Congratulations on your engagement or the celebration of a milestone wedding anniversary! Before you are drawn to the magical lure of clear blue water and powder sugar white sand beaches you have to ask “Are Passports Required?” It is up to the traveler to know the rules for entering the countries that you might want to put on your short list of preferred destinations for your destination wedding or honeymoon. A good source of up-to-date information about passport validity requirements is the U.S. Department of State’s travel website travel.state.gov which lists entry requirements by country. Travelers should also consult the embassy websites of countries they want to visit to see if a visa will also be required. In addition many countries have enhanced their security levels and now require that passports have a validity of three or six months beyond your return date of travel.
If you already hold a U.S. Passport and are looking to book travel- do yourself a favor and double check the validity date. The expiration date is on the inside front cover of your passport, next to the passport holder’s photo. Customs officials tend to be strict about these validity date requirements – if you do not meet the validity date requirements you can be turned away and denied boarding. It is the traveler’s responsibility to make sure your travel documents are in proper order as airlines and cruise ships routinely deny boarding to travelers without proper documentation and this also includes that the names on your reservations match your travel documents exactly. Each country makes its own rules in regards to travel document requirements, and the rules often change, so make sure you verify the information before you make your reservations.
As of 2011, most Caribbean Destinations require a valid passport in order to enter by air travel, but there are a few exceptions such as U.S. Virgin Islands of St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John and Puerto Rico that allow U.S. citizens to fly in without a valid passport. Special rules apply to travelers arriving by land and sea some clients consider getting the less expensive Passport Card to use when they cruise into Caribbean port-of-entry or choice cross-border land entry from U.S. to Canada or Mexico. The Passport Card cannot be used for air arrivals, I can’t stress that enough. Although U.S. citizens who board a cruise ship at a port in the U.S. then travel to Caribbean destinations defined by the government as “contiguous lands and adjacent islands” and return to the same U.S. port, it is the responsibility of the cruise passenger to check with their cruise line to verify travel will not include a destination considered to be outside the Caribbean, such as Belize, if so you will be denied boarding without required documentation.
For more general passport information contact passport services toll free 1-877-487-2778
Before you Go -Helpful Travel Tips:
- Visit travel.state.gov for general travel information to your destination, Travel Warnings and Foreign Entry Requirements
- Visit https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ to register your trip .Registration allows you to record information about your upcoming trip abroad that the Department of State can use to assist you in case of an emergency.
- Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs of the countries to which you are traveling because you are subject to their laws when in the destination.
- Leave a copy of your passport data page and itinerary with family, friends or your professional travel advisor in case of an emergency or if your passport is lost or stolen
- Have medical insurance that covers you abroad , consider a medical evacuation policy.
- Now that you have your U.S. Passport sign your full name in your passport in ink and fill in the emergency information page of your passport in pencil
Don’t Forget :
- Check the validity requirements for your chosen destination
- Passports for adults currently are valid for 10 years, while passports for minors under age 16 are valid for 5 years(Especially important for Vow Renewals and Destinations Weddings with children)
- The world is yours when you have a Valid U.S. Passport
Need assistance planning or your special romantic trip contact Linda Dancer Destination Wedding, Honeymoon and Romance Travel Specialist.
Email Linda@honeymoonsinc.com Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331 or Direct Line 828-256-1520