Visas, Passports & Customs

Passports and Visas

For your trip, you will need a passport valid for at least 6 months. Each country’s consular section can issue passports and visas. For US citizens see US State Department for foreign entry requirements (passports and visas), travel warnings, and more, and US Transportation Security Administration for the latest on rules and regulations for flights. You can quickly obtain your US Passports and Visas from www.ExpressPassport.com

Immunizations/Shots

No shots are currently required for travel to Europe. You should, however, check with your doctor to see if you're up to date with regular immunizations such as tetanus, hepatitis, tuberculosis, etc.


Travel & Health Insurance

We highly recommend the Travel insurance coverage, that ranges from trip cancellations or delays to medical coverage while traveling.  We also suggest you review your medical insurance coverage before your trip. 

Remember to carry both your insurance policy identity card as proof of such insurance and a claim form. Although many health insurance companies will pay ‘customary and reasonable" hospital costs abroad, very few will pay for your medical evacuation back home and can cost a small fortune, depending on your location and medical condition.


Very often, credit card companies, if used to buy your flights or vacation packages, offer some kind of insurance. Call them prior to departure to check the type of coverage you can benefit from them.

Buying travel insurance from agencies and travel providers, such as cruise lines, is usually a bad deal because of price markups and restrictions on how the policy claims can be filed.

The best value policies are those sold directly by the leading travel insurance company.  Travel Guard  is the provider of travel insurance plans for North American residents. Their travel insurance plans and assistance programs can cover you for trip cancellation, travel interruptions and delays, lost baggage and travel documents, emergency medical and health expenses, and more.

They can also provide the travel insurance for Non US residents or you can try the UK companies, such as Directline 
To review Travel Warnings and Tips for Traveling Abroad, visit US Department of State’s website, www.state.gov.  Their International Travel section contains lots of very good information.

Pre-existing medical conditions

A traveler going abroad with any preexisting medical problems should carry a letter from the attending physician, describing the medical condition and any prescription medications, including the generic name of prescribed drugs. Any medications you bring overseas, should be kept in their original containers and be clearly labeled. Travelers should check with the foreign embassy of the country they are visiting to make sure any required medications are not considered to be illegal narcotics.


Money Matters


Money Exchange

Usually the most expensive place to exchange currency is at the airport or train station or those special tourist booths, though more convenient. The cheapest way to get currency is with an ATM card. However, they do come with transaction fees. Minimize these by making fewer and larger withdrawals. Use your debit card exclusively for ATM withdrawals and your credit card for purchases. Ask your credit-card company about fees for overseas transactions.

Your Credit and Other Bank Cards Abroad
Before your departure, it is very important you inform your banks of your travel plans to ensure that your bank, ATM, credit and debit cards will work and continue to work while you are abroad. The banks have automated security measures in place that flag transactions outside your normal spending patterns. Currency converter is available on this site www.xe.com

Finally, photocopy all of your cards (front and back). Ask your bank for a phone number you can call collect from outside your country in case you have a problem.


Currency

The euro is the legal tender in Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. The symbol for the euro is €.  It is used also in Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City, as well as in the Azores, the Canaries, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Madeira, Martinique, Mayotte, Réunion, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon, which are all part of EU countries using the euro. 

The euro notes are identical in all countries but each country produces its own coins with one common side and one side displaying a distinctive national emblem. Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City also have their own euro coins. All the notes and coins can be used anywhere in the euro area.

Denmark, Sweden and the United Kingdom are not currently participating in the single currency. The new member states are committed to economic and monetary union but none are ready to join the euro. Some retail outlets in countries outside the euro area do accept payment in euro as well as the national currency, but they are not legally obliged to do so.


Phones

SIM, Skype, Viber, emails and much more - technology today allow us to communicate at a fraction of the cost.

Here are a few ideas:

SIM CARDS

You have 3 options

1.To buy a local SIM card in the shop.

2.To ask your service provider if they have any special deals for international travels.

3.See more information on the following sites

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187070-s605/France:Telephones

travellerspoint.com/sim-cards-country.cfm?country=France

Viber

This handy app offer free text and calls worldwide to everyone who has one. Install it and as long as you are within the WI-FI zone and your caller also have Viber, you can communicate for free. Paris have many free WI-FI spots.

You can install it here viber.com

Skype

On the computer, phone and other suitable gadgets allows you to communicate for a fee or free.

A must if you want to keep in touch.

Connect on Skype here skype.com

Travel Essentials

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Pickpocket Warning!


In Paris, and other locations frequented by tourist, pickpockets are common. Be careful on all public transportation and in crowds. Watch for distraction tactics such as dropped coins, "accidental" spills, overly friendly children, or locals asking you for directions!

Thieves thrive on fresh-off-the-plane tourists. Keep your hands on your bags, sling your day bag across the front and wear invisible money belt!