HOW EXCITING! Congratulations, you, my friend are about to have the experience of a lifetime. I personally think there is no better feeling than getting to jump into another culture where they likely will live life much different than we do in the USA, not to mention the potential for new experiences, new food, and hopefully some amazing views! These experiences are how I fell in love with traveling and became so obsessed with leaving the country as much as possible, I truly hope you will feel the same way by the time you get back home.
Now, I know with leaving the country for the first time there is a lot of excitement, but also A LOT of nerves. What do I do? How do I use my Passport? What should I expect? Do they take my money? etc. etc. You get the point, your mind just flurries with the unknown. Good news! This is a very normal feeling and one that even experienced travelers have felt or still feel on occasion!
My hope for this blog is that I can help alleviate some of the unknown and make your first experience a little bit better! Below I have listed out quite a few topics that may be rushing through your brain… read through them and then let me know if you have any further questions!
HOW DO I USE MY PASSPORT?
Did you just get your Passport and are thinking “How does this thing work?”
No worries, I have your back! It is super simple. Here are a few things you need to know regarding your passport.
In order to make your passport valid, you MUST HAVE A SIGNATURE. * I have heard of people not being able to enter a country because of no signature before they handed the book to Customs.
While we are talking about signing things in your passport, I recommend filling out your address and emergency contact in PENCIL. Why you ask? How many of us move or may need to have someone else listed in a few years? This makes it easy to change.
In order to keep your passport valid, it must not have damage! I would recommend getting a nice passport cover to keep your passport nice and safe! Here is my favorite off Amazon! Damaged on a passport is a broad definition… this means bent, water damage, writing, fake passport stamps, ect. They want it to be in perfect form.
Your Passport is your ticket back into the US, without it you are really going to struggle! So make sure you make it top priority to keep it safe- I always recommend locking it in something secure at your hotel or resort or keeping it tucked away on your body at all times. In the case that it does get stolen or lost while traveling, a helpful thing is to have full readable pictures of your passport saved on your phone and with your emergency contact back in the states. You can take this to the US Embassy and get a lot farther than having no proof of identity.