Documents & Papers
Travelers have needed various documents to travel. Whether you are visiting the U.S. or an American citizen traveling abroad, it is vital to have all your papers in order.
> Passports & Visas: For a new passport application or renewal, contact the nearest Passport Agency or a U.S. Post Office that accepts passport applications. Visas are available from the embassy or consulate of the country you will be visiting or from a "visa service" which will get your visa processed for a fee. Apply for your travel documents in advance to avoid delays! For more information, check the U.S. Department of State, Travel Information website.
> Your passport is your most valuable travel document when you are in a foreign country. Keep a copy of your passport number in a safe, separate place and immediately report the loss or theft of your passport or visa to the U.S. embassy or consulate and the local police authorities. Make copies of your passport, traveler's checks, credit cards, itinerary, airline tickets and other travel documents. Leave one copy with a relative or friend back home and carry one copy with you.
> Be sure your passport is signed and fill in the emergency information page of your passport. Check the expiration date. Many countries require that it be valid for six months after your return date. You can find out a country's entry requirements by going to travel.state.gov and clicking "Travel Information by Country."
> Certain countries may require an "International Certificate of Vaccinations" against cholera, yellow fever and other infectious diseases before you are allowed to enter. You can check with Centers for Disease Control:http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx for up-to-date information on epidemics or unsafe conditions in your planned destination.