1. Passports are required for travel outside the US.
2. At this time, 1/4/2017, you may still sail on a cruise that departs and returns to the same US port, without a passport. A certified copy of your birth certificate is required and a photo id.
3. If you have a medical emergency while on a cruise, you can not fly back into the US for medical treatment, unless you have a passport.
4. The price for a passport for an adult is $145.00. It is good for 10 years. Most major post offices can start the process and take your passport photo. A passport for a child age 16 and under is $115.00 and is good for 5 years. BOTH parents MUST be present at the post office. It is always good to make a copy of your passport and keep it packed separately.
5. Travel protection can protect you in the event that something happens that prevents you from traveling or you have an illness or accident while traveling. It will even cover emergency medical evacuation.
6. All liquids that will be in carry on luggage, must be in a 1 quart, zip lock bag and each container should be no larger than 3.4 oz. One quart size zip lock bag per person. This bag MUST be taken out of your carry on and placed in the container for inspection. If you pack your liquids in your checked luggage there is no size restriction. It is still a good idea to pack them in a zip lock bag.
7. Shoes must be taken off at security, unless you are 75 or older.
8. If you have a sweatshirt, jacket or sweater, you must take that off too.
9. You should plan to arrive at the airport 90 minutes early for a domestic flight. Arrive 2 hours early for an international flight.
10. If you are chosen for a random more in depth screening, just try to relax and go with the flow.
11. Most airlines charge for checked luggage. At this time, Southwest does not charge for the first two checked bags pp. Carry on bags are still free, for most airlines.
12. Most airlines do not accept cash on board.
13. It is alright to bring food and drinks on board, if the drinks are purchased after the security check point.
14. Make your travel plans early. Most airlines have less expensive seats available at first posting. As those seats sell, the price goes up. Be sure of your travel plans before making your reservation. Most airlines charge at least $100 to make a change.
15. An all inclusive vacation is when the air, resort, food, gratuities, transfers, entertainment and non motorized sports are included. There is only one all inclusive in the US. There are some resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean that will reserve an accessible room.
16. There are adults only all inclusive resorts.
17. Cruises are available for almost every budget. One of the advantages of a cruise is being able to explore different countries on one vacation, without packing and unpacking. You know your cabin accommodations will be good and the food and service is in English.
18. Usually the services of a travel agent are free. (There may be a service charge similar to those of the airlines.) Many of the people who answer the phone at the cruise lines are order takers. Many have not cruised or been to the various ports. It is all right to ask questions of your travel agent. You might ask about certifications and their travel experiences. This is YOUR vacation. Make sure the travel agent that is working for you, is qualified.
19. If you have a walking difficulty, you can request an attendant and wheelchair at the airport. This is a complementary service.
20. You can travel with your own, scooter, manual wheelchair or power chair. There is no charge for durable medical equipment. (Visit pre flight page to get some ideas about how to do this.)
21. There is an aisle chair that is used to board those who cannot walk to their seats. (See pre flight page)
22. Those who need an aisle chair, will be boarded first and let off the plane last. Please let the airline know about any special needs or special equipment that will be flying.
23. There are arms on some seats that raise for an easy side transfer. BEFORE the doors of the plane are closed, please ask attendant to make sure the powerchair, scooter, ect., has been loaded on the plane.
24. If you are an oxygen user there needs to be discussion about what type you use. Most airlines allow you to fly with oxygen. There may be some requirements and additional prices involved.
25. You can also travel with a service dog. Arrangements need to be made in advance.
26. Service dogs are permitted on cruise ships. The ports have their own restrictions.
27. The world is opening up to the wheelchair traveler. There are accessible tours throughout the world. There are some wheelchair accessible helicopter rides. There are companies that will assist you into the water for a dolphin experience.
28. Please do not assume all cruise lines offer the same accessibility. There are some that are very dedicated to making their ships extremely accessible.
30. Make sure your travel agent knows about your special needs. There is a lot to know about traveling with disabilities. Make sure YOUR agent knows their stuff. It is YOUR vacation!