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Travel Packing Tips: Pack Like a Travel Pro

Travel Packing Tips from Travel Pros

There are so many techniques for trying to get the most into your tiny suitcase. But, which way actually works? So, after many hundreds of trips, and thousands of miles traveling with backpacks, suitcases, and more- we’ve found some great travel packing strategies to pack efficiently and get the most out of your trip. So, we are big fans of this simple travel packing tip that we use it every time we hit the road! Hence, lets go through each step.

travel packing tipsStep 1: Lay out pairs of pants (or leggings) flat and out to the side. With the luggage open and empty, lay out your pairs of pants across the bottom with the leg part sticking out (image bottom left).

Step 2: Pack rolled clothing to fill in the first layer of your luggage. Hence, rolling helps make all clothes fit better and appear to be the same size which is good in this scenario because you are making a tiny puzzle. (And there’s a lot of pieces to fit!) It also helps to reduce wrinkles. 
Side note: Putting together and rolling multiple tank tops or other small garments together helps save space!

Step 3: Repeat step 2 on a the second layer. Also, add shoes as necessary.

Side note: Use your empty shoes. Stuff socks, underwear, or personal items inside of the shoes. Also, this helps to make sure your shoes don’t lose their shape after being suffocated for the long hours of your trip.

Step 4: Lay down any other big items you may have on top of layer 2.

Step 5: Fold the ends of the pant legs over the top of these 3 layers.

Step 6: VACUUM SPACE SAVING BAGS WORK and they are amazing. Also, we have found that Eagle Creek makes great travel organizers and compression sacks. 

Side note: Vacuum bags tend to add density to the overall weight of the luggage, so only use maybe 1 or 2 of these in your luggage if weight is an issue. 

Things to Remember:
1. Size matters! Be sure not to go over your weight limit because there are some hefty charges!
2. Use up every space possible! That means stuffing your shoes full as well.
3. You can include a few new dyer sheets inside the luggage! This is a nice, fresh surprise when you unpack.

What You Need to Know About a PassportRemember to always grab your passport. This vital document is one of the most important things to remember for every international trip. Also, remember to check your passport validity. You need at least 6 months of validity AFTER the last day of your international trip. Keep your passport somewhere safe where you can easily access it without pulling out all of your stuff. Your passport should be packed in a safe place that will also protect it from damage.

So tell us, what are some of your favorite travel packing tips?

How To Process An Adoption From Abroad

Adopting a child is a noble thing to do. There are a lot of children out there who are desperate and eager to have a family. Though there are a lot of children to adopt, the process of adoption is not that easy. There are certain rules and laws that you have to follow. The adoption process can stop if you do not have the necessary requirements. Even with the best intentions, you will need to be deemed fit to be a parent or your wish to adopt from abroad will not be granted.

It’s important that you be ready to adopt a child. You should think deeply if you really want this and if you are ready for it. There is one more process that you have to go through after the adoption process: the citizenship or immigration of the child you are adopting.  Now if you think you are ready and you have what it takes to adopt a child, these are the steps to process your adoption from abroad:

Process An Adoption From Abroad

In the US, there are different territorial and provincial adoption agencies that you can work with. They are the ones who will tell you:

  • About the rules or laws of the country where you would want to adopt a child
  • If you needed to contact a licensed adoption agency
  • How adoption from abroad works

They are also going to make sure that you have all that it takes to adopt a child.

International Adopting Process

Once you got the approval that you will be able to adopt, the international adopting process will start. This is where you are going to fill out an application asking for more details. You will have questions that would measure your sustainability to adopt a child. You will get the Adoption Service Contract afterwards.

Accomplish A Home Study Report

You must write a report about your home and they will see if your home is qualify for adoption. After the home study process, you will fill out your report.

You should accomplish your dossier. Collection of documents is part of the first stage of the adoption process. They will need medical certificates, financial statements, birth certificates, etc. There are countries that would require for all documents to be notarized or legalized.

You must attend pre-adoption workshops and seminars. This is going to make you ready for the arrival of the child you want to adopt.

Once all these processes are complete, a certified adoption agent will visit your home to formally write the report.

Acceptance And Assignment

You will now receive information about the child you are adopting. Information such as medical reports, histories and sometimes even information about the biological parents. If there is something that you dis-like, you may stop the process and another assignment will be given to you.

Bringing Your Child Home

After the process, you can bring your child home. This is obviously the end goal to process an adoption from abroad. In some countries, you must visit the country you are adopting from. Your parenting duties will start from there. In other countries, they will be sending the child to you.

