Expired Passport! Now What?!
The worst travel faux pas is having an expired passport after weeks of planning, purchased tickets and packed bags!
A lot of us often forget to keep tabs on when our passport is expiring!
What if an impromptu trip comes up and you realise your passport has just expired? Well, there is really not much you can do if you are really tight on time. So the best thing is to keep your passport renewal dates in mind at all times and sort it out months in advance.
You do not want to miss a travel opp because of an expired passport! Eek!
Sure we all know the feeling of looking at our passport and seeing there are only a few weeks or months left till expiration day! Anticipating the long waits and paper work is draining enough! (You can actually renew your passport months before the expiration date.)
One tip to making sure you get your passport ready for travel is to make note of the expiry date and plan a trip around that time. Surely excitement for your trip will kick in few weeks before and that will make you check on your travel docs and renew them in time for your trip. Hopefully! Yikes!
One important thing to note is that if travelling abroad, for some countries you will need to have a valid passport for up to 6 months to avoid refusal of entry at the airport and that is the LAST thing you need after a long flight!
Plan your passport renewals between September and December, as processing times and waits are often much shorter because many travellers wait till the first quarter of the upcoming year to renew.
If you find yourself in a pickle and you have to travel but your passport has or is about to expire, you can pay additional fees to speed up the application (in some countries).
It is best to plan ahead though! Better renew early than to catch the earliest flight BACK to where you came from because you can't get through immigration due to an expired p-port!
In most countries, you can send your passport applications via mail, where you can also track the progress. You also have the option of renewing your passport in person. Just be prepared to most likely spend all day.
Make sure you have all the necessary documents with you :-
- Your most recent passport
- Several copies of your recent passport photographs (coloured)
- If you have changed your name since your last valid passport, make sure you add your marriage or change of name certificate with your application
- In some cases, you would need to provide proof of travel (flight details or receipts).
Also, last but certainly not least, get a good quality and super cute passport holder ready for your new-valid passport!