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April 19, 1988 - Image 32

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-04-19

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4

er's checks issued in U.S. currency and
then exchange money as you travel. If
you're going to be in just one country,
it's easier to have your traveler's
checks in the native currency. Also,
when you exchange money, the more
money you cash, the better your ex-
change rate will be. It might be wise to
pool your money with your traveling
companions when you exchange cur-
rency to obtain a better rate. Take
along $50 to $75 in the currency of the
first country you visit if you're travel-
ing out of the country.
Credit cards are also a must for
emergencies or for buying the unex-
pected purchase you can't pass up.
Also, when you charge a purchase,
you receive the exchange rate from the
financial institution that issued the
credit card. That rate is usually better
than the one the store will give you.
Packing it up
Most people pack more than they'll
ever need for a trip. Try to keep lug-
gage down to a minimum. Take along
clothes that don't wrinkle or show
stains and spots. The layered look is
great for traveling because you can ad-
just to the changes in temperature dur-
ing the day. And always take comfort-
able walking shoes along, as well as a

rain poncho. It's also a good idea to
have one nice outfit along just in case
you want to splurge and have an even-
ing out on the town.
Booking your trip
If you're booking through a dis-
count travel package, make sure you
get all the details and read the fine
print. Get everything in writing, in-
cluding the name of the hotel and air-
line, restrictions, refund policy, and a
listing of all the features you are enti-
tled to.
If you're not traveling on a tour,
make a reservation for your first
night's stay, especially if you're going
to arrive late or have an overseas
flight. Tourist information centers
can help you find a room when you ar-
rive if you haven't reserved one in ad-
vance. They usually charge a small
service fee.
Colleges and universities sometimes
rent rooms during the summer months
for very reasonable rates, but call
ahead for information.
If you're a member of International
Youth Hostels, you can obtain a direc-
tory of hostels worldwide and stay
there. Hostels are inexpensive and the
accommodations are always clean, if
spare.

Be prepared
The best way to travel is to be pre-
pared. Find out as much as you can
about the place you're visiting, take
along some emergency cash, keep a list
of your traveler's check numbers in
your suitcase as well as on your per-
son, and have a great time. D
Rental Cars
H aving a rental car at your dis-
posal when you're on vacation
can be a great convenience. Almost
all rental car companies require a
major credit card in your own name
and that you be at least 18 years old
in order to rent a car. Once you've
determined that you qualify, start
checking out prices.
Many discount rates are avail-
able. If you're a member of a motor
club, you may qualify for a dis-
count rate. Also, find out if one of
your parents receives a corporate
rate from an employer or belongs to
an organization that qualifies for a
discount. But make sure that these
discounts are the lowest rates avail-
able to you. Sometimes the car rent-
al company offers a special rate
that's lower.
Be sure to ask these questions: Is
there a different rate if you change
you plans mid-trip? Is it more eco-
nomical to rent weekly or daily?
Are there drop-off charges? What
is the mileage allowance and what is
the cost per mile after you have
reached your allowance? Is there a
refill charge if you return the car
with less than a full tank of gaso-
line?
What about insurance? Your
own car insurance policy may cover
rental cars. Even if you're covered,
you may want to consider taking
the collision/damage waiver for ad-
ditional protection. If you're plan-
.ning to rent a car while traveling in
Europe, you must have an Interna-
tional Driving Permit. These are
available at American Automobile
Association offices for a small fee.

4

4

E

Get Your Papers in Order
T o get your first passport, apply in person at a U.S. passport agency, desig-
nated post office, or clerk of court. You will need to complete an applica-
tion form and show proof of citizenship and identity. Use your birth certifi-
cate or naturalization papers for proof of citizenship, and driver's license or
other photo ID for identity.
You will also need two front-view, 2-inch-by-2-inch photographs to ac-
company your application. They can be color or black and white
photographs, but they should be identical and no more than six months old
when you apply for your passport. The fee for an adult passport (18 years or
older) is $42 and it is valid for 10 years. The fee for persons 17 years old and
under is $27 and the passport is valid for five years.
Some countries also require visas. Contact a travel agency or the consulates
or embassies of the countries you plan to visit to see if you'll need a visa. Visas
can take longer to obtain than passports, so don't delay in applying for one.
You will need to send in your passport and passport-style photos with your
visa application. Check to see how many photos you will have to include.

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