Aggie Travel members aboard a Zodiac craft observe the floating ice sculptures on the water's surface.

Passport validity: know before you go

Have you ever seen an item expire before its “best by” date? While most things we use are good until their printed date, your passport might be rejected for international travel up to six months before it actually expires.

How so? International travel rules vary by country, with many requiring that visitors’ passports are valid for a full six months after their planned travel dates. These rules are to prevent visitors from overstaying their valid passport dates while abroad.

Some airlines also have strict passport expiration rules. Passengers with passports close to expiration may experience delays or cancellation of their trips, the need for urgent (and stressful) emergency passport renewal, and unwanted costs to change flight dates at the last minute.

To avoid this, always make sure your passport is renewed six to eight months before it actually expires. In addition, read over the country requirements when planning international travel and look out for any surprise restrictions from airlines.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, rules and requirements regarding international travel are frequently updated. Vaccination and testing requirements, country restrictions, security details and more are available at the State Department’s travel website.

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