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
- NEW Basic Photography
- Online Check-in for flights
- Restricted Carry-on items, Prohibited
items, and what you can pack
- UPDATED Passport
- Photo identification
- International Documentation
- Guidelines for Checking In on Domestic
Flights (including Hawaii)
- Guidelines for Checking In on International
- Making Connecting Flights
- International Luggage Allowance
- Beware of what you can pack
- Airport Security
- Traveling comfortably in an airplane
- Combating Jet lag
- Amtrak information
- Traveling with Children
- Useful websites
New Baggage Policies
Verify your airline new baggage policy by clicking on your
airline link below:
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
Most major US air carriers offer e-ticket passengers two
easy self-service check-in options:
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
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.
Back to the
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
* Sharp Objects: box cutters, knives, razor blades, scissors,
* 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,
* Other hazardous materials: dry ice, poisons, infectious
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
* 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..
LAND AND SEA TRAVEL
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
Note: The passport requirement does NOT
apply to U.S. citizens traveling to or returning directly
from a U.S.
U.S. PASSPORT AND WHTI COMPLIANT
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
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,
* 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
For further information on Passports please
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
for Checking In on Domestic Flights (including
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.
to the Top
Guidelines for Checking In
on International Flights (including Canada/Mexico/Caribbean/Puerto
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.
to the Top
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.
Most airlines accept and allow in-flight use of the following
electronic devices unless restricted by the Captain:
- 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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
Most airlines accept one item of ski equipment as checked
luggage only. Ski equipment is not permitted as carry on
An item of ski equipment consists of:
- 1 ski bag and 1 ski boot bag containing skis, poles, and
- 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
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
Airlines do not accept guns or firearms of any kind in carry-on
Most airlines accept handguns/BB guns/rifles/shotgun type
firearms as checked luggage, with certain limitations and
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
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
- Household Items: Bleach, adhesives, linseed oil spray
starch, insecticides, drain, bathroom or oven cleaners and
- Pressure Containers: Spray cans, butane, fuel, scuba tanks,
propane tanks, fire extinguishers, CO2 cartridges, self-inflating
- 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
- 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)
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
to the Top
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
-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
to the Top
Traveling comfortably in an
- 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
to the Top
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
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
- 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
- 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.
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 www.travel.state.gov
or contact your Marathon Travel consultant.
Documentation Requirements for Other International
Most countries not listed above will require a passport
and possibly a visa. Please refer to www.travel.state.gov
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
to the Top
US Passport Applications, Travel Health/Immunizations,
Requirements for Foreign Travel, List of Embassies
of Homeland Security. US Travel and Transportation Regulations/
Travel Alerts/Entry and Exit Policies
International Travel Policy for Agriculture/Animal Products
Federal Aviation Administration
Back to the
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
*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