Preliminary Travel Planning

Preliminary planning is just as important as purchasing your ticket or making your reservations. At this stage, you are somewhere between dreaming and making the leap. This is an especially ideal time to enlist us to help you wade through the barrage of destination information out there. Here are a few links to get you started:

Some research sources:

Hop on Pinterest and check out what other travelers are doing. We even have a board named GET ready which is full of things you will need to have or know about before departure. Pinterest is also a way to get Inspired by reading blogs about up and coming locales (an adventure tour through Colombia) or tried and true destinations (Europe by rail). We usually always start here. A lot of times, bloggers who’ve pinned an article that sparks your interest also have a YouTube Channel and Instagram Feed. Check out these Social Media sources as well and follow them so you continuously get updates.

Once you’ve pinpointed a region or country you are considering visiting, get yourself a Lonely Planet or Moon Handbook on that destination. Many countries have several titles so make sure you get the best one for your needs.

Look into Travel Advisories, Visa Regulations, Travel Insurance, and Travel Vaccination Recommendations.

Go ahead and begin to research airfares at this stage. Check out Skyscanner and Trip Advisor.


Need a Passport? It’s not as quick and easy as it used to be. Plan ahead to make sure you get it in plenty of time not only for your trip, but in some cases, to book your trip! Many booking sites require you to enter your passport to book a flight (a friend recently got around this by entering her old number and a future date and it worked fine). IMPORTANT: Make sure your passport is valid for at least SIX MONTHS from day you enter the country you are visiting.

Here are the vital links for getting or renewing your passport:

Passport Forms

Apply for or Renew your United States of America Passport here

Expedited Service

Passport Offices (official)


Is a Visa required to enter the country you are traveling to? Many countries no longer require you to apply for a Visa in advance, however many still do. It is your responsibility as a traveler to obtain any necessary Travel Visas before traveling.

Here is a recent list of countries requiring Visas but it is prudent to double check on the official website of the country (countries) you plan to visit:

Countries Requiring Visas

Visa Services:


Ambassador Passport and Visa Service (Los Angeles)


Vaccinations are a hot topic these days, but not matter what your personal beliefs are on the subject for typical vaccinations, please consult your doctor or at a minimum the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website to check about which vaccines are suggested (and in some cases) required for the country (countries) you plan to visit.

CDC List of Suggested Vaccinations Country-by-Coutry:

Where to get vaccinated:

Start at your local drug store. Your local pharmacist can provide you with suggestions or even perform the vaccination right there: