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Make Your Dream Trip a Reality

Lesson 27 of 32

Dream Trip Logistics: Visas and Packing

Chris Guillebeau, Stephanie Zito

Make Your Dream Trip a Reality

Chris Guillebeau, Stephanie Zito

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Lesson Info

27. Dream Trip Logistics: Visas and Packing

Lesson Info

Dream Trip Logistics: Visas and Packing

We're at lesson number twenty six we have come a long way and I'm glad you guys have all stuck with us today we're going to talk about dream trip logistics and the last lesson we talked all about how to not be overwhelmed with all the points and miles you've gotten how to keep track of them we had a great gas tyler so if you miss that lesson make sure you go back and watch that one and today we're going to talk about all logistics what are all the things you need to think about now that you've got your dream trip booked? I think a lot of times these are the questions that so many people have and I think so many of these questions um scare people a little bit about traveling they don't know how to get their visas they don't know what to take and those are all really great questions and we're gonna dress a lot of those today our three goals are to help you get your visas we're gonna teach you to pack like a pro and we're going to teach you to avoid common mistakes sounds great I continue...

to be surprised at how many questions we get about packing that's why we put another packing segment and because I think talking is pretty simple but then again I've been doing it for a while so I don't even have that live demonstration for the packing party okay, so let's talk about visas in studio audience? How many of you have ever had to get a visa to travel somewhere? Well, almost everyone way are pros. Let's actually go down the line, then. Can I start with you? Casey? Where'd you? What was your experience? I think I had to get one to go into mexico in mexico. Okay, so you got that, actually, upon arrival in mexico? Yeah, I think I'm getting off the plane. We have ok on the plane. Great, jen. Extensive visa experience. First one was when I was a youth and then I got a student be sent to live in germany, and then I was also unprepared to get my australian visa, so I'm excited to hear what you guys have to. Okay, great. We'll talk about that. I had a tough on saudi arabia where you need a letter of invitation to go along with the visa and it has been if you're a woman, it was your father for a brother. Yes, uh, paul in cuba and both were easy. Okay, that's, what you did those in advance for? Well, I got him in hand upon arrival arrival. Okay, um, china, I worked on cruise ships and it was going to china, so I had to get one beforehand did they do that for you or you did that you actually had to do did you send off your passport there was a conflict in vancouver so I went there perfect okay uh hide a couple of these is for different countries but mostly planning ahead and having to get work authorization right that's because you worked all over the world so in different places yeah what didn't england france and us I imagine you have a visa to live in canada yeah I'm getting on my way back way I am from ontario but I originally you had my first visa to go into mexico and uh my husband is cross the border michigan so I need it I need a visa to visit his family too so I had a visa to go to the old soviet union I am a visa to go to new zealand and a visa the wrong kind of visa to go to australia live for some real fireworks it could be a problem thanks for of us all of us going to australia had challenges firework australia makes you work for such a great country kendrick I don't think I've ever gotten a visa before myself I think I was too young when I did I need to get one so I don't know how the whole process works okay that'll be coming up in your travel adventure russia for sure I think a couple of others but definitely russia okay for russia? Did you did you have to see your passport offer? Was that consulate or something? Yeah, you send it off, you have to have the invitation you got to check in in every city you go to? Yes, I could be that could be really complicated one hundred I think I've had a lot of visas, but the hardest one was india, where I believe you had to say the day were arriving on this was during my round the world trip and so that was that was a bit difficult. I have some challenges with india's or they're quite particular quite specific about it. So ok very well. Trump group that's great s I just want to provide some tips because I do know that everybody watching us often kind of struggles with this they don't know exactly what to do about it. So just some basic points sometimes you don't need a visa at all, especially if you have a north american passport, u s or canada or from great britain or australia. New zealand love those western countries lots of places you can travel without a visa and it's no challenge at all sometimes, like some of our in studio audience have said you can obtain a visa on arrival at the airport eso basically you're required to have one but it's just a matter of paying twenty dollars fifty dollars, sometimes more for that. But it's, usually quite simple. You just kind of queue up when you, when you arrive at the airport or the land border, sometimes you have to pay for it online before leaving, which is the case with australia? No and a couple of other countries are shifting to that to that mechanism now. So basically, before you actually go to the airport, you have to have that taken care of, and they will check think that's coming up on then, finally, sometimes you actually have to have it processed by the embassy before leaving, and this could take a considerable amount of time, depending on the country, even cem, really large countries that see a lot of tourists, visitors like china, like india, like russia, definitely can be a long process for that. And then lots of countries that I went to on my quest, you know, very small countries in africa, different plates of parts of the world, they don't see a lot of visitors that can actually take several