Mexico and Minors
Traveling to Mexico, especially to the many all-inclusive resorts, and especially during Spring Break, is one of the most popular destinations for West Michigan parents. Perhaps you are permitting your child to travel with friends, or perhaps you are inviting one of your child's friends to accompany you on vacation. Do you know that any minor could be denied boarding by the airline without the proper documentation. All US citizen must have a passport to travel outside of the United States, but anyone under the age of 18 should also have "a document showing the consent of both parents or those with parental authority or legal guardianship over the minor" allowing the specific trip (per the Regulations of the Mexican Migration Law). This regulation will be officially in place beginning Feb 16, 2013, but has already been implemented by some airlines.
We recommend that any time your minor child is traveling without either parent that a notarized letter giving permission for the travel, along with permission for medical treatment, be included in the travel documents.
Purchasing travel insurance will not solve a problem if your trip is interrupted or cancelled because of incorrect travel documents.
Airline Baggage Policies
This will be another year of changing baggage rules. Can you carry-on a bag? One regional airline says no, although they will allow you to "gate check" the bag. Who charges fees for carry-on bags? One airline has four pages on it's website explaining baggage fees and other optional fees. Will your airline check your bags all the way to your final destination?
Suggestion: call your travel agent to check all airline prices with a wave of our magic wands.
Hidden Hotel Fees
Many travelers have been surprised by unknown fees that show up on a hotel bill. This year be even more vigilant as hotels are following the path paved by car rental companies and the airlines: creating more revenue is as simple as charging for something that used to be free. Watch for possible hotel fees for:
* checking out earlier than your confirmed reservation
* mandatory valet parking fees (have had this on my bill @$25 per day)
* luggage holding
* hotel to airport shuttle (don't assume the hotel provided shuttle
* cancellation policies
Would you like to make traveling more fun and less hassle? Call your local professional ASTA agent who can provide you with knowledge and experience. The American Society of Travel Agents is the oldest and largest association of travel professionals in the world and is dedicated to providing travelers with honesty and integrity in travel.
President, ASTA Great Lakes Chapter
President, Travel By Gagnon
4545 Cascade Rd
Grand Rapids MI 49546
(616) 942-6630 Local
(800) 452-2547 Toll Free