Marathon Travel & Cruise Shops would like to make travel as stress free as possible. Please keep the following information in mind when preparing to fly. Click on one of the following section of this page, depending on the kind of travel tip you are looking for:

- NEW Baggage Policies
- NEW Basic Photography Tips
- Online Check-in for flights
- Restricted Carry-on items, Prohibited items, and what you can pack
- UPDATED Passport Requirements
- Photo identification
- International Documentation
- Guidelines for Checking In on Domestic Flights (including Hawaii)
- Guidelines for Checking In on International Flights
- Making Connecting Flights

- International Luggage Allowance
- Transporting Special Equipment
- Beware of what you can pack
- Airport Security
- Traveling comfortably in an airplane
- Combating Jet lag
Flying during pregnancy
- Amtrak information
- Traveling with Children
- Useful websites

New Baggage Policies

Verify your airline new baggage policy by clicking on your airline link below:

US Airways

American Airlines

Continental Airlines

Delta Airlines


United Airlines

Southwest Airlines

Airtran Airways

Alaska Airlines

Online Check-in

At most airports, a boarding pass and ID are now required to pass through the security checkpoint to your flights departure gate. Boarding passes are issued upon check-in. Check-in can now be done online or at airport kiosks.
Most major US air carriers offer e-ticket passengers two easy self-service check-in options:

  • On-line Check-In is available online up to 36 hours but not later than 60 minutes prior to flight departure. Please refer to your airlines web-site listed below.

  • Self-service check-in kiosks are located at most airports throughout North America.

Passengers with paper tickets must check-in at the airlines ticket counter at the airport.

Carrier code Carrier Name Check-in link
AA American Click here
UA United Click here
DL Delta Click here
CO Continental Click here
NW Northwest Click here
AS Alaska Click here
WN Southwest Click here
YX Midwest Express Click here
US Us Airways Click here
SK Scandinavian Airlines Click here

Back to the Top

Hazardous and Prohibited Items

Certain items are considered hazardous and are prohibited from air transportation by federal law. You may not travel with these items as checked, cabin-seat, or carry-on luggage. Examples of these items include:

* Flammable Items: fuel, paints, lighter fluid, matches
* Explosive Materials: fireworks, signal flares, sparklers, freon, helium, gunpowder
* Dangerous Chemicals: bleach, adhesives, linseed oil, spray starch, insecticides, cleaners and solvents, wet-cell batteries (except those in wheelchairs), pepper spray
* Pressure Containers: spray cans, butane, fuel, scuba tanks, propane tanks, fire extinguishers, CO2 cartridges, self-inflating rafts Restricted Carry-On Items
Other items may not be carried onboard, but are acceptable as checked luggage. Examples of these items include:
* Any liquids, gels, lotions or similar items such as beverages, hairspray, toothpaste and shampoo that exceed 3 ounces and/or do not fit within ONE, QUART-SIZE clear plastic zip-top bag.
* Sharp Objects: box cutters, knives, razor blades, scissors, swords
* Sporting Goods: baseball bats, golf clubs, hockey/lacrosse sticks, pool cues, ski poles
* Weapons: firearms, ammunition, mace, tear-gas, martial arts weapons, stun guns
* Tools: axes, hammers, drills, pliers, saws, screwdrivers, wrenches
* Other hazardous materials: dry ice, poisons, infectious substances

Acceptable Items to Pack
The following items are allowed as checked and/or carry-on luggage:
* Travel-size toiletries (3 ounces or less) that fit comfortably in ONE, QUART-SIZE, clear plastic, zip-top bag.
* After clearing security, passengers can bring on-board the aircraft beverages and other items purchased in the secure boarding area.
* Baby formula, prescriptions, and medications are permitted in carry-on or checked luggage. Please note that if included in carry-on luggage, these items must be presented for inspection at the security checkpoint.
* Safety matches may be carried on board. "Strike-anywhere" matches, lighters with liquid reservoirs, and lighter fluid are forbidden.
* Firearms, handguns, and ammunition: Unloaded firearms may be transported as checked luggage if declared to the agent at check-in and appropriately packed.
* Some airlines allow dry ice to be carried onboard in quantities of 4 pounds (2 kg) or less when used for packing perishables. Dry ice must be carried onboard in a hard plastic that allows ventilation. Please advise a ticket or gate agent if you plan to travel with dry ice.
* Electric wheelchairs are allowed if transported in accordance with the airlines requirements.



