abs travel group
Travel advice

Before you travel

We recommend that you read this page prior to traveling. Please also refer to the Travel Warnings part of the US Government website.

Local laws

In some of our featured destinations, local laws and religious observance can lead to the withdrawal of certain facilities.

World wide tips

Weather

Florida, the Caribbean and Mexico are occasionally affected by tropical storms and hurricanes between June and November. Such storms can blow up quickly and it is impossible to predict their path or duration more than three to four days in advance, often less. South East Asia may be affected by a monsoon season, typically between May and September. If a storm is forecast for one of our vacation destinations we monitor all activity through various websites and information received from local and international experts. We follow the advise of the Federal Government and work with the travel companies and hotels in the resort or destination to ensure that customer safety is foremost if there is adverse weather during your vacation.

Passports

We, or the airline, may refuse travel if you do not have a valid passport, visa and entry permit. We are not obliged, although we will help you if you are refused travel. Your passport and travel documents must be intact; you may not be able to travel if they are damaged or have been tampered with. If you have any doubts about the validity or condition of your passport please contact a US Passport office.

Note your passport number before you travel and keep it separate from your passport. This will help the local US Consulate to supply a temporary passport at short notice if you lose the original.

If you need a passport; apply early. For travel to most countries, a US passport must remain valid for at least 6 months after your scheduled return to the US. Some countries apply different rules; contact the Embassy of your destination country for current information. The name on your flight tickets must exactly match those on your passport.

Visas

It is your responsibility to have the appropriate visa and any other required documentation for your vacation. Please check that you are eligible to travel to the country you intend to visit prior to booking.

Travel requirements

Antigua

Time: GMT minus 4 hours.
Official Currency: East Caribbean Dollar
Visa Information: No visa required.
Departure Tax: The compulsory overseas destination departure tax of 50 EC$ (approx. $20 per person, including children 2 years and over) will be payable locally by customers in local currency.
Website: www.antigua-barbuda.org
Health Information: None required but Hepatitis 'A', Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Diphtheria and Yellow Fever precautions are recommended.
Other Information: A credit card imprint/cash will be needed as a deposit at all hotels. Alternatively a cash deposit of approx. US $200 is required.

Aruba

Time: GMT minus 5 hours.
Official Currency: Aruban Guilder
Visa Information: No visa required.
Departure Tax: For US departures prior to 1 May '09, the compulsory overseas destination departure tax of US $23.50 will be added at the time of booking. For US departures on or after 1 May '09, this charge will be payable locally in US Dollars.
Website: www.aruba.com
Health Information: None required but Hepatitis 'A', Tetanus and Polio precautions are recommended.
Other Information: A credit card imprint/cash will be needed as a deposit at all hotels.
Alcohol: During elections, it is common for all licensed premises to be closed for the sale of alcohol (including the service of alcohol in all inclusive properties).

Bahamas

Time: GMT minus 5 hours.
Official Currency: Bahamian Dollar. US Dollars are also accepted.
Visa Information: No visa required unless your visit is for more than 3 months.
Departure Tax: The compulsory overseas destination departure tax of US $15 will be payable locally by customers in US Dollars.
Website: www.bahamas.com
Health Information: Hepatitis 'A' and 'B', Typhoid, Tuberculosis, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Yellow Fever certificate required if travelling from an infected area in the last 6 days.

Barbados

Time: GMT minus 4 hours
Official Currency: Barbados Dollar. US Dollars are also accepted.
Visa Information: No visa required unless your stay is for more than 3 months.
Departure Tax: The compulsory overseas destination departure tax (approx. $28 per person, including children 12 years and over) will be added at the time of booking.
Website: www.barbados.org
Health Information: Hepatitis 'A' and 'B', Typhoid, Tuberculosis, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Yellow Fever certificate required if travelling from an infected area in the last 6 days.

