Before You Go
Travel Smart Guide
Holidays are exciting times and full of new experiences and adventures. To make sure that your holiday is enjoyable, we want to let you know about where you might need to take extra care. Please read this document through and pass it on to your travel companions too!
On the 01 August 08, the US government introduced the ESTA programme (electronic system for travel authorization) which is the new procedure for applying for access to the US and is which will currently be running simultaneously with the I-94 (the green card you fill in on every flight to the US).
On the 12 January 2009, the I-94 will no longer be in use and the ESTA will be become mandatory.
The ESTA is very similar to the automated visa that you purchase to enter Australia and is completely paperless.
You can complete this by clicking on this link www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/l and it will ask for the same information that you would give on the I-94 - full names, passport numbers etc so ensure you have them to hand when you want to fill it in.
Once you've entered your details, you'll receive an application number. Once approved, you can print this off and take with you when you travel. It's strongly recommended that you keep a note of your approval code so that you can update your information in the future, should anything change.
The APIS information you provide to the airline (Advance Passenger Information System) is separate and you will need to provide information for both services. They are run by two different government bodies and run separately.
Please note this is not in place of a visa and should you be declined or have required a visa in the past, then you must contact the US embassy and apply for a visa as usual. You can find them at www.usembassy.org.uk
Foreign Office Travel Advice
We recommend that you seek advice from the Foreign Office regarding your holiday destination(s) prior to your reservation – this is easily available by telephone, teletext or through the Internet. Your Travel Agent should also be able to assist. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel Advice Unit may have issued information about your holiday destination(s). You are advised to check this information here www.fco.gov.uk/travel/countryadvice.asp by telephone on 0845 850 2829 or by email to email@example.com Alternatively, you can contact the ABTA Information Department on 0901 2015050 (calls are charged at 50p/minute).
We've teamed up with Allianz Global Assistance to provide you an insurance product that you can book though us and is tailored to your own requirements. Booking your travel insurance through us gives you the reassurance that we have you covered from the start to the finish of your holiday.
Key Policy Features:
- - 2 levels of cover to choose from - Standard & Gold
- - Single Trip & Annual Multi-trip policies up to age 70 years
- - Winter sports available up to age 65 years
- - Cruise cover up to age 70 years
- - No excess charges if you upgrade to Gold
- - Over 100 sports and activities included in our Standard policy
- - Medical screening available providing optional cover for over 2,000 medical conditions
- - No credit or debit card fees
Additional extras include:
- - Additional adventurous activities
- - Increased cancellation cover if required
- - Wedding cover
REMEMBER YOUR PASSPORTS...AND DON'T FORGET YOUR VISAS!
You MUST have a FULL passport, VALID for a min of 6 months from return date of travel and you should check with the relevant embassy for current requirements as these are subject to change.
Visas are required by British citizens for a number of our destinations, and a charge may be applicable - for up-to-date information check with the relevant embassy. All other passport holders should check with the relevant embassy or consulate. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documentation.
UK Passport Information
If you haven’t yet got a passport, our recommendation is that you should apply for one at least 10 weeks before your holiday departure date. The Passport Service has to confirm your identity before issuing your first passport and everybody aged 16 or over applying for their first passport will need to have an interview as part of the application process. Please note that this new process will increase the time it takes for your application to be processed. In all cases, the passport office advises you not to book any travel arrangements until you have received your new passport. from October 2006 will ask you to attend an interview in order to do this. The name on each person's ticket MUST match the name as stated in their passport. When making your booking, please ensure the information given to us is correct. Failure to do so may result in significant charges being incurred, as some airlines treat an amendment as a name change and will charge accordingly.
Travelling to the USA
If your passport shows you are a BRITISH or IRISH citizen you do not usually need a visa* but can use the VISA WAIVER PROGRAMME (form supplied at airport or on flight).
*Under certain circumstances (eg. if you have a criminal record) you may require a visa and you could be refused entry into the USA. For more information on why you may need a visa, please visit our Passport and Visa FAQ's.
