Changes are coming to TSA's ID requirements. Find out everything you need to know about IDs and passports in 2017.
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Everything You Need to Know About IDs & Passports in 2017

There will be a lot of changes going on in the world of travel and IDs in 2017. Take a minute to find out what you need to know about IDs and if there are any changes affecting you.

If you’re planning a trip in the next year, whether a short domestic flight or heading international, you’ll want to be in the know for what’s coming ahead of us.

TSA Increases Their Standards For IDs In 2018

A new federal law is coming into effect at the beginning of 2018, the REAL ID Act. This will have an impact on travelers around the country.

All IDs will now need to have machine-readable data. This is going to affect travelers from different states where driver licenses and state IDs may not compile at this time.

Some states are hurrying to meet the deadline, and some have been given extensions until 2020. You’ll want to make sure you know where you state falls into this change.

Your Drive License May No Longer Work for Flights

With the new increased standards, there are some states IDs that do not currently meet the qualifications. While most state’s drive’s licenses will still get you through TSA there are five states that have yet to add the new security measures to their IDs.

What does this mean? If you’re a resident of Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana or Washington, you’ll need a different type of ID to fly starting in 2018. This can be a military ID, a passport, or passport card, as examples. If you’re from one of these states make sure you’re prepared for the new regulations.Changes are coming to TSA's ID requirements. Find out everything you need to know about IDs and passports in 2017.

Renew Your Passport Now

2017 is expected to be the busiest year for passport renewals in the U.S. yet.

Why? It was ten years ago the U.S. started requiring passports to entry into Mexico and Canada. Meaning all those who got their first passports in 2007 will need to renew this year.

If you’re one of them, or just happen to need a renewal in the next year or so, expect the process to take longer than normal. The State Department is getting flooded with renewals so you’ll want to send yours in ASAP if you need a renewal in the next year.

Changes to U.S. Passports This Year

When you do get your new passport you might notice some changes. While the State Department hasn’t rolled them out yet they are in the works.

With the REAL ID Act, passports are getting an update as well. Expect that at some point this year, new passports will begin to have a data chip that provides your information via a scan.

On top of that, there will be added technology to help increase the security of the IDs.

You’ll also notice that passports are getting thinner! You will now only have 28 pages in your book unless you specify otherwise.Changes are coming to TSA's ID requirements. Find out everything you need to know about IDs and passports in 2017.

What You Need to Know About IDs – Check Yours ASAP

With all the changes coming up regarding IDs and their impacts on travel the best thing to do is check into your own.

What you need to know about IDs of your own is if your passport expiring soon? Or, is your driver’s license on the list that may not be accepted?

If the answer to either is yes, make sure to be prepared for the upcoming changed.Changes are coming to TSA's ID requirements. Find out everything you need to know about IDs and passports in 2017.

What are the top travel trends for 2017? Find out how and where people will be traveling this year.
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How & Where Will You Travel in 2017

If you haven’t already decided to make 2017 a year of travel it’s the perfect time to start planning your next trip. Whether it’s the drop in the cost of airfare around the globe or the urge to explore a new place and culture in this time of intolerance, 2017 is the perfect time to try something new in your travel.

We spoke to travel experts on what would be new for travel in 2017. Take a look at a few of their tips on how travel in 2017 will change and a few destinations you shouldn’t miss this year.

Shifting to Minimalism at Home and On the Road

Inma Gregorio of  A World to Travel notes the many reasons why traveling light will become a great travel trend this 2017. Perhaps the main ones are the reduction of the carbon footprint by saving all kinds of resources and putting, yet once more, experiences and people before things. But there are many others you should not oversee. Some of them are:

  • A higher level of freedom and flexibility that is only attainable getting rid of stuff.
  • Less time consumption in things that don’t matter and, as a result, more time to put into those that really do. When you spend less on things, you can spend more on experiences.
  • Mindful spending.
  • Owning your life, not having it owned by things as the marketing gods dictate.

Taking on a minimalist lifestyle can make packing for your travels infinitely easier. Say goodbye to endless luggage lists and welcome a minimalist lifestyle that will change your life.

