January 2019 Newsletter

January 9, 2019 by Brenda Fairfax No Comment


We are appreciative of our clients, the referrals, and are eager to service your travel requests this year.  It does not matter whether you are traveling by land, air, or sea, Nomadic Star Travel would like to be “Your Passport to Adventure!”

All of us have so much to be thankful for, as we are certainly thankful for our health, family, friends, home, clients, and referrals.

WORDS OF CAUTION – I read an article in a travel magazine where a couple was on a cruise to Cuba, and they were left. You may ask, how did this happen? Well, the couple booked their cruise through a third party, and the third party did not notify them that the cruise line had changed its departure time from Cuba. This couple had to pay, out of their own pockets, airfare to leave Cuba. Please be careful with whom you transact business. A certified and accredited travel agency is your best option, and of course purchasing insurance is important.


  • Clients from Virginia, Illinois, Florida, Maryland and North Carolina for Smooth Jazz Cruise with Celebrity Cruises, February 2019
  • Claflin University’s students studying abroad in Dubai until February 2019
  • Couple in North Carolina cruise on Royal Caribbean, March 2019
  • Clients in North Carolina and Virginia (Birthday cruise) to Caribbean, July 2019
  • Two couples in Greenville, NC on Viking Cruises, August 2019
  • One couple in Las Vegas, NV on Crystal Cruises, May 2019
  • Attend the Travel Leaders Network Edge International Conference, June 2019
  • Group cruise to Australia and New Zealand, November 2019
    • Cruise
    • Airfare
    • Hotel
    • Transfers
    • Tours
    • Visa
  • Attending Cruise 360, Fort Lauderdale, FL, April 2019
  • Smooth Jazz Cruise, 2020
  • Travel to India and Thailand, 2020
  • Canadian Rockies with Railbookers, 2020

Nomadic Star Travel, LLC is a full-service travel agency dedicated to giving the client personal attention to each and every travel request. We are happy to provide one quote free, so sharing your budget and all required details are important, as we do not want to offer travel that is not within your budget. We accept all major credit/debit cards and personal checks as long as checks are made payable to the agency and arrive seven (7) days prior to payment date. Now is the time to plan your travel. We offer travel by land, air and sea. We offer travel to individuals and groups, and have a convenient payment plans

Hours for Nomadic Star Travel, LLC:

  • Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm
  • Friday: 9am-4pm
  • Closed Saturday, Sunday, and ALL major holidays

There is one caveat to our hours of operation. When we have students traveling abroad, we can always be contacted by telephone or email by the college or university staff.

Travel, Accident and Baggage Insurance We cannot stress enough the importance of purchasing travel, accident and baggage insurance. We never know when, or if, we will need such insurance, but it is better to be covered than not. Insurance is sold by us through Travel Guard. There are many policies to choose from, and children are automatically covered through their parents’ policy.

Engagement. If you are interested in receiving specials (by email or postal mail) please visit the website and complete the Contact Us link. We will need your address (not PO Box) and telephone number. We will only mail specials that we think you may be interested, for example: we will not mail Disney specials if you do not have children.

U.S. Passports Will Cost More. Starting this spring, getting a passport will cost $10 more for all U.S. travelers.The Department of State announced this week that the passport execution fee will be $35 starting on April 2, which means that adult passport books will now cost $145, up from $135, while child passports (aged 16-years-old and young) will now cost $115, up from $105.Individuals who apply for a passport renewal by mail will not see a fee increase.

REAL ID Extension.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) maycontinue to grant state extensions in short order and that we will not see widespread travel disruptions come this month. The news means that travelers from the states still not in compliance and without a deadline extension — Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington — will not have to worry about traveling domestically without a passport until October 2020 at the earliest. These states have been granted extensions.

States in full compliance as of November 2017, are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

These states were granted an extensive until October 2018: Alaska, California, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington.

American Samoa, Guam, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island and the U.S. Virgin Islands are awaiting a review of their extension requests from DHS.

