Author: Lloyd C

Rules for Pets While Traveling: A Guide About Traveling With Pets

If you are planning on taking your pet on vacation or for any other reason to another country, you should know the laws that apply to travel with pets.

Understandably placing your pet in someone else’s care while you’re away might be uncomfortable or too expensive, so it only makes sense to take the pet with you. From documentation to health checks, here’s all you need to know about traveling with your pet.

Traveling Local or International With A Pet

When traveling domestically, your dog does not need any identification, though it is highly recommended to bring it regardless.

When traveling internationally, on the other hand, you will need a few things. For starters, like any person, a pet requires a passport to travel abroad. Commonly known as a ‘pet passport,’ it is additional forms of documentation that allows your pet to go over an international border.

Some Requirements Before Traveling

Before you take your pet on an adventure, there are some requirements you must adhere to before going. Here are some conditions:

  • make sure that your pet has been in the US for at least six months for safety reasons involving the contraction of rabies
  • your pet needs to go to a veterinarian location approved by the USDA
  • it should get a rabies vaccination
  • visits and vaccination must be within 30 days before travel abroad

Pet-Friendly Airlines & Travel Review

AirlinesPriceCabinChecked BagsRestrictions
Jetblue Airlines$125.00 Each WayYesNoJetPaws Program only accept small cats and dogs
American AirlinesContact Airline for PricesYesYesAmerican Airlines pet policy states they do not accept pets that are brachyacephatic (snug-nosed) dogs as check baggage
United Airlines$125.00 Each WayYesYesUnited Airlines policy states that pets are not permitted with unaccompanied minors and must be pets most be at least 4 months to travel.
Southwest Airlines$95.00 Each WayYesNoSouthwest Airlines policy states that pets are only allowed in the main cabin and are not allowed as checked baggage.
Delta Airlines$125.00 Each Way & $200.00 for the Virgin Islands and InternationalYes (Service Animal Only)YesDelta policy states pets are only allowed in the cabin if the pet is a service animal all other pets are required to be check-in as check bag.
Lufthansa Airlines$92.00 USD (Domestic) $115.00 (Europe) $200.00 JapanYesYesLufthansa Airlines requires that are the kennel be escape-proof and recommend that the kennel be sturdy plastic or wooden cages.
Amtrak$26.00Yes (Pets are only allowed in Coach Class)Your pet must be at least eight weeks old and be odorless and harmless.
Spirit AirlinesContact Airline for PricesYesNoSpirit only allow pets to be in the main cabin only
Frontier Airlines$75.00YesNoFrontier only allow pets to be in the main cabin only
Air IndiaContact Airline for PricesYesYesSome routes in-cabin pets are not allowed.

Plane Regulations For Pets

There are also plane regulations for taking your pet. Your pet must be able to live in the environment comfortably; it is traveling depending on the temperature and other factors. Make sure the pet is well fed and not thirsty before boarding.

There are three ways your pet can travel with you:

  • on the plane with you
  • on a separate flight
  • or, by a licensed commercial pet shipper

While having your pet travel with you is the best option, your pet might not be permitted to travel with you, whether it is due to size or breed. This is when the commercial shippers come in as they have more options as to transporting your pet, all to give your pet the best experience.

So, make sure you abide by all the rules so that your pet can travel. Once you are on your vacation, keep a close eye on your pet. Make sure it doesn’t come in contact with other sick animals before returning home. You do not want to carry any disease when traveling as well as return with any.

Needing a Passport In A Rush: Here Is A Guide On Getting A Rush Passport

When planning a trip abroad, there is a multitude of things you have to remember to bring and do before leaving home. Sometimes you forget about something as crucial as your passport, whether it’s because they’re expired, have no blank pages left or even because you forgot to get one. You wouldn’t be the first person in this situation and surely not the last, which is why there are several solutions to your problem depending on your circumstances.

Expired Passport

After not using your passport for a while you’ve finally taken it out, only to realize it is not valid anymore as it is expired. You think that the whole trip you planned is ruined, but you do have a few options.

Your first option is to get an expedited passport. Unlike getting one through the regular process, an expedited passport can be obtained in less than a week in contrast to 6-8 weeks. If you are willing to pay the extra money for the sped-up passport and processing fee, then you might save your trip with an expedited passport.

Make sure that you submit all the necessary forms that you would when applying for a passport for the first time with the inclusion of your expired passport. The expired passport verifies your identity and makes sure that it is not your first time traveling abroad.

