Passports, Visas, and Customs

by Nadine Dirksen - Monday, April 10, 2017 Touring Club Italiano maps

Having the right travel documents is crucial to being able to travel the world, so don’t leave home without the correct items. Here’s a list for you that’s worth reading more than once so you’re sure not to forget something at home.

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Passports

YOU NEED A PASSPORT! No matter your nationality, make sure you have a passport that is valid beyond your travel date. Check yours today!

For the US, required passport validity is at least six months beyond the date you intend to return to the US. No matter your nationality, make sure you are familiar with the validity requirements.

For US-passports, you can obtain application and renewal forms online at the US Department of State, or locally at any post office. It can take up to six weeks to receive your passport, so plan accordingly.

Visas

US-American and Canadian passport holders do not need a visa to visit any European country, Chile or Argentina for periods of less than three months. For some passport holders,  a Reciprocity Fee may need to be paid before entering a country.

Please make sure to always check official travel information about your destination made available by your government, e.g. the US Department of State, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Canadian Travel and Tourism information, New Zealand Safe Travel, etc. Official government sites use the .gov domain.

Lost, Stolen or Mutilated Documents

Should this happen to you while abroad please let your Tour Leader know right away so you can communicate with the consulate or embassy of your country. Most countries provide guidelines on what to do online. For example, the US Department of State’s Lost or Stolen Passport page is very helpful.

Customs

Customs is fairly easy these days as long as you are not trying to smuggle forbidden items. Even fruit is sometimes considered contraband so be aware of what you have packed away.

Make Copies

When traveling abroad, it’s always a good idea to carry a copy of your passport with you. Make sure you carry the copy separate from your actual passport and leave another copy with someone at home. With smartphones and cloud storage, it’s also a good idea to have digital copies you can access while traveling.

Nadine Dirksen - A German native, Nadine is a happy Colorado transplant who moved from lush Bavaria when she married. She left the land of pretzels in 2012 and has been enjoying a fun life full of cycling, mountain biking, CrossFit, hiking, running and any other outdoor activity that involves her little black Dachshund-mix. When not having fun outside or at work, she tries her hand at different craft projects with varying success. She helps our travelers by answering all their questions before their tours and she can't wait to help you bring your dream trip to reality!

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