Category Archives: summer travel

how-to-get-your-sao-tome-and-principe-visaSao Tome and Principe are two islands that make up the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe. This Portuguese-speaking country is a beautiful destination. Travelers that are United States citizens will need a travel visa to enter the country. Here is how easy getting a travel visa though Texas Tower can make the process.

Simply gather the requested documents for the type of visa you need (business purposes or tourism) and then send them to Texas Tower. We will have your travel visa in your hands and we can even expedite the acquisition of your visa to arrive in 1-2 working days if you need it on a rush basis.


If you have any questions about the process of getting your travel visa, our knowledgeable staff is always happy to help you. You will also need to check your passport and make sure it meets the requirements of travel.

In the event you need documents translated to or from any language, we offer that service too! Contact our offices if you have any questions and we’ll be glad to get you started on your Sao Tome & Principe visa.

Here’s a video overview of what to see in Sao Tome & Principe:

Ghana is a country we process travel visas for frequently. Travelers that are visiting for either business or tourism will require a visa for entry into the county and the maximum stay on a visa is 30 days. Here are the requirements for both visa types.

  • For Business Travelers to Ghana:
    We can expedite your travel visa just get the following:
  • Two completed Ghana visa applications (available on our Ghana visa page)
  • Two passport-type photos.
  • Physical U.S. passport with more than six months left before the expiration date and one blank visa page.
  • One copy of your flight itinerary.
  • An invitation from a host in Ghana is required.
  • Company business letter, if you need to know the requirements the letter must meet, just ask. We can help you.
  • And finally, a copy of the Texas Tower order form.

For Tourists traveling to Ghana, the requirements are less stringent than for business travelers.

  • You will need two passport-type photographs.
  • You will also need two completed applications for a Ghana visa.
  • Physical U.S. passport with the same requirements for expiration date and blank visa page.
  • A copy of your flight itinerary and a Texas Tower order form.

When you outsource the acquisition of your travel visa to us, we make the trip to the embassy for you. Please note the Ghana embassy is closed on Fridays, so if you have last minute travel plans, take that into consideration.
Ready to get started? Just go to our Ghana Visa page and if you have any questions, call our office at 713-874-1420, we’ll be glad to assist you.

Did you know Ghana was voted the most peaceful African nation to visit?

Ghana is fast becoming a popular, also a hot venue for destination weddings. Steeped in history and rich with culture, it’s a great place to toss aside the formalities of being a tourist, and become a cultural tourist. That means you become a local for a couple of weeks.  Here are some of the most common questions and answers for travel to Ghana.

Where’s a great place to get a steak in Ghana?
We reviewed four restaurants in Accra, one of which provides Nebraska-fed beef!

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.

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

Safari may conjure up images of hunting big game animals but these days it tends to mean traveling through game preserves and experiencing the animals and nature at their most natural and disturbing them as little as possible.

Some safari groups allow drones to be used to film animals, and nearly all allow camera photography.  Here’s a good example of drones used on safari.

When traveling to Kenya, you will need both a current US passport (more than six months before the expiration date) and a travel visa. We can expedite both documents for you and your travel companions.


As Kenya continues to rebuild its tourism industry, safari companies are growing in number but not all will give you the best deal for your money spent. Here are eight good questions to ask to get the best safari experience.

  1.  How many vehicles does your safari company own?
  2.  What are the qualifications of your drivers?
  3.  Which driver would be you assigning us and how much experience does this driver have?
  4. Do all your drivers and guides have at least (this is the minimum)  a bronze award from the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association? This can be verified here.
  5. Are you a member of KATO?
  6. Do you provide an itinerary? Is it timed by the hour or by the day?
  7. (For overnight stays on safari) What type of tent/room/banda will we be occupying?
  8.  What meals will be served? Are the menus available?

Once you plan your safari, talk to us about expediting your travel visa to Kenya and renewing your passport if you need it.

It’s December 1st and it’s time look ahead to 2018. We put together five destinations that are proving to be popular this coming year.

Angra dos Reis, Brazil
In 2016, Brazil hosted the Summer Olympics and the influx of people visiting for the games turned into travel into outlying cities. The tourism board of Brazil is hoping to bring back the waiver to encourage another boom in tourism. A place well worth checking out is Angra dos Reis. This popular destination is where many of the country’s elite go to escape the crowds and own beach villas in the area. There are plans to open a 54-suite luxury hotel in the area as well as a golf course, more restaurants, and a marina.

Belgrade, Serbia
Belgrade has been steadily growing since the end of the Yugoslav wars. The areas once covered in damage from fighting and graffiti has become restaurants and bars. The nightlife is vibrant and there are numerous night markets to take advantage of the local street foods. One of the biggest draws for tourists is the growing craft-beer brewing that has been showing no signs of slowing down.