Visa Waiver Programme
You will need a visa if your passport shows you are a BRITISH SUBJECT you WILL need a VISA. This particularly applies if you are Irish but have a British Subject passport. In both these cases you must check with the US Embassy or nearest consulate. All other passport holders in doubt should check with a US Embassy or consulate. All British Passport holders will now only permitted to enter the US under the Visa Waiver programme if they are travelling on a valid machine readable passport. All passports issued within the UK since November 1991 are machine readable. This is not the case for all UK passports issued overseas, so please contact the British Passport Office if this applies to you.
Passports issued on or after October 26 2006 must also include an integrated circuit chip capable of storing the biographic information from the data page, a digitised photograph and other biometric information. If your passport was issued on or after this date and does not have this information, you WILL require a visa.
For full details of passport requirements for your chosen holiday please contact the British Passport Office on 0870 521 0410 or www.ukpa.gov.uk or the US embassy on 0207 499 9000 or www.usembassy.org.uk
The name on each person's ticket MUST match the name as stated in their passport. When making your booking, please ensure the information given to us is correct. Failure to do so may result in significant charges being incurred, as some airlines treat an amendement as a name change and will charge accordingly.
To qualify for the US Visa Waiver programme you must NOT:
- Be suffering from any communicable disease, physical or mental disorder or be a drug abuser or addict.
- Have been arrested or convicted for any offence or crime. This includes spent convictions or an arrest not resulting in a conviction.
- Have ever been involved in espionage or sabotage, terrorist activities, genocide or been involved in anyway with Nazi Germany or its allies between 1933 and 1945.
- Seeking work in the US, have been excluded or deported from the US, been previously removed from the US or attempted to procure a visa or entry into the US by fraud or misrepresentation.
- Been detained, retained or withheld custody of a child from a US citizen granted custody of the child.
- Been denied a US Visa or entry into the US or had a US visa cancelled.
- Have asserted immunity from prosecution
All children, including newborn babies, must now have their own individual passport. Please contact the British Passport Office for full details on passport requirements for your holiday destination.
Please Note: Some destinations require a letter of authority if children are not accompanied by both legal guardians.
All airlines are obliged to transmit Advance Passenger Information (API) about passengers prior to the departure of flights to the United States.
Specifically, there is a requirement for all passengers to provide their country of residence and (for non-US residents) details of their full address (street name and number, city, zip code and state) for the first night's accommodation in the US. Passengers travelling to the US continue to require a machine-readable passport or valid visa.
We would ask that all passengers continue to provide their valid travel documents and details of their full US destination address for US Immigration. There is no requirement for passengers to arrive at the airport any earlier than usual.
If you would like more information on API you can visit our FAQ section
You can also find out more about API through the US Customs and Border Protection website by going to www.customs.gov/xp/cgov/home.xml
Innoculations and Medical Precautions
None currently required for the USA. For the Latest information we recommend you check with your Doctor.
When we receive your reservation and deposit we will send you an invoice showing the details of your holiday and charges and enclosing a summary of your insurance policy (if you have taken ours). If you agree these, the balance should be paid 10 weeks before departure (unless otherwise stipulated). After we have received payment of the balance, and approx 14 days before departure, air tickets, travel information, joining instructions, luggage labels and service vouchers will be sent to you or your travel agent. Bookings made 10 weeks or less to the departure date must be paid for at time of booking the reservation. Where accommodation or flights are subject to request, full payment must be made and we endeavour to have an answer within 48 hours of the request being received. Payments made to Travel City Direct by credit card will incur a charge of 2% which will be added on to the total value of the transaction.
Early Booking/Bonus Offers
Please note these offers are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at anytime. Where dates are mentioned, offer applies to stays taken and completed between the dates stated.
Unaccompanied Age Restrictions
For those wishing to travel unaccompanied by a parent or guardian the minimum age is 18 years. However, some hotels and resorts do not allow under 21s in a room by themselves - please check at time of booking for details or call 0844 557 6969.