Facebook Post - How to Pack Right.clipular

Most of our travelers are visiting destinations outside the United States. No matter if you’re traveling to Ghana, Russia, England, or staying within the continental U.S., knowing how to pack can make the difference in a number of things you can bring in even a single bag (for those of you who like to travel really light!).

An excellent way to get to know an area is to hike through it.
Africa alone has a huge number of gorgeous hiking areas in Ghana, Tanzania, and Kenya to name a few. There are numerous types of walking tours around the world, and hiking is best done with the least amount of necessary stuff in a single bag to keep things as light as possible.

Inside the U.S., the Appalachian Trail is a premier hiking destination for beginners as well as seasoned pros. You can get started in a local National Park or forest area. As far as gear, you don’t need a lot, but there are specialized items you need to make your hike more enjoyable. The North Face should have everything you need in one place.

How to Get Started
If you aren’t sure hiking is for you, try a short day trip first. Grab a hiking buddy and plan a few hours out on a trail together. Make it a goal to reconnect with nature. Even better, take a camera and record some sights to share. If you enjoyed your initial outing, then schedule a campout and see if sleeping under a starry sky and enjoying tent life is for you. There are all types of helpful items to make camping easy from easy firestarters for cooking to solar chargers for your phone and music that are lightweight and take up very little space in your bag. Whenever you’re considering adding an item to your gear, consider the weight and size and if it is really useful enough to rate the space.

Extra Places to Learn
Subscribe to blogs and check out tips on camping to make sure every hike you go on is equal parts safe and enjoyable. Learn from the pros and save yourself an unnecessary learning curve. The more you hike you more you learn the things you personally need for a great time. You’ll appreciate honing good packing skills around three hours into a hike when you realize you have everything you need, but you’re not carrying nearly the amount of weight your buddy is toting around.

Check out this infographic for some packing tips to make that hike easier whether in the U.S. or outside of it.Packing Tips: How To Pack The Right Way

Co-produced by :Rebateszone & Texas Tower

I love Saturday morning coffee the way I used to love Saturday morning cartoons. (2)

You know what comes after Memorial Day Weekend? Summer travel season kicks off!

Despite recent controversies with some airlines, the Washington, D.C.-based industry group Airlines for America has stated they believe there will be approximately a 4% increase in air travel this year with some 234-million passengers flying between June 1st and August 31st.

One thing travelers with destinations outside the United States should do is make sure their passports have at least 6 months left on their passports before the expiration date. If you need to renew your passport, we can make it happen in as little as 24 hours. Expect a wait of an average of 5-7 weeks through the U.S. Passport Agency.

Best Western is reporting advance booking of its 2000+ hotels across the U.S. is reporting a 7% increase in summer bookings. Other hotel chains are reporting similar increases. Which means, you can expect airports to be crowded all summer.

According to Airlines for America, there will be an all-time high this year for summer travel. So conventional wisdom tells you , plan your trip, book your hotel early, and make sure your passport is ready to go!

The 1950s is when travel for pleasure started booming. Especially air travel. We are going to share with you some of the best vintage travel ads from days gone by.

1950s, When Planes Were Handsome
Flying Northwest Airlines in the 1950s looks like a cocktail party from the era. Look at all the room in the cabin.

Source : Vintage Ad Browser http://www.vintageadbrowser.com/airlines-and-aircraft-ads-1950s/3

Destination: Palestine.
Palestine was once a tourist destination. In the present the State Department has issued a travel warning to U.S. citizens to avoid travel to the Gaza strip.

source: http://www.puppiesandflowers.com/?p=3400
source: http://www.puppiesandflowers.com/?p=3400

Cuba is still pretty much this.
After getting cut off from U.S. tourism until the present, Cuba didn’t change all that much. Once again it’s a closeby, fun destination for U.S. travelers.

Source: Pinterest
Source: Pinterest

Castle in the Air
Northwest clearly had a goal for their airplanes in days gone by. If you’ve flown Northwest, you know you get packed in just like any other airline. Can you imagine flying like this?

Source: Pinterest
Source: Pinterest

Pretty Maids flew Northwest
Just imagine someone walking up to you and saying this in an airport today while you’re waiting to board. This ad can just speak for itself.