ALL PERSONS traveling by air outside of the United States are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States..


The following summarizes information available on the Department of Homeland Security’s website.

U.S. citizens need to present either (a) a passport, passport card (scheduled to be in full production beginning in July 2008), or WHTI-compliant document; or (b) a government-issued photo ID, such as a driverís license, along with proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.

On June 1, 2009, the U.S. government will implement the full requirements of the land and sea phase of WHTI. The proposed rules require most U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry to have a passport, passport card, or WHTI-compliant document.
Note: The passport requirement does NOT apply to U.S. citizens traveling to or returning directly from a U.S. territory.


U.S. Passport: U.S. citizens may present a valid U.S. passport when traveling via air, land or sea between the U.S. and the aforementioned Western Hemisphere countries.
The Passport Card: Passport card applications are currently being accepted in anticipation of land border travel document requirements. Based on current projections, we expect the passport card to be in full production beginning in July 2008. We will provide additional updates as available. Once in production, the passport card it will only be valid for land and sea travel between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean region, and Bermuda.

WHTI-Compliant Travel Documents for U.S. citizen travel via land or sea, as of January 31, 2008:
* Trusted Traveler Cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST)
* State Issued Enhanced Driverís License (when available)
* Enhanced Tribal Cards (when available)
* U.S. Military Identification with Military Travel Orders
* U.S. Merchant Mariner Document when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business
* Native American Tribal Photo Identification Card
* Form I-872 American Indian Card
For further information see U.S. Customs and Border protection.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is a result of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), requiring all travelers to present a passport or other document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the U.S.
The goal of the initiative is to strengthen U.S. border security while facilitating entry for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors by providing standardized documentation that enables the Department of Homeland Security to quickly and reliably identify a traveler.

For further information on Passports please visit:

For Frequently asked Questions please visit:


The passport card facilitates entry and expedites document processing at U.S. land and sea ports-of-entry when arriving from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. The card may not be used to travel by air. Otherwise, it carries the rights and privileges of the U.S. passport book and is adjudicated to the exact same standards.

The Department of State is issuing this passport card in response to the needs of border resident communities for a less expensive and more portable alternative to the traditional passport book. The card has the same period of validity as a passport book: 10 years for an adult, five for children 15 and younger. Adults who already have a fully valid passport book may apply for the card as a passport renewal and pay only $20. First-time applicants pay $45 for adult cards and $35 for children.

To facilitate the frequent travel of U.S. citizens living in border communities and to meet DHS’s operational needs at land borders, the passport card contains a vicinity-read radio frequency identification (RFID) chip. This chip points to a stored record in secure government databases. There is no personal information written to the RFID chip itself.

For frequently asked questions about the passport card please visit:

Back to the Top

Guidelines for Checking In on Domestic Flights (including Hawaii)
Recommended arrival time for domestic flights is at least 75 minutes prior to departure. To ensure an on-time departure, reservations and advance seat assignments may be cancelled if the passenger has not checked in and received a boarding pass at least 30 minutes prior to departure and/or is not onboard the aircraft at least 15 minutes prior to departure. If you are checking luggage, you must do so no later than 30 minutes prior to departure for flights between the 50 U.S. States. All passenger reservations are subject to cancellation, and passengers may not be eligible for denied boarding compensation.

