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posted
We’ve done a lot of traveling since I retired 2.5 years ago, here are some hints in no particular order:


Get a passport long before you travel, for adults they’re good for 10 years. Your travel agent will need the number, the airline may as well, and you'll need it to apply for a visa (see below). If you travel often, get 56 visa pages (I’ll explain later.)

https://travel.state.gov/conte...rt/how-to-apply.html

For most (all?) countries, your passport must be valid for 6 months when you enter.


Get Global Entry, the CBP fast lane coming back in. It’s $100 for 5 years and includes TSA Pre-Check. Pre-Check only is (I think) $85/5 years.

https://www.cbp.gov/travel/tru...obal-entry/how-apply


When necessary, get a visa sooner and not later, you have to send in your passport with the forms. We had to get one for China two years ago and used this agency:

https://www.genvisa.com/


Don’t run low on blank visa pages! South Africa doesn’t require a visa, but you must have two (or four depending on the source) consecutive blank visa pages to enter. Check the requirements for each country.

If you are running low on blank visa pages, you’ll have to renew even if it’s not expired. State no longer adds pages. Renewal is the same link as above. The standard passport has 28 visa pages, ask for 56 if you travel a lot.


Other members, please add more tips.
 
Posts: 13767 | Location: Eastern Iowa | Registered: May 21, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
chickenshit
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I wish I were in the same boat! I am still in the planning phase of retirement travels.

I concur with Global Entry. I had no idea about the other hints you gave.


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Posts: 6833 | Location: East Central FL | Registered: January 05, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
At Jacob's Well
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All good advice. I'll add, if you don't want to go through the interview process for Global Entry but still want to expedite your odyssey through customs, the CBP Mobile Passport app can save you a lot of time and trouble. It lets you bypass the kiosks.


J


"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." - Isaiah 53:5
 
Posts: 5063 | Location: Alabama | Registered: May 08, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Serenity now!
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I would add, pay the extra money for a passport card in addition to the Book. It acts a second form of approved ID and you can carry it while abroad and not the Book itself in the event of loss/damage/theft.


------------------------------------------------


9/11/01 Never Forget

"In valor there is hope" - Tacitus
 
Posts: 2209 | Location: VA | Registered: April 15, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Make a color copy of your passport and keep it with you as you travel in case you do lose your passport.


_________________________________________________________________________
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Posts: 7178 | Location: Northern Virginia | Registered: November 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lost
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Might also add if you're planning to apply for a passport, do it asap and avoid the rush. On October 1, 2020 the REAL ID act kicks in and many people will need a PP even for domestic travel.
 
Posts: 11595 | Location: SF Bay Area | Registered: December 11, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
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quote:
Originally posted by sig 226:
I would add, pay the extra money for a passport card in addition to the Book. It acts a second form of approved ID and you can carry it while abroad and not the Book itself in the event of loss/damage/theft.


The passport card is only valid for land and sea travel within North American and most of the Carribean. It doesn't take the place of a passport book for travel in the rest of the world, or for international air travel.

So the card is fine for folks who live near the the border to Canada/Mexico and want to drive over for quick trips, or for folks going on a cruise to Mexico or the Carribean. But outside that, it doesn't let you just leave the passport at home and only carry the card.
 
Posts: 22680 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Cruising the
Highway to Hell
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quote:
Originally posted by 229DAK:
Make a color copy of your passport and keep it with you as you travel in case you do lose your passport.


and as an additional measure take a picture of it with your phone so you have that as well.




“Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.”
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Posts: 5845 | Location: Near the Beaverdam in VA | Registered: February 13, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Tinker Sailor Soldier Pie
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quote:
Originally posted by jaaron11:
All good advice. I'll add, if you don't want to go through the interview process for Global Entry but still want to expedite your odyssey through customs, the CBP Mobile Passport app can save you a lot of time and trouble. It lets you bypass the kiosks.


Yes, I'll concur with this. The Mobile Passport app is nearly as good as Global Entry. And it's free!


~Alan

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"My guns are always loaded."
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Posts: 21959 | Location: Ski Town, Utah | Registered: October 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Serenity now!
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quote:
Originally posted by RogueJSK:
quote:
Originally posted by sig 226:
I would add, pay the extra money for a passport card in addition to the Book. It acts a second form of approved ID and you can carry it while abroad and not the Book itself in the event of loss/damage/theft.


