Running Out Of Passport Pages Can Threaten Your Looming Travel Plans

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For the international traveler, a passport really does mean access to a large number of things, from foreign countries to bank transactions and hotel bookings. Ask anyone who has lost a passport abroad and tried to do any of those. It can be done, but only after jumping through some irritating hoops. You see, American passport pages are just as important for entering and leaving countries, as well as proving your travel history. A few overlooked facts about these pages can save you grief and ensure a good trip.

Water and other kinds of damage is the most common issue to arise with passport pages. The pages can become tattered after carrying the passport around in a pocket, as well. While this can seem trivial, a well-worn passport can capture the attention of customs and border officials in a negative way. You can avoid this by getting a cover for your passport that will protect it from the elements.

Even the most cautious traveler, however, will eventually run out of passport pages. This may not seem like such a big deal, but some countries require a certain number of pages for entry. Often, they require more space than their visa will take up in order to ensure you have enough room for entry and exit stamps as well. If your passport is still relatively empty, there are some strategies you can use to optimize the remaining space.

First, you can indicate where you would like the customs or border official to stamp your passport. Most will be happy to oblige, while others might just see you as a hassle. The important thing is to briefly explain that you are running out of space in a polite way. Smile. If you travel a lot, this will end up saving more space than you think. If the official stamps away without honoring your request, do not get upset, though, as these people are responsible for your entry into the country.

If you do see you are running out of pages, a quick stop by any embassy should remedy the situation. Most embassies will insert additional pages for free or a small fee. This service can usually be done during the same day. Make sure to do this well before you travel so you do not get in a bind. Depending on the country, there is usually a limit to the number of pages that can be added, so check with your embassy.

More than a simple travel document, these stamps often serve as instant souvenirs for travelers. However, if you lose or damage your passport, your memories and travel records will be lost. Make copies before you leave so you will have those records no matter what happens.

Similarly, you may be shocked to find out that many countries do not return damaged United States passports. They keep them and destroy them as a security measure. This is just another reason to have a copy for your records. Do not consider taking the pages out and keeping them. A lot of countries will view this as an illegal manipulation of an official document.

Getting new USA passport pages does not have to take up much of your time, but you should not ignore them completely. It is just those times that you take the pages of your USA passport for granted that they can cause problems for you. Do a brief check before you go and keep these tips in mind so that you can focus on your trip.

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