Your next international vacation should be full of excitement, magical moments, and unforgettable stops at the most extraordinary restaurants, shops and destinations the world has to offer. The last thing you need, then, is to show up at the airport simply to get turned away due to an expired passport, or even too many stamps in your book. (Who knew?!)
Check out these five surprising passport mistakes you'll want to avoid making so you can reach your destination (and return home) with no problems at all!
Mistake #1: Not Checking the Expiration Date
This doesn't even just mean a passport long since expired. Some countries only accept passports that won't expire for six months or more. So if you have four months left till your expiration date, it's probably safer to get a new one than be turned away at the gate!
Mistake #2: Waiting Too Long to Apply
It's pretty common knowledge that passports take forever to receive and/or renew, but with all the stress of a trip, this important detail can sometimes be forgotten. In general, passports take at least six weeks to arrive on time. If you require it sooner, expedited services will cost $60 and take about two-three weeks.
Mistake #3: Not Correctly Filling Out the Form
We've all made some typos here and there, but an error on your passport application will result in a missed flight. Even if the printer was to blame, you'll still need to correct it before heading through security. The bright side? The correction process is free. You’ll just need a DS-5504 form that you can either mail in or fill out online.
Mistake #4: Not Updating Your Name After a Change
Legally changed your name recently? Passports don't automatically update, so you'll have to go through the renewal process. You'll need to use a passport renewal form (DS-82), submit a color passport photo, an official document showing your name change, and your current passport (plus the fees that go along with it). We suggest ensuring you’re eligible for the DS-82 form.
If it's been less than a year since your passport with your old name was issued, you might be able to update for free with the DS-5504 form. I just went through this and can verify that it is free. So if this applies to you change that name quickly and get that new passport immediately.
Mistake #5: Having Too Many Stamps
Who knew that being a world traveler can have its downsides? Though you're very lucky to have so many stamps in your book, some countries require you to have two to four blank pages in your passport.
If you love traveling as much as we do, make sure you're always on top of your passport status to avoid any mishaps at the airport and reach your destination as soon as possible!