Be smart about honeymoon planning with these helpful passport tips!
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A passport is a magnificent thing: it allows you to travel the world with ease, and you get to collect cool stamps along the way! But there are so many things related to your passport that you may want to make sure are squared away before your honeymoon. You don’t want to be the person who forgets these and can’t go. Check out these tips related to your passport pre-honeymoon:
How much time have you got left?
Most countries require at least 6 months of time left before your passport expires. If you don’t have 6 months left, you could be flown back home on the next flight. It sucks, and even if you’re only going somewhere for a week, it’s a good idea to check the expiration date on your passport. As long as you’re over 16 years old, your passport lasts for 10 years. If you’re hitting the 9.5 years mark, it’s time to renew.
How full is your passport?
This may sound like a good problem to have, meaning that you’ve traveled a great deal, but you want to make sure you’ve got room to spare. Most countries require at least 3 blank pages of space for all of your stamps. While most customs agents don’t care that much, you never know if you get a surly agent who needs to see those three empty pages (and still stamp over your Ireland stamp for no good reason)!
Depending on when you go on your honeymoon, you may want to wait to change your name.
If you’re thinking about changing your last name right away, think again. It may be a good idea to wait until after the honeymoon when you don’t have to stress about getting a new passport right away and can take your time. If you’re going months and months after, maybe you can swing it, but if you’ve already booked your tickets and everything under your old name, it may be wise to wait until the honeymoon is over.
Make copies of your passport!
This is just good sense. Before you leave for your trip, make 3-5 copies of each of your passports. Then, leave at least one with a trusted family member or friend, and carry a few with you. Once I get to my destination, I keep my passport locked away in the hotel safe, and carry the copy with me. You have a much higher likelihood of being pick-pocketed and your passport stolen if you always carry it with you than if it were locked away in a hotel room safe. Also, if you were to lose your passport and copies, at least a family member has it back home to help you out!
Check to see if you need a tourist visa.
This is huge! Maybe where you’re going doesn’t require a visa, but it is always a safe bet to check this website to ensure whether you need one. Also, visa requirements change frequently, so be sure to check at least a few months prior to arrival and before you leave for your destination. Some countries are fine with you paying a fee and receiving your tourist visa on arrival, but some require you to have it in advance. If you end up in a country of the latter and don’t have a visa, you’ll be on the next flight home which sounds terrible, especially if you’ve traveled far.
All of this is lined out on the US Government site, as well as advice for obtaining the visa from your destination country of choice. Another great thing a lot of countries are doing is allowing you to purchase and apply for the visa on arrival in advance, so you don’t have to go through the trouble when you get there or they are shortening their application process. It’s always good to check!
Last piece of advice: If you need to renew, be sure to do it early!
Passport renewal usually takes 4-6 weeks. You have to fill out a form here, return your current passport, submit a marriage certificate if you changed your name (see #3), provide a passport photo (stapled to the application), pay the fee (money order or check only), and send it off in one package together! It’s a few steps to ensure you’ll be good to go on your honeymoon!
Whew! Who knew it took this much to make sure that you’re allowed to travel so easily and collect passport stamps? Trust me, it’s so worth it to experience a new place with your significant other, and the stamp is only one of the awesome souvenirs to take back!
Did you enjoy these honeymoon planning tips for your passport? Which of these steps have you done prior to a trip? Which have you forgotten? What other advice would you like to hear? Let me know in the comments! Be sure to like and subscribe for more!
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