Your other option is to request an emergency passport from the State Department. Technically an emergency passport granted to you by the State Department is also an expedited passport but with a few exceptions.

An emergency passport is only granted for situations deemed real emergencies, such as a life-threatening illness, a severe injury or death. Do not expect to be given an emergency passport simply because you need one to go on a vacation.

Unlike a regular passport, an emergency passport usually is only valid for one year and with only 5-10 stamping pages. This is to make sure that you do not use your emergency passport as the primary.

No Blank Pages Left

While you might have a passport that is not expired, it might not have enough blank pages for stamping. This situation is different than having an expired passport, mainly because of the costs.

Just like with an expired passport, you can get a new passport through the State Department as an emergency passport or through an expeditor as an expedited passport.

Unlike getting an emergency passport for an expired passport, you can get an emergency passport from the embassy of the country you are traveling to as well as the State Department. Unlike getting an emergency passport because of an expired passport, getting one because of no more blank pages will not cost you any money. One will typically give you the same day you request it if you do it on site.

You can also go through an expeditor. This process can cost you, but if you are in immediate need of a passport, an expeditor is probably the best way to go about. In both situations, you need to submit form DS-82 to the State Department or expeditor requesting for a renewal. You can also ask for more blank pages in the form.

Don’t Have a Passport

Some of you are going on your first trip abroad and completely forgot to get yourself a passport before traveling. The options you have are the same as the first two cases: emergency passport or expedited passport.

You will be charged in both situations because you are getting a new passport and do not have an existing one which is still valid. While the emergency passport is not as useful and the expedited passport might be more expensive, both options are far better than missing out on your trip abroad.

When You Should Get Your Child Passport

Whether you are traveling overseas with your child the first time or just taking a cross-country trip, it is essential to know when you need a passport depending on the situation. People often think a passport is nothing more than another form of identification, but in reality, it is the difference in being able to travel to 170 countries. This kind of access makes people wonder if kids need a passport or are they ready to go wherever they want, worry-free.

Domestic Travels

When traveling domestically, you do not need a passport. This applies to both children and adults alike. Do not worry about going over a sea if you plan on going to Alaska or Hawaii since it is still the US. You also don’t need a passport if you are traveling to a US territory such as Puerto Rico or Guam.

As a US citizen, traveling locally does not mean that you can go to Canada or Mexico without a passport. Children and adults alike will need a passport to travel to either Canada or Mexico.

Traveling Outside the US

When traveling internationally, age is not a factor in needing a passport. Regardless of how young a child is, they will need a passport to travel to any other country. In addition to needing a passport, they will need to fill out an application.

A child must have their passport application filled out by a parent or guardian until they are 17 years old. At 17, they are still a minor but can fill out their form. When a minor under 17 is applying for a passport, they will need:

  • Parental photo ID
  • US birth certificate or other proof of US citizenship
  • Proof of parent’s citizenship
  • Evidence of relationship to a child from a parent or guardian
  • Parental consent for the application
  • Photo of the child (passport size)
  • DS-11 form completed
  • Fees Paid

Passport Processing Time

The time to process an application, adult or minor, can take between one to six weeks. Where you submit the papers will determine how long the process will take.

Applying at the local acceptance facilities like a post office, county clerk’s office, courthouse, or a library can take two to six weeks. The average time which cost the least will take four to six weeks. To expedite the application, at these same facilities, will take two to three weeks. It will cost an extra $60.

Other facilities like a regional passport agency or a private expediting company can get a passport in 24 hours. Regional passport agency charges one fee since it offers only one service. However, a private expediting company has various services at different prices.

Passport Cost

The cost of a child passport is less than the price of an adult. The price is less because it expires in five years. Unlike an adult passport, which expires every ten years. A child passport is $115, and an adult is $145.

To expedite a child passport application will cost $175. To use the same process for an adult application will cost $205. At any regional agency, the price for a child passport is $275, and an adult is $305. The price will vary at private expeditors.

Steps To Take If You Are Running Out of Passport Pages

Those who travel all the time know the feeling of running out of blank pages in a passport. Depending on each persons’ situation, there is a different solution to the problem of running out of pages.

The whole point of having blank pages in a passport is for the nation you are traveling to stamp your proof of arrival into your passport. Not all countries do the stamping process, but make sure you always have space left in your passport before you travel each time.

Over the past couple of years, replacing filled up passport pages has only gotten more difficult, so it is crucial that you are thoroughly updated on the newest policy and steps. Before the new laws were enacted, you were able to physically able to add pages to your passport without having to get a new passport. In an attempt to increase security amongst travelers, this option was terminated.

