Get Your FREE Ultimate Weekend Packing Cheat Sheet!

Frequently Asked Questions

Based on the reader’s questions, interactions with other travel writers, and my own travel experiences, I’ve compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions. I’ve also included several affiliate links to some wonderful travel-related brands that I like and trust. I hope you’ll find this helpful. Let me know if you have questions that aren’t on this list and be sure to sign up for the newsletter so you’re always up-to-date on the latest travel news, tips, and inspiration.

FAQs – TravelingtoGIVE™ to Paws for Purple Hearts

Pull Over and Let Me Out has partnered with TravelingToGIVE to provide our readers with their SmartTrip planning tool.  You can find it in many of our stories, or you can use the tool here, which allows you to plan your trip to anywhere, for any reason and at the same time, give back to Paws for Purple Hearts, who provides canine assisted warrior therapy.

TravelingToGIVE allows you to plan your travel to anywhere, for any reason and each trip benefits Paws for Purple Hearts.

You can enter any place, any venue name, any address or even a company name and the system will find available hotels nearby your true destination.

1.  Select I’m Staying tab
2.  Click on the pencil
3.  Enter your destination

Then search for the available hotels nearby that place.

To change your reservation or cancel a reservation made with TravelingToGIVE, click HERE.  Or if you already booked a hotel reservation and need assistance, you can contact our Customer Service at 877-477-7441.  Make sure you have your trip number, phone number and email that you entered while making your reservations.

FAQs - Documentation

1. How do I find out what documentation I need to travel from the U.S. to Mexico and Canada?

A: The best bet is to check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website. Click the “Travel” tab then choose Canada/Mexico travel.

2. When does the new federal Real ID requirement go into effect?

A: This has been delayed once again! The new date is May 5, 2025. Starting then the federal Real ID requirement goes into effect and will be necessary to get through TSA security.

3. When do I need a passport to travel outside the United States?

A: A great resource for finding out if you require a passport is the State Department website or U.S. Passport Service Guide.

4. Should I let the U.S. State Department know when I travel outside the country?

A: The U.S. State Department offers a program for registering your trip abroad so the embassy or consulate can easily find you should there be a natural disaster, civil unrest or other such issues. The program is called STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program). It’s not a bad idea and doesn’t take long to complete the online registration.

FAQs - Trip Planning

1. What are the best websites for finding deals on vacation activities?

A: I recommend Viator for booking tours and activities. Viator offers more than 300,000 experiences throughout 200 countries, including wine tastings, walking tours, cooking classes, catamaran rides, tickets, passes to famous landmarks, and travel and transportation services, such as bus tours and day trips. Click here to learn more. 

2. What are the best websites for searching for airfares?

A: I like Aviasales. Aviasales is a trusted app service for buying cheap flight tickets. No extra fees or markups! You can learn more here.

There are several other good ones; Google Flights, Skyscanner, and Expedia are fantastic for finding flights and creating price alerts. Rome2Rio is a favorite for figuring out the best method of getting to a location.

3. What tool do you use for building your itinerary?

A: My favorite site for building an itinerary online that I can share with friends and loved ones is Trip30. Trip30 allows you to add as much or as little detail as possible and you can create a shareable link to your itinerary.

4. Do you use third parties to book hotels?

A: I’m a big proponent of joining hotel loyalty programs and accruing points to earn free stays when you book directly.

Our TravelingToGIVE SmartTrip™ tool is an online travel company that has a unique model that gives back a percentage of its revenues to charity.  They also provide a 110% best-rate guarantee on hotels.   If you are a member of a loyalty program, you can call your hotel company and ask that they add your loyalty number to the booking made on our site. 

5. Have you ever used a vacation rental company?

A: The TravelingtoGIVE tool on our site has apartments, condos, and private homes, interspersed with hotels.  I’ve used VRBO/HomeAway MANY times.  The biggest tip I can give is to read the reviews!

6. Do I need a pass to visit the U.S. National Parks?

A: Passes aren’t required, you can pay upon entry. However, a pass will gain you access to 2000 federal recreation sites. If you’re planning on visiting multiple parks in a year, it’s a big cost-saver. Children 15 and under get in free. Learn more here.

7. What are your favorite road trip apps?

A: I use several apps when I’m road-tripping. Google Maps is my go-to for navigation. Uber for when I need a ride. Snapseed for photo editing. Shutterfly for downloading my travel pics. GasBuddy is great for finding the best gas prices and iExit tells you what’s ahead when you’re on the road. Hikers can find local trails using the All Trails app. Stargazers will enjoy using SkyView or Star Walk.

