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** Handy Packing Lists **

Printable lists to make your packing easier:
Packing list for Kids
Packing list for Men
Packing list for Women


 Mexican Law requires that any non-Mexican citizen under the age of 18 departing Mexico must carry notarized written permission from any parent or guardian not traveling with the child to or from Mexico.  This permission must include the name of the parent, the name of the child, the name of anyone traveling with the child, and the notarized signature(s) of the absent parent(s).

The State Department recommends that the permission should include travel dates, destinations, airlines and a brief summary of the circumstances surrounding the travel.  The child must be carrying the original letter Ė not a facsimile or scanned copy Ė as well as proof of the parent/child relationship (usually a birth certificate or court document) Ė and an original custody decree, if applicable.  Travelers should contact the Mexican Embassy or the nearest Mexican consulate for current information.


Destination specific fees are excluded from some vacation prices and are  payable in cash at airport authority.

** Baggage Policies**
Baggage policies vary by airline.  Please confirm with your individual airline:

#1 New luggage restrictions - know which items are permitted and prohibited  -  Click HERE

#2 Take photos of what you pack.  In order to provide any reimbursement for a lost suitcase, most airlines and insurance companies require an itemized list of exactly what was inside it.  Unfortunately, remembering everything you packed after the fact is virtually impossible.  To avoid the headache, take pictures of the items you're going to put in your suitcase with your digital camera or cell phone.  The photos will make creating the list a breeze, and, in the event of a dispute with the airline or insurance agent, you have some visual evidence of ownership.

#3 Pack a few hooks.  Hotel bathrooms rarely have enough hangers and hooks for clothes and wet towels, so I always bring a few snap-lock suction hooks.  (They work better than regular suction hooks because they're more secure and therefore hold heavier items.)  It's always nice to have a place to hang a bathrobe.

#4 Put a copy of your name, address and phone number inside your luggage, just incase your luggage tags are lost, along with your luggage.

#5 When traveling with your spouse, pack half of his things with half of your things in each suitcase.  If one of the suitcases is lost, you both will have some of your things.


#6 Keep travel numbers handy.  Enter the words "hotel", "taxi" and "airline" on your cell-phone speed dial.  On a trip, change the numbers, but leave the preprogrammed titles the same-instant access and no more little slips of paper everywhere.


#7 Ask a concierge to print out your boarding pass.  Before you head to the airport, stop by the front desk of your hotel or cruise ship and see if they'll print your boarding pass for you.  It'll save Internet browsing fees and time at check-in.  In the past, it's worked for me at several Marriott hotels and on a Celebrity cruise.


#8 Put your bathing suit in your carry-on. There's nothing worse than not being able to swim because you made it to the hotel but your luggage didn't.  If your suit is still damp for the flight home, again, put it in your carry-on so it won't get moldy if your bags are delayed.  I also put a set of undergarments in my carry-on when I leave home in case my luggage gets lost.


#9 Accidentally reformat your camera's memory card?  As long as you don't overwrite the disk by taking more photos, those original pictures are still there.  Buy another card to use in the meantime, and then when you get home, either purchase a file-recovery software program (about $35) or take the card to a camera shop and see if they can help.


#10 Enjoy your coffee anywhere on the cruise ship.  Bring a travel mug for early-morning coffee fill-ups at the buffet.  Your coffee stays warm, and travels well around the ship-the mug is specifically designed to stop spillage-and you don't have to linger in the restaurant after you've finished eating breakfast.  When you return to your room or your favorite deck chair, you'll have a fresh cup.


#11 Luggage stickers make terrific lint removers.  I unpacked a pair of black slacks recently and saw that they were covered with white fuzz.  I didn't have a lint brush handy, so I used the luggage sticker from my bag-the gummy side took the lint right off.  


#12 Don't rush off the car-rental lot.  Before driving away-especially in foreign countries where the controls might be unfamiliar-test the headlights and brakes, and look for the extra tire and changing tools.  I once had a rental with malfunctioning brakes in Mexico and caused a minor accident-one that could have been avoided had I checked them properly before leaving the lot.


#13 Buy multiple memory cards for your digital camera.  In one large-capacity memory card, consider purchasing two smaller ones for the same price.  That way, if your camera is stolen, you won't lose all your pictures.


#14 Don't needlessly display guest room keys in public or carelessly leave them on restaurant tables, at the swimming pool, or other places where they can be easily stolen.
#15 Check to see that any sliding glass doors or windows and any connecting room doors are locked.
* Courtesy of Budget Travel  




Punta Cana, La Romana, SamanŠ, Puerto Plata and other cities are receiving tourists
SANTO DOMINGO, Jan. 20, 2010 --The Dominican Republic (DR) Ministry of Tourism assures visitors that all of its cities, tourism and resort areas are conducting normal business operations. Also, the DR government, consulates and embassies are working diligently with the international community on Haiti earthquake relief.   Millions of Dominicans have donated time, money, supplies and expertise to help Haiti in these critical hours of need.  All of the tourist areas, hotels, resorts, airports and seaports are open and receiving visitors. The DR experienced no damage from the quake or its aftershocks. Major tourism regions Punta Cana and La Romana on the East Coast, as well as SamanŠ and Puerto Plata along the North Coast are welcoming winter season tourists from all over the world. 

The southern region of the DR has been a stable staging area for the Haiti relief effort and a reliable alternative route into Haiti. Three key airports and a roadway in the DRís southern region are being used to receive international relief supplies through mostly rural areas of the DR not frequented by visitors. The DR government has stationed military, police and immigration officials along the DR border reinforcing relief efforts to help Haiti. The DR has strong border control permitting only crossings for humanitarian reasons, while also sending critical supplies, equipment, medical experts and millions of dollars for food and relief kitchens directly to Port-au-Prince.The DR shares the eastern third of the Island of Hispaniola with Haiti. Punta Cana, the major global tourism destination in the DR is located approximately 400 miles (633 kilometers) east of Haitiís capital, or a 10-12 hour drive, with numerous mountain ranges separating the two countries.DR Tourism Update: All of the DRís eight international airports are open and receiving commercial flights. All flights in/out of the DR are running smoothly. All of the DRís cruise terminals, seaports and marinas are open, operating effectively and receiving visitors. 

 All of the DRís beaches, hotels, resorts and tourism businesses are conducting normal business operations.  The DR is providing some space at strategically located key airports however this is not disrupting commercial flights.       The DR has strong border control with military, police, medical and international aid officials helping Haitians.  The DRís security, health, communication and transportation systems are all operating normally and effectively. For more information on the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana, La Romana, SamanŠ and Puerto Plata, visit: www.GoDomincanRepublic.com.


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