The critical thing to remember about traveling with a passport is that every country has its own rules. While some countries might let you get away with not having any place to stamp, other countries might not allow entry into their country, even if you are waiting in their airport. Knowing this will surely make your future travels both safer and secure on the mind.

Getting More Passport Pages

As stated previously, you cannot get more pages added to your existing passport, but there are a couple of ways of adding on blank pages to the same passport. If your passport is running out of pages and you plan on traveling soon, you can renew your passport by mail before it expires.

When you are replacing your passport, you can apply for an additional number of pages in your passport (52 pages compared to the standard 24 pages). The application you need to renew this passport is Form DS-82, which is made explicitly for passport renewals.

Since you are technically not getting a new passport but only adding pages to an existing one, the application and passport itself are free of charge.

Emergency Passport Situation

Sometimes a situation arises where you only look at your passport right before you leave for your trip. It is only then that you realize that you don’t have any empty pages in your passport and you need to add some pages as soon as possible. In these cases, you have a couple of options.

Your first option is going to an embassy or consulate and telling them about your situation. For instance, if you are traveling to Spain, you would go to the U.S. Embassy, explain what happened, and request an emergency passport. The embassy or consulate will usually allow this because it is not a serious security issue to grant you an emergency passport.

The downside of being in this kind of emergency is that unlike getting a renewal ahead of time, the emergency passport will cost you as much as a regular passport along with the processing fees. Also, the emergency passport will only last you one year with a lot less blank pages than an ordinary passport since it should not substitute your original passport.

Part of being a good traveler is being as responsible as possible before, during, and after your traveling. Things such as having blank pages in your passport might not seem like a big deal until you realize that not having blank pages can cost you your trip.

Maintaining consistency while planning your trip and not forgetting any steps in that plan will ensure that your trip abroad will go just the way you intended it to go.

A Passport Processing Time Will Increase Soon: Here Are The Reasons Why

Anywhere we travel that is not within the United States, a passport is required. Whether you are getting a passport for the first time or renewing one, the wait time to obtain one might be the most tedious and annoying part of the whole process. Even more disappointing now is the fact that the wait time is not getting any shorter any time soon.

Unfortunately, it is the complete opposite; the time to process a US passport is currently about 4-6 weeks but soon will take 6-8 weeks. However, there are a set of reasons to pinpoint this time increase and a possible way to solve these problems.

Reasons For Processing Time

Over the past year, the United States State Department has cut jobs while making employees work more in an attempt to not spend as much money on funding government employees. As a consequence of these layoffs, the people whose job it is to process these passports can’t do their job as efficiently because fewer people do more work.

A combination of fewer employees to produce passports, more security at airports, and more people traveling might create the entire traveling process more of a pain than it already is for so many people.

Use Expedite Processing To Decrease Time

If you have no intention of waiting up to 8 weeks to obtain a passport, you can expedite a passport from several expeditors. The process to obtain one is no different than getting a regular passport. You will need the following to apply:

  • Application form
  • Proof of US citizenship
  • The passport-size picture that follows exact passport format and rules
  • Submission of this information to the United States State Department

Getting an expedited passport is not different than getting a regular passport except for the fact that it is quicker to get but will generally be more expensive.

Ways To Help Improve Your Trip Experiences

Besides paying the extra dollar to get a passport sooner, there are three beneficial yet straightforward ways to make sure your trip goes smoothly even with all the holdups in traveling.

  1. Always plan early

If you plan on going to another country shortly but do not yet have a passport, it is better to get one now and not have to worry about it later. By doing so, you take away another thing to stress about as you are planning out the trip for yourself and maybe even for others.

  1. Only carry what you need

When packing your bags to take your trip abroad finally, make sure you have everything you need and a little of what you don’t need. When your luggage is being put through inspection, airport authority might find something you might not be allowed to have, taking you out of the line and wasting more time than you had planned. Don’t carry sharp or flammable objects and any otherwise dangerous things with you.

  1. Better too early than too late

You never know what you might come across when going through an airport to board your plane. Instead of going through the airport and rushing through all the checkpoints, it’s better to go in, do everything you need to be cleared to board and relax with that extra time you have. Coming late can have worse consequences than just running through the airport. Depending on how late you are, you might not be able to board your plane, resulting in a loss of money, time, and possibly a memorable trip.

In conclusion, the whole process of getting a passport has not gotten easy and might not be any time soon, but there are always ways to stay ahead of the curve and not have to worry about these setbacks. As long as you plan responsibly and safely, there should be no problem going on your next trip abroad.

