Passports are not treated the same in every country, and many travelers have had plans ruined by not knowing these important tips. So we’ve put together an indispensable list of everything you need to know about passports.
Common Sense Rules
Bring copies of your passport on your trip. If your passport gets stolen or lost you want to be sure that you can still get back into your country, or be able to prove your citizenship. Bring a color photocopy of your passport with you, and be sure to carry it in a place separate from where you carry your passport. For extra backup, leave a copy of your passport at home or with someone you trust. Consider making an electronic copy you can store in your email account as well.
If your passport is lost or stolen while you’re overseas, don’t panic! Simply find the your country’s embassy office and call immediately (they may only see you by appointment). Most “Western” countries (The UK, France, Canada, USA) will have a simple method of replacement. Fill out the application form and provide proof of identity to be issued a temporary emergency passport. Other documents may be required, such as a police report for a stolen passport; check your embassy website or call them to find out. Before continuing on an extended trip, keep in mind that emergency passports have limited validity, and that not every country will accept them.
Check the Date
It is advisable to renew your passport six months prior to the expiration date. Globally, all countries require a valid passport for entry, but a lesser-known requirement for some countries is that a passport must be valid for a certain number of months from the date of entry, or a certain number of months after the passport holder leaves the country. Each country makes its own rules in this regard, and the rules sometimes change, so it is wise to know before you go.
Some countries, including the USA and Canada, refuse to allow entry to anyone holding a passport that expires in less than three or six months. Airlines and cruise ships routinely deny boarding to travelers without the correct documents, and this includes those whose passports expire too soon.
It is also advisable to renew your passport when you have less than 3 fully blank pages for stamping. Countries such as Indonesia require a FULL BLANK PAGE for stamping, and will deny you entry if you only have half or partial pages blank. Be safe and renew once your passport is getting full.
Bon Voyage and travel safely!