Luggage – For Tours We Recommend:
1 Suitcase or Dufﬂe Bag – Checked
1 Camera Backpack/Bag – Carry-On – Overhead Storage Bin
1 SMALL Personal Item – Carry-On – Under the seat in front of you
As always, make sure to check with your airline carrier to ﬁnd out bag weight limits for both checked and cabin baggage.
- It is a good idea to place your contact info in your luggage as well, just in case a luggage tag comes off.
- Use a camera bag but carry ON YOUR BODY your camera bodies and lenses in a jacket or camera vest IF they are weighing carry-ons at check on. Look prior to getting in the check in line. If you do this and bring the suggested gear, you will be fine. They do not weigh YOU personally so just carry those on your body at check in and then place in back pack after. It is rare to have any issue in the United States, bu tit can vary greatly outside of the US and from airline to airline.
- Use TSA approved luggage locks. Use luggage locks on your bags and on your camera bag if for any reason they ask you to check it for your regular airline flights. Keep your cameras and lenses as mentioned, on your body.
Before you leave home:
Please double-check the essentials! Make sure you have all prescription medications in your carry-on, check your gear according to our suggested packing list, and pay particular attention to these items:
- Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after the end of the trip. Also ensure that it has sufﬁcient blank pages for visas and entry/exit stamps
- Make sure you have applied AND received your entry Visa as per instructions depending on country visiting. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas.html
- Make the air arrangements from your home to meeting airport.
- Contact the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at 1-800-232-4636 or by going online at www.cdc.gov/travel for countries visiting.
Domestic and International:
- If you plan to arrive EARLIER than the day prior to tour, please be sure that you have booked and paid for hotel reservations for the additional night(s).
- Please confer with your physician.
- Dressing properly for the environment and having the correct gear is a must. Please take a few moments to review our packing and clothing guidelines.
- Please note that recreational use of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) or drones are not permitted in many places without permission, PLEASE check with us before bringing any UAV(Drone)
Health and Safety: It is important for your own safety that you are in good health and have taken all
appropriate precautions. We cannot be responsible for your own health related issues. PLEASE take all needed precautions.
If you have mobility issues or walk with assistance devices, carefully consider the activities you can participate in while on tour. Walking on sometimes rocky and slippery terrain can be challenging. Our team members can help you in decisions.
Although we do not anticipate any issues, we will need to be aware and use the buddy system to keep a watchful eye when in crowded areas. Please remember to be vigilant. The key is to not allow yourself to become a victim. Anytime you travel or ﬁnd yourself in a tourist destination the potential for people looking to take advantage is always there.
NEVER EVER leave your gear un-attended and ALWAYS CARRY YOUR CASH AND PASSPORT ON YOU AND PROTECTED! ALWAYS!
ATMs/Currency Exchange – ATMs are in some locations in cities, though not all ATMs are accessible 24 hours. ATMs generally accept all major debit, credit, and cash-only cards. Cirrus (tel. 800/424-7787; www.mastercard.com) and PLUS (tel. 800/843-7587; www.visa.com) cards are almost universally accepted in ATMs .
Credit & Debit Cards: Credit cards are safe, convenient, and generally offer good exchange rates. Note, however, that many banks now assess a 1% to 3% “foreign transaction fee” on all charges you incur abroad. It is NOT recommended to use a debit card for purchases except for obtaining cash at an ATM.
In most locations, you’ll need a PIN to withdraw cash advances on your credit card. You will not need a PIN for most credit card purchases, but occasions may arise. If you’ve forgotten your PIN, call the number on the back of your card and ask that it be provided to you. It is best to be prepared with cash ahead of time.
Note: This information can change without notice.
You need to let your bank and credit card companies know where you will be traveling so they don’t think it is fraud. It is a good idea to bring your credit card company’s phone number along as well.
Air Travel: To avoid jet-lag try to stay hydrated on the plane, and if possible avoid alcohol. Getting up, stretching and muscle ﬂexing exercises can help circulation. Some people ﬁnd it helpful to bring sleeping pills for the longest ﬂight. “Pick me ups” can be helpful such as Vitamin B. Drink mixes like Zipﬁz, Emergen-c, Airborn and No-Jet-Lag tabs can be good to have handy as well. Some people experience constipation after long ﬂights so you may want to bring along something for that as well.
MAKE SURE you have ALL NEEDED medications with you on your ﬂight. If your luggage was delayed for any reason, then you have your medications!
An extra change of clothes is also advised in case luggage gets “misplaced” by airline for a day.
Keep camera batteries and any lithium batteries in carry on. DO NOT store in camera in ﬂight as electronics at altitude can result in “dead pixels” in your sensor.
If you bring an extra ‘collapsible bag’ with you then you might have extra room to hand-carry something home with you. It is not recommended to put any breakables in your checked luggage.
Transportation: MPA utilizes only insured and properly licensed transportation services and vehicles on all of our tours. Each tour is specif based on the tour itself as to what transportation will be utilized.
Be sure to check what electrical adapter you will need for the countries you will be visiting. It is not necessary to bring a transformer as most electrical devices such as laptops, razors etc can be run on either 110v or 220v. However, you will need an adapter to plug your device into and then into the wall.
We recommend bringing a very small extension cord with multiple outlets as well as USB charges built in. This way, you can plug that into the adapter and only need one adapter for your devices. Although we also recommend bringing a spare adapter as well in case you lose yours.
Language and Culture: You will find that English is spoken in many areas around the world. However, in some countries, very little English is known. This is true especially in rural areas. It is nice to try to learn a few words in the language of the countries you are visiting. Hello, Good bye, Thank You, etc. are nice to know. You may wish a small pocket dictionary or app such as Google Translate to refer to.
Please respect the customs and traditions of the places you visit and be appreciative of any help you are given. BE FLEXIBLE, you are traveling to learn and experience new things about other cultures, NOT TO CONVERT THE WORLD to the American way! It is exciting and fun to have things different from our days at home.
Weather: Check the weather a couple weeks prior to travel and again every 3-4 days to see the trend. Weather is always unpredictable so be prepared for ANYTHING! Have good rain gear (hooded lightweight jacket is best and a pair of water proof hiking style shoes).
Reusable bottles: In an effort to do our part reducing plastic, we ask clients to consider bringing reusable water bottles. We will provide jugs of water to all guest.
Smoking: Smoking is permitted in designated outside areas only. We kindly ask you to be patient to
this feature and respectful of non smokers. Also, PLEASE bring a small disposable bag(s) to place used cigarette butts in. Do NOT under any circumstances, throw away on the ground.
CBD and Hemp Products: Please note that YOU are responsible for carrying any products which
may be illegal in some states or countries. In many countries, the punishment even for CBD oils is
SEVERE! We suggest leaving them at home!
Fruit , Animal Products, Foods: These products may also be illegal to carry across state lines
and from country to country. BE SURE TO DECLARE ANY ITEMS YOU MAY HAVE. Keep in
mind, it is very easy to forget that banana that was handed to you on the plane! This can cause
great difficulty for you while traveling. Especially abroad!