Tips on Travel Documents- Passport You Can’t Leave Home Without It!

Can you think of anything worse than planning your dream vacation, setting off for the airport then being denied boarding your flight because your documents, especially your passport is not in order. I am such a worry wort that I check, double and triple check my documents months before I travel, heck, even before I plan my vacation.

What is a passport and is it really needed?

Silly question right! Everyone should know the answer to this question. WRONG! There are some people who want to travel but do not have a passport and think that they do not need one.

A passport is an internationally recognised travel document that verifies your identity and citizenship. Only the Department of State, Embassies and Consulates have the authority to issue or verify your passport. Most countries requires a valid one to enter and leave.

Do my children need passports?

Yes! Every person even an infant must have his/her own passport to fly to a foreign destination. Make sure you check the expiration date on your children’s passport because they expire in five years if the child was fifteen or under when his/her passport was issued. Some countries have instituted requirements to help prevent child abduction and may require travellers to present proof of relationship to the child and evidence of consent from any non-accompanying parent(s). Check with the country that you are visiting for further information.

This trip is our honeymoon. Can we travel as Mr. And Mrs “Newlyweds”?

As romantic as it sound to use your brand new name on your honeymoon, your experience at the check-in and security will not be romantic. You must travel under the name that is in your passport and also on your airline ticket. If you changed your name to your new married one, great! To do this you will need a standard passport application, along with a post date form completed by both the bride and the officiant conducting the ceremony. You can apply up to three month and no later than four weeks before the wedding if applying by post. If you haven’t changed your name prior to the honeymoon, you have to travel under your maiden name. Once you arrive on your honeymoon people will be happy to address you as Mr. And Mrs. “Newlywed.” When you return and have the time, change your name on your passport.

Can you help me if my passport gets stolen?

This is a request that Travel Professionals and Advisor dread the most. Make three copies of the information page of yours and anyone who is travelling. These are the pages with your name, date of birth, photo etc. Give one to a relative or trusted friend, one to your Travel Professional to keep in your file and carry the other copy with you. This makes it easier to get a replacement issued. If your passport is stolen, contact your Embassy or Consulate for assistance. Let them know when you are scheduled to travel home and they will do their best to help you. It is a good idea to take an extra set of passport photos with you to simplify the transaction. Keep your passport in a safe place

(in your room safe) if possible to minimise the risk of theft. You do not need to carry it around at all times while you are exploring.

Further tips to remember-

  1. Your passport is one of the most used document apart from your driving licence. This results in wear and tear. If your passport is damaged in any way, especially the information pages- get a new one. The chances are that your current one will not be accepted.

  2. Your photo has to be a neutral one and looks like you. If you have changed your appearance or added tattoos or piercings you will need a new photo. Remember no photoshot or glamorous pictures.

  3. Your photo have to be six(6) months old or less.

  4. Your passport must be valid for six (6) months and have at least two(2) blank pages at the time of travel.

I hope you have gotten the point that it is worth the time, energy and financial investment to have a valid passport. Don’t miss out on great travel opportunities because you aren’t prepared.

If you need any assistance or have any questions…please feel free to contact me.;

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