weeks as well, not always, but sometimes and then just fair warning. If a visa is required, andi isn't available upon arrival, you really must have it. Before boarding the flights on dh, they will check the airline will check, usually more than once that often check during the check in process, they're actually gonna verify their actually take your passport and flip through on make sure that you have we have what you need or if it's a database they're going to take that number in and then sometimes again even before boarding the plane you can have your boarding pass and I actually was gonna verify that there that's because they're responsible the airline is financially liable if they're bringing anyone to a country who's not supposed to be there so that's why they go through that and there's really not a great way around that, so make sure you have it as for how to do these applications, as I mentioned, you can can apply directly from an embassy in the united states, all the embassies there in washington, d c and canada and ottawa there's also consulates kind of sprinkled around both countries. If you apply directly from an embassy, it can be harder. I may take a little bit more time uh, you might have to just manage the process of mailing it off or, you know, schlepping it down if you're in one of those cities unless you live in one of those cities where there is exactly yeah, if you live in washington d c you can run it, run it down, it may just be a quick errand, but it could turn into something more and there's also no processing fee, at least not for a service. When you do that, you sought to pay for the visas, of course, or you can use a processing service where if the the passport has to physically remove it somewhere you millet to the processing service, which is usually located in the capital city, and they have a whole, you know, efficient business of running around and doing that. But then you're going to pay for that so that you pay for the processing fee, and then you'll also pay for the visa. So I've done it both ways towards the end of my travel, just to save time and be more efficient intended to work with a processing service, I also had a number of bad experiences. I'm just trying to do it myself, there's one time I didn't have a passport for several weeks, and I did, and I couldn't get a hold of anyone from a particular embassy. Can I jump in christmas day? Um, this is really relevant if you're doing this in north america are probably in europe. If you are actually watching from asia or africa or the middle east, the process might be different, so the best thing to do is to on dh there aren't a lot of visa services. When I lived in asia I would actually have to go to the embassies myself to apply for for the visas and so the best thing to do is to actually like, look up online or call the easy for the country that you want to visit and find out exactly what their processes absolutely and you know, when we actually started this course he told the story of your first passport stamp and you talked about how much fun that was and like all these years later you still have this picture of your fast first passport stamp I don't know if anyone else can remember their first passport stamp experience you're nodding over here, jen, what was that? It wasn't the stamp it was actually a full print out visa okay, because it was for england and we were living there for a year so it was pasted in great so I'm not sure I can remember my first point, but I guess my point is when you're first traveling stamps were kind of fun pressures and you're like, oh, I got more stamps and like we could go somewhere where they don't stamp, you feel kind of disappointed, you know? You feel let down like I don't have that proof of my journey on dh what I found anyway the more I traveled, the less excited I wasn't about stamps because they were taking up like precious space in in the passport and I was concerned about like making sure I had enough space and all that so sometimes I would actually not want a stamp so we actually have our passports here with us this is a relatively new passport for me I got a couple of years ago but it's already it's already getting you know quite full with lots of different visas and stamps it's in pages added which I'll talk about in one second um but I think there's only one middle section that has some pages free so you know in some ways I'm happy like I'm proud of my stamps but I would also love to have you no more space and there there's one of those full page visas that jim was talking all that you had a piece of paper you said and we're travelling for the people like you and carrie I can imagine their passports when you're changing countries and traveling long term all the time your passport fills up pretty quickly I know when I lived in asia right before I left I counted and I actually had ninety stamps from the bangkok airport which is how I know about all those lounges well that must have been difficult when you're coming and going to someone's supposed to match your purse so I can marry their very coordinated they stamp in little uh bam bam bam bam they're good efficient only in thailand so one thing to talk about talk about is the option for getting on passport, which does very greatly by countries. So I've just been a moment on it. It is possible in the u s to get a second passport use just apply for it. What was that feeling? Them that's great. It is possible to get a duplicate passport if you have a reason for it. You just apply through the state department. The duplicate passport is only valid for two years, as opposed to ten years. Like I said, you have to have some reason for it. But that reason could just be I'm travelling frequently and I often need to send my passport off to get another visa. So I need to have a passport with me or if you're visiting sensitive countries or something, you don't want stamps from that country. That's how it works. Unfortunately, you live in canada. This is not possible. Only only one passport for canadian friends, uh, for our friends in the uk is possible, actually it's a similar process to the u s and so if you're from