Travel Tips

As You Discover The Bible Lands


PASSPORTS

Each person must have his or her own passport. A passport application may be obtained and submitted in person at your nearest Passport Office in your post office. When applying, take along with you 2 duplicate, non-glossy photographs 2″ by 2″ in size, not older than 6 months from the date you apply. You will also need your birth certificate or other document proving citizenship and birth. If in doubt, call the Passport Clerk before applying. Passports take at least 2 to 3 months to be issued and it is recommended you apply as soon as possible. All U.S. passports are valid for ten years. Please insure your passport is signed in the correct place and will be valid throughout the dates of your trip. Do not pack your passport in your suitcase when traveling. Carry it with you at all times and carry a photocopy of the picture page; put it in a place in your suitcase separate from your passport. The tour host will carry your passport along with all others some of the time to facilitate entries. If you have other forms of government identification such as military ID card or discharge papers, etc. leave them at home. You don’t need them and you might misplace them abroad.

If you already have your passport, it MUST be still valid for at least six months from our departure date.


VACCINATIONS

No vaccinations are necessary for tours to the Middle East and a vaccination is no longer necessary in order to re-enter the USA.


VISAS (necessary for Arab countries)

Visas are required for Egypt and Jordan. DTBL Tours will obtain group visas for US citizens in advance of your tour if your forthcoming tour includes Jordan or Egypt.


LUGGAGE

International airline regulations now vary in different parts of the world. In order to comply with them, you must limit luggage to one suitcase, plus a small hand bag or camera case. In addition, the suitcase must not exceed 44 pounds in weight. A fold up bag to fit in your large bag is perfect for souvenirs you pick up during your trip. Your main suitcase should be strongly built, firm construction and light weight. Put your name and address on the inside as well as the outside of your luggage. Attach your name tag on the handle, also. Don’t lock your suitcase when checking your bag for your flight. In the course of an extensive trip, occasionally luggage can get lost if this should happen; it is the owner’s responsibility to file a lost baggage report with the airline concerned at the very earliest possible time. The tour operator is not liable for loss or damage of luggage, it is the airlines responsibility. When you leave your luggage unattended in your hotel room, always lock it and do not leave your money or travelers checks in your suitcase. Keep your cash on your person.


HOW TO PACK EFFICIENTLY

Pack in layers – start with the heavy and odd-shaped items. Fill in any empty spaces with small objects. Then work up to the top, finishing with the lightest items.

Liquids have a tendency to expand at high altitudes. If you can, transfer liquids to plastic bottles, make sure your bottles are only three-quarters full and the caps are the screw on type. Then put all liquid and cream containers in plastic bags. Plastic bags are also useful for your damp washcloth or bathing suit and are ideal for your shoes. Any liquids in your hand carried bag must be no more than 3 ounces each and must be in a quart size clear plastic bag.


CLOTHING SUGGESTIONS

You do not need to take formal clothing along. Most places you will stay can send laundry out, but we recommend that you travel as light as possible by taking “wash and wear” items that you can wash out yourself as laundry done by the hotels is very expensive.

The Middle East has a temperate climate similar to Southern California’s or Northern Florida. Choose your wardrobe according to the kinds of climate you would expect to find at similar times of the year in the United States.


LADIES

Great versatility is provided by a basic color scheme. Shoes and other accessories can be chosen in a color that blends with the entire wardrobe rather than different color sets that add extra weight. Above all, clothing should be chosen for comfort, style, and easy packing. Select garments that serve various purposes. Separates provide for greater flexibility. Sweaters and slacks or skirts can be selected to mix and match, with bright scarves and novelty belts for variation. A sweater is also important for those cool evenings and for travel comfort. “Wash and wear” garments are best. Local customs dictate that “sleeveless” dresses and blouses be “covered up” by a shawl or scarf for modesty, in most all churches and mosques on our trip.

It is wise to not “break in” anything new on the trip. Bring only clothes that you have worn and washed and in which you feel comfortable. If you must buy some new clothes, buy them well before the trip and wear them a few times. Don’t buy new shoes just before the departure; you’ll regret it. Choose comfortable walking shoes.

If you are a couple traveling together, do not pack a “his” and “hers” suitcase. Split each suitcase in two and pack clothes for both of you. Luggage does occasionally get lost or “mis-routed” and by packing in this manner you reduce the possibility of one of you being left without any clothes.


ACCESSORIES

Travel handbags should be moderate in size. Make sure your handbag has an easily accessible compartment for your passport, currency and travel documents. Shoulder strap handbags with a zippered closing are good for touring. “Fanny-packs” are very handy.

