A passport is an essential item for any international trip! In fact, you will not be allowed to board an international flight without one. As most know, it is an internationally recognized travel document issued by your home country's government that verifies your identity and nationality.
If you or one of your family members does not already have a passport, you will need to apply well ahead of your trip. Luckily, it is a fairly straightforward process. You will need to submit an official application along with a fee and specific documents. You can apply through your local post office, through a passport service or directly through your government. For US citizens, this will be the U.S. State Department. Check out this page for details on the application process and the associated fees for the various passport services. Applying for a child's passport is a little more complicated. Children under the age of 16 must apply with both parents present. For more details, see the U.S. State Department page on applying for a child's passport.
If you already have a passport, check the expiration date. It should be valid for a minimum of three months beyond the last day of your trip. Each country will have a different rule regarding the validity requirements, so be sure to check the rules for the country to which you are travelling. If you find your passport will expire before the required timeframe, you will need to renew it before you depart. If a child's passport has expired, you must start with a brand new application. Renewal is not allowed for a child's passport if they are under the age of 16.
Be sure to submit ALL required documents or your passport application will be sent back causing a delay in the process. You should allow six to eight weeks for processing but you can pay extra to expedite. You will need to provide an itinerary showing imminent travel to take advantage of this service.
Need help with the passport process? Tenacious Traveller works with top passport and visa suppliers who can help with expedited services and more. Contact us today with any questions you may have! While it is your responsibility to obtain all necessary travel documents, we will make every effort to support you in your application process.
Many countries around the world will require a visa to enter their country depending on your nationality. A visa is a stamp in your passport from country officials granting you entry for a specific amount of time. The U.S. State Department has a handy visa checker to see if a U.S. citizen will need a visa to enter a particular country. You will want to be sure to check with your intended destination to find out their requirements for your nationality. For the purpose of a vacation, you will apply for a tourist visa, if needed. Some countries will require that the visa be secured before arriving in country, others can be obtained upon arrival at the border. You will want to be certain to leave plenty of time to apply for the visa as generally your passport must be sent with the application to an embassy or through a visa service. Some visas can be obtained on-line and require a copy of the passport to be uploaded. Tenacious Traveller works with CIBT Visas and would be happy to facilitate the visa process for those who need assistance.