Back to the Top

Guidelines for Checking In on International Flights (including Canada/Mexico/Caribbean/Puerto Rico)
Recommended arrival time for international flights is at least 2 hours prior to departure. All reservations and advance seat assignments may be cancelled if the passenger has not checked in and received a boarding pass at least 60 minutes prior to departure and may not be eligible for denied boarding compensation if they are not onboard the aircraft at least 30 minutes prior to departure. If you are checking luggage, you must do so no later than 60 minutes for international flights, including Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.
Back to the Top

Making Connecting Flights
Be sure to incorporate connection time into your travel plans. When flying domestically, it's best to allow at least 30 minutes to make your connecting flight. If your flight includes an international leg, 1 hour is the recommended connection time for most gateways, but your Marathon travel consultant can provide exact requirements. Your Marathon Travel consultant will be able to provide you with specific information pertaining to the airport in which you will be making your connection(s).Back to the Top

Transporting Special Equipment
Child Car Seat
Most airlines accept car seats in addition to normal carry on or checked luggage provided approved space is available. When checking your car seat on a US Domestic or International flight you can bring your car seat to the gate to be loaded there. If checking a car seat as luggage the original box/packaging should be used. Liability release form must be signed.

Electronic Devices
Most airlines accept and allow in-flight use of the following electronic devices unless restricted by the Captain:
- Beepers
- Calculators
- Compact Disc Players
- Laptop Computers
- Electronic Games
- Electronic Shavers
- Tape Players
- Voice Recorders
All portable electronic devices must be used under their own battery power. All devices must be stowed during take off and landing.
Note: All laptop computers must be removed from the laptop case at the security checkpoint and the laptop and empty laptop case will be subject to x-ray and additional screening.

Garment Bags
Most airlines accept garment bags as either checked or carry on luggage included in your free allowance.
Garment bags and backpacks made of easily torn material are accepted as checked luggage provided that the passenger signs a liability release form.
When bringing your garment bag or backpack on board it must be stowed under the seat in front, in the overhead bin, or closet. Garment bags should have no more than three hangers.

Syringes/Needles On Board
Most airlines allow passengers to bring syringes/needles on board if the passenger also has in their possession medication that has a professionally printed label identifying the medication or a manufacturer's name or pharmaceutical label. Flight attendants are not permitted to assist passengers with injections.
To properly dispose of a syringe/needle passengers may use the syringe disposal chute in the lavatories, available on some aircraft. If disposal chute is not available contact a flight attendant for proper disposal.

Golf Equipment
Most airlines accept one set of golf equipment as check luggage only. One set of golf equipment consists of:
- 1 bag
- 14 clubs
- 12 balls
- 1 pair of shoes
When checking your golf equipment a hard shell case is recommended. When a hard shell case is not used the passenger must sign a liability release form. Passengers traveling with more than one golf bag must pay full normal excess charges for each additional golf bag. Golf bags must adhere to normal weight limits.

Most Airlines accept one set of archery equipment consisting of one bow, quiver, and set of arrows as checked luggage. Archery equipment is not permitted as carry on luggage.

Most airlines accept non-motorized single seat bicycles as checked luggage for an additional fee. Handlebars must be fixed sideways and pedals removed or wrapped with protective packing material. Bikes should be placed in a bike box. When packed other than in a bike box, liability release forms must be signed. Most airlines accept tandem bikes only for travel within/between the domestic US/Canada/Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands. Tandem bikes are also only accepted on certain types of aircraft. Tandem bikes are not accepted on International Itineraries. Your Marathon Travel consultant will be able to provide you with specific information pertaining to your flights.

Fishing Equipment
Most airlines accept one set of fishing equipment consisting of two rods, one reel, net, and boots and one sealed or locked tackle box as checked luggage only. Your fishing equipment will count as one piece of your free luggage allowance. Fishing pole containers must not exceed 160 inches. Passengers will be required to sign a liability release form. Normal excess luggage charges will apply if you exceed your free luggage allowance.

Ski Equipment
Most airlines accept one item of ski equipment as checked luggage only. Ski equipment is not permitted as carry on luggage.
An item of ski equipment consists of:
- 1 ski bag and 1 ski boot bag containing skis, poles, and bindings
- 1 pair of water skis
- 1 snowboard Additional ski and boot bags will be subject to normal excess charges.
Hard shell cases are recommended when checking your ski equipment. A liability release form must be signed for plastic/soft ski bags.
Note: When travel is wholly within/between the US/Canada, most airlines will allow the ski/boot bag to contain more than one pair of skis/boots - but if the bag exceeds published weight restrictions normal excess charges will apply.

