Passport Checklist: Things to Remember

Apply Early if you’re not yet a passport holder

If you’re applying for a new passport or renewing an existing one, do it well in advance. Processing times can be lengthy, especially during peak travel seasons and in the recent years, it’s been taking longer than it used to.

Fun example: I thought I might need to travel unexpectedly to Canada in mid-2023. I applied for my renewal, because mine had, in fact, expired. I put on the application the date I needed it by, which was within the “expedited timeframe” listed. I paid the expedite fee, and it arrived 2 weeks after I might have, but luckily didn’t, need it.

Check the Expiration Date on Your Passport

Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your travel dates. Many countries have strict entry requirements regarding passport validity.

Check the entry requirements of your destination, as some countries require your passport to be valid for six months beyond your stay.

Be Aware of any Visa Requirements where you are going

While we’re discussing individual country requirements, research whether your destination requires a visa and ensure your passport has enough blank pages for visa stamps if they are required. This information can also be found at

Health Information

Check if your destination requires any specific health information on your passport, vaccinations, or otherwise. This information can also be found at

Other International Requirements

Just like the above examples, check and read up on your destination – however, I would caution you to take some of the ratings with a grain of salt, and ask your travel professional about any concerns. Many times, it’s just like here in the US – it’s certain areas that are shady… but loads of people are traveling everywhere regardless of warning levels, other than places that are in intense political or economic situations.

Check if your destination requires additional documentation, such as a return ticket or proof of sufficient funds.

Passport Cards not the same as a Passport Book

Kids Passports

Remember that children’s passports often expire sooner than adult passports, so check the dates. If you’re traveling with out both parents of the child, check the country’s page for information about any special requirements.

Keep It Safe While Traveling

Store your passport in a secure place while traveling. Consider using a hotel safe or a money belt to prevent loss or theft.

Update Changes

Ensure your passport information matches your current details as well as the reservation-listed name(s), including name changes due to marriage or other reasons.

Emergency Contact

Fill in the emergency contact information in your passport. This can be crucial in case of an emergency abroad.

Be Safe from Thieves

Be very aware of pickpocketing practices and how to be very aware of your surroundings.

Before Travel: Make Copies of Your Passport

Photocopy your passport’s photo page and store it separately from your actual passport. This can be invaluable if your passport is lost or stolen. I suggest sending a copy to your trusted travel advisor as well, as they can easily get that to you if needed.

For more travel tips and to ensure you’re fully prepared for your next adventure, consider working with a travel advisor. They can provide expert advice, help you navigate passport requirements, and ensure a smooth travel experience. Contact us today to start planning your perfect trip!

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