Archive for Travel Tips

What is Signature Travel Network? 15 Sep 2019

Gateway Destinations has appreciated its affiliation with Signature Travel Network since its inception in January 2007.  But what are the benefits to you as a traveler?  Here are just a few…
  • Offer over 1,000 premium and luxury accommodations worldwide that have been personally visited and approved by an STN executive – include daily breakfast, complimentary room upgrade and early check-in/late check-out upon availability, and at least one additional value-added amenity.
  • Collection of vetted and financially stable Destination Specialists and Tour Operators offering expertise in all destinations and types of travel.
  • Highly competitive cruise pricing and Signature Travel amenities included on many sailings as well as “Cruise Track” service to watch for subsequent promotions after booking.
  • Informative travel information on a complimentary basis such as The Travel MagazineUltimate Experiences and Ultimate Values online magazines.
What does all of this mean to you?  Peace of mind that you are in good hands!
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Is Travel Protection Worth the Cost? 15 Aug 2019

Not really clear about the benefits and if buying travel protection coverage is worth it? The primary benefit is to cover medical emergencies while traveling abroad including doctor and hospital costs – even emergency dental costs, and medical evacuation costs to receive appropriate care.  These costs can even exceed the cost of your trip as they are often not covered by your medical plan at home (and not by Medicare).  Can you afford to lose the cost of your trip if something arises that causes you to cancel your trip or return home early – perhaps to attend to an ill or injured family member back home?  Trip Cost Reimbursement and Interruption is the other primary benefit of travel insurance. Numerous other benefits such as compensation and assistance for a delayed flight, delayed or lost baggage, assistance with finding suitable medical care, language translation and re-scheduling your return flights are all very helpful when something disrupts your travel plans.
Gateway Destinations works with several highly-rated companies to provide the best coverage at affordable prices – call us to find out more.
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Rush Passport Service 15 Jul 2019

Running out of time to renew your passport before your trip?  The Department of State is currently taking about eight weeks to process an application through the normal channels. There are several US passport offices that will process passport applications or renewals on a rush basis – call 1-877-487-2778.  You will need to show proof of travel plans; a Western Region office is located in Tucson.  More information can be obtained at:  US Passports in a Hurry.
Alternatively, FedEx has teamed up with RushMyPassport to process new applications or renewals on an expedited basis. This service comes with a hefty price tag but is convenient – stop by any FedEx office.  You can also have your passport photos taken there
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Tipping in Europe 15 May 2019

I am often asked how one should tip while traveling in Europe. The short answer is tips for service are not expected like they are in the U.S.  The locals complain that Americans over tip and spoil the system for them!
  • Restaurants:  A few coins for a simple lunch (normally less than 10%); 5 – 10% of your bill for a nice dinner with very good service and NO tip for just a quick coffee!  (Don’t automatically calculate 15 – 20% of your bill as servers earn a good salary and “service” is often included in your bill in most EU countries).
  • Taxi:  Round up to the nearest Euro
  • Private Transfers:  5 to 15 Euros for a private transfer (up to 4 passengers; more than 1 hour)
  • Private Guided Tours: 10 Euros per person for a Half Day and 20 – 25 Euros per person for a Full Day guided tour as these are professional, often licensed individuals so a reasonable tip is warranted when good service is provided (more if you are traveling solo). Group tours (not private) would be less.
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When Should I Renew My Passport? 15 Apr 2019

Many countries require that your passport be valid for at least 6 months beyond your last travel date. Due to the recent government shutdown, processing of renewal and new passports is taking longer than normal so allow plenty of time in consideration of upcoming foreign travel. This website link will get you started in the process: Passport Application

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