors.

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many travel and vacation plans have been put on hold. However, some travel is essential, and at some point, people will be able and inclined to travel for pleasure again. The following five tips can ensure that whether travel plans are urgent or for relaxation, that the trip will go as smoothly as possible. 

Don’t forget the basics 
While it’s obvious that a passport is necessary for overseas travel, many people do not realize that some countries require six months remaining validity on a passport for entering visitors. Other countries require visas, which may be take weeks or longer for approval. Trip cancellation insurance is another travel must-have in case you must cancel your plans due to a covered reason, such as you or a traveling companion coming down with Covid-19.

Take advantages of discounts and perks 
Many credit cards offer cash back and other perks for gassing up the car, buying groceries or making other everyday purchases. These perks add up fast, and can go a long way toward bringing an otherwise unaffordable vacation destination within financial reach. In fact, smart credit card users can often collect enough points, perks and cash back rewards to cover the entire cost of a vacation for themselves or the entire family, including flight and hotel.  

Pack light and pack smart 
Checked bag fees are a drag. Packing light and smart can help you avoid paying those fees. You’ll also get through the airport faster at your destination because you won’t have to wait for the baggage carousel to retrieve your bags. Packing cubes help keep clothes organized and separate from toiletries. Plan out your wardrobe to include pieces that do double duty, such as packing a pair of slacks that can be casual or dressed up with a jacket. Wear heavy shoes on the plane versus carrying them in your bag. 

A scarf performs multiple duties 
Airplanes are often chilly, and airline blankets and pillows can be filthy. A large scarf can do double duty as a wrap in a chilly cabin. If you want to take a nap on a long flight, the scarf can either be wrapped around an airline pillow or folded up to do the job. Be sure to pack a scarf that can be washed out in the sink in your hotel room and folded over the shower rod to dry. 

Hack your arrival airport 
It’s understandable to want to make a beeline out of the airport once you reach your destination. However, it’s a smart strategy to take a few minutes to scope out your surroundings as you make your way out. Check out which eating spots are near each gate. Determine where the restrooms are. Gauge how long it takes to navigate through the airport to the street. This is all valuable information that can make it less stressful to catch your flight to return home at the end of your trip. 

Traveling like a pro
You may not be making plans to go much farther than the grocery store due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, at some point you may need to travel. And once the pandemic has been brought under control, you will likely want to resume taking vacations or planning other trips for recreation. In either case, taking care of the basics, packing light and checking out the airport on arrival will make your trip less stressful. And taking advantage of credit card perks and rewards can reduce the costs of your trip — perhaps down to zero.

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