somewhere else, obviously like that, may berger best thing to do is to check the passport department, whoever issues your passport, check there to see if you can get one. And I thought I had a slide about extra pages but maybe it's coming up later just in case it's not I mentioned adding pages unfortunately this is going away, but for the past ten years or so it has been impossible for a u s passport in the us tio have extra pages at it used to be free and you could do it any embassy and then there was a fee for it on day eighty four dollars but still cheaper than a new passport on that may help you instead of renewing. So I think that's going away at some point at the end of the end of this cornet fifteen us is catching up to all the rest of the countries of the world who don't let you add pages teo so it seems kind of like a regression to me. I don't know why that's happening, but if you're out there you're actively traveling you may maybe it will be worth it to try to get your pages at it before them. Any questions about visas before we go on question? But um my former partner tried to go to qatar, but his passport was going to expire basically within three months and so we had a really crazy run around trying to get a brand new passport for that trip because you have to have passport that's valid for at least six months so just one that is that's a very good point, great point lost countries won't let you in unless you have six months of validity in your passport, and also a lot of countries won't let you in if you don't have a blank page in your passport so that's why we're so concerned, stamps sometimes so very good point, anything out you had something that just a quick one, just a tip for people like I am australian and got my american visa from the american embassy in canada, and I got my french visa from a uk embassy in the uk, so, like just a for people who are traveling, it is possible to not have you don't have to go all the way. So it's, sometimes helpful, like you said to go to the local members, the rules are really different for every country, which is one of the reasons I said, make sure you check with that embassy I know in the u s to get a china visa, there's actually three consulates in the us, and if you're from the west coast, it has to be processed through san francisco. If you're from the middle of the country, it has to be processed in houston, and if you're from the east coast, it has to be processed in d c and even if you happen to be in d, c or san francisco and you're from chicago, they will not process your visa so there's a lot of very particular rules, and sometimes when you're traveling overseas, some embassies will allow you to get a visa in that in that embassy, but some some will only let you get a visa there if you actually have some kind of residency or business visa already in the country where you're applying so the rules very differently for what country you're going. Teo and also it's really important? What country? What passport you hold so that's it's gonna be different for everyone everywhere but that's how you find out? Yeah, so I don't think you should try to memorize like all the rules of the world that gets complicated, but just what you're thinking about your dream destination, maybe the main question is, do I need a visa for their? I'm likely to go somewhere else like him has this gold going to mongolia and also to indonesia. So she's adding on you want to think through the whole process for that? Just make sure you're prepared. You want to think through it in advance, sometimes the more you travel, the more you don't think about it, I think you make more mistakes. The more you travel because you just don't think about a lot of things anymore I know when I was going to australia for the first time I think a lot of us have had australia problems I asked my australian friend hey do I need to be set to go to australia and she was like oh you're american know right so I get to the airport and I check in and they're like where's your what it's called e I was like I don't need a visa and the flight attendant was like yes you do you can't get on the plane without one so and in that case fortunately you're able to go online into it right then but often like that's not the case so better to think think in advance so s o packing let's talk about that and actually maybe just instead of just talking about it we would love to kind of show you more or less how we pack then obviously it varies quite a bit depending on trip and things this is a magic magic is gonna appear right in front of my eyes here cool we have to switch okay obviously my bag this's this is not mine either so um maybe maybe I'll go first because you're probably going to be better so this's well my thanks better obviously obviously uh you know so for ten years had this quest we're going to every country in the world for the vast majority of that time probably seven of those ten years exactly what I have here what I'm still using this was the equipment that I used I had a different bag for a couple of years and then I found this when I liked it at a different laptop bag as well and then I found this one so this is what I take with me wherever I go pretty much on any trip and some of the things will bury but a lot of it's really quite the same. So so this is the bag that I carry with me ever everywhere it's made by tom been right here in seattle a big fan of the tom been company which started in santa cruz on is now based in seattle employing a lot of local folks and this is called the empire builder and keeps my laptop in this little you know, company case here uh I got lots of room for other stuff sometimes I have like an extra shirt or something got my protein bars here in the front keep a few things I keep a usb cable I keep um a little phone charger which is helpful you're out and about all day then um I always have my laptop with me usually have my will always have my phone with me uh most time have my laptop with me but I always in being a writer actually began by journaling and I tried teo if I'm not journaling everyday at least try to make some notes and I write down my task list