Bermuda
Bermuda hasn’t been on any travel lists for a few years due to a financial crisis that left their tourism in a stagnant state. Bermuda has been shaking off the dive their tourism industry took and has been working on rebuilding and attracting travelers back to their island nation. Along with an improved economy, Bermuda is performing a 100-million dollar overhaul of the Hamilton Princess and Beach Club, the islands 132-year old grand attraction for guests to stay in. Other luxury hotels are also getting modern makeovers to ensure the tourist industry gets back on its feet and stays strong.

Cambodian Coast
Want to do something off the beaten path that is also beautiful?
Cambodia has some of Southeast Asia’s most intriguing islands to visit, but getting to them has been difficult involving hours of travel. Now direct flights are being arranged from Ho Chi Minh City. Luxury spas are among the jewels you can find on Krabey Island and on Koh Russey, you can dine on traditional Khmer cuisine.

Guayaquil, Ecuador
Many travelers go through Guayaquil on their way to the Galápagos, but it is worth exploring on its own. New luxury hotels have opened to entice travelers to stay a little longer and enjoy what this country has to offer. There is also a wildlife sanctuary set on a former cacao plantation. The capital city has been modernized with playgrounds, galleries, museums, gardens, and even a Ferris wheel.

Search around at sites like Kayak for deals on international travel fares. For many of these destinations you will need a valid passport only, no travel visa required. If you aren’t sure, talk to us and we can tell you what documentation you’ll need for your destination country.

Yes, the U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning for travelers going to Mexico. The warning was issued mainly due to security concerns from organized crime activities in certain regions.

Mexico welcomed 35-million international travelers in the past year, and they are expected to break those numbers this year. With the largest travel season in history set to kick off, this doesn’t mean you have to cancel your trip to Mexico. Millions of U.S. citizens travel to Mexico every year for reasons that range from business to pleasure to education. Included in that number are 150,000 visitors who cross the border into Mexico every day.

The Mexican government makes an effort to keep travelers safe. There are some basic safety tips you can know, that will keep your travel in Mexico, a pleasurable one.US Travel Advisory - How Safe Is Mexico.clipular

1. Research your destination.
Get the latest information on the city or region you’re planning to visit by checking the U.S. State Department’s travel alerts page for the most current information on warnings for tourists.

2. Think twice about valuables.
If you really don’t need that cocktail ring or your expensive watch on this trip – don’t bring it. It will make you far less attractive to pickpockets and thieves.

3. Double up on your documents.
Scan your passport and other travel documents and email them to yourself. You’ll at least have a copy to refer to if they get lost or stolen.

4. Write down credit card bank numbers.
Find out the international number for your bank or credit card and take it with you. Most toll-free numbers won’t work from Mexico to reach your bank.

5. Just in case.
Make sure someone at home knows your itinerary for your trip.

6. Forget the fanny pack.
Fanny packs are often targets for pickpockets. Go for an underclothing money belt or purse-boots that have special pockets sewn within for holding credit cards, passport, and even cell phones without showing.

7.  Financial backup plan.
Take a few traveler cheques with you just in case. Just in case can mean that ATM that ate your credit card or your card gets stolen. It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan.

Those are just seven tips for making it a safe trip to Mexico. If you want more information just contact our offices during business hours via phone or feel free to hit us up on Facebook with questions – we’re ready to help!

Should you keep your passport current-The answer to that question is a qualified Yes!   By 2018, many states will not accept a state i.d. as valid identification for flying, and a passport is a great option to use instead.

With the fall travel heating up and holiday travel time fast approaching, make sure that you have all of your documents in place to be able to travel is vital. If your passport is expired 

If your passport is expired it can put the brakes on your travel plans.

During busy travel periods, the processing time for passports and visas take even more time than usual. The standard time for processing passports is approximately 4 to 6 weeks.

However, in the busier travel seasons, it goes up to between 7 to 8 weeks. If you are traveling somewhere that is usually a popular vacation spot or is really popular for a certain reason the time could go up even more. That’s why outsourcing the acquisition of your passport is a great idea.

 An example: in 2014 the world cup was in Brazil and this made Brazil seriously overrun with travelers and hence longer processing times. For the 2016 Olympics, Brazil waived the  visa requirement, but not the passport. 

Another reason to keep that Passport Current

 The state department strongly suggests that you don’t wait till the last minute to renew your passport. There are countries that will deny access to people that have less than 6 months left before their passport expires. So keep that in mind and make sure you check your documents. You can and should check out the country that you are planning to and you can get your destination country information at the State Departments page here.

If You Get Caught Short with Your Passport

 So you check your documents and you find that your passport is expired or just plain lost. Or you check your travel destination and find your passport is due to expire within the time frame that makes your destination country a no go. You also don’t have the time or don’t want to wait 4 to 6 weeks or more for your passport. What do you do? That’s where we come in.

Texas Tower can expedite your passport same day or within 24 hours. Additionally, they can answer any of your questions personally and you get the personal touch of having experienced people to help you through what can sometimes be a stressful situation. Just go to Texas Tower Passports and get started.

