Have you ever had your travel plans upset by an expired passport or a visa that took forever to be processed? When you’ve been traveling for as many years as our team has, you tend to run into problems every now and then with documentation. Here are some tips to help make sure you get where you’re going!
Be sure to check what kind of visa the country you’re visiting requires – but do this far in advance of your trip since the application process can take months. Ideally, checking your documentation should happen before any of your plans are set in stone, so a denial doesn’t set you back in money and time. You can find that information on your destination country embassy’s website, or at travel.state.gov.
In foreign relations, the term reciprocity refers to one country applying the same penalties or benefits given to its own citizens by another country to citizens of that other country. This means that if the U.S. charges a fee to Brazilian citizens entering its borders, as well as requiring a visa, then Americans trying to go to Brazil are also subject to this fee. Find out what extra hoops you may need to jump through at travel.state.gov.
Some countries have requirements concerning how long your passport has been valid, or how long your visa has until it expires; this is also sometimes the result of reciprocity, but more often has to do with work or student visas. Nevertheless, make sure you know the specifications for the country you’re visiting so you can get or renew documentation ahead of time.
-How long it takes
We don’t mean how long it takes to fill out all the paperwork. In addition to visa processing time, which has been known to take months, you may also have to interview for a visa, depending on your country of origin and your destination. Definitely make sure you know how long it will take to get the visa so you can plan your trip for a time when you have it!
-Bring laminated copies
A precaution the Booker Travels team always takes—if you have a paper copy of your passport, you can continue your journey even if you lose your wallet. We also bring copies of our credit cards, a list of emergency contact information made up of people in our country of origin and our hosts in our destination, and a cheat sheet of local phrases and monetary conversions. It never hurts to be on the safe side!