and I tend to think more I think to think a little differently as a writer when I'm writing down so I always had this notebook with me and then in the main bag this is obviously a carry on bag so much is possible I'm never checking bags you can always do anything hidden city ticketing that's right? Yeah it's always a challenge, you know? So this trip is little different side to bring some different clothes for creative live show some of those closer actually hanging up at the moment but I can still show you pretty much everything that I bring everywhere like this bag because I usually take one dress shirt to one nicer shirt wherever I am especially if I'm tryingto enter a country in which I don't have a visa that I'm supposed to gotta look nice, you know, um I keep that in there and probably the thing that takes the most space in my bag on any given basis are my running shoes and I'm sure this is my thai airways shoe bag actually and I'm sure it's probably possible to get some like minimalist running shoes or something but this is what works for me that's what I've been doing my whole life and actually taking up the space in the bag is good in a weird philosophical sense, because I feel like I have to exercise when I travel because I've loved these everywhere, and I have this little like mental trick that I do whenever I check into a hotel, I often like a unpack these first, and if I know I want to run or exercise is something, I kind of put these by the door, and it doesn't force me teo necessarily exercise, but it does force me to kind of confront that fact that, you know, if I'm not, you know, if I'm going straight down to the buffet and going for the pancakes or whatever, I have to walk past my running shoes, so it just kind of helps me a little bit. I always have my my exercise outfits I have one or two pairs of jeans or trousers, and I have a travel wallet that sometimes I use if I'm going in places with different current as my loyalty program cards, as a passport photo or two sometimes required, usually keeps him cash here a tte the moment I just have us currency, but if I'm going somewhere else, I have a variety of currencies, their world map in case I get lost. This is actually I probably need to take this with me now. But when I was just, like, beginning the quest, I was, like forty countries in or so I love to just gonna take this out on different flights and think about where I was going next. What was what was happening with that? I do have an international driver's permit which can just be purchased from triple a. I think is where I got it for something like ten or fifteen dollars, once in a great while the country actually asked for this. You have to have this in addition to your local drivers license. Not a big issue much of the time. Um, I have a customs form and some random stuff, and I mean that's pretty much it. You know, I have my my toiletries bag, which was an amenity, kitt originally from something that's, right originally back of happiness. And I really like that one. And I decided to keep it. Um, if if I'm you know, on the road for a few days and not able to do laundry, then I'll take my old clothes. I'll put them in a bag or something, and I kind of feel him in here just so it's a little bit separate from everything else, show me your pajamas oh, so killing them all, we think sleeping. I really I really do like your airline pajamas every day. So this is a pair from qantas. I think you're a real little kangaroo on way gave away one pair of qantas pajamas, but it wasn't this one. So I always got my pajamas with me. That's pretty packed, actually fairly similar to chris, but I would say a couple of things I don't carry, I am I normally don't actually have, like, a travel bag I usually carry whatever kind of purse or bag I want to carry around once I get there and I feel like if I'm carrying around something like this when I'm travelling, I look like someone who's, a tourist. I don't think chris carries his bag around, probably as much as I carry my bag around. This is the bag I carry in portland, and unless I really need to pack a lot in my purse, usually I just pack this it's a leather bag that I picked up in ethiopia, and I also have a travel wallet, which I got in the market in cambodia and got the same kinds of definite passport pictures, some money I keep my yellow card in case I travel to africa, um a yell of yellow towards an immunization card and some countries require it that's actually important to know if you're traveling to or from africa, usually they'll make you present this card to show that you've had a yellow fever immunization and, you know, some people might have questions about immunizations and stuff as well. We are gonna talk about that, but that's a logistical question we can move into the facebook group if you're curious about that, so I basically take a look. I've got a red card we talked about, so usually take that in my carry on that eye well, everything's carry on, but in my low par seizures take sweater because I'm always cold. I also carry my normal wallet. I liked it when I'm traveling, I like to think like I'm a resident of wherever I am kind of like drew, carey said, I live wherever I am tonight, so I try not to act like a tourist. I try to act like a person who lives there and somebody asked about apse on our phones the other day, the aps I put on my phone are the apse that people in that place use and live like I usually download like the metro at for whatever city I'm visiting or any kind of like a a restaurant after anything that is relevant to that place I don't have a very fancy case for my computer, which is probably bad, but I have this little protective thing on it that helps it, and I just, you know, how, just have mike random stuff. So, um, um, I get a lot of questions, too, about what? Well, as a woman like, how do you pack it's really easy for chris? Because, you know, he pretty much wears the same thing, no matter what, but for me, like, where am I going? I can't always take the same things, you know, I don't normally carry six dresses and heels, which is what I brought to creative live. In fact, I pretty much mostly