How to Get Your Passport in Order & Other Long Lead Time Travel Tips by Rachel Cappucci on August 24, 2016 Share What could possibly go wrong? As the Operations Manager at EJ, it’s my job to predict the unpredictable. I focus on all the little details so you don’t have to; however little big details are important and sometimes require forward-looking on your part too. It’s not unusual for clients to be so caught up in the excitement of planning their life-changing safari with us that they forget to double-check big little things, like say… their passport. The New York Times recently provided a good break down of ‘How to Get Your Passport in Order’ but the gist of it is as follows: If you have time (i.e. six-weeks), renew directly with the Bureau of Consular Affairs, part of the State Department. It’s reliable, and bonus… it’s the most inexpensive ($110). Some countries want travelers to have a passport that’s valid for six months in the event you decide to stay longer, which trust us… you’ll definitely want to. If you are short on time (i.e. less than a week), a Passport Rush Agency or Travel Concierge can expedite the process but it’s going to cost you a pretty penny ($670). Apply for a visa as soon as you book your trip because visas are not guaranteed six-week time frames like passports plus it’s expensive to rush ($500). Of course, the benefit of using a tour operator is that we will send you a checklist as well as reminders and follow ups… and more follow ups. If even that isn’t enough, we’ll find a way to get you there if it’s humanly possible. Other long lead time travel tips include: Travel immunizations are usually not top of the to-do list but it’s important. Health recommendations include vaccinations 10 days prior to departure. Yellow Fever Vaccinations are “hard to find” but some countries require all travelers to show proof of yellow fever vaccination. Let your bank or credit card company know you’re traveling. Know your debit, ATM, and prepaid daily card limits before you leave but keep enough USD aside to support yourself for several days. There are some destinations where U.S. dollar shortages are the reality (e.g. Zimbabwe in 2016). You can buy a prepaid SIM card for the specific country where you are traveling online before you leave for your trip; however we recommend WhatsApp Messenger, a FREE messaging app available for Android and other smartphones.