Firearms, Ammunition, and Handguns
Airlines do not accept guns or firearms of any kind in carry-on luggage.
Most airlines accept handguns/BB guns/rifles/shotgun type firearms as checked luggage, with certain limitations and requirements.
Passengers must obtain and comply with regulations governing the transportation of firearms for all countries on the itinerary. All firearms must be in a suitable container/crush proof container manufactured specifically for firearms or in a hard sided suitcase. Hard shell gun cases can be purchased at U.S. / Canadian airports. Passengers must verbally declare firearm is unloaded. Airlines will require firearm unloaded tag be signed by passenger and placed inside of luggage containing firearm. No exterior tag or notice of firearm may appear on case. Case must be locked and only the passenger may retain the key or combination. Airline personnel will not unload or handle firearms. Gun and ammunition may be in the same piece of luggage. However, ammunition must be within its own packaging.

International shipment of arms/ammunition
Passengers must obtain and comply with regulations governing the transportation of firearms for all countries on the itinerary. Passengers should check with their Marathon Travel consultant for current policies, requirements and restrictions on firearms and related items in checked luggage when traveling in the United States or internationally.
Restricted and/or Dangerous Goods Information
Do Not Pack:
- Fireworks: Signal flares, sparklers or other explosives, freon or helium
- Flammable Liquids, Gases or Solids: Fuel, paints, lighter refills, matches
- Household Items: Bleach, adhesives, linseed oil spray starch, insecticides, drain, bathroom or oven cleaners and solvents
- Pressure Containers: Spray cans, butane, fuel, scuba tanks, propane tanks, fire extinguishers, CO2 cartridges, self-inflating rafts
- Weapons: Firearms, ammunition, gunpowder; or items that contain gunpowder (Christmas crackers/Party poppers), mace, tear-gas, or pepper spray cannot be packed in carry-on luggage, see below for more information on traveling with firearms.
- Other Hazardous Materials: Dry ice, gasoline-powered tools, wet-cell batteries, camping equipment with fuel, radioactive materials (except limited quantities), poisons, infectious substances
- Miscellaneous Items: Knives of any length (except rounded blade butter knives and plastic cutlery), cutting instruments of ANY kind including carpet knives, box cutters and folding or retractable blades regardless of length, ice picks, straight razors (safety/disposable razors ARE allowed), and scissors (metal, with pointed tips)

Back to the Top

Many common items used everyday in the home or workplace may seem harmless; however, when transported by air, they can be very dangerous. In flight, variations in temperature and pressure can cause items to leak, generate toxic fumes or start a fire. Acceptable to Pack:

- Personal Care Items: Items containing hazardous materials (e.g., flammable perfume, aerosols) totaling no more than 70 ounces may be carried on board. Contents of each container may not exceed 16 fluid ounces.
- Safety Matches and/or a Lighter: These may only be carried on your person. However, "strike-anywhere" matches, lighters with flammable liquid reservoirs and lighter fluid are forbidden.
- Firearms and Ammunition: May not be carried by a passenger on an aircraft. However, unloaded firearms may be transported in checked luggage if declared to the agent at check in and packed in a crush-proof container manufactured specifically for the firearm or a hard-sided suitcase.
- Handguns: Must be in a locked container. Properly packaged small arms ammunition for personal use may be transported in checked luggage. Amounts may vary depending on the airline..
- Dry Ice: (4 pounds/ 2 kilograms or less) Used for packing perishables, may be carried onboard an aircraft in a hard plastic or heavy gauge Styrofoam container, provided the package is vented. Ticket or gate agents must be advised.
- Alcoholic Beverages: In retail packaging containing between 24% up to 70% alcohol by volume and in receptacles not exceeding 5 liters and a total quantity per person of 5 liters may be accepted in carry-on luggage or checked luggage. Further restrictions may apply according to customs guidelines. Please check with your Marathon Travel consultant for further details.You must declare your dangerous goods to the airline. Failure to do so violates U.S. Federal Law. Violators may be subject to a maximum penalty of 5 years' imprisonment and $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124).Further restrictions may apply to the above items. Some items may be shipped as air cargo. If you are unsure whether the item you wish to pack in your luggage or ship by air is hazardous, please contact your Marathon Travel consultant for further information.

