Frequently Asked Questions
Read below to see answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
Why use a Travel Advisor?
A travel advisor is an expert advisor that can curate the best vacation experience for you.
Williams Travel has been where you want to go and see what you want to see.
We spend nights in dozens of hotels in search of the best experiences and keep up with the latest news and attend trade shows. We have personal relationships with hotels, cruise, and tour companies, and other partners, enabling us to secure the perks that will make a trip truly special.
Experienced travelers know that for a truly stress-free vacation, turn to a professional travel agency like Williams Travel.
Access support when you need it most.
When problems occur far from home, Williams Travel becomes a personal helpline — a “fixer” who knows how to turn things around and save the day.
Our personal relationships and exclusive memberships give us access to people on-site who will accommodate your every need.
Get the details right.
Big-picture planning is one thing, but Williams Travel knows how to look for the small things that will make or break your experience, like the view from your hotel room or the experience of our tour guide.
See the world in a brand new way.
Williams Travel will have recommendations for hot new destinations, plus new ways to experience the places you already love.
Our experts stay up on the latest industry trends and travel the world themselves in search of the best possible recommendations.
Who is Virtuoso?
Williams Travel is a proud member of Virtuoso, which is an invitation-only network of the best luxury travel agencies. Through our membership, we are able to offer a portfolio of nearly 1700 preferred partners, including luxury hotels, cruise lines, tour operators, and more. Working with Williams Travel gives you access to complimentary upgrades, additional benefits, and experiences that money can’t buy.
- Access to special rates and promotions at luxury hotels worldwide
- Incredible perks at more than 1200 hotels around the world. This includes room upgrades, complimentary breakfast, resort credits, and more!
- Special recognition and complimentary benefits with Virtuoso suppliers worldwide • Access to “money can’t buy” experiences through our global connections – onsite destination representatives available in over 60 countries
- Complimentary publications with valuable offers and insider articles on regional history, culture and cuisine
- Complimentary Virtuoso Voyages membership with select cruise lines to enhance your luxury cruise experience
- On select cruise sailings, you can enjoy special shore experiences, shipboard credits, and exclusive cocktail receptions
We care about your vacation experience. You receive the best because we only offer the best. It is that winning combination that places us a step above our competition. It is our pleasure to welcome you to the Williams Travel family.
Can I cruise without a passport?
All cruise lines strongly recommend all of the guests travel with a valid passport. ALL guests need proper proof of citizenship in order to travel and failure to present a valid document at check-in will result in denied boarding and no refund will be issued. There are some loop-end cruises that do not require a passport but those cruises are few and far between. You still need documentation and if, by chance, the cruise ship has to dock due to an emergency at another port that requires a passport, well, without a passport, it will be a while before you’ll be going home! Just follow the rules and you will have smooth sailing!
Is travel insurance really necessary?
Travel insurance is always necessary to protect you from many things but it is not mandatory. Should anything happen before you cruise, it covers your deposit or final payment, it can cover medical issues, delayed flights so you miss your trip and much more. Williams Travel recommends never leave home without it!
Do I really need a credit card when traveling internationally (outside the U.S.)?
It is highly recommended as you won’t have to worry about having the correct currency in the right amount. If you use your credit card, you will be charged in the currency of the country you are in and your credit card company will convert the exchange rate for you. Some credit card companies offer a card that waives any transaction and conversion fees, so check with your credit card company as they’ll be happy to help you with that issue. In some cases, the transaction and conversion fees can be quite expensive so you would be saving quite a bit if you plan on charging everything (that’s what we do….makes life easier).
Do keep in mind that Visa and Mastercard are the most popular cards in Europe – some places do not take both cards, they may only take one of them, so it’s a good idea to have one of each. Also, it’s okay to leave home without your American Express card. It is not very popular in Europe due to the merchant fees they charge, so stick with Visa and Mastercard.
Can I lock my luggage?
If you do decide to secure your suitcase, choose one of the many TSA-approved locks available, such as these combination locks from Master Lock or TravelMore. … The TSA has master keys that allow agents to open all TSA-approved locks if they determine that your bag needs extra screening.
A TSA Approved Lock is simply any lock that has the Travel Sentry logo on it. Travel Sentry was created in 2003 and is the group in charge of overseeing the creation and approval of luggage locks that can be opened by aviation security agencies like the TSA.