Source: Pinterest
Source: Pinterest

Remember Czechoslovakia?
Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic, Slovakia is its own country now) hasn’t been a country to visit since 1993, but the travel ads still exist.

Source: Pinterest
Source: Pinterest

Big, handsome planes with room to sleep on, Cuba is back and Czechoslovakia isn’t a place anymore but all of these things live on through the magic of vintage ads (and the Internet).

Should you keep your passport current- (1)

For a lot of people, if you tell them you’re traveling with an infant, you’ll either get a grimace or a look of complete sympathy. Nearly every frequent traveler has been serenaded by the screams of an unhappy baby on a flight. It can be stressful to try to calm a baby down during a long flight when their regular routine is disrupted. No matter how much you’ve traveled, traveling with a baby is a new challenge. There are a number of things new parents can do to make that flight go better for baby (and everyone else).

1. Plan
Make a checklist for the items you need for daily care for your baby. Keeping her routine the same as much as possible for feedings and diaper changes will go a long way towards having a calm, happy traveler. Get your paperwork together and yes, your newborn will need a passport, we can make this process easy!

2. Travel Light
There are several types of travel strollers that combine a collapsable stroller with a car seat to make it easy to take your baby from the stroller to the rental car or taxi. Many parents use a diaper bag as their carry on to keep baby’s gear near during the flight and then check the rest of their bags.

3. Consider a Bulkhead Seat
Another thing you can do is see if your airline has any bulkhead seats available. Additionally, some airlines have bassinets you can get to keep your baby as comfy as possible during the flight. If not invest in a soft travel bassinet. Most will collapse down to fit in your luggage when not in use, making them very convenient to take along.

4. Pack Extra Clothes for Yourself in the Diaper Bag
Babies are notorious for spewing when you least expect it, so expect it and bring another shirt for yourself at the very least. Never assume you made it through the flight without getting spit up on until you’re 100% off the plane.

5. Take-Off and Landings are Prime Feeding Times
The pressure change during flight can hurt your baby. One way to avoid dirty looks from travelers who aren’t’ very sympathetic to traveling with an infant is to feed your baby during take-off and landing. The movement of his jaw and sucking motions will help stop the pressure feeling from building up in your baby’s ears.

6. Invest in a Baby Carrier or Wrap
Baby wraps let you “wear your baby” and they are awesome for those times you need to pull luggage and carry a sleeping baby at the same time. Baby carriers work well too, however, they are a little more rigid.

7. Jetlag Happens
Keeping your baby on a schedule may be a real challenge when traveling internationally. Usually after a few days at your destination, your baby won’t be confusing the night with the day. But expect a few long days and nights until your baby gets into the groove of the new day/night hours.

Those are just seven tips for traveling with an infant. What’s your favorite way to keep your baby a calm, happy traveler?

If You Love Pets, You Can Travel the World and Score a Free Place to StayLove pets and love to travel?  We have some information you might like. A company called Trusted Housesitters (trustedhousitters.com) recently started a program that allows people to stay in some amazing places around the globe, and the only hitch is that you have to care for the pets of the people that live there. Think of it as Airbnb with furry hosts.

The cost to join this program is around $100 but the benefits are enormous. The basic idea is that people want to travel, but want to make sure their pets are well cared for.
In exchange for an awesome place to stay, you will care for the pets while their owners are traveling.

You can stay in some amazing homes around the world. source: Pinterest
You can stay in some amazing homes around the world.
source: Pinterest

If you find this appealing, you will need to sign up at TrustHouseSitters.com and build up your reputation. Pet-sit for a few neighbors or friends and ask them to write you some honest reviews. Once you join the site, you’ll be connected with Pet Parents looking for someone trustworthy to watch their furbabies and stay in the home.

Some people have quit their jobs to do travel the world and pet-sit full-time. Is this something you would enjoy doing?

How to Get a Venezuela Travel Visa Fast
We process a large number of Venezuelan travel visas for U.S. citizens. Every country has their own nuances and unique requirements for entry by U.S. citizens. Venezuela is no different. The following are some of the most common questions we receive regarding Venezuelan travel visas.