Back to the Top

Airport Security
You must pass through a security checkpoint to access your departure gate. Security screeners will screen you and your carry-on baggage. Here are a few tips to make this process go as quickly as possible.

- Place all metal items IN your carry-on bag before you reach the front of the line.
-Take your computer OUT of its carrying case and place it in one of the bins provided
-Take OFF your outer coat or jacket so that it can go through the X-ray machine
-If you have a pacemaker or other device that is likely to alarm the metal detector, bring identification verifying the condition
-Carry all undeveloped film in your carry-on bag and ask for it to be hand inspected as the screening equipment will damage undeveloped film
-Pack shoes, boots, sneakers, and other footwear on top of other contents in your luggage
-Avoid over-packing your bag so that the screener will be able to easily reseal your bag if it is opened for inspection. If possible, spread your contents over several bags.
-Avoid packing food and drink items in checked baggage
-Don’t stack piles of books or documents on top of each other; spread them out within your baggage

Back to the Top

Traveling comfortably in an airplane
- Chewing gum, yawning or sucking on hard candies can help to relieve the pressure that builds up in your ears as the airplane ascends and descends. If you have a cold, talk to your doctor about using a decongestant or nasal spray before boarding to help relieve the pressure.
- Drink plenty of water while onboard the aircraft to avoid becoming dehydrated during the flight.
- Do light stretching exercises in your seat and walk through the cabin frequently (when safe to do so).
- Consult your physician if you suffer from airsickness; he or she may be able to prescribe medication for this.
- The relatively low humidity in the cabin can make allergy or asthma symptoms worse; take preventative measures as necessary.

Back to the Top

Combating Jet Lag
Try a few of these techniques for a natural way to reset your internal clock:
- Reset your watch to the destination's time as soon as you get on the plane. If it's daytime at your destination, try to stay awake during the flight. Walking around the cabin may help keep you alert. If it's nighttime, try to sleep. You may find it helpful to use earplugs and a sleeping mask to block out distractions on the plane.
- Eat before you get on the plane so that hunger does not prevent you from sleeping during the flight. Inform the flight attendant that you will not be eating so that you are not awakened for a meal.
- If you're using a blanket, buckle your seat belt over the blanket so that a flight attendant checking seat belts does not awaken you.
-If it's daytime when you arrive but nighttime at home, don't sleep. Instead, try doing some light exercise like walking to help revive your body and stop it from producing sleep-inducing hormones.

Back to the Top

Flying during pregnancy
It is commonly recommended that women not fly at all during their last six weeks of pregnancy. Most major air carriers require that pregnant passengers traveling within 30 days of expected delivery must provide a doctor's statement dated within 72 hours of departure indicating the due date and indicating that air travel does not pose a health risk. Women in labor will be denied boarding for safety reasons. Pregnant women should always consult their obstetricians or midwives before traveling. Traveling during the second trimester of pregnancy is often easier as morning sickness will most likely have subsided, energy levels are up and you are still a comfortable distance from your due date. Here are some additional tips for staying comfortable on your flight:
- Reserve an aisle seat so that you can easily access the bathroom and move about the cabin. Getting up and walking regularly will help combat swelling and discomfort.
- Bring a copy of your medical records and ask your doctor for a referral in case of an emergency while you are away.
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes and flat shoes. Wear layers if you are prone to body-temperature fluctuations.
- Keep your seatbelt low around your hips, not around your abdomen.
- Get a small pillow from the flight attendant and place it under your lower back to avoid back strain.
- Drink plenty of water-at least one liter for every two hours in flight.

