Without advocating travel to areas where services are stressed after horrific events like these, when an area relies on tourism, the best way to help is to visit. Do your research. There might be real bargains and also opportunities to put money into the pockets and businesses of residents.
With few exceptions, if you’re travelling out of your own country these days, you’ll need a passport. Apply for it well in advance of your trip and make an effort to appear well-groomed from the shoulders up for the photo. Even if you aren’t allowed to smile, that classy picture may convince an immigrations officer that you’re not the terrorist/hippie/crazy person you appear to be after spending 12 hours in the middle seat in the last non-reclining row of economy. I always wear pearls and a blouse for my passport head shot.
Tokyo–Yokohama Map Photo Gallery
For some destinations, your passport will need to be valid for at least six months after the date of your arrival in the country. Israel is one such place and I know there are others.
Be sure to have enough pages in your passport to allow for entry visas and stamps. If not, visit your local passport office to have more pages added. Make photocopies of important documents and as a backup, email copies to yourself and a trusted at-home contact.
Jump the queue: Crew members always have a special crew line for clearing customs and that was one perk I knew I’d really miss. While I was still a flight attendant, I joined NEXUS, a trusted traveller program that expedites customs and immigration clearance for air, land or sea travel between Canada and the United States and for returning from other destinations. NEXUS members can also take advantage of special security screening lanes.
For my money, the $50.00 fee for five years of special NEXUS status is worth every penny. NEXUS for Canadians; NEXUS for Americans. Americans can also register for TSA Pre.