Pack that Passport and Don't Panic

I’ve worked in the travel industry most of my life and give brilliant advice to people who are traveling.  Somehow though when it comes to my own arrangements I can be a little bit slack.  A bit like a doctor who never actually visits a doctor.

I recently flew locally.  I checked in, handed in my e-ticket and waited for my boarding card.  The check-in staff member looked at me, smiled and said:-

‘Identification please.’

I looked at her.  I suddenly felt a bit ill. I looked in my purse. I had my driver’s license with me.  I had my business cards.  I had my credit cards.

But the one thing I did not have was my passport.  And in many countries, even when you travel internally, you need to have a passport.

Check the rules! I knew the rules but I just hadn’t thought about them.  I’m one of those happy go lucky travelers. 

And this time I was lucky.  I called home and asked my daughter to organize an Uber.  She gave the Uber driver my passport and I met him outside the airport terminal.  It took half an hour, and it was a half an hour where I panicked.  I made the flight but it cost me a whole lot of extra money, as well as a whole lot of unnecessary anxiety.

An important travel tip then?  Whether you are traveling internationally or domestically, take your passport.  Or at least check with the airline you are traveling with, what the requirements are.

And then of course, make sure your passport is valid. And that your passport has space.  When you travel internationally, you very often need to have two blank pages in it.

If you’re traveling with children, make sure they’re either on your passport or they have their own passports.  Always have copies of the passports (or whatever ID you need) in a  separate bag or suitcase.  And if you’re traveling internationally, get the visas that you need.  Get them well in advance.  

Don’t wait for problems.  Be prepared.  Be passport prepared!


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