Back to the Top

Traveling with Children
The following tips should help both parents and kids arrive at their destination with smiles on their faces.
- If you have a long trip scheduled, "red-eye" flights may be best. This increases the chance that your youngster will be able to sleep through the majority of the trip.
- While any child under two is not required to have their own seat, they may be happier if they do. Purchase a ticket for your infant as well, and use a FAA certified car seat.
- If you do use a car seat, make sure it has been certified for air travel.
- Bring toys your children have never used -- the newness will hold their attention longer.
- Bring plenty of juice. Air travel can be dehydrating, especially for children.
- Wrap up "surprises" for your children to pull out when they get especially restless.
- Finger foods are a great distraction.

When traveling with your baby, give him/her a bottle or pacifier to suck on during takeoff and landing. This will help equalize the ear pressure and keep your baby comfortable. Documentation Requirements for US Citizens Traveling to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean: Visas are not required for U.S. tourists entering Canada, Mexico or most Caribbean islands from the U.S. for stays up to 180 days. You will, however, need (1) proof of your U.S. citizenship such as (a) your U.S. passport or (b) your certified copy of your birth certificate and government issued photo identification. (For information on obtaining a U.S. passport, check with your Marathon Travel consultant). If you are a naturalized citizen and do not have a passport, you should travel with your naturalization certificate. A driver's license or Social Security card is not valid proof of citizenship. All U.S. citizens entering Canada from a third country must have a valid passport. Alien permanent residents of the U.S. must present their Alien Registration Card, commonly called the "Green Card." If you have dual citizenship you should always present yourself as a citizen of the country that you are entering. Any name changes due to marriage, adoption, divorce, etc. must be explained by providing a certified copy of the document authorizing the name change such as marriage license or divorce decree.

Due to international concern over child abduction, single parents, grandparents, or guardians traveling with children often need proof of custody or notarized letters from the other parent authorizing travel. (This is in addition to proof of citizenship as explained above.) See International Travel for Minors (below). For further information on entry requirements travelers may reference or contact your Marathon Travel consultant.

Documentation Requirements for Other International Travel

Most countries not listed above will require a passport and possibly a visa. Please refer to or your Marathon Travel consultant for further information.

International Travel with Minors (Including Canada & Mexico)
In an effort to keep children safe while traveling internationally, many governments have initiated procedures at entry and exit points, including requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission of the parent(s) or legal guardian not present for the child's travel. Parents of minor children (under 18 years old) should carefully document legal custody prior to traveling internationally.If a minor child is traveling with only one parent, the absent parent must provide notarized consent. If only one parent has legal custody, that parent should be prepared to provide a court order of child custody to airlines and international authorities. If a minor child is traveling alone or in someone else's company, both parents (and the sole, documented custodial parent) must provide notarized consent. See below a sample document providing the required consent.

If a child traveling has a different last name from the mother and/or father, the parents should be prepared to provide evidence to airlines and official authorities, such as a birth certificate or adoption decree, to prove that they are the parents. If one parent is deceased, a death certificate is required.
If the birth certificate shows that the minor only has one parent, it will be sufficient to hold only a notarized copy of the birth certificate.

Children Traveling Alone
Unaccompanied minors are restricted from traveling on some flights. Unaccompanied minors booked in violation of these restrictions will be denied boarding and/or be subject to additional fees for re-routing. Your Marathon Travel consultant can provide you with these restrictions.

To ensure a safe, comfortable and fun trip for the unaccompanied child traveler, the following policies have been established:
(An unaccompanied minor fee is assessed at the time of check-in at the airport)
- Any child ages 5-14 traveling without an adult 18 years of age or older must participate in the Unaccompanied Minor Program. All rules and fees apply.
- Children ages 5 through 17 may fly unaccompanied on nonstop, direct or connecting flights. Children ages 5 through 14 will not be accepted on the last connecting flight of the day, or red-eye flights. Red-eye flights are defined as departures between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. local time. The following are exempt from the red-eye restriction:

o International Flights
o Domestic short-haul flights (2 hours or less)
o Flight to and from Alaska and Hawaii

- Unaccompanied minors will not be accepted for international travel if their itinerary includes a connection to a different carrier.
- Reservations must be confirmed to the child's final destination.
- Most airlines require unaccompanied minor service for children ages 5-14, but it is optional for children ages 15-17.
- An airline representative will provide supervision for children accepted under the program from the time of boarding until the child is met at the final destination.
- Up to four children (related or not related) traveling together will be assessed only one service fee. Exception, more than four related children traveling together will be assessed only one service fee.
- Children under the age of 5 are not eligible for unaccompanied minor services and must be accompanied on the same flight and in the same compartment by a passenger at least 18 years of age.
- Unaccompanied minors must be checked in with an agent. They are not eligible to use the self-service check-in devices
For more complete details, please contact your Marathon Travel consultant.

