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BRIGHT FUTURES

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COAST TO COAST, LAX–NYC

COAST TO COAST, LAX–NYC

 

Our pre-departure information guide has been prepared to provide you with much of what you will need to know about your forthcoming trek with BFME, however, it is not a complete guide. Your BFME leader will provide you with more detailed information along the trip. As you prepare for your journey, please take time to consider some important points.

VISAS

Please be aware of the following new rules for entering the USA for those countries not normally requiring Visas. All BFME students will be required to provide pre-trip information via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) website prior to departure so that your travel is “authorised” by the US Department of Homeland Security.

Beginning August 1, 2008, ESTA will be accessible via the Internet for citizens and eligible nationals of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries to apply for advance authorization to travel to the United States under the VWP. ESTA will initially be available in English only. Other languages will follow. Effective January 12, 2009, all VWP travellers will be required to obtain an electronic travel authorization prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the U.S. under the VWP. Log onto the ESTA Web site at https://esta.cbp. dhs.gov/esta and complete an on-line application in English. There is an application fee of US $14 which needs to be paid by credit card at time of lling out the application. Travellers are encouraged to apply early. The web-based system will prompt you to answer basic biographical and eligibility questions typically requested on a paper I-94W form. Applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel, however, DHS recommends that applications be submitted no less than 72 hours prior to travel. In most cases you will receive a response within seconds. Please note: It is your responsibility to obtain the proper passport and visa for the United States of America. We recommend that you take copies of your passport, visas and ight tickets and carry them separately from the original documents. This will help in case of loss or theft. Remember to never leave your passport in the van! Always bring it with you. New passport regulations have come into effect for the United States of America so please double check that your passport conforms to the new biometric requirements for entrance to the United States of America. Make sure that each pass- port is valid for six months after your planned exit from a country.

CUSTOMS

On entering the USA you will need to proceed through customs. You may be asked your destination or how you intend to support yourself. When you enter the USA you enter as part of a visa waiver scheme, make sure you keep the remaining portion of your completed customs form in the back of your passport ready to surrender when you leave. Please make sure you have a note of the rst nights’ accommodation of your stay, as you will need this information for customs.

MEETING YOUR TOUR LEADERS

Once you have cleared customs and collected your luggage you will go with the BFME leader and meet the local tour leaders who will be waiting for you in the baggage arrival hall. Please look for a sign saying “BFME”.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

You must inform us immediately if you have any medical condition such as diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, take prescribed medicines, or have a condition that will affect your participation in the trek. This is important information in case of emergency. If a medical problem does arise during the trip it is best to tell your leader straight away so that they can alleviate the dif culty as soon as possible. All maxi-wagons carry a basic rst-aid kit, but you should bring your own sunscreen, insect/mosquito repellent, antibiotic cream and any special medication you may require for upset stomach and so on. Most prescription medicine is readily available and easily obtainable throughout North America. However, we suggest that if you use some form of medication regularly, bring a suf cient supply with you to last your entire trek (carry it with you all times).

INOCULATIONS

We recommend that you contact a physician or travel medicine clinic at least two months before travel in order to allow enough time for any immunizations that may be required to be completed. A health profes- sional will be able to assess your individual need for immunizations or preventative medication depending on your health situation, previous immunization history and your travel itinerary. Information prior to your consultation with a doctor can be obtained from the National Centre for Infectious Diseases website at www.cdc.gov/index.htm.

EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST

As you will be travelling around and changing accommodation, it is ideal – although not necessary – to have a robust hold-all, as this is easier to pack/un pack than a suitcase. We suggest one bag, backpack or suitcase (20 kg maximum) per person plus a sleeping bag. Sleeping in a tent is never going to be as com- fortable as sleeping in a bed. You will be provided with one sleeping pad and if you would like more com- fort you should bring an extra one. A small day pack and camera may be carried in the vehicle. You should be able to carry your own luggage, as there will not be anyone to carry it for you. If you have special needs with regard to luggage, and cannot carry it yourself for medical reasons, please notify the party leader well in advance so provision can be made. Keep to a simple and practical selection of clothes for both hot and cool climates to suit the season. Please note, you may encounter a wide variety of temperatures, altitude and weather. Travel light as there are opportunities to wash clothes. Last but not least avoid bringing more valuables than your camera and phone. We suggest you bring the following:

CLOTHES OTHER ITEMS

  • T-shirts/shirts/blouses
  • Money & passport in money belt/bum bag
  • Pair of good trainers/walking shoes
  • 1–2 books to read in evening/on plane
  • Camera, batteries
  • Waterproof sandals/ ip ops
  • Alarm clock/watch
  •  Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, comb,sanitary protection, etc)
  • Comfortable day shoes
  • Water bottle
  •  Several plastic bags for dirty clothes/boots • Swim wear
  •  Small rst aid kit; plasters, personal medication
  • Casual trousers
  • Sun block
  • Dress/skirt
  • Biro, small notebook, small address book if you want
  • Pair of shorts
  • Your trip requires that you bring a sleeping bag
  • Waterproof jacket
  •  Sunglasses
  • Warm sweater/s
  • Sunhat
  • Casual ‘evening out’ clothes
  • Insect repellent (20% deet)
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Hat/gloves
  • Jeans
  • Small towel
  • Night wear
  • Flashlight or headlamp