Travelers should ensure that they check their passport expiry date before taking any trips, as it could well end up costing them their vacation.
With record-breaking levels of international travel expected to take place over the upcoming summer months, American travelers must make sure that their passport is not only in date, but that its expiry date isn’t coming up soon – with several popular destinations around the world refusing to let travelers in if they only have a few months left until the passport expiry date.
Here’s a look at why a passport’s expiry date is so important, which popular vacation destinations require travelers’ passports to have a few months left of their validity in order to be able to enter – and why travelers should act fast if their passport expiry date is approaching soon.
Why Travelers Should Check Their Passport Expiry
Prior to the pandemic, when travelers were jetting off around the world much more frequently than at present, it’s fair to say that most people had some idea of when their passports were set to expire, given they were being used frequently to buy tickets and check-in.
However, with travel plans being up in the air over the last couple of years due to the pandemic, many people’s passports may have been simply gathering dust somewhere whilst their expiry date crept closer and closer – and that could be a major problem this summer.
While plenty of the most popular destinations for American travelers – such as Mexico and Canada – allow travelers to enter with any length of passport validity, there are plenty of countries that require travelers to have a passport validity of at least six months.
That means if your passport is set to expire within the next six months, you may not be denied entry to some popular destinations – putting a swift end to any vacation plans.
There are 71 countries in total that require passports to have an extra six months of validity in order to be able to enter.
Some of these are extremely popular with travelers from the US, such as Thailand. With Thailand now much easier to enter due to recently having removed its pre-departure and on-arrival testing requirements, to be prevented from entering due to not checking a passport expiry day would be extremely unfortunate.
Other popular Southeast Asian nations, such as Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore, also require six months of validity to enter.
It’s also a popular requirement across the Caribbean, with several countries such as Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guyana, and Saint Lucia also having the six-month requirement in place.
With most of these countries recently easing restrictions at long last, travelers should double-check their passport expiry dates to ensure they are able to enter.
The full list of countries that require 3 to 6 months of passport validity includes:
- The British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Central African Republic
- Côte D’Ivoire
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea
- Guinea Bissau
- Marshall Islands
- Papua New Guinea
- Saint Lucia
- Saudi Arabia
- Solomon Islands
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
Checking the expiry date is quick, and could save thousands of dollars in wasted travel expenses. Located just below the date issued date, travelers should ensure the date of expiry is at least six months beyond the date of arrival into any of the countries where this is a requirement – and if their expiry date is coming up, travelers should get started on their new passport application as soon as possible.
That’s because the US State Department has warned travelers that they could face a wait of up to 11 weeks for their passport to be processed, which could scupper the travel plans of many. The department said:
“We urge U.S. citizens considering international travel to check their passport expiration date early and if renewal is needed, to submit applications as far ahead of their travel dates as possible.”
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com