Tag Archives: travel tips

nycIt’s November 1st and it’s kicking off!

The holiday travel season is heating up, are you ready? Here are some tips to make your travel whether from state to state or international, a lot easier.

Check out where you’re going
If you’re driving, check out the roads before you go and find out there’s a way to avoid construction or traffic. Is there a scenic route to take? Remember, enjoying the trip is a big part of getting to your destination. If your destination is to another country, check out the travel warnings at the U.S. Department of State site.

There’s an app for that
Check out some of the cool apps that will keep you connected to the latest updates on your trip. FlightStatus is an app that will give you real-time updates on any flight delays, baggage numbers, and other information related to your flight. GateGuru will calculate how much time you’re probably going to spend getting through the boarding security check. If you’re driving, you’re going to want to download GasBuddy to find the cheapest gas and cleanest bathrooms on the road.

Don’t go hungry
Nothing is worse than being hungry, well unless your kids are hungry. Then, there is no peace for anyone until little tummies are full. If you’re road tripping in a vehicle, pack snacks and drinks that are car seat friendly. If you’re flying, eat before you board.

Do you really need that for this trip?
Pack as lightly as you can. That goes for the whole family. Draw the line between a holiday visit and moving in.  If you do check your luggage, make sure your important documents, prescription medications and a change of clothes are in your carry-on, just in case your luggage goes to another destination (hey, it happens).

Heaven, thy name is earplugs.
In an airport, there are two ways to escape the screaming baby four seats over, the lady with the really loud convo going on, and the guy who is yelling into his cell phone: earplugs or headphones. Just enjoy the silence or listen to your favorite book or watch a movie on your mobile device.

TSA can wreck your gifts
Don’t bring pretty wrapped presents on your flight, there’s a good chance TSA may have to unwrap it. One way to get around it is to ship any gifts ahead to your destination. Then they will be waiting for you when you get there.

Avoid Travel on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving
Did you know that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the biggest travel day of the year? Consider traveling either before or early Thanksgiving morning is usually not too overwhelming if you’re flying.  If you’re driving, the best time to hit the road is in the early morning hours or late at night.

Make sure your US passport is valid
Did you know if there’s less than six months left until the expiration on your passport, it’s pretty much out of gas? Expedite it through Texas Tower Passport and Visa and we’ll obtain it faster for you than through traditional methods.

Use these tips and have a safe and fun holiday travel season!

The cost of flying today (Friday the 13th) is as much as 44 per cent cheaper for some destinations.

Maybe it was the Final Destination films or maybe enough people are superstitious that it makes a difference, but it is historically cheaper to fly on Friday the 13th.

Research earlier this year by flight comparison website Kayak, looking at the 20 most popular departures from airports, found that the cost of flying on Friday the 13th was, on average, five per cent cheaper than a normal day. However, for those willing to ignore superstition and take to the sky, savings for some destinations were far more significant. Flights to Gran Canaria from the UK, for example, fell for the 13th by 44 per cent.

A spokesperson for Kayak said: “Flight prices are very much based on demand – when demand is up they rise and when it is down they fall. Our data, therefore, indicates that many are choosing not to travel on Friday the 13th.”

According to a statistical analysis by the Aviation Safety Network, the average number of fatal aircraft crashes on Friday the 13th days is 0.067 per day, compared to a usual daily average of 0.091. So if anything, it’s fractionally safer to fly on this supposedly unlucky day.

For the people who aren’t superstitious, flight 666 to HEL flew it’s final flight on October 13, 2017.

We process U.S. passports, travel visas, certified birth certificates and Apostille documents. Questions ? Call us at 713-874-1420 

What are your resolutions for 2018? Everyone makes the one about eating better and exercising. How about some resolutions to make travel easier or plan a new adventure?
Here are some ideas for making travel resolutions

Develop a savings plan
Beginning in January, start a travel fund and add to it weekly or monthly as you can. At the end of each quarter look at how much you’ve managed to save and find ways to save even more. The reward is a vacation you can take without putting extra stress on your budget.

Don’t let your passport expire
Check your passport often enough that you know when the expiration date is. If you need help renewing, talk to us and we can get your passport in as little as 24 hours.