A Child Born Abroad: A Guide For U.S. Citizens With Children Born Abroad

Whether you are overseas for work, vacation, or visiting family and is pregnant; there’s a chance your child may be born in that country. For those of you wondering how to get your child back to the US or if you even can bring them back, there’s more than one answer.

A Child With One Parent As A U.S. Citizen

If a child has at least one parent born in the US, they are immediately eligible for US citizenship and a passport upon arrival to the US. This process does not require any documentation unless the passport officials request proof of citizenship. In that case, it is highly recommended that you bring his or her birth certificate with you that shows evidence of the relationship.

This rule only applies to children under the age of 18, as you are a legal adult when you turn 18 and do not have the dependence of your parents to claim citizenship. Once you are 18, you will have to apply for US citizenship like other foreigners unless you manage to get an exception.

Born Abroad Near A U.S. Border

Another rule to gaining US citizenship if you were not born in the US is if you were born within 13.8 nautical miles of the US border. This is based on a law that was passed, which states that any country which has an ocean or body of water as a boundary has up to 13.8 miles of water as their territory.

This also includes situations where a plane has taken off from the US and is in the air. Until it lands in another country, it is still technically on US territory.

Born Abroad In A U.S. Territory

If you were not born in the United States but were born in a United States territory such as Guam or Puerto Rico, you become a US citizen regardless of the citizenship of the parents. This can be very lucrative for the child as when they grow up, they might have dual citizenship and will have the ability to travel almost anywhere in the world hassle free.

If you anticipate that your child will be born in another country and you are a US citizen, make sure you contact the nearest US embassy or consulate to get a status on what nationality your child will be upon birth and upon return to the US. By making sure that all the information is in order before the child’s birth, there is minimal chance of any complications when you come to the US with your child.

The entire process for getting a US passport and the specific laws that are in place might seem very complicated, but it is these very laws that ensure the safety of every US citizen. Having these rules makes sure that the ability to become a US citizen is not impossible and that even having a blood connection to someone can make you one as well. In the event that you do have a child born outside of the US, at least you won’t have to worry very much about them coming home with you.

Rights and Responsibilities: What To Do When You Have A Baby

Having a child of your own and raising one is among the greatest gifts life has to offer. It gives every parent the chance to see something grow and shape into a smart, talented, and responsible person. Those values mostly come from yourself, so make sure that you have all your legal documents and responsibilities to show your child how reliable you are.

During Pregnancy

During your pregnancy (if that is your case), you anticipate that everything will go smoothly. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, and having complications is something some women have to face. If you are employed and pregnant, don’t think right away that you become incapable of working.

Employees are required to treat pregnancy as a temporary disability, which means that while you are still paid and capable of doing work, it might not be what you were doing initially. For instance, if you were working on a construction site and are now pregnant, you will have to be reassigned to a job that requires less labor.

This might affect your pay depending on the companies policy. Make sure you check with your insurance company to see how you can be compensated for the duration of your pregnancy.

After Pregnancy

Once you have had your child and plan on taking maternity leave, always make sure to check with your employer and state to see how much time you have to stay at home with your child. This applies for the father as well as proving a biological relationship can guarantee you both up to 12 weeks of leave.

Although you may be granted this leave, you might not be paid during your time away from your company depending on their policy. Often, this creates a problematic situation in which a person has to juggle raising a child and being able to provide for the child. If you apply for a disability during your maternity or paternity leave, you may be compensated for the time you were not working.

Raising a Child

Planning and anticipation are one of the essential factors in being a good parent. But even with proper planning, sometimes your financial situation does not allow you to provide your child with certain benefits. Thinking ahead and balancing your spendings will give your child the best chance to be a happy, well-raised child.

Insurance

If your employer provides a benefits program, make sure you know everything about it so you can add your child to the program. The costs of actually raising a child can be costly, so it is crucial to get all the help you can from the insurance companies.

In addition to getting money from your insurance, you can also get federally granted money. Federal grant money is available to low-income families who have the cheapest insurance or none at all. Often, the state makes sure that you and your child have enough money to make it through each month without having to struggle.

Child Diet

A child’s diet as they are growing is crucial to the health of the child for the rest of their life. By having access to healthy food and an overall nutritional diet, the child will feel better and live better.

Part of a child’s diet includes breastfeeding, a topic that is met with controversy. Having to travel with a baby will also require the child to be breastfed, and finding the right place to do it can be achieved with difficulty and resistance.

