White sands and turquoise waters.  Salty sea air blowing refreshingly against your skin.  Counting the stars in the uninterrupted night sky from your balcony.  Watching a dance troupe perform to an assembly of accordions and bagpipes while you enjoy a local brew.  This is what a vacation is all about – enjoying the extraordinary sights, sounds, and smells of new places, new people.

But sometimes, planning your vacation can be stressful!  Now more than ever, it is important to be prepared!  Here are some excellent travel tips from the experienced Vacation Counselors at Cruise Holidays and Comfort Tours:

• Apply for a passport…BOOK, not the card!  Some travel does not require a passport, but what if something unexpected happens?  If you are in a U.S. territory and need to be transported home, you may stop or layover in another country and you will need a valid U.S. passport to return home.  Cruises leaving from and returning to the same U.S. port do not require a passport.  But if you get sick or injured, or miss your ship in a port, that passport is a must-have.

• Patience is a virtue!  If something goes wrong with your vacation, remember the travel industry is a people to people business.  Keeping your cool and being kind will always get you the best outcome.

• Be vigilant.  If something seems questionable – avoid it!  Don’t go down that dark alley.  Don’t ask that overly kind stranger for directions.  Keep your personal belongings hidden and close to your body.  Don’t venture out alone.

• Cross-pack.  Pack a few of your belongings in your travel companion’s suitcase, and allow him to pack a few items in yours.  This way, if one your suitcases decides to take a vacation of its own,   you will still have some of your items.

• Pack a (small) pharmacy!  Don’t forget the antacid, pain killers, bug spray, bandages, and items like Pepto.  You’ll be glad you have them if need arises, and most gift shops charge a premium for these items!

There are many ways to take the countless hours and stress out of planning your vacation.  Perhaps the best Travel Tip is to use a Vacation Specialist for your next vacation.  At Cruise Holidays and Comfort Tours, we have over 27 years of experience in Ocean and River Cruises as well as All-Inclusive, Land Vacations.  Contact us at (816) 741-7417 or www.CHKC.travel.