Brazil

Time: Winter (Summer) GMT minus 2 (3) hours.
Official Currency: Real.
Visa information: No visa required.
Departure Tax: For US departures before 1 Nov '08, the compulsory overseas destination departure tax (approx. $38 per person, including children 2 years and over) will be added at the time of booking.
Website: www.brazil.com
Health information: Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Hepatitis 'A' and 'B', Rabies, Tuberculosis, Diphtheria and Malaria precautions are recommended.
Tours: Please note baggage allowance for Brazil tours is 20kgs (45 lbs). Customers must take all luggage on tour with them.

Costa Rica

Time: Winter (Summer) GMT minus 6 (7) hours.
Official Currency: Costa Rican Colons. US Dollars are also accepted.
Visa Information: No visa required.
Departure Tax: The compulsory overseas destination departure tax of US $26 will be payable locally by customers in US Dollars.
Website: www.visitcostarica.com
Health Information: Hepatitis 'A' and 'B', Typhoid, Tetanus, Malaria and Diphtheria precautions are recommended. Strict prevention measures should be taken against mosquito bites.

Dominican Republic

Time: Winter (Summer) GMT minus 4 (5) hours.
Official Currency: Dominican Republic Pesos.
Visa Information: Tourist cards (approx $16) are required for entry and should be completed before travel via the Dominican Republic Embassy. Alternatively, cards can be purchased on arrival for US $10 per person in cash.
Departure Tax: The compulsory overseas destination departure tax & tourist tax US $20 (including children 2 years and over) will be payable locally in US Dollars.
Website: www.dominicanrepublic.com
Health Information: None required but Hepatitis 'A', Tetanus, Diphtheria and Yellow Fever precautions are recommended. Malaria tablets are also recommended and strict prevention should be taken against mosquito bites.
Other Information: Visitors under the age of 18 travelling to the Dominican Republic do not require written authorization from their parents as long as they enter and leave with the same person / people. If visitors between the ages of 13 and 18 are travelling alone, or with a group with no one over 18, then similarly parental authorization is not required as long as the composition of the party is the same on entry and exit. If visitors under 18 do not intend to leave the Dominican Republic with the same person / people that they entered with, then they are required to carry a sworn affidavit drawn up by a lawyer and signed by their parents / legal guardian authorizing that. This affidavit needs to be legalized Dominican Republic Embassy. You should contact the Dominican Republic Embassy if you have any queries about these requirements.
Public Vacations: No watersports are available over the Easter period due to beaches being busier than usual. Over local vacation periods and weekends, there may be an increase in occupancy levels at the hotels.
Watersports: Some hotels have an optional insurance waiver for watersports. There may be a refundable deposit payable and some watersports lessons carry charges.

India

Time: GMT plus 5½ hours.
Official Currency: Indian Rupees. Please be aware that Rupees cannot be taken into the country, you must exchange currency upon arrival. US Dollars are also accepted.
Visa Information: A visa is required for travel to India prior to departure. Your Passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your return to the US.
Departure Tax: The compulsory overseas destination departure tax (approx. $8 per person) will be added at the time of booking.
Website: www.indiatouristoffice.org
Health Information: None required but Hepatitis 'A', Polio, Typhoid, Malaria, Tetanus, Diphtheria and Yellow Fever precautions are strongly recommended.
Other Information: There may be strong undercurrents at certain times of the year / day and care should be taken when swimming. In certain areas, swimming is not recommended.
Some hotels are situated near local communities and they may occasionally have loud temple festivals.
Alcohol: During local elections, there is an 'official' alcohol ban in India, although it's usually possible to get alcoholic beverages in tourist resorts. In Kerala, many of the bars and restaurants do not have full liquor licences so we recommend you bring a bottle of your favorite drink. For Kerala, the first day of each month is a 'dry day' with no alcohol available. Also, Cola is not always readily available..

Jamaica

Time: GMT minus 5 hours.
Official Currency: Jamaican Dollar. US Dollars are also accepted.
Visa Information: No visa required.
Departure Tax: The compulsory overseas destination departure tax of US $24.37 (including children 2 years and over) will be payable locally by customers in US Dollars.
Website: www.visitjamaica.com
Health Information: None required but Hepatitis 'A', Tetanus, Diphtheria and Yellow Fever precautions are recommended. Strict prevention measures should be taken against mosquito bites.
Transportation: Local buses are not recommended, taxis are available from hotels.