Back to the Top


USEFUL WEBSITES US Passport Applications, Travel Health/Immunizations, Travel Tips Requirements for Foreign Travel, List of Embassies of Homeland Security. US Travel and Transportation Regulations/ Restrictions, International Travel Policy for Agriculture/Animal Products Flight Stats

Federal Aviation Administration

Back to the Top



Here are some quick ideas that can help you take quality vacation portraits.

1. Get closer, don't be shy. One of the biggest mistakes most beginning photographers make is shooting from so far away. People tend to leave too much distance between themselves and their subjects. A better idea is to get up close and personal. It is always better to walk up close rather than to zoom in, even with the best lens it is better to get as close as possible and then zoom only when needed. Fill up as much of the camera frame, with your subject, as you can. You can always reshape, trim, and resize a good quality shot. But you can't blow up a distant subject and hope that it will come into focus. It just won't happen. It becomes blurred and pixilated.

2. Make your subject the subject. Try to focus your shot on only one subject. Determine what the main subject of the photo will be, and catch that image whether it is a person (or a group of people), or an abandoned cabin. Try and find the one key subject, person, or place that portrays the feeling you are trying to capture.

3. Keep it simple and uncluttered in addition to getting one subject, in your photos; you will want to make the background of the photo as simple as possible. Busy, distracting backgrounds pull the attention away from the central theme of your photo. The subject of your photo is absolutely the most important element, and anything that detracts from the subject can ruin your shot. Remove glasses and dirty plates from the in front of the person you are shooting. If outside be aware of your surroundings before you shoot, move a little bit one way or another if there is an unsightly background or unwanted traffic.

4. For added interest you will want to take your subject out of the exact center of the frame. You do this by using the rule of thirds. Imagine having a camera lens split into 9 equal sized boxes, 3 across and 3 down (like having a tic-tac-toe game printed right on your camera lens). Where those "tic-tac-toe" lines cross, should become the focusing point of your subject, when you are arranging to take your photo.

5. Keep it Steady make sure to keep your camera steady, to assure yourself of getting clear portraits use both hands to steady the camera try not to breath as you shoot, or better yet use a tripod.

6. Watch the lighting, try to shoot with the sun behind you or shoot in the "sweetlight" about 30-60 minutes before sundown. Shooting in sweetlight makes your colors richer and more vivid.

7. Vertical or horizontal, donít be afraid to turn your camera. Shoot vertical if your subject is taller than it is wide, choose horizontal if it is wider than it is tall. So if you are shooting a group of people horizontal is probably your best bet. If shooting a standing couple and you want a full length shot vertical would be the best way to shoot this.

8. Add interest if you are shooting a cruise ship add a person in front to show the size comparison. If you are shooting colorful trees try to frame this in with a few branches closer to the front to add more of a 3 dimensional feel. This will add so much more interest to your portraits. Watch the horizon where you place the horizon affects what will be emphasized in your portrait. To show more of the beach, use a high horizon, to show the beautiful sunset use a low horizon.

9. Have fun, follow these few guidelines but most of all enjoy yourself!

Back to the Top

*Marathon Travel and Cruise Shops is not responsible for any inaccurate information provided in this site. Travel policies, guidelines, and regulations change on a regular basis. Please contact your Marathon Travel and Cruise shops travel consultant for the most accurate information.

Terms and Conditions / Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2012. All Rights Reserved.
Marathon Travel Services/Livetravel License numbers
California 2011492-40 | Florida ST35549 | Hawaii 6455 | Iowa 845 | Washington UBI # 602 847 605
Website by Strategictek