Passport Tips

Traveling outside the US soon?  Here are a few tips to make your journey run smoothly:

  • Check your passport expiration date.  Some countries and airlines will not let you travel if the expiration date is within 6 month's of your RETURN date.  And don't expect the airlines to help you out if you get to your destination and the officials will not let you enter the country.  You could end up buying a very expensive one way ticket home.
  • Always travel with a copy of your passport data page in a secure location, it could help if you lose your passport.
  • Register your trip with the US State Department before you leave.  If you do lose your passport it can shave days off of the time needed to get a replacement.
  • Whenever possible leave your passport securely locked in your hotel safe.
  • When entering some countries or registering at hotels, you may be asked to fill out a police card listing your name, passport number, destination, local address, and reason for traveling. You may be required to leave your passport at the hotel reception desk overnight so it may be checked by local police officials. These are normal procedures required by local laws. If your passport is not returned the following morning, immediately report the impoundment to local police authorities and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
  • As more and more people need a passport for travel expect long lead times, as much as 4 to 6 months.  If you do get into a bind and need a passport in a hurry use a service to expedite receiving your passport like A Briggs.
  • If you are going to need a travel visa stamp from the country you are visiting be sure to verify the requirements.  Some countries will allow you to get a visa stamp at the airport, like Turkey, but some countries require that you have the entry visa stamp before you travel.
  • Make sure you have enough space/empty pages in your passport for your trip.  If you need extra pages this can be done through the US Department of State or a passport service.
  • Rules and laws are always changing so be sure to visit the US Department of State Passport page to review all the current requirements.
How do I travel?  I always have a paper copy of my passport, ID, and credit cards, front and back in case I lose them and need to contact the bank or State Department for a replacement. I always register with the State Department if I am traveling outside the US and I make a note of where the closest US Embassy or consulate is located.  Once you create a profile updating it is easy.  I keep scanned copies of all my documents in a secure online storage site so I can access them anywhere I travel.  I always notify my credit card companies and cell phone provider that I will be traveling so they do not put a hold on my credit cards or stop my cell service.

No comments:

Post a Comment