Kenya

Time: GMT plus 3 hours.
Official Currency: Kenyan Shillings. US Dollars are also accepted.
Visa Information: A single entry visa is required (approx. $60). Visas can also be obtained on arrival with a cash payment of US $50 per person. Contact the Kenya High Commission for more information. For Safaris / Twin Centres that include Zanzibar / Tanzania, a visa is also required that is approx. $70. Please contact the Tanzania High Commission.
Departure Tax: The compulsory overseas destination departure tax of US $20 will be payable locally by customers in local currency. For twin centers including Zanzibar, an additional US $38 per person is payable locally on departure from Zanzibar.
Website: www.magicalkenya.com & www.mombasacoast.com
Health Information: None required but Hepatitis 'A', Polio, Typhoid, Malaria, Tetanus, Diphtheria and Yellow Fever precautions are strongly recommended. Customers travelling into Tanzania will require Yellow Fever vaccination certificate.
Other Information: Due to tidal patterns between May and October, beaches are generally narrower. Beach boys operate and sell goods all along the Kenyan coast; they can be persistent.

Malaysia

Time: GMT plus 8 hours.
Official Currency: Malaysian Ringgit.
Visa Information: Most Western nationalities can enter Malaysia without a visa, and are normally issued under 30, 60 or 90 day entry stamps.
Departure Tax: International Departure tax is 40 Malaysian Ringgit (approx. $12) and Domestic Departure tax is 5 Malaysian Ringgit (approx. $1.40) is payable locally by customers in local currency.
Website: www.travel.toursim.gov.my
Health Information: None required but Hepatitis 'A', Polio, Typhoid, Malaria, Tetanus are strongly recommended.
Other Information: The official language is Malay, although English is widely spoken. Malaysia is a crossroads of Malay, Chinese and Indian food and most towns have their own unique speciality dishes.
Alcohol: Alcohol is widely available, although some states (notably Kelantan and Terengganu) place considerable restrictions on sales by and to Muslims.

Maldives

Time: GMT plus 5 hours, however many resorts operate their own time system.
Official Currency: Rufiaa. US Dollars are also accepted.
Visa Information: A 30 day visa is issued on arrival, free of charge.
Departure Tax: The compulsory overseas destination departure tax of US $14 will be payable locally by customers in US Dollars.
Website: www.visitmaldives.com
Health Information: None required but Hepatitis 'A', Polio, Typhoid, Malaria, Tetanus, Diphtheria and Yellow Fever precautions are recommended.
Other Information: Alcohol is freely available, however the Maldives are a Muslim country and you are not allowed to import it. All alcohol will be confiscated at customs on arrival. Most bathrooms have part open-air ceilings, but this does not compromise the privacy of guests as they are not overlooked. In some hotels it may be necessary to share tables during meals, due to the size of restaurants. There is a compulsory local charge of US $8 per infant per night for cots payable locally to the hotel.

Margarita

Time: Winter (Summer) GMT minus 4½ (5½) hours.
Official Currency: Bolivar.
Visa Information: No visa required. A tourist card needs to be completed on arrival.
Departure Tax: The compulsory overseas destination departure tax of US $53.14 will be payable locally by customers in US Dollars.
Website: www.venezuelatuya.com
Health Information: None required but Hepatitis 'A', Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Malaria and Yellow Fever precautions are recommended.
Dry Law: A ban on alcohol may be imposed during elections.
Other Information: Over local vacation periods and weekends there may be an increase in occupancy levels of local residents at hotel.
There may be strong undercurrents at certain times of the year/day and care should be taken when swimming. In certain areas, swimming is not recommended.