Most Countries Require Tourists Purchase Travel Insurance. Iceland, Norway and Switzerland require travel insurance for visitors, students and expats before they enter their borders. As tourism has grown, so has the hospitalization and medical cost many countries have had to cover for vacationers who required healthcare services while visiting. Additionally, Cuba, Ecuador, Qatar, Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the U.S. are requiring the same. On August 28, 2018, Egypt announced its plans to introduce mandatory compulsory insurance; and Thailand is currently undergoing a debate on mandatory travel insurance for visiting tourists. Visitors who cannot provide proof of travel insurance may be required to either purchase a policy onsite or be denied entry into the country, which is one reason Nomadic Star Travel, LLC strongly encourages all to purchase travel, accident, and baggage insurance.

How Bed Bugs Travel from Hotels to your Homes. Bed bugs are spreading, and they’re spreading fast. The blood-suckers are more prevalent in hotels nationwide than they were 15 years ago, and this includes five-star establishments.  According to a scientific report their preferred mode of transportation is none other than your own dirty laundry. These insects cannot fly or climb on smooth services, so keep your bags on a table, luggage rack or even in the bathtub. If you have opportunity, wash your dirty clothes in hot water and dry with high heat before departing the hotels.

Cruise Ship Check-ins. Passengers willing to upload some information and a photo prior to embarkation basically just need to show a passport to get on a cruise ship these days. Once you’ve been screened by a metal detector, the process of check-in has become even less time consuming compared to  than at a typical hotel.

Cruise lines have done a better job of getting passengers to stagger their arrivals, although it can still be a bottleneck at times. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. said that it built its new Terminal A in Miami to process a peak of 2,000 passengers an hour.

The cruise lines have also figured out how to leave room keys waiting for guests at their cabin door, rather than issuing them in the terminal, another step that used to bog down the arrivals process.

Disembarkation is also on its way to becoming easier wherever Customs and Border Protection is equipped with facial recognition technology. A brief pause in front of a kiosk while the machine matches your face to your stored passport photo is all that it takes for 85% of disembarking passengers.

Airline’s Pet Policy … before you board! If you’re traveling with your favorite four-legged friend, make sure you understand your airline’s pet policy before you board. Most airlines allow your pet to fly for a fee providing your animal is small enough that its carrier fits underneath the seat in front of you.

Airlines often wave fees and carrier requirements if you are traveling with a service or therapy animal. However, many airlines are cracking down on people who have abused this policy.  You’re now required to submit information about your animal and forms from your mental health professional in advance of flying. Listed are a few airlines’ pet policies:

American Airlines pet policy

Pet fee:$125 carry on, $200 as cargo each way. If your itinerary contains a layover of more than four hours, you may be charged the fee per flight segment. There is no charge for service animals.

Minimum age of pet:8 weeks for travel within U.S., 16 weeks traveling into the U.S.

Number of kennels allowed in cabin:Seven on American flights, five on American Eagle.

Carrier dimensions: Depends on the aircraft. Contact American for a reservation for your pet and to get the specific dimensions for your aircraft.

Documentation for emotional support animals: American requires three forms: a mental health professional form, behavior guidelines form and an animal sanitation form if your flight is longer than eight hours. In addition, you have to make a reservation with the Special Assistance Desk 48 hours in advance. The airline will validate your documentation by contacting your mental health professional.

Breed restrictions: American does not accept brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs (such as American and French bulldogs and Boston terriers) as checked pets.

Delta Airlines pet policy

Pet fee:$125 in the cabin for domestic flights, $200 international each way. Animals can be shipped through Delta Cargo. No charge for service animals.

Minimum age of pet: At least 10 weeks old for domestic travel, 15 weeks for travel into the European Union and 16 weeks for international travel into the U.S.

Number of kennels allowed in cabin: Check with Delta. Not all aircraft can accommodate pets.

Carrier dimensions: Depends on the aircraft. Contact airlines to make a reservation for your pet and get specific dimensions for your flight.

Documentation for emotional support animals: Fill out the Emotional Support PDF and upload it to your “My Trips” account. It requires documentation from a mental health professional, a veterinary health form and confirmation of animal training. You must upload this 48 hours prior to departure.

Banned breeds: Pit bull breeds.

Southwest Airlines pet policy

Pet fee:$95 in the cabin each way. No fee for service animals. Southwest does not fly animals as cargo or on international flights. You must make a reservation for your animal.

Number of kennels allowed in cabin: Up to six.

