- Do I need a passport to travel?
Yes, all travelers leaving the United States are required to have a passport. For further information, you may visit the State Department Website at: http://travel.state.gov/
If you do not currently have a passport, it is critical that you begin the application process as soon as possible, as the issuing authority requires 6- 8 weeks for processing. If you currently have a passport, please make sure that it doesn’t expire for 6 months after your intended date of travel. Please notify Innovative Incentives if you are scheduled to take a trip with us and you do not yet have a valid passport.
- I am thinking of bringing my child or children. What will the trip be like for them?
Typically, incentive trips are for adult winners and their spouses or guests. Unless specifically requested by your company or host, no children’s activities are included in the trip, nor are children anticipated to attend. Daytime activities may include travel on coaches that do not accommodate infant car seats. Evening events such as dinners and entertainment can sometimes run late into the night and occur at adult venues such as restaurants, pubs, or bars. In our experiences, incentive trips are not very enjoyable for children in general, as activities and scheduling are geared toward an adult group only.
However, should you wish to bring children or if you are unable to arrange child care in your absence, we will do our best to accommodate your child or children. Please notify us as soon as you are able, and we will make every effort to arrange for proper car seats, babysitting, or age appropriate activities. Please note that not every hotel, resort, or destination will offer childcare. You will be responsible for any childcare costs or for any activities arranged on their behalf, unless specifically requested or approved by your company or host.
- I am bringing my child or children. Do they need passports too?
Yes, all travelers, including infants, need a valid passport for travel. For further information, please visit the State Department website at: http://travel.state.gov/ .
- Do I need any special visas to take my trip?
In most cases, visas are not required of United States citizens to the countries we visit. However, if your passport is issued from another country besides the United States, please notify Innovative Incentives so that we may make sure you do not require any travel visas or other additional documentation. Should your particular trip require a visa, Innovative Incentives will notify you of this requirement. When a visa is required, the issuing government office of that country will require that you are already in possession of a valid passport.
- What should I pack?
When choosing what to pack, consider the following two factors: time of year or season where you will be visiting and the activities you plan to participate in. If you are visiting the Caribbean or Hawaii, for example, make sure to pack light clothing, shorts, bathing suits, and sun block. If you are visiting France and Germany, bring long pants, comfortable walking shoes, and a nice evening outfit.
As your trip departure date gets closer, you will receive an information packet from Innovative Incentives. It will have all your travel documents as well as destination-specific guidelines for packing, activities, and weather.
Below, please find a list of recommended essentials to help you prepare to travel. Please carry your passport, other forms of identification, travel documents, and any medications with you in your carry-on and not in your checked baggage.
– a plug adapter and electricity converter for your small appliances
– your valid passport, and a photocopy kept separately
– your departure documents
– any medications in their original containers
– your health insurance card or proof of insurance
– a small amount of foreign cash, if desired
– a credit card or ATM card (Visa, MasterCard, and AmEx are widely accepted)
- What will the weather be like?
Depending on where you visit, the weather can vary greatly. While Innovative Incentives trips are scheduled during the best possible weather seasons, it’s always advisable to bring a small umbrella and layered cover-ups or light jackets in case the weather unexpectedly changes.
Two weeks prior to your trip, you will receive your departure documents from Innovative Incentives. It will include specific information about the weather and expected daily temperature where you are visiting. You may always call us toll free with any questions you have about your trip itinerary or destination: 1-800-272-2106.
- Will my hair dryer, electric shaver, alarm clock, laptop, etc. work where I am going?
In Europe, you will need a converter for any small appliances you plan to bring, including laptop computers. Please let us know if you will need a converter, and we will request it from the hotel on your behalf. Due to the limited number available at any hotel, we recommend that you consider bringing these items from home. Any travel store will be happy to assist you in your purchase.
In most Caribbean Islands, you will not need a converter.
- Do I need any shots or vaccinations before I take my trip?