Challenge yourself to travel light
On your next trip, instead of packing everything you “might” need, consider packing only what you will actually need. You know you’re pretty much going to be the same pair of shoes for exploring your destination in the day.

Get your International driver’s permit
Why be at the mercy of the bus or taxi schedules? Get an IDP and you can see the country you’re visiting on your own terms. There is no driving test required. If you’re interested in getting your own IDP, talk to us, we can assist you.

Scour travel deal sites
Sites like Expedia, Orbitz, and other deal sites are great for finding bargains on travel, including rental cars, and hotels. Once you get some money socked back, sign up to receive emails with deals. You might get a last-minute deal to Mexico or another exotic locale for a song.

Those are just a few ideas, what are your travel resolutions for 2018?


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!

How to Travel Internationally With Only One BagDo you over-pack when you travel? One goal to aspire to when you travel internationally is to pack everything you need in a single bag. Believe it or not, it can be done.

We put together a collection of sites that did the work for you and put together checklists for cutting through the things you may not need and put together a travel bag of everything you will need.

OneBag Packing List Screenshot.
OneBag Packing List Screenshot.

This is a very thoroughly done checklist. There are some items that may be off the allowed list if you’re flying,  work around it and you have a great jumping off point for developing your own “must haves” for your next international trip.


Intrepid Travel Checklist
Intrepid Travel Checklist

Intrepid Travel put together their version of the concentrated packing list for travel. They go one step further and also recommend getting an International Driver’s License, which is something we highly recommend as well. No driver’s test is required. The requirements to meet are to be over 18-years of age and possess a valid driver’s license.  Then you can be the captain of your own vehicle when you travel overseas. You can learn more about getting an International Driver’s License through Texas Tower.


How to Pack for a Year of Travel in One Carry-On - Condé Nast Traveler.
How to Pack for a Year of Travel in One Carry-On – Condé Nast Traveler.

Condé Nast has put together a great article that tells how to pack a single bag for a year’s worth of travel. It’s definitely an interesting read.

So there you have it. Three great destinations to learn how to pack what you need for a trip and actually have what you need instead of  giving yourself the job of carrying extra shoes, clothes, and items you didn’t actually need anyway!

Make 2017 the year you set a goal to travel lighter!


An interesting study showed that over half of Americans do not possess a passport. Some let their passports expire and others simply never applied. The process for getting a passport is simple, and outsourcing the legwork to a company like Texas Tower makes it even less of a hassle for you.

Our passport area of the site is broken up by type of passport need. Get started here. You can renew, replace a lost of stolen passport, or apply for your first passport. If you have any questions, or need assistance, our agents will help you along the process to make it easy and seamless.

The website ATTN has written a great article about “5 Reasons Why Americans Need a Passport.

Last but not least – here are 10 cool facts about Passports


Whether you’re traveling to Rio now for the Olympics, Paralympics, or afterward; there are some things to know that keep you safe and make your time in Brazil even more enjoyable.

Transportation can be a little different
There aren’t specific bus stops in Rio. You hail down a bus with your hand and when you’re ready to get off, there’s a small cable above the windows of the bus you pull to alert the driver you’re ready to get off the bus. In Rio, there is no Uber, but there is EasyTaxi if you want to use the app.

Colors mean things
Be aware wearing red can make people associate you as being sympathetic to former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. Green and yellow are the colors of the Brazilian flag and also the colors used by the Opposition. To avoid looking political, avoid shirts with slogans, logos, or flags.

Do not drink the water
Drink only bottled water and don’t consume drinks that have ice in them.

Mosquitoes come with Rio
Insects are a fact of life in Brazil, especially mosquitoes. With Zika being prevalent, wear mosquito repellant, cover up when out and use mosquito netting to sleep under. This will lessen your chances of acquiring an illness.

Understand the money
Brazil uses the Real as their currently. Crime happens in Rio like any major city. Don’t carry only cash. Carry also credit cards with you, just in case. ATMs can attract criminals looking for an easy target. If you must use an ATM, only use one in a bank with a guard present during the day.

Keep your passport and travel docs safe
You don’t need a visa to enter Brazil until September 18. However you will need a valid passport. It’s a good idea to lock your passport in the hotel safe and keep a copy on you at all times while you’re in Rio along with your other identification.

Use these tips to make your time in Rio safe and fun! Happy travels.