Insider Tips:

Planning your Vacation


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Planning your Vacation

  • Check your passport ~ Is it valid for at least 6 months AFTER your RETURN date? For more information on your requirements for a passport/visa visit

  • Take a picture [holds it in your phone photos] of your Passport, Driver’s license, Hotel Confirmation and anything else that is crucial to your travel and, in addition, send it to your email as a secondary source in case you lose your critical hardcopies or your phone. 

  • Let your credit card company know you’re traveling ~ They freak out easily these days if they don’t know you are traveling.  Don’t let them put a ‘hold/stop’ on your card when you need it the most. Also, if you have LifeLock…let em’ know.

  • Contain all credit cards, boarding documents and personal data in an RFID Blocking Wallet to protect your Identity Click here.

  • Check with your cell phone company about international texting/calling ~

Load an App for free wifi calling (Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber just to name a few)

  • Take $1 bills for tipping ~ ATM Cash or change won’t be in USD & there are fees.  Have a money belt for security reasons.

  • Carry meds in your carry-on in their original bottles. This will come in handy it you lose them, destroy them or they are stolen and you need to refill them ~ Don’t pack anything valuable you can’t lose.  Hint: Can you say ‘Costume jewelry’?

  • Pack light, and then cut that in half. Inter-mix colors, textures and outfits to wear multiple days and extend the life of your wardrobe.

  • Check the TSA website for a current list of banned and allowable items.

  • Travel in comfortable shoes that easily slip on and off with socks.  The planes can get cold. Here is our favorite slip on brand "Skechers" - Click Here for Mens - Click Here for Womens

  • Carry-on an empty water bottle/container (fill it after you’re thru security). Here is our recommended Hydro Flask as Featured on Our Travel BLOG

  • Use a luggage tag and/or ribbon to easily identify your luggage. TSA Approved luggage Straps and Locks - Click Here...

  • Pack lightweight earphones for movies on the plane. We recommend the BOSE Headset as Featured on Our Travel BLOG  it is two-fold…it is a great sound system and a great ‘noise machine’ for those times when the kids just get ‘out-of-hand’…hence, screamin’ kidlings.

  • Bring a Sarong/Pareo ~ They are incredibly versatile (Work that Jagger look).  It can get chilly on the plane and comes in handy as a blankie to cover for a lil’ naptime. Check out the suggested Cover Ups for women...

  • Get a neck pillow… So your don’t have bed head, UGH!  We suggest an inflatable one.  It is cheap and folds nice and tight into your carry-on. Oh, and you can ask for a pillow cover so it makes it more comfy while you sleep on it. Here is our recommended Neck Pillow solution on the Airplane...

  • Carry a small/basic first aid kit: aspirin, anti-itch cream, band-aids, antacids, Neosporin, tweezers, q-tips, and etc. See our Travel First Aid Kit - Click Here...

  • Order a room service sandwich ‘to-go’ for your return flight ~ Airport food is pricey & lousy…but, eat it before you go thru TSA or it’s gone!!!

For Your Carry-On Bag:

  • Airline tickets or e-ticket confirmation

  • Hotel & Transfers reservation confirmations

  • Passport/Visas/Driver’s License

  • Credit Card… Visa or MasterCard are most widely accepted. AMEX not so much if at all.

  • Photocopies of all of the above, PLUS a photocopy of any prescriptions in the event you need an emergency refill while on vacation

  • Phone numbers for your credit card companies (in case your cards are lost or stolen)

  • Prescription medicine (important – keep it in the original bottle)

  • Contraception

  • Makeup and hairbrush – you want to look good getting off the plane and not have that ‘bed-head’.

  • Charging Device for electronics - Click Here for our recommendation...

  • Headset for movie/audio book on the plane (most international flights show movies) Bose is our Fav'

  • Sarong or Pareo  Check out the suggested Cover Ups for women... (for the plane, which can get cold)

  • Your swimsuit, sandals and a cover-up, just in case your room is not ready

  • And…. don’t bring valuable jewelry. Everyone is the same barefoot 

HER things to pack for a 7-day vacation

We recommend the Amazon Basics Womens Clothing Department for your Travel...

  • Khakis (for casual evenings that may be chillier than days)

  • A sundress

  • An evening cocktail dress

  • A lightweight sweater/shawl/blazer (pareos work great & can double as a swimsuit cover-up)

  • 4 casual shirts (T-shirts, tank tops, short-sleeve button-downs, etc.)

  • 2 pairs shorts

  • 2 swimsuits

  • A swimsuit cover-up (again, pareos work great & can double as a shawl in the evenings)

  • Comfortable walking shoes/sandals (you may wind up walking a bit if you go shopping or sightseeing)

  • Evening shoes/sandals

  • Evening purse [1]

  • 1 pair flip flops (for beach or poolside) -  be careful as wet concrete can be slippery and you could fall and hurt yourself.  I strongly recommend Travel Protection insurance.  Most all U.S. insurance policies do NOT have coverage for international travel.