It is a good idea to carry the little packages of towelettes, Kleenex, etc in your purse or pockets to use while sightseeing. It would be advisable to take a few plastic hangers. Bring along a small container of liquid soap for your laundry. If you wring your clothes out inside a bath towel, it will speed the drying time considerably. Face cloths are not always supplied in foreign hotels, so if you desire one, bring your own. Bath and hand towels are always supplied.


VOLTAGE

The voltage overseas is not like ours in America. If you use an electric appliance such as an electric razor, travel iron, curling iron, or blow dryer that is not “dual voltage”, be sure you purchase an adaptor plug kit and converter. These are easily obtainable at department or hardware stores before leaving the United States. These can be used with 50 cycles – 220 voltage circuits. (In the US, it is 60 cycle – 110 voltage.) It is also often helpful to have an extension cord. There are not always plug-in’s in the bathrooms for your hair dryer or curling iron. You can plug in one of the bedroom sockets and still reach the bathroom mirror.


SNACKS

Most travelers find it nice during the touring to be able to reach for a piece of American candy, peanuts, chocolate or some other accustomed treat. We suggest that it would be good to carry some treats in your purse or camera bag. Many American candies can be purchased along the way but they are expensive.


MEDICATIONS AND MISCELLANEOUS

If you need regular medications, bring a sufficient supply for your trip. If you have a unique prescription and think you might run out bring along the prescription, there are pharmacies along the way. Some carry their glasses’ prescription along in case they misplace them and must replace them.

Seasoned travelers usually take along a package of aspirin, Alka Seltzer, Imodiam AD, Pepto Bismol, Rolaids or Tums, a few Band Aids, Dramamine etc. In case you have minor discomfort.


TAKE YOUR CAMERA

A small digital camera is best because you don’t have to buy film. But you can buy film anywhere we will be. You will have ample opportunity to take as many pictures and videos as you like. Back home, they’ll help you review your travel experiences over and over again. Professional pictures are also sold at most all sites very reasonably.


CURRENCY

There is no need to carry a large amount of money unless you want to do a lot of shopping. Bargaining is accepted and expected in the markets and you might get good at it. Dollars are still used in all places where you will be able to shop. Some shops will take personal checks. It is a good idea to carry a supply of one dollar bills ($50.00 at least) – they always come in handy for small souvenirs.

Many complete the entire tour without the need to convert their dollars into local currency. You can use credit cards such as American Express, MasterCard, Visa, etc., in most shops in cities overseas.

DTBL Tours is not affiliated with any store or bazaar in any city that we visit. Our representatives are not experts in jewelry or antiques and therefore DTBL Tours does not take any responsibility for quality and/or cost of items purchased by clients while on tour.


US CUSTOMS REGULATIONS

A returning US resident is allowed $800.00 in purchases duty free under the following conditions.

  1. You must be abroad at least 48 hours.
  2. Articles totaling $800.00 must be based on a fair retail value of the country from which they came.
  3. Articles totaling $800.00 will be covered by customs exemptions provided they:
    1. Accompany the resident
    2. Are acquired as an incident of the trip
    3. Are for personal, household and gift purposes
    4. Are properly declared on the customs form.

DEPARTURE FROM USA

  1. Please have a name tag on your luggage. Your tour host will put a piece of red yarn on
    each piece of luggage in the group so we can “spot” our suitcases easier in airports, and
    etc. You will be asked at each transfer place by your Host to make sure your bag is
    present before we proceed.
  2. You will also receive a lapel name tag. Please wear it. This will give everyone in the
    group a chance to get acquainted and facilitate the group’s passage through the various
    customs’ points. At breakfast and dinner it facilitates your seating in the restaurant by
    the waiters in our reserved section.
  3. You should arrive at your international departure airport two or more hours before
    departure. We will meet you at the departure terminal of the international airline you
    are flying from about two hours before takeoff. Allow two hours for changing planes
    in Chicago upon arrival before you continue on. Our carrier on this trip is Royal
    Jordanian Airlines. They are in Terminal 5 – the International Terminal in Chicago’s
    O’Hare airport. Find their check in counter and watch for the tour host.

DTBL Tours relieves you of trying to figure out who to tip and how much to tip. Your tips from Chicago and back to Chicago are included in your tour price. Everybody that serves you along the way will be tipped.

Prepare yourself to experience your “Trip of a Lifetime.” Our prayer at DTBL Tours is that you enjoy your trip and learn about the Land of our Lord, thereby being better equipped to serve Him when you arrive back home.