Carrier dimensions: 18.5 inches long by 13.5 inches wide by 8.5 inches high. The carrier must fit under the seat in front of you and the pet must be able to stand up and move around in the kennel. The carrier counts as a carry-on.

Minimum age of pet:8 weeks.

Documentation required for emotional support animals: A letter from a licensed mental health professionalstating that the passenger has a mental or emotional disability recognized in the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, that the passenger needs the animal for air travel or for an activity at the destination, that the passenger is under his/her care, and the date and type of professional license as well as where it was issued.

Not allowed as emotional support animals: Only dogs and cats can be emotional support animals.

Banned breeds: None, but Southwest reserves the right to deny boarding to a disruptive pet. This includes scratching, excessive whining or barking, growling, biting, lunging or urinating/defecating in the cabin or gate area.

United Airlines pet policy

Pet fee:$125 in the cabin each way. No charge for service animals..

Number of kennels allowed in cabin: Two in premium, four in economy. Call 800-864-8331 for a pet reservation at least 48 hours in advance.

Carrier dimensions: The carrier must fit completely under the seat in front of the customer and remain there at all times. Dimensions are 17.5 inches long by 12 inches wide by 7.5 inches high for hard-sided kennels and 18 inches long by 11 inches wide by 11 inches high for soft-sided carriers.

Minimum age of pet:8 weeks for domestic flights, 4 months for international travel.

Documentation required for emotional support animals:You must have a letter from a licensed mental health professional, a veterinary health form documenting health/vaccination records and confirmation that the animal has been trained to behave in a public setting.

Banned breeds: None, but the animal cannot weigh more than than 65 pounds.

 “Can I fly with that?” The airline rules on musical instruments, sporting equipment and more. When it comes to packing, some things are harder than others.  This is what you need to know about guitars, surfboards, wine and more.

In this world nothing can be certain except death and taxes! Travelers can also expect hikes to airline baggage fees unfortunately. 2018 has been the first major year since 2013 to see a rash of baggage fees hikes among airlines. In August, both JetBlue Airways and United Airlines raised checked baggage fees on domestic U. S. flights by $5, with the first checked bag costing $30 for flights in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Air Canada and WestJet immediately followed with similar changes, and within weeks, competitors American Airlines and Delta Air Lines announced changes that paralleled these. According to U. S Bureau of Transportation statistics, the U. S. airline industry collected $2.4 billion in the first six months of 2018, up 7% from the same period a year earlier, and is on tract to total more than $4 billion for the year.

Baggage fees are big business, a business thriving at the expense of consumers who squint at the fine print while packing the night before a trip, only to find that they will need to be ready to pay more tat the airport. Thankfully airlines typically have a webpage featuring the details of what (and what isn’t — looking at you, sports parachutes and scuba air tanks) allowed as checked luggage, and any fees or packaging details that may be associated. Delta’s is one of the most comprehensive, even volunteering information on how to check a Christmas tree (“adequately packaged with the root ball or cut base and all branches wrapped and secured using a burlap type material,” in case you were wondering).

These details should assist on the most common categories of extra baggage:

  • Musical instruments – Violins can come on board with you, but cellos may need their own seat. Small musical instruments like violins and wind instruments may be carried on the plan as cabin baggage, but do protect them with a hard-shell case. The larger instruments that require special accommodations. Some airlines may offer the option to purchase an extra seat for these with more than 72 hours advance notice.
  • Sporting equipment – Golf clubs, surfboards, bicycles, skis and snowboard gear are the most common checked baggage. Airlines will accept appropriately packaged and protected items as wide-ranging as spearguns, javelins, snowshoes, scuba gear, and in some cases, even entire kayaks.
  • Everything else – Check with your airlines as all airlines and not wine-friendly.

According to a U. S. Department of Transportation Report dated August 2018, these are the U. S. airlines most often guilty of mishandling baggage:

  • #12 Spirit Airlines
  • #11 Delta Air Lines
  • #10 JetBlue Airways
  • #9 Hawaiian Airlines
  • #8 Frontier Airlines
  • #7 Southwest Airlines
  • #6 Alaska Airlines
  • #5 United Airlines
  • #4 American Airlines
  • #3 Skywest Airlines
  • #2 Envoy Airlines
  • #1 ExpressJet Airlines

These airports have been ranked as the best airports in America. This data was collected from the Department of Transportation, travelers and third parties.