I’ve heard there are multiple types of travel visas for Venezuela, can you tell me what they are?
Sure, there are three types of visas issued to U.S. citizens traveling to Venezuela. The type of visa you obtain depends on the reason for your visit to the country. You may get a business visa, tourist visa, or a work visa.

What is the maximum stay in the country on a visa?
Maximum Stay: 90 days

Where on the Texas Tower site can I locate the application for  a Venezuela visa?
The Venezuela visa application is located on our dedicated visa page for the country.

Will I need to submit a passport photo with my visa application?
Yes, you will need to submit 2 (two) passport-type photos.

Does Venezuela require any blank pages in my passport?
Yes, For a business-class visa you will need 3 blank pages for entry to Venezuela. Tourist visas require 1 blank page. Work visas require 2 blank pages. Your passport should have 6 months validity beyond the date of completion of your visit to Venezuela.

How do I get extra pages added to my passport?
Until January 2016, you simply added pages. In the preset, you will be required to renew your passport no matter when the actual expiration date of your passport is.

Does a business visa require a copy of the flight itinerary?
Yes, you will need to provide a copy of your flight schedule with your visa application.

For a business or work visa, will I need to provide a letter of invitation from a host in Venezuela?
Yes, you will need to provide a copy of a letter from a host in Venezuela. Business visa applications will also need to have the following paperwork included:

  • Copy of Articles of Incorporation from the company in the US
  • Copy of the RIF SENAIT from the inviting company in Venezuela.
  • Copy of Carta Mercantil form the Government of Venezuela

What does a non-U.S. passport holder need to provide in terms of documentation for a Venezuelan travel visa?
Non-USA passport holders must provide a copy of green card or US Visa and I-94.

If a child is traveling, will they need to make an appearance at the Consulate?
Here are the requirements for children traveling to Venezuela:
Venezuela Visa Fast Call Now! (713) 874-1420 - Texas Tower 24 Hour Passport and Visa.clipular

Can you show me the requirements for a Venezuela Work Visa?
Yes, you can see the full list including the necessary sample letter on our dedicated Venezuela Visa page.

What authorizations will I need to provide for a Work Visa in Venezuela? You will require the following documents: 

  • Authorization from Venezuela’s Ministry for the Interior,Justice and Peace.
  • A certified copy of the work permit issued by the Ministry of Labor.
  • Degrees, work certificates and other proof requested by the Ministry for the Interior, Justice and Peace that show evidence of the applicant’s employment status.
  • A copy of the employment offer or contract.
  • A certificate of health. Translated into Spanish–Texas Tower offers this service.
  • A police record issued by local authorities. Translated into Spanish-Texas Tower offers this service.
  • Company Letter of Guarantee

How fast can I get a travel visa to Venezuela?
Processing time is 10-15 business days.

Spring Cleaning - Get Your Personal Papers Organized in 4 Steps! (1)There’s no better time than the present to get organized. Immediately that might make you feel overwhelmed because there are so many things that need organizing. The kitchen, the bookshelves, the garage, and of course, your paperwork.

If you’re not ready to tackle a whole room, start with your paperwork. The first thing you need to do is come up with a filing system that works for you. And the answer is in the types of paperwork you have.

Go through the files and drawers or boxes of paperwork you have and start grouping together similar types of papers. Personal papers, financial, paperwork that applies to different family members, insurance and so on. Once you have the different types sorted, then you can set up a filing system with each type of paperwork being its own category.
Choose colored folders or labels to make identification of each category of paperwork fast and easy.

Don’t be too specific when you’re setting up your categories. This keeps you from having to create folders for paystubs, W-2 forms, and tax returns when you can put all of that under financial, or split it into finance and taxes.

For storing your organized paperwork, you can use a filing cabinet like a four-drawer or 2-drawer type depending on how much space you have to give your files. Another option is to invest in a plastic file holder that goes on a shelf.