Many mothers put milk in a baby bottle or use baby formula, both of which are workable options when raising a child. If you are using baby formula, the prices can be overbearing so be sure to check if any state programs can cover the expenses.

Inheritance and Will Writing

Eventually, most of us plan to pass down what we have to our children. Parents often write a will and inheritance plan right when the child is born to be as safe as possible for the sake of the child. Even though eventual death is not something people want to think about when having a child, being financially secure and smart for your child’s sake can be crucial in the long run.

Often when an inheritance comes into play, everyone wants a piece of what you have, so make sure to write a will and plan out what to give to who.

A Guide To Power of Attorney: Things You Should Know About POA

People often wonder what a power of attorney is, what it entails, and if they need it for themselves. Giving someone or being given power of attorney is a big deal and a display of a person putting their trust into a person to do what they would on their behalf. That is what power of attorney really is; the transfer of power in the form of a document that allows others to manage you and what you own when you are unable to do so.

When you give someone the power of attorney, they become the attorney in fact and have the right to sign on your behalf because that is the power you granted them. Power of attorney is not a one size fits all kind of document as there are multiple types for various reasons.

Types of Power of Attorney

General Power of Attorney

The most common form of power of attorney is the general power of attorney. This is given to a person or group to do everyday life business on your behalf, including business transactions, hiring someone, or getting a birthday present for someone. Often, you use your power of attorney when you are not home and are away on either a vacation or business trip.

By signing off power of attorney to someone you trust, you make sure that your business and everyday life continues to run smoothly even without your presence. Besides your business matters, this POA can be used to deal with your finances since by signing them off you can leave it in someone else’s hands to deal with what you might not be an expert in.

Special Power of Attorney

The type of power of attorney, which allows you to specify what a person’s ability entails is the special power of attorney. This means that the person giving you power of attorney can either permit you to do everything for them or only one specific thing that they need to be taken care of for them.

For instance, when someone gives you the special power of attorney, they can grant it to you only for managing real estate. They can also allow you the ability to buy and sell property, invest and pay bills all in the same document. This type of power of attorney sign off is usually done because the person does not have the time or the health to do certain things themselves.

Health Care Power of Attorney

A health care power of attorney is one that gives the attorney, in fact, the ability to make decisions on your behalf if you cannot make them on your own solely for medical reasons. This can include being mentally or physically ill, unconscious, or in any other state that can’t allow you to make these decisions for yourself.

Typically, the health care power of attorney is used to settle your medical bills, insurance, and finances from the costs of staying in a hospital or care center. This POA can also sometimes allow you to give your recommendation on whether or not a person under life support should remain on or be taken off it.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is designed to maintain whatever POA you’ve already had in place to maintain their position. This is usually done if you have fallen ill or become generally weaker and have already had a POA in place. The durable power of attorney makes sure that you are aware of the installments in place and that you trust someone to take care of your legal and financial needs for you.

One Passport To Travel The Entire African Continent

The African Union (AU) is planning to roll out a new initiative that will unify travel between all African countries. Instead of making changes to their own country’s visa laws, all countries in Africa are working on a plan to have one passport for all of Africa. As the second largest continent, allowing free travel across so much land is a huge step forward as well as a possible safety risk.

Using One Passport To Travel Africa

Looking at the positives of creating one passport for all in Africa, this has the ability to generate unification between cultures that have been buried in political tension. Between all the civil and cultural wars Africa is embroiled in, it makes a lot of sense to open border to let people coexist.

People that speak different languages can teach each other about their cultures and influence people from all around the world to come as tourists. This concept would also encourage business throughout Africa.

A person from South Africa can go to Sudan and conduct business without hassle and problems, growing the economy of both countries. The idea of allowing free flow between all the nations is similar to the European Schengen Agreement, which will enable citizens in the Schengen Area to travel to other countries in the area visa-free.

Hurdles to Cross

There are still obstacles that need to be hurdled over before there is any chance of this idea actually working out.

First, Africa is infested with different diseases and viruses, most notably Malaria and Ebola amongst hundreds. Not all African countries have these problems, and opening borders would create a possibly dangerous situation.

Regulating who is vaccinated and safe to travel between African countries will become more complicated, with a significant risk, including taking disease and spreading it to other countries and even overseas.

Secondly, for the same reason, this idea is good and is terrible at the same time; the cultural division between tribes, religions, and cultures can create even more pandemonium instead of unifying the people. The entire idea is a gamble, and not one Africa might be ready to undertake.