This year has brought plenty of challenges when it comes to traveling. Between the uncertainty, country restrictions, not to mention, health concerns; many people are not able to travel like they would like to this year. That has left many people with more downtime than they are used to, so we wanted to offer some suggestions on what to do before you can get back to your adventures.
The first thing you can do is make sure all of your travel documents are updated. The first thing to check is your passport. Passports last 10 years but most countries (especially in Africa) require passports to be valid for at least 6 months in order to enter the country. So if you have 1 or 2 years left on your passport, now is a good time to think about your renewal. You can even renew by mail which makes the process very simple and just requires patience. If your passport is valid for a while but doesn’t have room for stamps, then you can always add more pages to your passport without getting a new one.
Your passport is a necessity, but what about spending some time now to save you headaches . and time while you’re traveling? That is where TSA Precheck and Global Entry come in. TSA Precheck is something you have probably seen around US airports. You basically get a fast pass through airport security. The lines are shorter, the metal detectors are less invasive, and you can keep on your shoes. If you are running late to the airport, TSA Precheck can help you make sure you get to your gate in time to board. Global Entry is very different from TSA Precheck but can save you just as much time. Global Entry allows you to zoom through customs and immigration when you arrive in the US after being abroad. Anyone who travels abroad often can identify with the feeling of getting off of an 8-hour flight only to wait in the customs line for another hour. It can be a pain, but Global Entry gets you to shorter lines, faster processing, and less paperwork. Global Entry won’t help you on domestic flights but it is a lifesaver for skipping the long customs process. You can get both for $85 and they will both last 5 years.
The last thing you can do is get yourself physically ready for travel. If you need a new backpack or suitcase, now is great to spend some time researching options and finding a product you can get excited about. When you are on safari (we have many great trips for 2021), you need to have soft-sided luggage for the bush flights. Stacy likes this bag that works for bush flights and fits in the overhead compartment. Kevin prefers more of a backpack and uses this bag for travel. It is also small enough to be a carry-on and works on bush flights.
That goes for all of your travel gear. In addition to the gear, you want to make sure your body is healthy and ready for adventure. This is the perfect time to go get travel vaccines that you will need to enter different countries. Many of the vaccinations last a lifetime so there is no drawback to getting the vaccinations now. You can check out the CDC’s website for more information on what vaccines you might need to travel.
After all of this, you can plan a trip. Giving yourself a trip to look forward to can be tremendously beneficial and gives you a light at the end of the tunnel. We have plenty of safari options that we would be happy to share with you. We can’t wait to get back out on safari and we hope to have you with us.