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Passport 101: Avoid Losing Out on the Trip of a Lifetime

Before traveling internationally, always check your passport expiration date and the expiration regulations for the country you're traveling to.. or else you could end up missing the trip of a lifetime.

Okay you guys. This is important and shouldn’t be taken lightly so get ready for easily the most important part about traveling internationally. Now, if you follow me on IG and pay any attention to my stories, you saw that Tommy and I ran into a little passport trouble on our way to the Amalfi Coast in Italy. This was so crazy to us because we triple checked our passports to make sure they were still valid!!! SO, to avoid any of you beautiful people running into the same problem, I’m gonna inform ya’ll with the straight up facts.

 

APPARENTLY, there are rules for each individual country regarding how much time you have left on your passport until expiration while traveling to and from said country. The US Department of State puts it this way, “consider the following scenario: a country requires that you have at least six months of validity on your passport. You currently have seven months of validity on your passport.  However, your trip is two months from now. At that point, you will only have five months of validity remaining on your passport which is not enough to satisfy that country’s entry requirements. In this situation, you would need to renew your passport before you can make your trip.” Well, your girl and her hubby weren’t aware of this and almost missed our trip to Italy due to this rule. Before traveling internationally, always check your passports expiration date and the expiration regulations for the country you’re traveling to.. or else you could end up missing the trip of a lifetime and be out all the money you already invested into going.

 

I’ve gotten so many DMs from people saying this happened to them and OMG I couldn’t imagine missing out on the trip we’ve put so much time and money into planning. :'( For us, Italy requires 3 months validity remaining past the date of departure which is why we ran into some trouble. Tommy had just under 3 months left, so he had to get a new passport expedited. Thank god we were in Chicago where there’s a huge passport acceptance facility. There are also rules regarding blank passport pages when traveling and for Italy in particular, there have to be at least 2 blank pages. So, don’t forget to look into those details as well! We were good to go in that aspect.

 

I think a good rule in general is to just get your passport updated if you’re anywhere near the 6-12 months til expiration range, just for safe measure. To learn about your country’s passport restrictions prior to departure click here. Here’s a few other key points regarding passports that are critical when traveling internationally:

  1. If you were age 16 or older when your passport was issued, your passport is valid for 10 years.
  2. If you were under 16 when your passport was issued, your passport is valid for 5 years.
  3. The cost of your U.S. passport will depend on the type of passport you request and how quickly you need it.
  4. If your passport has been significantly damaged, especially the book cover or the page displaying your personal data and photo, you will need to apply for a new passport. (ex. water damage, a significant tear, unofficial markings on the data page, missing visa pages (torn out), a hole punch, or other injuries).
  5. Click here to learn more about getting your passport expedited in these sticky situations.

Avoid making these same mistakes and I swear you’ll thank me later!

Until Next Time.

Peace and Love,
Asset 5

 

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/passport-help/faqs.html

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