looked like a picture of me in africa that I showed you the first day nobody usually does my hair, but so this is my bag. I typically I always keep a pair of flip flops in front of it, and I take them wherever I go, no matter where I go. I even took him to an article when I went, and I always take this bag on a very rare occasion when I need to transport something very large, I'll check a bag, but even when I went teo an article for twenty days, I packed everything and all my layers of clothing. In this bag so it is possible um how I usually do that as I take my flip flops I always take my running shoes and I usually take one para shoes that I can that I can dress up or dress down so kind of a primary primary shoot color I actually always take a hammock with me as well because I have actually hammett on all seven continents that's what human hand inked in antarctica so I could say I did it and unless I know I'm going to somewhere where in a million years I will not use my hand like I always pack it so a pair of shoes usually a pair of boots if it's winter or fall and usually just like a pair of nice kind of walking shoes if it's not and then um I always take my bathing suit because you never know I also always take a scarf because a scarf dresses up or down anything it always it's also very good if you're traveling in countries where you have to worry about covering your head or covering your shoulders it's a really way to stay warm stay modest and stay flexible um I have a vest that I wear on airplanes and I usually tried to like I usually take a dress that could be casual or smart and I'll usually take just kind of separate things I always take a jean skirt and a pair of jeans and I wear my heaviest close on the plane and usually maybe a jacket if I have one I always wear the big things on the plane and um then I can mix and match so even though I only have like, you know, seven pieces of clothes I can wear a shirt with my you know, my really dressed down jean skirt and walk around town for the day or I can wear you know this shirt with a nice pair of jeans and go out for the night and look like I actually dressed up and so it's it's just about packing things that are flexible and, um, you can look like you live in a place versus, you know, wearing your cut off or your you know, your khaki pants and your running shoes around everywhere and looking and looking like a tourist kind of the same with but my camera bag I normally don't carry an actual camera bag, I'll carry my camera in a regular purse or are in my bag so I don't look like a tourist who you know, my carrying a lot of money. Of course I've never carrying a lot of money but that's kind of how how I pack and I'll change around the different things based on the country I'm going to the culture I'm going to be and sometimes you know you might need more along sleeve sometimes it's more appropriate to wear shorter stuff so and how I pack packing questions questions packing tips for us yeah I mean you guys have trouble but yeah so um one thing that I noted for both nepal and cuba is that when you're going to countries where uh there might be a lot of standing water or they're not a sanitary make sure you have closed uh toe shoes because I took sandals like tvs and means to both places and I was like who I don't probably want to be walking through the good other tips from the audience well I used to pack jeans and other things made of real material now everything I wear is plastic so that I can wash it in the sink on dh particularly a big fan of ex officio just because I mean you just take your shirt off top to bottom all ex official we'll have to take anything else okay on but again again particularly if I get the clothes dirty I can wash him in the saying of and hang them up when they drive really quickly that's a great point I do a lot of laundry at different places I know chris goes toe laundromats when he's on the road for a really long time I do a lot of uh hand washing of different things and I usually like I'll run maybe more than one time but I usually take one set of running clothes I don't feel like I need to pack my whole closet I can be flexible and one of the things I always think is what can I get where I am like, you know, I I want to leave a little space in my bag to bring something fun back and so I always think like, you know, some of my favorite outfits I have are things that I've purchased in markets in different places and stuff, so well, thanks for showing your tips, we hope that's helpful to the online audience and workbook activity we're thinking through like logistics, I believe what page are we on? Sixty four credible? Uh, well, it just takes do you need to consider for your dream ship? You guys wanna come out and take this fine that's how good we logistics you need to consider for your dream trip do you need a visa? What do you need to get it? So as you're thinking through your trip, that could be helpful. They carried that bag even more efficiently than lufthansa carried on it's amazing got great crew here created fly incredible and we want to know what's the most important thing you guys learned today, I think, just just packing the travel wallet, I think that's something that I haven't ever been thought about doing, but I think that's a very beneficial it's great. I always leave almost all of my travel stuff in there, so whenever I need to go, I just grab that. I learned that you need a visa to go to australia. I thought it was a loan problem. Commonwealth countries and canada is one. So I thought we don't need one. But I guess we do. I I'm actually amazed late both of you back, seriously, like you said, way back. You know, I actually have found that, like, the more I travel, the, the less stressful it is to take less stuff. Actually, I think it's kind of a method that it's more stressful, tohave a small amount of things, like the more things I have to be response before I also leave things everywhere by mistake. I lose stuff all over the world, and so I just wanna minimize, like other items that I that I that I was, and if I don't use something in my bag on a trip, then I don't take it the next time I go.