Increase in Adventure Travel

Dan Bagby of Honeymoon Always sees travelers in 2017 leaving behind the comfort of their all-inclusive resorts to venture outside towards adventure travel. Pinterest has also included this as a trend in the Pinterest 100, based on data they have seen in the past year. National Parks have been seeing this first hand with a huge increase in visitors. Yellowstone, for example, passed 1 million visitors in one month for the first time ever.

With so many travel bloggers and content creators taking potential travelers along their journeys online, places that were rarely traveled to or experienced now seem approachable and easier to plan.What are the top travel trends for 2017? Find out how and where people will be traveling this year.

Easy Access to Cheap Airfare

Jason Batansky of Aspiring Gentleman suggests 2017 is the year of staggering cheap international airfare. Travelers will find cheap fares through normal searches without having to religiously follow daily flight deal websites like TheFlightDeal and SecretFlying. Just this January, Qatar Airways ran a weeklong promotion called the Travel Festival where I personally booked a flight from Philadelphia to Malaysia for under $450 USD round trip.

If regular airlines are selling fares that cheap, imagine what the low-cost airlines will do as they continue adding more routes around the world. The best way to keep track of it all is to check your airport’s Wikipedia page for a full list of airlines and destinations. You’ll surprise yourself in 2017 with the fares you find.

Focus on Responsible Travel in 2017

Margherita Ragg of The Crowded Planet thinks people are definitely becoming more aware of the importance of responsible travel, and for this, we need to also thank travel blogs. For instance, take riding elephants. Many people are unaware that it’s an inhumane practice that hurts elephants and needs to be avoided at all costs. Once aware of how bad it is, the most common reaction is avoiding these elephant tours.

Responsible alternatives to ‘mainstream’ tourist experiences are becoming more and more common, showing increased awareness for the wellbeing of nature and wildlife. For instance, last year in South Australia I was able to experience ethical shark diving, using music instead of food to attract great white sharks to our diving boat. Food disrupts the sharks’ behavior, so a local operator came up with the idea of using music, with great success. I just hope this awareness continues to increase, as the natural world truly needs some love.What are the top travel trends for 2017? Find out how and where people will be traveling this year.

More Specifically, Ecotourism

Valisha Bogart of Lioness Travel speaks on going beyond being aware of your potential impact as a traveler but instead organizing your travel experiences around making a positive impact. This can mean adding a volunteer aspect to your travels.

Consider researching local non-profit organizations that are looking for traveling volunteers. Or there are large organizations like the World Wildlife Fund that organize trips which include conservation efforts.

Do you have a skill that a region is in need of? Just make sure to do your research to find organizations serving their regions and communities and not ones attempting to instead profit on tourists. WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is a unique network where you can find opportunities all over the globe.

Volunteering your time and skills can make an impact on the communities you visit and create some of the best travel memories of your life. A great trend to start when you travel in 2017.

Taking Advantage of Upscale Accommodations

Trisha Velarmino of P.S. I’m On My Way noted how Luxury Accommodations have started to flourish late last year and 2017 will be a major boom for this travel trend. Millennials are slowly realizing the value for money when it comes to accommodations. The thing with this generation is that they have their own definition of “luxury travel” so it’s not all about having a lobby all suit up with Henredon. Today, this travel trend can be glamping in the trees with a hammock with no electricity or watching the aurora borealis in a glass-roof accommodation. It can be anything!

It’s really a good thing that the hotel industry understands the value that Millennial travel brings to the table. With this, the industry is forced to be more creative in driving to new innovations and trends.What are the top travel trends for 2017? Find out how and where people will be traveling this year.

A Few Destinations on Fire 

On top of overall trends of travel in 2017, there are also destinations around the globe that will be captivating travelers in new ways.