Mexico

Time: Winter (Summer) GMT minus 6 (5) hours.
Official Currency: Mexican New Peso. US Dollars are also accepted.
Visa Information: No visa required. Tourist cards must be completed on the plane before arrival.
Departure Tax: Cancun: The compulsory overseas destination departure tax of US $47 will be payable locally by customers in US Dollars or local currency. Puerto Vallarta: The compulsory overseas destination departure tax of US $52 per person will be payable locally by customers in US Dollars or local currency.
Website: www.visitmexico.com
Health Information: None required but Hepatitis 'A', Typhoid, Malaria, Tetanus, Diphtheria and Yellow Fever precautions are recommended.
Other Information: Children under the age of 18 years travelling to Mexico unaccompanied or with a single parent must have their own valid passport. Dress code applies in many hotels and a la carte restaurants. Please pack suitable attire.
Dry Law: A ban on alcohol may be imposed during elections.
Timeshare accommodation: Please be aware of timeshare representatives in the arrival lounges.

Sri Lanka

Time: GMT plus 5½ hours.
Official Currency: Sri Lankan Rupees. Please be aware that Rupees cannot be taken into the country, but you must exchange currency upon arrival. US Dollars are also accepted.
Visa Information: A one month visa is available at approximately $10 and is issued on arrival in Sri Lanka.
Departure Tax: For departures prior to 1 May 2009, the compulsory overseas destination departure tax is approximately $16 per person. For departures on or after 1 May 2009, the compulsory overseas destination departure tax of 1500 Sri Lankan Rupees or approximately $16 per person.
Website: www.srilanka.com
Health Information: None required but Hepatitis 'A', Polio, Typhoid, Malaria, Tetanus, Diphtheria and Yellow Fever precautions are strongly recommended.
Other Information: All Inclusive facilities are not available after check-out.
There are strong undercurrents in the sea, so please familiarise yourself with the beach safety flag system. During the monsoon months, the beaches in certain resorts become narrower and may not always be the wide stretch usually available.
Cigarettes Notice: Cigarettes are freely available within Sri Lanka. However, the Sri Lankan Aviation Authorities restrict cigarettes being brought into the country. All cigarettes will be confiscated at customs on arrival.
Dry Law: On the day of Poya, occurring every full moon, no alcohol can be served.

Thailand

Time: GMT plus 7 hours.
Official Currency: Thai Baht.
Visa Information: Not required. US citizens can enter Thailand for up to 30 days at no charge.
Departure Tax: International Departure tax is 500 Baht (approx. $14) and Domestic Departure tax is 40 Baht (approx. $1.20) is payable locally by customers in local currency.
Website: www.toursimthailand.com
Health Information: None required but Hepatitis 'A', Polio, Typhoid, Malaria, Diptheria, Tetanus are strongly recommended.
Other Information: Thais don't normally shake hands when they greet one another, but instead press palms together in a prayer-like gesture called a wai. Thais regard the head as the highest part of the body - both literally and figuratively - therefore avoid touching people on the head and try not to point your feet at people or an object as it is considered rude.
Alcohol: Alcohol is widely available throughout Thailand.

Important information for all destinations

Please Note:

  • This information is accurate at the time of publication. All charges and visa requirements are subject to change.
  • You will require a full 10 year US passport valid for at least 6 months after your return to the US.
  • In most cases vaccinations are not officially required.
  • It is the responsibility of all passengers to ensure that prior to travel they have taken the necessary health precautions applicable to their chosen destination. Advice about destinations can change, therefore please consult with your doctor or physician at least 2 months before your departure, as some treatments (e.g. Malaria) should begin well in advance of travel. For late bookings within 3 weeks of departure, please consult with your doctor or physician before booking your vacation.
  • Honeymoon and anniversary packages are available at selected hotels. Please contact us for time restrictions and documents you will need to have in order to qualify for these packages.
  • American Express Traveller Cheque Cards cannot be used in all longhaul destinations. Please check with us for recommendations & advice.
  • During periods of low occupancy, some facilities and amenities may be unavailable.
  • During quieter periods, some accommodations may hold business conferences.
  • During March and June, the resorts are often very busy with Spring Break students. This usually happens in Aruba, Bahamas, Brazil, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico.

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