What You Need to Know Before Applying for Your Ghana Travel VisaPlanning a trip outside the U.S.? Did you know that makes you part of around five percent of Americans who travel internationally each year? If you’re a first time traveler overseas, we have some tips to make it easier.

Tip #1 – You will need a passport.
Actually all signs point to travelers within the United States needing a passport by 2020, but you’re traveling outside the United States now and you will need a passport to exit and enter the U.S. when you return. You will also need to show a certified copy of your birth certificate to obtain your passport. Outsource the task of getting a passport and spend your time planning your trip and deciding if you really need to include that 15th pair of shoes. Once you get your passport, it will be good for ten years. When you get your passport photo taken, get a few extra copies. Sometimes random countries will ask you for one at the border or you might need one for a visa (more on visas in a moment).

Tip #2 – Will You Need a Travel Visa?
Not every country requires a travel visa for entry. This is where the process gets extra fun, every country has their own rules, regulations, and process for obtaining a visa for entry. It also usually requires a trip to the consulate or embassy. This is a good task to outsource.

#3 Research Your Destination
In many countries, people in the cities do not drive at all. Public transportation, taxis, private buses, ride-sharing and other ways to get around make even renting a car unnecessary for a lot of destinations. Look up where you’re going and learn the basic customs, hot spots, places to avoid, and whether a Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended to avoid getting sick from the food or water.
Tip #4 Where To Stay
A hotel isn’t your only option. Check out couchsurfing.org or AirBnB.com to get in a local’s home and really get a feel for the place you’re visiting (maybe even make some new friends) get insider tips on cool places to go and save money.
Tip #5 Learn How the Money Works
In the present, if you don’t have a credit card with a chip, ask your card issuer for one and you’ll likely get it. Most chipped cards won’t come with outrageous fees for using it abroad. Ask your credit card issuer what their fees are, if any to avoid surprises on your statement when you get back.

Using a credit card is excellent security against fraudulent transactions. However, not all businesses will take cards so it’s a good idea to carry a little local currency with you.

Figure out the exchange rate ahead of time so you aren’t trying to do constantly calculate prices. For example, if you are in Iceland and you know 600 Krona is roughly equal to five dollars U.S., you can have a rough and ready point of reference for figuring out how much to spend and keep on you.
Tip #6 Avoid Roaming Fees
When you board your flight, switch off your mobile data. WiFi is available pretty much everywhere, use that to upload your travel photo to Instagram instead of your phone’s data and you’ll save money.

Tip #7 Learn a Little of the Local Language
Most places you visit will have people who speak English. However, it is polite to at least learn how to say, “Do you speak English?” and a few other phrases in the local language. You might be met with grins and laughs for trying, but most people are happy to help if you try.

Tip #8 – Know the Basics to Pack
Here is a complete list of the basics you need to pack: a toothbrush, toothpaste, your passport, your phone and your credit card. Anything else you might want can be acquired where you’re going.

You can make life easier for yourself by packing clean undies for a week, if your stay is longer wash them in a sink with whatever soap is handy, and hang up to dry. Wool socks won’t heat up your feet and never gather a smell.

For clothing, dress nice and for the weather (again research your destination) and you won’t need more than two pair of shoes for most trips.

And that’s the basics for having a great time on your first jaunt outside the U.S.

We are in Houston and are still drying up after Harvey. Keeping an eye on Hurricane Irma.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Irma made landfall with the eye passing over the Caribbean island of Barbuda around 2 a.m EST on Wednesday. The storm is now heading towards Puerto Rico and other islands in the area. The track after that is currently uncertain.

If you are traveling to the Caribbean or the southeastern portion of the U.S. potentially affected by this storm, check with the hotel or Airbnb you’re booked into to find out the local conditions before you.

This is just one minute of footage from Irma slamming into Maho Beach in San Maarten.

Here’s the current projected path:


Drone photography has become very popular, particularly for candid wildlife viewing. For every responsible drone operator, there suddenly appeared one that was irresponsible as heck. From breathtaking videos that didn’t disturb a herd of elephants quietly eating leaves turned into a frightened herd of wildebeest stopping their yearly migratory river crossing and abandoning calves at a riverbank with irresponsible drone operators buzzing their cameras over animals heads and frightening them.

Several countries in Africa have banned drones and imposed large fines on anyone using one, especially in national parks which are now considered no-fly zones.

Botswana and Kenya allow drones but only if you apply for a permit and your drone must not disturb the animals in any way or you may face fines and equipment seizure.

Many private reserves allow drones but you normally need to hire your own vehicle and you may not disturb the animals on the reserve or other guests. Most reserves require that if your drone crashes, you may not retrieve it.

Texas Tower processes U.S. passports and can obtain visas for African countries you may want to fly a drone in. Call us today to get started 713-874-1420.