Do you need one, have you got one, is it up to date and current? Where is it, how to get one, why bother or can you take more than one?
Hmmmm a lot here to discuss and we talk about the need for a passport.
Tip 0262 Do I need a passport
If you're thinking of just domestic travel, never to venture further, then no you do not need a passport, why go through the process and pay for something that you will never need.
On the other hand, you may not at the moment be thinking of international travel but your circumstances could change and we've known plenty who get an impromptu chance to travel internationally only to lose out because they couldn't get a passport in time.
Now there are special temporary passports available for many countries but this is not the ideal way of going about it. If you think there might be a possibility of international travel in the future then we recommend getting one and keeping it up to date.
You may have relatives who live abroad, that you may have to suddenly visit for whatever reason at a moment's notice, or an employment position become available that might need an overseas visit. Any number of reasons could arise and circumstances always change.
Tip 0263 Get your passport
The passport is a legal photo identification document that allows you to legitimately travel internationally and where your visas can be attached. They are regulated by the governments of each country.
Getting a passport is relatively easy to acquire in the country of your citizenship. There becomes issues if you are not a citizen of the country you live in and for this reason you really need to start the process of applying very early on.
If you can apply in person at most Departments of State Passport Agencies with all the necessary information and documents, your will certainly speed up the process, rather than online or by post but remember to take with you originals or certified copies of what is needed and some documents need to be the originals in some countries.
Be aware that some countries have longer processes than others and you will have to wait sometimes longer than you think, so apply early to avoid disappointment.
Tip 0264 Up to date passport
You will need to keep your passport up to date and if you are a regular traveller it is more affordable to get a long term passport. Most countries have a ten year validation passport offer that is cheaper in the long run than short term passports and it saves the worry of renewing each time you want to travel internationally.
Tip 0265 DO NOT SELL YOUR PASSPORT!!
You have your shiny new passport yeay. "Look After It" and "Don't Lose It"!
Like any legal document treat it with care. If you lose this just before your travel, you will not be travelling.
Tip 0158 Copy your passport
In the unfortunate situation that you do lose, or have your passport stolen whilst travelling and the same with any important document, like your travel insurance and such, it is a good idea to copy your documents on to email that can be retrieved worldwide. This will assist you greatly in the recovery or re-issue of same.
Tip 0266 Passport expiry
It is important to constantly check your passport to know where it is and when it runs out. If it goes missing you can trace back to when you last had it and retrace your movements.
Most countries will not give you access on a passport that has less than 6 months outstanding, so even if your passport is current you may still be denied entry to the country you intend travelling to.
Please be aware of this, as we know plenty of disappointed friends who have tripped up on this alone.
Tip 0267 When reapplying for a new passport
When your shiny new passport matures and nears expiry, you can apply for a new one but be aware that whilst your waiting for your shiny new one to come, there have been occasions of the need to travel. We recommend you look at carefully picking your moment to re apply. Certainly if you re-apply online, as soon as you complete the application, your current passport ceases to exist and you cannot travel on it until your new one comes to you.
Tip 0268 Passports during travel
Whilst travelling internationally you will need to have your passport with you at all times and some countries use passports as form of local ID. Make sure you research on which countries use your passport as ID and which ones need it for entry and departure only.
We wouldn't recommend carrying your passport with you all the time whilst travelling. You may want to go to the beach or go white water rafting, where you can either lose it, damage it or even worse have it stolen.
Tip 0269 Lock away passports
Where possible try to keep your passport as safe as possible by locking it away in a safe and not hiding it in your accommodation. Thieves know exactly where to look and trust us, there is nowhere you could dream up that they haven't thought about.
Tip 0270 Care of your passport
Look after your passport, it is meant to last you ten years. Get a good quality holder for it. One that holds your travelling essentials. It may be slightly cumbersome but you are less likely to lose it.