Did you know you could be turned away at the airport even when your passport is valid? Certain countries have rules that say your passport cannot expire within a certain amount of time or else you may not be able to enter.
Before you go on your trip, it’s important to do some research about your destination’s requirements. Here are some tips to help make sure you stay on top of passport rules.
- When you book a trip, review your passport.
As soon as you book the first part of your trip, get your passport out of its safe location and take a look at the expiration date. It’s especially important if you aren’t a frequent international traveler, since you probably haven’t looked at it in a while. As a reminder, adult passports are valid for 10 years, and children under 16 are only valid for 5.
- Look up passport requirements for the country you’re visiting.
You can find out what passport requirements apply to your destination by visiting travel.state.gov. It varies country to country, so it’s always a good idea to check. Some common rules are that the passport must be valid:
- on the day of departure
- for at least 6 months after departure
- for the entire length of your trip
Since some countries have the 6 month rule, it’s a good idea to renew your passport before it gets to that point.
- Is your destination part of the Schengen area?
The Schengen area is made of 26 European countries. Schengen countries have an agreement that visitors only have to show their passport where they first arrive. After that, they can travel among the Schengen area freely. There is a 3 month passport validity rule here, but it’s still safer to renew at 6 months.
- Sometimes you have no choice but to renew your passport in a rush.
Life happens, so you might forget to renew your passport or have a last minute trip for a family emergency. If your passport is going to expire very soon, you can get a renewal rushed for a higher fee than normal.
Don’t forget to consider travel protection for your trip! Coverage is available worldwide, and the included non-insurance services can provide guidance for obtaining a replacement passport if it’s lost or stolen abroad. Talk to your travel professional or visit www.travelinsured.com for more information.