Canada

Chris Backe of One Weird Globe highlights that 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, an event that Canada’s tourism department is definitely going to be celebrating. Including free access to 47 national parks (just make sure to get the pass before you go). We traveled through parts of eastern Canada last year (going back later this year) and got the sense there was some serious ‘gearing up’ going on. (Quick protip for Canada: Victoria Day, or May 22nd, to Labour Day, or September 4th, is the season for anything not considered a winter activity. Some stuff will be open in April or May, but it’s only a fraction of what’s around!). One of my favorites: The Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum in Oshawa (hit it up as you’re traveling from Ottawa to Toronto) – lots of military stuff and tanks, anyone?

Cuba

Hannah Lukaszewicz of Getting Stamped shared: The wait is finally over! This is the year for Americans traveling to Cuba  I visited Cuba last year and instantly fell in love with the people, culture, cities, and let’s get real the mojitos! Things are going to rapidly start changing as Cuba begins to open up its door, which will be good and bad. I highly start going sooner than later. In the future years to come, you no longer will have to sit in the city square with 100’s of people all using the public wifi you can access by purchasing a scratch-off code. Hire an old Cuban car to taxi you from city to city, if you are traveling in a group of 4 this is actually cheaper than 4 bus tickets. Getting around Cuba is super easy they have a great bus system to get you to all the major tourist cities. Exchanging your USD for local Cuban Pesos will be exchanged with ATM’s, which I think is a good thing because I ran out of money in Cuba… I do hope my favorite town Trinidad Cuba which is a UNESCO heritage site stays the same, it is that perfect picturesque Cuban town.What are the top travel trends for 2017? Find out how and where people will be traveling this year.

All of Europe

Megan MacNee of Traveling Nine to Fiver noted that when she left Europe a decade ago the Euro was valued at $1.75. Now with them hanging close to even it’s the perfect time to take advantage of Europe being about as affordable as it can get!

On top of that, there is a battle between the airlines brewing you can fly roundtrip for less than $100.

Whether you’re planning to revisit some of the major cities or exploring hidden gems, this might be one of the best years to explore Europe we’ll find in our lifetime. Hoping these stay down for when I plan my first trip back in a decade this fall.What are the top travel trends for 2017? Find out how and where people will be traveling this year.

How & Where Will You Travel in 2017

What will you do differently in travel in 2017? Will you go somewhere new? Try a different type of travel? Give an adventure you’ve been dying to try a chance?

Leave a comment below letting us know what you’re doing differently in travel in 2017.What are the top travel trends for 2017? Find out how and where people will be traveling this year.

What you need to do to save money to travel more each year. The daily habits to change to make travel a priority.

How to Save Money To Travel By Changing Your Habits

What you need to do to save money to travel more each year. The daily habits to change to make travel a priority.One of the things that stops all of us from traveling as much as we’d like is the costs. While there are many ways to save money in your travel budget, sometimes you don’t want to. You want that nicer hotel, to try a unique experience, or splurge on a meal out.

While saving while traveling is important you can often change the way you live your life day to day that can allow you to save enough to avoid cutting out the splurges when traveling. Or even allow you to travel more often and longer.

Weigh Your Expenses with a Plane Ticket or Hotel Room

When you’re at the mall, shopping online, or looking to add one more thing to what you own. Take a minute and compare what travel expense you could cover with it. Is it a plane ticket or a night in a hotel room? If not, is it a meal out trying a new cuisine?

Do you really need a new car? Or does foregoing that car payment mean you can fly somewhere new every other month?

This might not stop you from buying everything but it can help you weigh your priorities. Keeping travel at the top of your list.

Reviewing Your Recurring Monthly Expenses Helps Save Money

What expenses are you charged every month? Clearly, you need to pay your gas and electricity bill but is there a way to cut it down? Do you still pay for cable? If so, how much do you watch that you can’t get with a $9.99 subscription to Netflix or Hulu?

On top of that, are you paying for anything that you don’t use? We’ve all signed up for the gym or an online education program and then not actually used it. Make sure anything you’re charged each month is something you’re making the most of. This is an easy way to save money each month.

Stop Eating / Getting Coffee Out

When you watch how much you eat out you not only spend less money, you often eat healthier too. Two reasons why to avoid getting take out. Or not bringing lunch to work. If you buy lunch out even just three times a week for $12 (since it’s never actually less than that) by the end of the month you could have saved $144, easily a night in a hotel.