  • Extra socks and underwear

  • Bras (don’t forget a strapless one if you’ve packed a top or dress that needs it)

  • Accessories (scarves/fake jewelry to “stretch” your wardrobe)

HIS things to pack for a 7-day vacation

We recommend the Amazon Basics Men Clothing Department for your Travel...

  • Consider Polyester. It’s not just for breakfast anymore…LOL!

  • 1 pair jeans and khakis

  • 1 pair nice slacks

  • Light jacket or pullover (easily tie it around waist or stuff into backpack)

  • 4 casual shirts (T-shirts or short-sleeve button-downs)

  • 2 walking Shorts

  • 2 polo or button-down short-sleeve shirts

  • Sports jacket (for nicer restaurants, some do require them)

  • 2 Swimsuits – [one to dry while you wear the other.  No chaffing allowed]

  • Comfortable walking shoes or sandals

  • Nice shoes – black sneakers can look good [white tennis shoes scream ‘tourist’ and we don’t want that]

  • Flip flops

  • Extra socks and underwear

Both hers & his to pack for a 7-day vacation

We recommend the following link to Toiletry Bags for your Vacation...

Basic Toiletries 


(use travel-sized containers whenever possible & carry-on size is limited to 3.4oz and please put in a clear zip-lock baggie so TSA can view and if something leaks it is all contained in the baggie and not spoil your carry-on items.)

  • Toothpaste

  • Toothbrushes

  • Deodorant

  • Cosmetics

  • Make-up remover

  • Cotton balls and swabs

  • Comb/brush

  • Hair gel/spray

  • Emory/Nail file & nail clippers

  • Shaving cream

  • Razors

  • Contact lens and re-wetting solution, storage case

  • Hair accessories – clips, headbands, etc.

  • Buy or pack a small first-aid kit that contains:

      Band-Aids, Anti-inch cream, Insect repellent, Diarrhea medicine, Motion sickness medicine, Aloe Vera and/or Neosporin antibiotic, Tampons/pads (can be difficult to find outside the US), Optional Items: (the resorts we work with provide these).

  • Shampoo, conditioner, body wash/soap

  • Body lotion and Sunburn Aloe gel

  • Hair dryer [I would not take this these days as the resorts/hotels normally provide them but check with your travel agent or resort]

  • Alarm clock – REALLY???? This is your vacation.   [Yes, if you are taking excursions away from your resort/ship this is not a bad thing to have.  Tour Guides will NOT wait for you.] – note: if your smartphone has an alarm feature use that instead of taking an alarm clock in your baggage.  As a back-up plan have the resort’s alarm clock at your bedside set AND/OR a ‘wake-up call service’ to the front desk as a back-up for making that critical time appointment.

Convenient Extras (nice to have, but not necessary)

  • Extra asthma inhaler, extra pair of glasses/contacts and the like

  • 6 Large, 6 medium and 6 small Ziploc bags (for wet swimsuits/dirty clothes and etc) – they don’t take up any room so take them.  You won’t be sorry!

  • Earplugs

  • Sewing kit – small [make sure that the thread you have matches the clothes you are taking or close in color.]

  • Shout Wipes or Tide Stick (instant stain-treatment)

  • Anti-bacterial liquid or lotion (hand sanitizer or wipes]

  • Eye Drops (get the red out)

  • 1 pair old sneakers that can get wet or left behind especially if you are walking on the beach with sand fleas

  • 1 pair workout sneakers and 2-3 workout outfits if you plan on getting your sweat on…and this is highly recommended as you will gain weight with all the food and dessert that will be teasing you.

  • Compact umbrella or rain poncho.  If you are hiking or climbing in the region you may want to seriously consider a rain-suit [both top and bottoms] plus a good pair of hiking shoes.

Get the 4-1-1 on Luggage

  • Each Airline has their own rules for checked and carry-on luggage – be sure to check your Airline’s policies before you start your packing. We recommend the Sherrpa Luggage set with internal weight scale - Click here to learn more!

  • Most airlines charge checked bag fees, sometimes even for your carry-on.

  • Check your weight limit of bags or pay an extra fee, know before you go.

  • Check your carry-on size limitations.  It is your responsibility to know all rules/limitations…not your travel agent, cruise lines, tour operators or airlines.

What to Expect at Security

  • Shoes off.

  • Electronics out.

  • Liquids are limited to 3.4oz.(100ml) each and all must fit in a clear quart-sized ziploc-style bag. Here is our recommendation...

  • No water/beverages – an empty water bottle/container is okay.

  • Everything out of pockets.

  • If metal in pockets or on jeans or shirt, you may get pulled aside for the wand or a pat-down.

  • Ask TSA to hand-inspect any unexposed camera film so not to over-expose it…including the film in your camera currently. Do NOT let it go through the scanner even if they say it is safe..

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