  • #15 Chicago Midway International Airport
  • #14 Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport
  • #13 Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu
  • #12 Miami International Airport
  • #11 Las Vegas McCarran International Airport
  • #10 Ronald Regan Washington National Airport
  • #9 George H. W. Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston
  • #8 Washington-Dulles International Airport
  • #7 Philadelphia International Airport
  • #6 Charlotte Douglas International Airport
  • #5 Tampa International Airport
  • #4 San Diego International Airport
  • #3 Portland International Airport
  • #2 Salt Lake City International Airport
  • #1 Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

Carnival Cruise Lines Updated Smoking Policy reads, in part:

  • Any violation of this policy will result in a $500 charge, per violation, posted on the guest’s Sail & Sign account and may also result in the disembarkation of all guests in the stateroom.
  • Guests who are disembarked for violating our policy will be responsible for all financial charges and expenses to return home, and no refund of their unused cruise fare will be provided. Additionally, they may be prohibited from sailing with Carnival Cruise Line in the future.

For travelers who smoke and are considering a Carnival cruise, the line still permits smoking in the designated areas on the exterior decks of its ships and in the casino and nightclub. The remainder of each ship is a smoke-free zone. The smoking ban includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes, vaporizers, electronic cigarettes and marijuana, with Carnival prohibiting possession and use of marijuana.

Planning Multigenerational Travel  Our #1 priority is to match the budget and group dynamics with adventures that all can enjoy together. We will make contact with each family member with authority, to find out what they want, remembering to take everyone’s age and ability to travel into account as well. This way we can narrow potential destinations and activities. If families create a fun list of vacation destinations and make it a priority to plan these trips over the years of spring break summer and holiday vacations, this gives us the plan for their vacation and ideas for the future.

Getting married? Looking for one of six top honeymoon destinations?

  • Lucia – The beaches, rainforest, luxury resorts, cuisine, history, lush landscape and majestic Pitons on St. Lucia’s west coast make this island in the Eastern Caribbean perfect for romance, especially for those who want to explore their adventurous side. After a full day, relax with a mud bath at the volcanic Sulphur Springs in Soufriere, or indulge your sweet tooth by booking a cocoa plantation tour at Hotel Chocolate, where guests can make their own chocolate bar.
  • JamaicaBlissful couples seeking a more laid-back vibe will enjoy the allure of Jamaica, where the reggae music genre was born. Newlyweds can enjoy the waterfall vistas on an excursion to Blue Hole in the Ocho Rios area or a romantic sea salt and hot stone massage.
  • Bora Bora and Tahitian Islands overwater bungalows, true luxury, wellness and spas are a few ways to describe Bora Boraand the Tahitian Islands as an exotic honeymoon destination.
  • Riviera Maya, Mexico lends more luxury treatment with a shorter travel time for a postnuptial getaway along Mexico’s northeastern Yucatan Peninsula. Take a day trip inland along the Yucatan Peninsula to visit the Mayan ruins at Chichén Itzá and climb to the top of El Castillo, an awe-inspiring temple pyramid. Or be “wowed” by a spectacular show at Xcaret, an eco-archeological park, where 300 artists recreate the history of  Mexico.
  • Italy has many cities that offer the allure of romance coupled with thousands of years of culture. For those who want to spend time on the beach, consider a relaxing honeymoon on theAmalfi Coast to admire the cerulean blue waters and breathtaking cliff-top views. Spend time in Florence, the epicenter of Renaissance culture, and experience private museums tours, cooking classes, and day trips to local cities like Pisa. Or, while on an excursion to Pompeii, explore the remnants of an ancient Roman town preserved by volcanic ash.
  • Hawaii – The Hawaiian Islands are not only an amazing travel destination, but also easy for American newlyweds to reach for their honeymoons as passports are not required! Every Hawaiian island has its own distinct flair and attractions. Maui offers luxury beachfront resorts and the epic Road to Hana trip. Oahu draws honeymooners with its urban-metro feel and world-class surfing. In Kauai, happy couples can explore jaw-dropping natural wonders by hiking to the cascading Wailua Falls

Travel is a huge investment … let us help you!

Nomadic Star Travel, LLC would like to be “Your Passport to Adventure”

with our convenient payment plans to fit most budgets!

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