If you have a habit of getting coffee out every day it’s one of those small expenses that can easily add up. Even investing in a Nespresso machine where you can make your own fancy coffee drinks might be an expense to start but in the long run will cost you a $1 to make a drink instead of the $5 it often runs.

Not that you need to cut these down to zero. Part of travel can be a love for finding good food and coffee, so you’ll probably enjoy those in your everyday life as well. It’s the times we spend more money because it’s easier and not to create a new experience that can make it worth changing your habits to save money for travel.

Make Experiences Your Priority

All of the above come back to one idea. Prioritizing experiences. Sometimes it’s worth splurging on a great meal at home because of the memory you’re making. But it’s the expenses that aren’t actually adding to our lives that we can work to cut.

As travelers, our experiences are our priorities. It can take some time to turn that into your habits at home, but doing so can help you increase your ability and quality of traveling.

A girlfriend getaway to Puerto Rico offers everything from places to stay, things to do, a nightlight, and what to eat.
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5 Reasons Why Puerto Rico Is A Perfect Girls Getaway

A girlfriend getaway to Puerto Rico offers everything from places to stay, things to do, a nightlight, and what to eat.If you’re looking for a perfect girls getaway there is no better spot than the island of Puerto Rico. As a territory of the United States, it is an easy place to travel and visit.

The island itself is an overall safe place to visit, especially in Old San Juan where you’ll see a little extra security to make sure tourist remain safe. You can also easily travel around the island with your own car or hop on affordable day tours.

Whether your girlfriends enjoy a good cocktail on the beach, outdoor adventures, culinary exploration, or a shopping spree you can find all of that right on the island.

Start planning your trip to Puerto Rico with your travel buddies.

Culture

As soon as you arrive on the island you’ll get a feel for the people of Puerto Rico and their history. You can explore the history by visiting the old forts or the rum factories. Take in an evening of salsa dancing. Walk through the bright colored streets, and visit the many museums across the island.

Shopping

Especially, in Old San Juan, you’ll find shops ranging from designers to boutiques to art galleries to craftwork. Wander down Calle Fortaleza, Calle San Francisco, and Calle del Cristo to find the best shops. Don’t miss Concalma, a craft bag designer that has become all the rage.

Nightlife

Spend the night dancing away to salsa or club music in one of Old San Juan’s famous spots. Make sure to visit La Factoria, ranked one of the world’s 50 best bars that offers you just a little bit of everything from a cocktail bar to dance club in one place.

Or if you’re looking for a laid back vibe check out the Beachcomber Bar (now the Caribar) at the Caribe Hilton which argues it created the first Pina Colada in 1954. Both of which help to make the perfect girls getaway. Plan your next girls getaway in Puerto Rico. What to do and why you should make the trip.

Food

The island is filled with flavor-packed food from the traditional Mofongo plantain dish to seafood empanadas. Have an elegant dinner of Caribbean flavors with your toes in the sand at Pamela’s.

Or head to the east coast to La Estacion for a meal that will blow your socks off in a quirky outdoor setting.

Adventure

Puerto Rico offers adventures on both the land and the sea. You can’t miss El Yunque Rainforest, the only tropical rainforest in the United States. Take a dip in a waterfall and hike to breathtaking views.

Get out of this world with a tour on one of the island’s bioluminescent bays. This unique natural phenomenon is bioluminescent plankton in the bays that light up when they are touched. Kayak into the bay and splash your hand through the water and watch it glow. You can only do this two other places in the world so don’t pass on a tour.

And Don’t Forget the Beach for the Perfect Girls Getaway

And all of those reasons don’t even touch on the beautiful beaches around Puerto Rico including Flamenco Beach on the island Culebra ranked one of the top ten beaches in the world.

You’ll want to spend a little time laying on the sand with a pina colada in hand with your girlfriends next to you chatting about all the adventures you fit in on the island before you leave.

Looking for some new girl friends to travel with? Keep an eye out for our upcoming travel buddy app to help you find the perfect travel companions.