Recently, I have read several articles and blog posts about people who were refused boarding at the airport because their “documents” were not in order. In particular, several of these people had passports that still had several months remaining until their expiration date. Who would ever think that it would be a problem traveling with what by all rights appears to be a valid passport? Lo and behold, many countries including all of the European Union nations and Mexico, require your passport to be valid three to six months beyond your travel dates.
Before you book any international travel, check the expiration date on your passport! If it expires within the next year, renew it ASAP. When going through the normal renewal process, it can take up to 4- 6 weeks. You can pay extra for it to be expedited but it will still take 2- 3 weeks. If you are travelling within two weeks, you can make an appointment and go to one of the regional passport agencies and, with proof of travel, they will process your application more quickly. (For everything you will ever want to know about getting and renewing a passport, go here.)
Do not let your dream vacation be ruined because your passport has effectively expired…do yourself a favor and renew it early!