And Tripadvisor is always an invaluable resource for an array of travel tips and ideas from attractions to hotels to dining to tours.

8. Do you recommend purchasing a Go City Pass?

A: If you’re planning on visiting one of the many Go City destinations, you can definitely save money. The key is knowing how long you’ll be visiting and how many attractions you’ll realistically visit. If you plan to visit multiple attractions the cost of a Go City pass is definitely worthwhile.

9. When should I plan for myself and when should I use a travel agent?

A: The Internet has changed how we make our travel plans, however, there are times you may want or need the assistance of a travel agent. Today, they’re considered travel consultants and many have areas of specialization such as cruises or specific countries. I suggest consulting a travel consultant if you’re uncomfortable planning a trip yourself. Oftentimes, travel agents have contacts in the industry and are able to tap into resources the average traveler doesn’t have access to. You’ll also have a contact back home should you need assistance or run into issues while on your journey.

FAQs Travel Gear

1. What’s the best carry-on luggage?

A: With so many choices and styles finding the best piece of carry-on luggage is a highly personal decision. Some folks prefer soft-sided bags or duffle bags because they expand. Others prefer hardshell. My best advice is to do your research, know the airline size requirements, and consider what’s most important to you when you travel. Websites like eBags or Amazon offer a wide range of choices. 

2. Do I need to take a power converter when traveling to Europe?

A: Yes, you will need a power converter for international travel. The best choices are universal and offer multiple ports. The EU and the UK are different from Asia and the US so be sure the converter you purchase will work in the country you’re traveling to.

3. What’s your favorite packing hack?

A: I can’t say enough about the benefits of the packing cube. Packing cubes make keeping clothes organized and relatively wrinkle-free easy. They’re also a time saver because I do a lot less searching if everything is in its dedicated packing cube.

4. What’s a good piece of travel clothing?

A: I love my SCOTTeVEST. It’s great for carrying things and remaining hands-free. It’s also a terrific layering piece and it’s lightweight and water-resistant. They run on the small side so you may want to go up a size. Another travel must for me is a scarf. A scarf is multi-functional, it can be used for warmth or to change the look of your outfit. On the plane, it’s a great little blanket.

I am also a huge fan of building a capsule wardrobe designed for travel. You can read more about how to create your capsule wardrobe here

5. Where can I find travel-sized toiletries? 

A: You can always raid the local drug store for travel-sized toiletries but you may not find all you want or need. You can also find a number of travel-sized products on Amazon. Another fun site, is dedicated to being a one-stop shopping experience for specialty travel-sized products.

FAQs This and That

1. Should I purchase a VPN?

A: A VPN (Virtual Personal Network) is a great idea if you plan on using public WiFi when you’re on your trip. Basically, a VPN hides your IP address and encrypts the data you send and receive protecting your identity and information. A VPN is an added layer of security and reliable VPNs can be found for a minimal cost. Read more about VPNs and choosing the right one here.

2. Do I need to purchase additional insurance when renting a car?

A: Probably not. Your personal auto insurance plan and or the credit card you’re using most likely already cover you. However, it’s always good to check your plan before you travel. Furthermore, if you’re renting a car internationally, not all insurance companies cover international rentals. Check with your plan provider. Here’s a good article for more information.

If you’re ready to rent a car or a bicycle for your vacation, here are two affiliate links where you can make your reservation now. and

3. Should I prepay the gas tank when renting a car?

A: Most car rental companies are having you pre-pay the entire tanks so unless you’ll be returning the car with a completely empty tank, it’s not going to work to your advantage. The Full to Full Fuel policy is the most common with rental companies. You’ll need to return the car with the same amount of fuel it had when you picked it up. Here’s a good post with more info.

4. Do I need trip insurance?

A: Life happens. If you’ve invested a chunk of your savings into a trip, it makes good sense to insure the trip. Most plans are relatively inexpensive. Here’s my affiliate link to InsureMyTrip. This is an aggregate site that helps you find the best plan for your needs.

I’ll be adding more FAQs as they arise. Have a travel-related question? Let me know. You can email your inquiry to

Scroll to Top

FREE Access to Exclusive Travel Tips and Deals

Get the latest travel news, tips & information from!

Save on Membership with


don't leave empty-handed

Get your FREE Ultimate Weekend Packing Cheat Sheet

Happy Travels