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Travel Tips
7 Common Travel Mistakes


Travel Expert Says It’s Easy to Be Prepared

With 17 years experience in the travel business, Ellen Paderson (www.smilesandmilestravel.com) has seen it all. Whether her clients are first-timers going on a Caribbean cruise (Paderson has been on at least 20 cruises) or veteran world travelers headed for Australia, she has compiled a list of ‘7 Common Travel Mistakes’ that all can benefit from:
  1. Take along your over-the-counter medications – Surprisingly they’re hard to find. If you do find them, they’re very expensive, especially on Caribbean islands. Bring your Dr. and insurance contact info list of prescriptions and RX numbers, carry meds with you.
  2. Check your passport expiration – It cannot expire within six months of your return travel date.
  3. Expired passport?– Take your confirmed itinerary to the immigration office. They will issue a passport that day if your travel starts within 10 days.
  4. Check your flight schedule the night before you’re scheduled to travel to make sure flights haven’t been changed or cancelled.
  5. Leave enough time between connections – You need at least 90 minutes to go through Customs, pick up luggage and recheck before going on the next leg of your flight. Note that leaving the U.S., you don’t need to go through Customs, but you do on the way back, re-entering the country.
  6. Notify your bank if you’ll be using a credit or ATM card outside the US. If the bank is not notified, the ATM will keep your card, and your credit card will be declined.
  7. Take comfortable shoes. To quote world travel expert Rick Steves, “Footloose and fancy-free is not so easy if you have the wrong shoes. Now is the time to start breaking in what you plan to wear on your next trip.” Take more than one pair of tested footwear in case one gets wet, torn or lost, or isn’t as comfy as you thought. Do you need hiking boots, walking shoes, sandals?
Paderson, who has helped clients plan trips and cruises on several continents, has developed special niches including destination and cruise honeymoons and weddings, and cruise and destination bar and bat mitzvahs.

She has visited most destinations and has taken every cruise ship she recommends. “Knowing details about my customers helps me match them with the right resort or ship. Having connections in so many places also helps. I make sure the amenities and demographics will add to their enjoyment. People appreciate my extra tips and warnings.”

Paderson has earned many certifications, such as the Travel Institute’s ‘Destination Specialist’ designation, denoting that she meets the highest industry standards. She says, “Having a travel agent as your advocate can provide extra bonuses: To alert you of upcoming special promotions; to customizes a trip to fit any budget; and resolve problems before, during and after.

“People are going away to relax,” she says. “Why should they have to worry before or during their trip? Even in the down economy, people still save for that special getaway. I can find ways to help them travel and make their dollars go further – avoiding time-consuming or costly errors and headaches – so they can travel with peace of mind.” For more information: Ellen Paderson – www.smilesandmilestravel.com. (508) 238-4088 / ellenp1@comcast.net.
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