The passport card is only valid for land and sea travel within North American and most of the Carribean. It doesn't take the place of a passport book for travel in the rest of the world, or for international air travel.

So the card is fine for folks who live near the the border to Canada/Mexico and want to drive over for quick trips, or for folks going on a cruise to Mexico or the Carribean. But outside that, it doesn't let you just leave the passport at home and only carry the card.


All true details. My point was it could be used as supplemental ID when traveling. You wouldn't have to carry the Book in a foreign country and risk loss/theft/damage but instead leave it the hotel safe. For port stops via a cruise, you could carry the card as official id when they ask for a ship cruise card and ID.


------------------------------------------------


9/11/01 Never Forget

"In valor there is hope" - Tacitus
 
Posts: 2209 | Location: VA | Registered: April 15, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Sigmund:

If you are running low on blank visa pages, you’ll have to renew even if it’s not expired. State no longer adds pages. Renewal is the same link as above. The standard passport has 28 visa pages, ask for 56 if you travel a lot.


Other members, please add more tips.


When you get your passport, you have the option of getting extra pages. Always a good idea.

I'm operating internationally most of the time, and in a ten year period may be in a couple hundred different countries. I've never run out of pages, even with full-page visas such as the China visa.

I keep two passports. You need a bona fide reason to have two, but it's possible to get.

You can't carry a passport card in lieu of a passport, especially as a passport card does not contain or reflect visas or entry or exit stamps.

Do have copies of your passport and visa and keep electronic copies.

You should carry your passport book in a foreign country. I dont' leave the hotel, airport, or building without my passport, except in those few countries where passports are confiscated on arrival.

Your passport is recognized internationally. A passport card is not.

Get your yellow fever shot; there are countries which will not allow you in without it. While other vaccinations aren't required, get them. Far better than what you'll have to deal with if you do get sick, bitten, cut, etc.

On that note, carry travel medication.

Register with the Dept of State when you're in a foreign country, with your location, itinerary, arrival and exit dates, etc.

Get the OSAC emails from the Dept of State (they're free) to keep up to date on the political and world climate as you're preparing to go to an area, and pay special attention not only to the destination country, but those around it, or that interact with it.
 
Posts: 3340 | Registered: September 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Tinker Sailor Soldier Pie
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posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by sns3guppy:
quote:
Originally posted by Sigmund:

If you are running low on blank visa pages, you’ll have to renew even if it’s not expired. State no longer adds pages. Renewal is the same link as above. The standard passport has 28 visa pages, ask for 56 if you travel a lot.


Other members, please add more tips.


When you get your passport, you have the option of getting extra pages. Always a good idea.



I would actually advise against getting the bigger passport, unless you really do travel International a lot, like monthly. The bigger passport is annoyingly fat. A friend of mine got the extra pages and immediately regretted it.


~Alan

Acta Non Verba
NRA Life Member (Patron)
Family, Guns, Country

"My guns are always loaded."
~R.G. Justified

What whiskey will not cure, there is no cure.
 
Posts: 21959 | Location: Ski Town, Utah | Registered: October 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
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quote:
Originally posted by sig 226:
All true details. My point was it could be used as supplemental ID when traveling.


Ah. I misunderstood. I thought you were claiming you could travel using the card alone.
 
Posts: 22680 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Serenity now!
Picture of sig 226
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by RogueJSK:
quote:
Originally posted by sig 226:
All true details. My point was it could be used as supplemental ID when traveling.


Ah. I misunderstood. I thought you were claiming you could travel using the card alone.


Nope all good. Smile


------------------------------------------------


9/11/01 Never Forget

"In valor there is hope" - Tacitus
 
Posts: 2209 | Location: VA | Registered: April 15, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
paradox in a box
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My tip is to write separate checks or money orders if more than one in family is applying at once. We had 4 of us all applying, at Post Office. They made out one money order and sent them all in together.

So our wonderful government employee saw the first application, and the check that was 4 times too much. He decided to expedite mine even though I didn't apply for expedited. Then he saw the next 3 passport applications and decided that there wasn't enough money for them (because he charged more for mine) and sent all 3 back for lack of funds, with a refund for me for the balance. Like what the actual fuck. I had to take the hit on expedited and send new money in for my family.




These go to eleven.
 
Posts: 9977 | Location: Lancaster, MA | Registered: November 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Balzé Halzé:
quote:
Originally posted by sns3guppy:
quote:
Originally posted by Sigmund:

If you are running low on blank visa pages, you’ll have to renew even if it’s not expired. State no longer adds pages. Renewal is the same link as above. The standard passport has 28 visa pages, ask for 56 if you travel a lot.


