Signing Up For Spring Sports – What Your Child Will Need

Spring Sports Sign-UpsSpring is right around the corner and if you have children you know what that means, Spring sports! Life may get a little hectic between work, dropping Katie off at soccer and making sure Jeff gets to baseball practice on the other side of town. However, it all pays off when you see the smile on your child’s face when they finally get that big win. Since sign-ups will be starting soon for sports, this is the time to make sure your children have the records they need to sign-up and play. Here is a Spring sports necessities checklist so you will be ready come sign-up time!

  • Physical documentation. Your child will be required to show that they are healthy enough to play the sport they wish to participate in this Spring. Depending on the school or league involved, a doctor may be provided on a specified day for these, but normally it requires a visit to your family doctor.
  • Proof of age. A sports league requires proof of your child’s age to make sure they are signed up to participate in the proper division of their respective sport. An acceptable proof of age is an official birth certificate.
  • Proof of address. A sports league will also require proof of address; some leagues may even give a discount for being in-district. In some cases your child may only be allowed to play if they live in a certain district zone.
  • Release forms. Check online to see if your school or league has their release forms and waivers available. If you can print them out and complete them ahead of time, it will help make the sign-up process faster once you arrive.
  • Sports gear. Take the kids out for a sports equipment shopping trip! You want to make sure they have the right gear needed to stay safe and stylish on the field and going a little early means you won’t have trouble finding your child’s size in clothing, shoes, or protective gear.

Be sure to visit your league’s website to find the Spring sports sign-ups dates so you have enough time to prepare. If you need a government certified official birth certificate, VitalChek can help! Simply go online and place an order for your child’s birth certificate and let us take care of the rest.

Fun International Travel Destinations for Singles

Collage of summer beach maldives images

International travel is always exciting! The chance to see new places and new faces is something many people live for, especially thrill seekers. It takes an adventurous person to travel alone internationally, but for many, this is a preferred method of travel. Traveling internationally as a single leaves the door open to make new friends and experience your trip the way you want to, without any outsider input. Does this sound like the type of trip you could see yourself taking? If you answered yes, then you will want to learn more about some of the best international travel destinations for singles.

  • Costa Rica: Did you know Costa Rica was voted #1 as the country with the happiest people according to the Happy Planet Index? If that isn’t enough of a reason to visit Costa Rica, here are a few more perks. This beautiful country has something for the thrill seekers, the relaxation seekers, and everyone in between. Take your pick of zip lining through the tropical forests with volcanoes as your backdrop, boat parties with endless fun in the sun, or beachside spas for detoxing your stress away.
  • Bali, Indonesia: Known for its attention to spirituality through yoga, flavorful foods, breathtaking mountain and beach scenery, along with endless markets, Bali is quickly becoming a hot spot for traveling singles. Again, it caters to the needs of just about everyone. One popular and centrally located place for traveling singles to stay is the Family Guest House in Ubud. These accommodations are known for making guests feel at home while encouraging a true Balinese experience.
  • Montreal, Canada: If you’re looking to keep your travel closer to home, but still want a European-type feel, Montreal is perfect for you. For the solo traveler on a budget, this Canadian province of Quebec will leave you in awe without being a shock to your wallet. Nature lovers can hike Mont Royal, the mountain in the middle of the city, while history lovers can explore old Montreal, one of the oldest North American cities. You can also practice your French – but rest assured if you haven’t perfected it, you will be just fine!

These are 3 great international trips for the single man or woman looking for their next adventure. Before you go, be sure to research the areas to find out more about the must-see locations and to be prepared with any vital records you may need. For any help obtaining required vital records for your travel, visit VitalChek to quickly receive your government verified records.

 

Tips for Women Traveling Alone

Women Traveling Alone

As a woman traveling abroad it can be exhilarating and empowering. On the flip side it can be nerve-wracking to be alone rather than in a group. When traveling alone, safety should be your number one priority. Travel the world, live your life, and experience things you never would have before, but remember a few tips for women traveling solo.

Being alone in a new country means having to be aware of your surroundings and being aware of any safety alerts. Using what most people refer to as “street smarts” is a tip to always keep in the back of your mind.