How far in advance of a trip should you apply for a passport?
It can take up to 8-10 weeks to get your passport, so don’t wait until the last month or two before you’re going out of the country to get one. Apply in plenty of time, and make sure you have those 2×2 colour passport photos with you when you apply. Make sure to read all the information on travel.state.gov to make sure that you follow the proper procedure.
What is the best way to stay healthy while traveling?
Try to get plenty of rest. It’s hard to do on vacation when you want to ‘do it all’, but that will help keep you healthy. Make sure you have your vitamins with you that you would take at home, and throw in a few cold/flu capsules just in case (my rule is usually if I take them with me, I won’t need them…and I usually don’t!). Use wipes on the phones in your room and TV remote as well as other ‘touch’ places before you settle in. Drink plenty of water!
Do we need to take foreign currency with us on our international vacation/cruise?
I always recommend carrying approximately $50 US of local currency. This will allow you to purchase bottles of water, have local money for the toilet, buy a soda or a beer while you’re out on your adventures. Most countries do not accept US currency, so don’t be an ugly American and expect all countries to take our currency……they will be insulted.
Will my cell phone work while I am traveling abroad?
You will need to contact your phone provider and see what would be the best plan for where you are going and what your needs will be.
How far in advance do I need to be at the airport prior to a domestic flight?
Usually, 2 hours is fine, but with today’s security lines 2 1/2 hours would be a good idea.
How far in advance should I arrive at the airport prior to an international flight?
You should allow a 3-hour check-in time for all international flights. The lines can be extremely long when waiting for international check-in. Your passports are checked and entered into the airline system (if not previously entered), your bags are checked and weighed, you are issued boarding passes and then you’re off to security. This can be another extremely long line if people are going through with their keys in their pockets, phones in their back pockets, or anything that will set off the alarms. You may have to take a tram to your concourse and then find your gate which may be close or very far away.
If you are checking in to fly domestically (within the 48 states) and then transferring to your international flight, checking in 2 1/2 hours ahead should be plenty of time, i.e., leaving Sacramento to fly to Atlanta, then switching planes to fly to Barcelona. Also, use common sense. If your flight is at 6:00AM, your local airport is not open at 3AM…most of the airlines open up at 4:30AM….they will call for those on 6AM or 6:30AM flights to move to the front of the line for check-in, so you won’t miss your flight.
When in doubt, be early. You can always stop at one of the convenience shops and pick up a soda or food to take on the plane with you, or stop at Starbucks for a coffee. You will arrive at your gate relaxed and not rushed.
Will I need an electrical converter and adapter in the countries I'm traveling to?
Yes, you will. You can purchase a converter kit at Kohl’s for about $25.00 and it includes all the plugs you would need for any country. As an added note, I often travel with a 25’ extension cord as often the plug in the hotel room/cruise cabin is not where I need it to be to charge my devices.
Why use a travel advisor?
There are many benefits when booking with a travel advisor, from cost savings to having an expert there to help guide you and plan your trip. At Williams Travel, we have experienced many of the different cruise lines and ships that allow us to match you up with the ship and itinerary that suits you best. We suggest many options to you such as cabin suggestions, dining recommendations, and more.
Beyond the perks offered with your booking, a great reason to book with a travel advisor is the service. A good travel advisor has personal experience with travel but also gets great feedback from his or her clients so they’re continuously learning about different offerings. This means that the advisor can help get to know you, find out what you enjoy, what type of vacation you’re looking for, etc, and make recommendations based on the knowledge they’ve amassed. There is no “best cruise line”, but they’re probably is one that is best for you, and for this particular trip.
Another great service advisors provide is being your primary point of contact for your trip. This can be a big factor, as your cruise may be much more than just a cruise. You might need a car to get you to the airport, a flight to the city you’re cruising from, a hotel in that city, a rental car, restaurant reservations, your cruise, shore excursions, and more. Williams Travel can not only make these arrangements but if you need to make changes or get more information, you’ve got one person you can speak with that will help you with everything.
At Williams Travel, we spend a good majority of our year attending educational seminars, webinars, and visiting various locations to enhance our knowledge so that we can recommend the best vacation for our clients.
We are members of Virtuoso, CLIA credentialed, are certified as Accredited Cruise Counselors, have certification and/or specialists on over 10 Ocean Cruises Lines, 7 River Cruise Lines, and 14 tour operators.