5 ideas to consider for global adventures
  • Friday, December 14, 2018
  • 75°

Briefs| Travel

5 ideas to consider for global adventures

  • PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY MARTHA HERNANDEZ / MHERNANDEZ@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Check passport requirements before leaving on a family adventure. Some countries require six more months of validity to enter.

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Are you planning a global adventure with your family? Here are five ideas to consider:

1. GO FAR THEN EXPLORE LOCAL

It can be tempting to stay in familiar American hotels while exploring an exotic destination. However, doing so will lessen the opportunity to experience important aspects of your destination’s culture. Consider visiting during off or shoulder seasons when there are fewer tourists. Make every effort to chat with local shopkeepers, dine in neighborhood cafes and sample regional delicacies. Take local transportation when practical. Consider a homestay.

Contact: Homestay.com, Airbnb.com, Eatwith.com or AndBeyond.com

2. STAY CONNECTED

For helpful updates about what’s happening in your targeted destinations, sign up for the free State Department’s Smart Traveler program (STEP). Should you lose your passports or need other emergency assistance it will be easier for the consular officers from the U.S. Embassy or consulates to help. It is also a good way for friends and family to connect should they need to contact you with important news.

Contact: Travel.State.gov

3. HEALTH MATTERS

Check with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the State Department and your family physician for country-specific tips, advisories and a list of any medications or vaccinations you may need for your trip. Gather input about everything from jet lag and safety precautions to measures your clan should take if traveling where malaria, Zika or other health considerations are part of the mix.

Contact: CDC.com

4. PACK LIGHT

Leave the gear and gadgets behind and focus on the experience. Roll your essential clothing for space saving and to minimize wrinkles. Choose lightweight roller bags and personal backpacks for each child old enough to carry his or her own stash of on-board necessities. Remember that scarves or pashminas can double as pillows, jackets, skirts, head or shoulder covers to show respect in certain countries, and can serve as a tablecloth or beach towel.

5. DOCUMENTS AND DOCUMENT

Be sure your passports are current for the dates you plan to travel. Note that some countries require an additional six months of validity. Take photos of all your important papers, passports, IDs and visas and store them with a friend or family member (or on the cloud) so you can access them if necessary. If one or both parents are not part of the adventure, some countries require a letter of consent for travel. The U.S. State Department can provide clarification. It is also a good idea to photograph the front and back of your credit cards. If they should be lost or stolen you will have an easier time reporting the incident. At the same time, don’t forget to encourage the family to document the adventure from start to finish by journaling and taking plenty of photos.

Contact: USembassy.gov

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