  • Walk with a sense of purpose and confidence. This will help eliminate the sense that you are in an unfamiliar place.
  • Women who travel alone frequently also suggest carrying a map, phrase book, and money with you at all times. Having the local currency with you will help you enjoy spur of the moment purchases but will also help you hail a cab or purchase a train ticket to get back to your hotel.
  • If you get lost, make sure to stay in well-lit and well-populated areas. If you need to ask for directions, stopping off at a restaurant is in most cases a safe option.
  • Be aware of your bags at all times. This includes a purse or backpack as you are exploring a city or country area. Many people are surprised how easy it is to become a victim of pick-pocketing.
  • Use your hotel or housing during your trip to learn more about what areas you should visit and which ones may be best to avoid as a solo woman. Most concierges will be happy to help keep you on the right path so you enjoy your trip and leave a good review of the hotel.

If you need any help obtaining government records or proof of your identity for your trip, VitalChek can help. We are a leading provider of online ordering for vital records such as birth certificates, so you can worry about one less item on your traveling checklist. Contact us to learn how to obtain your records today.

Travel Tips for International Adoption

My adopted daughters

Making the choice to expand your family by choosing adoption is one heartwarming way to give a new life to a child in need of a home. Adoption can be done both within the country and internationally depending on what is right for your family. For those families who choose international adoption there are a few travel tips you should keep in mind for a successful overseas adoption.

Once you have found a reputable adoption agency, they will help walk you through all of the paperwork needs for your travel. However there are a few other parts of the trip to think about prior to embarking. You should be aware of where you are staying in relation to the adoption site, cultural differences, safety matters, and clothing for your new son or daughter. Use this international adoption guide to help make your process go as smoothly as possible.

  • Make sure you research the area surrounding your adoption site. Plan out transportation thoroughly to make sure you can get to where you need to be on time. It is always a good idea to ask any family or friends who have been to the area for recommendations as well. If you do not know anyone who has visited the area, check with your adoption agency as they may be able to connect you with other family ambassadors.
  • Research the culture of where you will be adopting from, as you will be expected to follow their cultural formalities. This includes making sure your clothing is proper and that you understand the acceptable mannerisms of the culture. Educating yourself and family will help ease any culture shock and will help ease any anxiety you may experience from being in a new place.
  • The adoption agency will provide you with any information regarding vaccines or medications you may need to visit the country you are adopting from. However, you should also look at the CDC and or World Health Organization to make sure you are aware of any and all new health concerns. You can never be too safe when it comes to your health during your adoption trip.
  • Bring different sized clothes for your son or daughter. In different countries, depending on nutrients available, your baby may be smaller than they normally would be at their age or their clothing sizes run differently. It is wise to pack clothes that are for both a younger or older child to make sure you have your bases covered.

VitalChek wants your adoption to run as smooth as possible. We can help provide you with proper government documentation needed for the adoption agency and for your trip. Simply visit us at www.VitalChek.com to order your vital records.

 

 

What You Need for a Semester Abroad

Study Abroad

Congratulations on being accepted into a study abroad program! This exciting time means the next few months are going to be full of preparation for your semester abroad. Part of your study abroad preparation is making sure you have the essential items you need for a smooth trip and educational experience. Use a study abroad checklist to make sure you have everything you will need for the experience of a lifetime!

Documentation Required Before You Go:

  • Birth certificate
  • Valid photo ID
  • Passport/Visa
  • Study abroad information
  • Flight tickets
  • Emergency contact information card
  • Currency and Safety:
    • International credit card
    • Alert your current bank that you will be traveling out of the country so they do not place a hold on your account for suspicious activity
    • Local currency which you can get from your bank or at the airport prior to your flight
    • Travelers insurance
    • Map of study abroad location

During Your Semester Abroad:

  • Clothing appropriate for the climate where you will be staying. A good place to start no matter where you are traveling to is as follows:
  • 5 shirts
  • 2 pairs of pants/shorts
  • 2 pair of dress pants/skirts/dresses
  • 2 blouses or dress shirts for formal attire
  • 1 Bathing suit
  • 7 pairs of socks/underwear
  • 3 pairs of shoes: Running shoes, dress shoes, sandals/boots as per your location of travel
  • 1 pair of Pajamas
  • 1 jacket: can be heavy for cold areas or a light rain jacket for warmer areas

Electronics

  • Converter
  • Cellphone with an international calling plan
  • Laptop or tablet
  • Camera
  • Toiletries
  • Tooth brush
  • Makeup
  • Medications
  • Deodorant
  • Glasses/contacts

Packing for a study abroad trip may make you feel like you need to pack everything you own, but remember you can make purchases once you’re at your destination. This will help keep your bag at an acceptable weight limit for your flight and ensure you only take the essential items you need. The VitalChek study abroad packing checklist will help take the stress out of your preparation. If you need any of your personal vital records prior to your semester abroad, simply order them online and quickly have them in your possession.