Depending on where you are traveling to, vaccinations may be required. However, in most cases, a healthy adult will not require any vaccinations or shots. Innovative Incentives strongly suggests that you consult your health care provider directly with any questions regarding medical needs or preparation for your trip. In addition, we also suggest that pregnant women check with their health care provider before traveling.
If vaccinations or other medical precautions are required for your trip, Innovative Incentives will notify you ahead of time and let you know what vaccinations or other preparations are required.
- How much spending money should I bring?
This is really personal preference. As a general rule, Innovative Incentives suggests you bring enough money to enjoy some souvenir shopping. Please keep in mind that, in most cases, your breakfasts and many dinners will be included in your trip. All hosted activities are also included in your trip and prepaid by your host or company. We strongly recommend that bring your ATM card and plan on using it to get money. In this way, you will only pay a small user fee as you would at home, and avoid unreasonable conversion fees that currency exchange offices often charge. We recommend using an ATM or credit card over travelers cheques, as a fee is also charged when exchanging them into local currency.
Also, please notify your credit card company and bank that you will be traveling (and making charges) outside the United States. This is an excellent anti-fraud recommendation.
When you receive your departure documents, a detailed itinerary is included which will let you know what meals, activities, and other expenses have been taken care of and which you will be responsible for, if any. If you have any questions about spending money or expenses, please do not hesitate to contact an Innovative Incentives staff person. Call toll free: 1-800-272-2106.
- Will I be able to call home using my cell phone?
In most cases, your average American cell phone will not work abroad. In some cases, it may be possible to purchase a global SIM card for your current cell phone. In addition, global cell phones are often available for rent from your cell provider. Please contact your cell phone service provider for further details.
- When will I receive my tickets and other travel documents?
Approximately two weeks prior to departure, you will receive your documents by mail. They will include your air tickets, or e-ticket confirmations, hotel information, destination information, luggage tags, specific information to aid you in packing and preparation, leave-at-home forms for your family and friends, maps, and other pertinent information. If any special preparations, such as vaccinations or visas, are required, you will also be notified ahead of time.
- Do you need any emergency contact information before I travel?
Yes, once your trip is announced and the winners are chosen, you will receive a “pre-trip packet” which includes a form for you to provide us with emergency contact information. In addition, we provide you with forms to leave at home with your contact information while you are traveling.
- Can I choose my seating assignment ahead of time?
In most cases, your air transportation has been contracted and purchased about a year in advance of your travel dates. Group reservations are different from individual reservations, in that your seating assignment is part of a block of seats being held specifically for your group. When you arrive at the airport, you are always able to request specific seating at that time. In addition, for long flights, we make every attempt to secure appropriate seating to offer you the greatest comfort. If you want a specific seat, you may inquire at the gate desk about availability. Exit seating and bulkhead row seating is given out on a first-come-first-served basis on the day of travel, after special needs individuals are accommodated.
- Will I be able to accrue frequent flyer miles for this trip?
In most cases, yes, it is possible. Once your trip is finalized and the winners are chosen, you will receive a “pre-trip packet” which includes a form where you can alert us to any frequent flyer club to which you belong. If applicable, your miles will be logged. It is important to retain your ticket stubs, and boarding passes, as these are required to process your request with the airline. Many international airlines “code share” with our domestic carriers, so even your international flight may apply. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Innovative Incentives or your frequent flyer membership customer service department.
- Our flights are coach. Can I upgrade my airfare to a first class ticket?
This depends on a few factors including your flight routing. If you have a domestic (within the United States) flight only, you may be able to upgrade to a first class ticket at your own expense. If you have a domestic flight connecting with an international flight, you may be able to upgrade the domestic portion only, at your own expense. If you are flying on an international flight only, a first class upgrade is not allowed. Due to the nature of incentive travel you will most likely be flying with the rest of your group; your international flight is booked through a group department, separate from individual reservations. Should you have any questions about your flights, please feel free to contact us: Call (800) 272-2106 or email Innovative Incentives, Inc.