Class Description

Who wouldn’t love to know how to earn enough miles and points for two airline tickets and three hotel nights? In Make Your Dream Trip a Reality, Chris Guillebeau and Stephanie Zito can show you how it's done. 

Travel feeds our creative spirits, allows us to discover new viewpoints, and fuels our work. In this class, you’ll find out how you can make your dream of journeying to the world’s most far-flung places a practical and affordable reality.

Chris and Stephanie have made it their life's mission to help others experience all the thrill and adventure that world travel can offer. In Make Your Dream Trip a Reality. 

Chris and Stephanie will help you: 

  • Master the system of Frequent Flier miles and hotel points
  • Set up a personal points-earning strategy – even if you don’t fly
  • Upgrade your dream vacation experience at no cost to you

In short, daily lessons, Chris and Stephanie will cover all aspects of how to plan your vacation including financing your trip. You’ll learn how to set your savings and point-earning strategy so you are armed with everything you need to relax and enjoy your vacation once you depart. They’ll teach you how to book flights and hotels so you get the very best experience at the absolute best rate. You’ll also get insider tips from professional globetrotters on traveling solo and as a family.

By the end of this course you’ll learn everything you need to know to save money, minimize hassle, and make the most of your travel experience.

Your dream destination, and a life of regular traveling, is now available to you – no matter your budget. 



Highly recommended! This is one of the best CreativeLive courses I've ever taken and a great value. There's a lot of excellent information here, presented in a fun and accessible way. The CL "boot camp" approach was perfect for this topic because it dispenses the material in bite size pieces with very doable action steps along the way. The corresponding Facebook group adds even more value and camaraderie. It's a great place to clear up any questions or confusion that may come up. What an amazing resource! By the end of the course, not only will you have learned a tremendous amount, you will actually have something tangible to show for it!

a Creativelive Student

This is a fabulous course. Stephanie and Chris are both so knowledgeable, helpful, and easy going. They clearly love and practice what they're teaching. And they're open to learning from the students too. The course is packed with information, delivered in an immediately useful way. In fact, they emphasize again and again that the point is to USE the information to REALLY take your "Dream Trip" soon! The Facebook group is the best I've ever experienced with an online course. Stephanie and Chris are remarkably present, responsive, understanding, and generous with their knowledge and experience. I highly recommend this course.