Tips for International Business Travel

Tips for International Business Travel

Traveling for work can be exciting, especially if you get to travel internationally for business. It can be great for business savvy people who love experiencing new places. However, just like when you plan a vacation, you need to be well-prepared for your international business travel. When it comes to business, no one likes to make things more complicated; they just want things made easier. To make your business trip a little bit easier, follow these tips for a successful international business trip!

  • First and foremost, know what documentation is required for your international business trip. You will need a passport at the very least, but some countries may require additional government records and forms for your entry. To find out what you need for entry and/or exit of each country you will be visiting, you can use the Smart Traveler Program through the U.S. Department of State website.
  • Book your airfare as far in advance as possible. You will most likely save money this way, but it also helps keep you ready and organized for your upcoming business trip.
  • Try to plan your flights such that you arrive 1 day in advance of any meetings, in case of any unexpected delays.
  • Download your airline’s smartphone app so you are always up-to-date on any change to your flight and can avoid long check-in lines at the airport.
  • Sign up for your airline’s frequent flyer program and start collecting points/miles for future trips.
  • Ask your company whether or they will provide you with an international phone while you are traveling. If not, call your provider to set up a global plan.
  • Research any cultural differences so you can avoid making any cultural faux-pas and impress your clients.
  • Put all of your essential documents and/or electronic devices in your carry on so you don’t risk losing them. Also carry hygiene essentials with you in case you get delayed and need to go to the office straight from the airport.

We hope these tips for international business travel help you make the most of your trip. If you have any questions about documentation needed for international travel, please contact VitalChek to learn more about how we can help obtain your vital records. We look forward to being a part of your successful business trip.

Planning your Spring Break Vacation Overseas

Springbreaktravel copySpring break is finally here! Take a break from studying, writing papers, and reading those lengthy textbooks. It’s time to find a great overseas vacation spot so you can relax before going back to day-to-day life as you know it. First and foremost, you need to make sure you have done your research and are prepared for your spring break vacation overseas. Before you run off to your dream destination, make sure to check off all the necessities for your spring break vacation.

  1. Make sure you have your passport ready. You will need certain official vital records to obtain a passport if you do not already have one. Make sure you give yourself enough time to obtain your records and passport. We suggest no less than 3 months.
  2. Think about the type of locations you want to visit – whether a beach, the mountains, a desert, a snow-filled city or quiet village. From there, start researching top places to stay and make sure to read reviews to help avoid any scams or poor lodging.
  3. Look for student deals on flights and places to stay. Many times hotels and airlines will offer spring break travel deals.
  4. Think about getting travel insurance to help you in case of an emergency. Most travel insurance companies also offer other helpful services once you’ve purchased a plan. Many of them will provide you with information about the area for dining and sightseeing, and can even set up travel arrangements for you once you have reached your spring break destination.
  5. Scope out the appropriate emergency locations nearby as a precautionary step. Depending on where your overseas spring break trip is taking you, you may want to know where the US embassy, hospital or grocery store/market is.

Make sure you are prepared for your spring break trip overseas ahead of time to avoid any last minute planning hiccups. Once you have all of your travel plans taken care of, all that’s left to do is count down the days until your next adventure. If you have any concerns about obtaining your vital records needed for travel, visit VitalChek.com to learn more.

Top Destinations for International Travel

top destination for intl travel

Planning a trip that involves international travel can be a bit stressful. There are so many amazing destinations to visit! How do you know where to start? How do you know the destination you’ve selected is right for you? Take a deep breath and know it will all be okay once you are sitting in your version of paradise. Here are some top destinations for international travel to get you started in your search!

  • France: Get in touch with your romantic side and plan a trip to the city of Paris. While known for its top attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, it has so much more to offer as well. Take time to visit small neighborhood cafes, markets, and enjoy trendy shopping.
  • Spain: Be ready to fall in love with Barcelona. Its architecture is of the medieval era and will leave you in awe. View the unique building work of Antoni Gaudí while you enjoy tapas accompanied by a glass of fine wine.
  • Greece: Greece is back on the tourist market after experiencing a recent downturn in travel due to its economy. However, in 2015 you will see people traveling to Greece again, including going to Athens for the early history of western civilization. The islands of Crete and Santorini will also start to bring back beach goers who want to see some of the best beaches in the world.
  • United Arab Emirates: Plan a trip to Dubai to play with the rich and famous! The city is known as one of the biggest international gateways for the world’s elite. There is indoor skiing, the Burj Khalifa (or tallest building in the world), and some of the most luxurious hotels ever built.
  • Iceland: Iceland has become a huge travel spot, especially to Grindavík. The Blue Lagoon natural hot springs and northern lights call to a wide variety of international travel lovers.