Pre-Adoption Supervision

Process An Adoption From AbroadIn six months to one year, you will be required to meet with your adoption agent for at least 3 or 4 times to see how your adoption is going. To finalize the adoption, you must re-adopt the child in the US. You then will be working on the second process: the immigration or the citizenship process. You must file citizenship and a passport for the member of your family. Applying for a U.S. Passport takes 4-6 weeks or longer. You will want to make sure you have all of your documents ready. Parental consent is required for ALL child passport applications. If you need your passport expedited, we highly recommend using a trusted passport courier service. You can get your new child passport process in 24 hours if necessary. For more information, please visit out Emergency Passport section.

 

Everything You Need to Know About A US Passport Card

When you’re getting ready to travel, have you ever heard about a US passport book from one person or source and a US passport card from another source or person? Are passport books and passport cards the same thing, or are they different? The passport card is valid when entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at landed entry points. The passport card is not valid if the owner wants to use it for air travel. However, a passport book is just the right document to use to travel around the world.

What Does a Passport Card Look Like?

190px-Passport_cardA passport card looks like a driver’s license or credit card in size. The passport card has the applicant’s photo and data printed on them. There are many places in the US that can issue a US passport card; these are called Passport Application Acceptance Facilities. A passport book is larger and is most often in television shows or movies. It is somewhat larger than a post card.

passport-officesWhere Can You Get a Passport Card?

US passport cards can be picked up at post offices, regional agency, or through a private passport expediter. There are nearly 9,000 places in the US that makes it more convenient to receive a passport card or a passport book. For more information on obtaining a passport card here.

What Documents Are Needed?

Because a passport card can be used to attest United States citizenship and the identity of the person who is carrying it, the necessary documents to receive it are as stringent as most identification proving documents. An applicant has to prove their US citizenship, which includes their birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or a previously issued passport. An identification document, such as a copy of a valid identification document and a passport photo are also necessary.

Cost

The first passport card a person receives costs $55 for an adult; it can cost $40 for a child under the age of 16. The expense for the card has a $25 execution fee built in. If an adult has received a passport card after they turned 16, they can get a card for $30 if their passport is valid or did not expire more than five years ago.

It can take from four weeks to three months to receive a passport from the United States Passport Service. As with many businesses, there are peak times when the service is slower because there is a backlog of others waiting to get a passport card.

The process of receiving a passport can be expedited. An expedited application costs an additional $60 but can still take up to three weeks. Some expedited services may be faster, from 8-14 days for $149, or $349 for next business day service. It is even possible, in some situations, to get the passport in the same day as the application. For many people, these expedited services are worth getting their passport cards faster than potentially three months.

For those who are preparing to travel to another country that will not require air travel should consider using a US passport card. This card is easier to carry and often harder to lose because it will be in the owner’s wallet. Those who need a passport card can allow us to help get their passport in good time.

The Passport Denial Program: Explained

Applying for a new or renewal passport can be a bit of a stressful time for everyone. You need to make sure that you have all of your paperwork in order and that everything is complete. Do this to avoid your big international trip can go off without delay.

Many people don’t realize that there are certain situations where you will absolutely be denied a passport. Reasons that go above and beyond simply including the wrong type of photo or filling out a form incorrectly. To understand why you might get denied a passport, you must first better understand the Passport Denial Program.

What is the Passport Denial Program?

The Passport Denial Program is specifically designed to help states enforce child support-related obligations that people may have. If you owe over $2,500 in back child support, for example, you will be submitted to the Department of State’s Passport Denial Program, at which point the processing of your application will not go through. The Passport Denial Program is part of the Federal Offset Program and was created in conjunction with the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement.

Can I Still Get a Passport In the Passport Denial Program?

If you feel like you have fulfilled your child support obligations and were previously in the Passport Denial Program, don’t worry – there is still hope. Upon being submitted to the Passport Denial Program, the agency will hold your application for a period of 90 days.

The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement will then review your case during this period, at which point it will either be released or maintained. If you’re still in the Passport Denial Program after that period of time, you can not get your passport.

If you do find that your case has been released by the OCSE, the passport agency that you submitted your application through will mail your new or renewal passport to you within two to five business days.

The only situation where this may not be the case is if OCSE takes longer than 90 days. Even if you are deemed eligible to apply for and receive a passport, you must submit a new application.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

There are a few other things that you must be aware of. Especially when applying for a passport with child support obligations. Particularly, if you are applying for a passport for the child in question at the same time.

The first is called the Two Parent Consent Law. This means that you must prove that you have the authority to obtain a passport for the child. Especially, if he or she is under the age of 14 years old. You should also be aware of the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program. This means that the legal guardian of the child must be properly notified before a passport application gets approval.

If you’ve just been released from the Passport Denial Program and are worried that you may not receive your passport on time, you can always use an expedited passport service in your area. They can cut the normal amount of processing time down from six to eight weeks to around 24 to 48 hours. Depending on the area of the country where you live.