Right now - think about where these two items are in your house-Your PassportYour Birth Certificate (1)Another important thing you can do is to get extra copies of documents. At the very minimum, you should have copies of the following:

  • Automobile information
  • Bank account numbers
  • Birth certificates
  • Credit card numbers
  • Deeds
  • Important receipts
  • Instructions
  • Insurance policies
  • Loan agreements
  • Marriage certificate
  • Medical records
  • Mortgage agreements
  • Passports
  • PIN numbers
  • School transcripts
  • Service contracts
  • Tax returns (last 5 years)
  • Warranties
  • Wills


Keep the originals of your most important documents in a safety deposit box or separate lock box. Have the copies on hand in your filing system. If you need a copy of your birth certificate for yourself or a family member, we can help you for any state.

For handling paperwork that you have incoming daily, you will do one of the following actions:

1- The paperwork contains something you must do. It might be correspondence to a friend, or reference material to read. Write the date the action needs to be done and put it in a tray or basket labeled: “To Do.”

2- The paperwork is a bill or invoice you must pay. Write the date the payment should be made and put it in a tray or basket labeled: “To Pay.”

3- The paperwork needs to be filed. Do so immediately.

4- The paperwork is either useless or no longer serves a purpose. Recycle or dispose of through other means.

Dive in and get your paperwork organized. You can devote just 10-15 minutes a day to keeping your incoming paperwork organized and never again wonder where exactly your birth certificate, passport,  or home warranty is filed away.

Texas Tower and Passport Services handles nationwide requests to expedite passport, travel visas, and certified birth certificates. Call us today 713-874-1420. 

The US State Department strongly encourages American citizens planning international travel to register with the US Embassy(s) iGhana is one of the travel visas we handle most often.
Here are some of the most common questions travelers have about the process.

How long may I stay in Ghana on a travel visa?
The current maximum stay is 30 days.

I don’t understand which what it means by type of travel visa to Ghana.
There are two types of travel visas for entry to the country. Whichever visa you choose depends on the reason for your visit. You will need to either choose a business class visa or a tourist visa.

What days can Texas Tower process my Ghana visa?
We can process your Ghana application for a travel visa Monday through Thursday. The embassy is closed on Friday.

Is the application for a Ghana visa available online.
Yes, you can access it through Texas Tower here.

Do I need to provide a passport photo with my application?
Yes you will need to provide two passport photos with your Ghana visa request.

Will I need a blank visa page for my Ghana trip?
Yes, Ghana requires that you have one blank visa page available. Talk to us if you need additional pages, as you will now need to renew your passport.

Are there any additional elements someone who does not hold a U.S. passport needs to provide for the Ghana visa request?
Non-USA passport holders must provide a copy of green card or US Visa and I-94

Will I need to include a copy of the airline schedule for my trip to Ghana?
Yes, you will need to include one copy of flight itinerary for both business and tourist travel visas.

For business trips, is a host required?
Yes, you will need to submit proof of an invitation from a host in Ghana.
A company letter on your company letterhead is also required. If you need help, we can assist you here with drafting your business letter.

Are any vaccinations required for travel to Ghana?
Yes, currently you are required to be immunized against yellow fever and cholera.

What about travel warnings for Ghana?
The U.S. State Department strongly encourages American citizens planning international travel to register with the U.S. Embassy in their destination country. This registration will automatically enroll travelers in the State Department travel warning and advisory program.

If you have any other questions – just ask us! You can contact our offices at 713-874-1420 ask us on Facebook.


SARA (2)Not the United States.

Passport power is measured by the number of countries an individual can visit without needing a travel visa for entry. For 2017, the top spot is being shared by two countries.
Global Passport Power Rank 2017 - 9GAG.clipular

Germany and Singapore are welding the most power with their passports this year with their countries’ respective passports allowing bearers to visit a whopping 159 countries visa-free.

Sweden comes in a solid second place with their passport allowing entry into 158 countries.

The United States is now in third place with a U.S. passport unlocking entry into 157 countries visa-free.

An interesting statistic recently showed only 38% of U.S. citizens own a valid passport. Between 2018 and 2020 that number is expected to grow as more individuals choose a passport to meet requirements for state to state travel to be in compliance with the REAL I.D. Act.

If you need to renew your current passport or want to apply for your very first one, we’re here to help you through the process. We can expedite your passport and get it in your hands fast than through standard channels. Every member of the family will need a passport to travel internationally, however the Real I.D. act will not require minors to have a driver’s license or passport to fly domestically.