Finding the top international travel destinations for you or your family does not have to be stressful. Let it be fun. Whether you plan one vacation a year or many international vacations, VitalChek can help you get ready for the big trip. If you need government certified vital records for your next trip, contact VitalChek

Tips for Traveling Abroad with Children

Happy family

Taking family vacations are what make up some of our most precious memories, both as children and adults. Do you have an international family vacation planned? If so, you should make sure that you and your children are ready by making an international travel checklist. The best family trips are always well organized! Making sure you and your family are prepared means more time for fun and less time spent stressing over what to do, or if you packed the right things for your children.

Traveling internationally with children can be very exciting because you get to show them a whole new world outside of their own. Yet, it can be stressful as a parent because you aren’t sure the best way to prepare or plan. Here are some tips for planning a trip abroad with children so you can rest assured your trip will go smoothly!

  • Obtain a passport for your child well in advance of your international travel dates. Make sure you give at least 6 weeks of processing time for the passport to arrive.
  • Plan some fun kid-focused activities for your child to do in-between the more adult-focused activities on your trip. It is always good to know where the nearest beach, lake, park, or toy shop is to keep children entertained.
  • For an easier time at the airport, print or have all boarding passes readily available prior to your trip.
  • Prepare your child for the security line at the airport. Talk about what is appropriate and inappropriate to say or do while at an airport. Also let them know about the process of taking off shoes or a belt and walking through a scanner, so this doesn’t scare them.
  • If you are traveling with a baby or toddler you can pack food for them like formula, baby food, etc. Security will not take away these items, and you are allowed to travel with as much as you need to make it to your destination.
  • If you have a long flight, make sure you and the kids stand up every few hours to walk around. Many flights will offer entertainment, but you can also download movies on an iPad prior to the flight just in case.
  • Pack a basic supplies backpack in case of common messy emergencies. Include items such as disinfectant wipes, bottled water, map of city you are visiting, tissues, snacks, sunscreen, small first aid kit, a small toy, and money in a secured pouch. Consider using a clip to secure zippers of the backpack to avoid pick-pocketers.

This international travel checklist for traveling with children should cover the basics for you and your family. If you need any vital records prior to your trip, VitalChek can help you! We offer quick and easy vital record ordering for any of your government record needs. Visit our website and learn more about our easy and secure ordering process.

Obtaining a Passport for International Travel

Obtaining a passport

Winter is one of the most popular seasons to travel internationally. This might be because the beach calls our name during the snowy and chilly weather season, or because the flights tend to be cheaper during the winter. Whatever the reason for your trip, you want to be sure to get your passport for international travel set up with plenty of time to spare. Here are some helpful international travel tips to help you prepare for your upcoming adventure with passport in hand.

Documents needed to obtain a passport for international travel:

  • First, make sure you have all your vital records, as proof of your identity is required in order to obtain a passport. You will need proof of your U.S. citizenship and photo identification. You will also need to make sure you have the proper government paperwork filled out and the appropriate form of payment ready.
  • As proof of citizenship, you can use a certified birth certificate, previous U.S. passport, consular report of birth abroad, or a certificate of naturalization/citizenship.
  •  A photo ID can be a valid driver’s license, undamaged passport, or government ID.
  • A completed DS-11 form (application for passport).
  • 2 passport photos, which must be in color and printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper at the proper size of 2 x 2 inches.
  • Checks for payment.

Now that you are prepared, you can either mail in your information through the U. S. State Department website or visit your nearest post office. If you would like to mail in your information, be ready to send in all of the above information. Don’t worry; your vital records (such as birth certificate and driver’s license) will be mailed back to you. If you would prefer to apply for your passport in person, most post offices act as a passport acceptance facility. Your town may also offer the courthouse, county office, or other government facilities as approved passport acceptance locations. Simply use the above website to look up your area and find the closest facility to you. Once you arrive you will be asked to hand in all of your paperwork, photos, and make payment. Don’t be surprised they will also ask to take your birth certificate and mail it in with your application. You will get it back in the mail when you receive your passport. Once the application and your paperwork is submitted, you will have your passport for international travel in about 4-6 weeks and will be ready for your trip!
VitalChek is your one stop center for all of your vital records needed to make your international travel planning easy. We provide you with a secure, authorized way to quickly order government endorsed birth certificates, so you can be off enjoying your travel and not stuck at home. Start the ordering process now and be on your way to your dream destination soon!