Other members, please add more tips.


When you get your passport, you have the option of getting extra pages. Always a good idea.



I would actually advise against getting the bigger passport, unless you really do travel International a lot, like monthly. The bigger passport is annoyingly fat. A friend of mine got the extra pages and immediately regretted it.


Whatever works. If someone is going to travel a lot, the extra pages are there for the visas and stamps. Like I said, I travel a LOT (150+ countries every three to six months, in some cases); I've never filled a passport in a ten year block.

I carry my passport, extra pages, in a shirt pocket much of the time, sometimes in a side cargo pocket, and it's never felt bulky. The old style were extra pages that would be glued into the passport. Now they just issue a passport with additional pages, which is easier than having to go get another passport.

One thing I would strongly suggest is keeping the passport in an RFID protective sleeve when traveling, along with all credit cards of RFID identifications or items. That material can be scanned from a l-o-n-g way off.
 
Posts: 3340 | Registered: September 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nature is full of
magnificent creatures
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quote:
Originally posted by sns3guppy:

I keep two passports. You need a bona fide reason to have two, but it's possible to get.



Do you have to pay an extra $170 every two years? I am guessing you do not bring both with you to countries which confiscate your passport. If they do that, how do you get the passport back?


------------------------------
Parents have a responsibility to lovingly teach their children. Homes filled with love are a joy, a delight, and a literal heaven on earth.
---Quentin L. Cook
 
Posts: 6257 | Registered: March 24, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of sleepla8er
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by 95flhr:
quote:
Originally posted by 229DAK:
Make a color copy of your passport and keep it with you as you travel in case you do lose your passport.


and as an additional measure take a picture of it with your phone so you have that as well.


I figure if my passport is gone, my phone will be to...

I've scanned my Passport, Birth Certificate, Driver's License, a list of phone numbers of friends & family members I can rely on for help, and a list of my credit card company phone numbers and card numbers. All of these are in an Adobe PDF encrypted file that is attached to an unsent email in my draft folder on Yahoo.

Since it is saved in the draft folder, it has not departed Yahoo's servers and because it is encrypted, Yahoo is unable to read the PDF file.

From any hotel or US Embassy, I can print these documents if needed. I still need to be careful about what computer I use to access my email account. Computer security in hotels has improved over the years, but a sniffer installed by their IT Staff would not be possible to detect.




My Photobucket albums:

1978 Browning BDA .45cal (aka Sig P220 with European Magazine Release):
http://s671.photobucket.com/al...Cal%20aka%20SigP220/

1986 SigSauer P226 with Mud Rails and Full NP3:
http://s671.photobucket.com/al...bar%20NP3%20Coating/

Winchester 1897 WW1 Trenchgun:
http://s671.photobucket.com/al...h%20Gun%2012%20Gage/
 
Posts: 2460 | Location: San Diego, CA  | Registered: July 14, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Corgis Rock
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Global Entry is incredibly efficient. Frill it out online, wait a couple of days for preliminary approval. Then back online to set up the interview. Ours took about 10 minutes. Had facial recognition taken, then out the door. When we came back from Europe we bypassed a huge room of people being processed. Instead we stopped at a terminal scanned face and passport, got a ticket and walked. Then we were way ahead of the crowd and had out own exit for customs.

About passports. Our city hall has the forms. The staff will check your paperwork, put it in order and give you a tracking envelope. Then it’s too the post office. There, the clerk asked if the forms were done in Black in and if payment was included. Those are the two biggest reasons for rejection.



“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
― Samuel Adams
 
Posts: 5504 | Location: Outside Seattle | Registered: November 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by deepocean:
quote:
Originally posted by sns3guppy:

I keep two passports. You need a bona fide reason to have two, but it's possible to get.



Do you have to pay an extra $170 every two years? I am guessing you do not bring both with you to countries which confiscate your passport. If they do that, how do you get the passport back?


I carry both passports, but present just one. The primary purpose of the second passport is to ensure that one is available if the other is being used to get a visa, as I never have time to have one sent off somewhere and be without. A second passport is valid for five years.

In the event a visa is valid for longer than the passport, an expired passport with a current visa can be carried along with a current passport; the visa remains good, even if the passport has expired.
 
Posts: 3340 | Registered: September 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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