by Brenda Ajay
Picture this. You've just spent thousands of dollars on a dream Alaskan Cruise for you and your family, spent months planning the trip of a lifetime, traveled a great distance to Seattle to board your ship only to be turned away because you don't have the proper documents. It's not uncommon. In fact, that's the very scene that a family from India faced this summer when they were left standing at the dock. A cruise line reservation agent who helped book their cruise explained that they would only need valid Indian passports to board the ship. She was wrong. The cruise itinerary, that embarked and disembarked in Seattle, would be sailing through Canada where passengers from India are also required to have a Canadian visa to set sail. The good news is that the family received a credit from the cruise line so they can reschedule their cruise. But it brings up an important fact - it is ultimately the traveler's responsibility to have proper documents to travel.
A couple years ago I client shared with me her travel wallet. In addition to her passport and driver's license, the wallet held copies of her birth certificate, marriage license, social security card and a whole host of alternate forms of ID. "I want to be prepared for everything," she explained. Travel anxiety is very real and much of it stems from travelers fearing they might not have the proper documents required to get to their destination. Vacations should be joyful, not stressful. If you are unsure of what documents you need, consult an experienced travel professional or one of the agencies listed below before you travel. Every trip is different. And although we can't address each and every "if this, then that" scenario here, you'll find the answer to the most commonly asked questions below.
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