4 Passport Pitfalls to Watch for so You Can Avoid Passport Problems
Updated: Apr 19
Your travel documents are in order, and you’re on your way to a much-anticipated vacation or conference. Don’t allow your trip to go down the drain because of a passport disaster. These simple tips of caution and planning can take you a long way… literally!
Your passport isn’t in good condition. A passport that’s been wet or is ripped, scribbled on or has other damage can result in your being refused entry into a country. Sometimes it doesn’t take much damage to be refused.
A well-used passport that has no blank pages. Your passport should have at least one empty page for a Customs or Border officer to be able to stamp. If not, you can be refused entry.
A too-soon expiration date. Some countries require that your passport must be valid for 30 days, three months or even six months past the end of when you are scheduled to be visiting. If you don’t meet the requirement, you would be refused entry.
You left your passport behind. Sounds too obvious, but we’ve had people who couldn’t board a ship or get to their destination because their passport… was safely laying on their bureau at home. Everything else you could forget can probably be purchased, but not that precious little blue book. You’ll be denied boarding the ship or plane.
Travel insurance covers many possible situations that can cause loss to a client, but it does not reimburse you for a vacation or lost trip investment due to any of the above situations. Your insurance company may have a concierge or “travel assistance” department that you could call to see if there is some way in which they can assist with which steps to take. If you purchased travel insurance with a “cancel for any reason” (typically a full or partial refund, but often comes with a stipulation on the cancelation being a day or two prior to the trip start date), you may receive some type of benefit or future trip credit, but I would consider that an exception rather than the rule.
For further information regarding passports, visit the “U.S. Passports” section of the U.S. Department of State’s website.
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