Whether you have one or need to get one, knowing passport basics can be the difference between smooth sailing or panicked starts.
For nearly all international travel, you will need a passport. We highly recommend a passport book vs. a passport card. Given the major limitations of a passport card, we don’t think it’s worth the minor savings.
Our video today gets into some of the major passport questions:
When does my passport expire?
How long does my passport need to be good for in order to travel?
What should I know before I book travel with my passport?
Does my middle name matter?
What can I do to protect my passport and keep it safe?
What should I look for in a passport cover?
What should I do if I need to renew or replace my passport?
What if I lose my passport while traveling?
Think of this as a passport checkup.
If you are planning on changing your name, you cannot have that name on your passport or apply for a name change on an existing passport until your name is officially changed. Based on your trip timing and the process time for a name change, this may mean you have to apply for a passport in your maiden or original name and amend it at a future date after the name change has taken place.
So what name do you use?
All tickets and plans should be purchased with whatever name is on your passport/ID that will be valid at the time of travel, even if that is your old name or a name you don’t use anymore. Whatever is on the valid, not-expired ID is the right choice. Always check your passport name. It is not uncommon for people to forget to update their name on their passport after a marriage or divorce and realize later they used the wrong name for booking tickets.