travelprecheck.org blog: 5 Instances When You Will Need Your Passport When Traveling Abroad According to TravelPreCheck.org

Preparing for an international trip is both exciting and overwhelming. As you plan your trip and put together a list of must-see attractions, you also need to ensure that you obtain all required documentation prior to your trip abroad. For instance, your passport is needed to travel overseas, but it’s also needed during other situations as well, such as re-entering the U.S. In other cases, a passport may be needed to prove your visa status and identity while visiting certain locations. In Japan, for example, failure to present a passport upon request could get you arrested. To help you plan for your next international trip, the experts at TravelPreCheck.org have put together a list of instances where you need to present your U.S. passport.

When Traveling Overseas

If you plan to travel overseas to foreign countries in Europe or Australia, you’ll need your passport to do so. However, you’ll also need to present your U.S. passport when traveling to Mexico or Canada by air. Additionally, while you may not need to present your passport when entering Mexico or Canada by land, you will always need to provide it when you return to the U.S. Only when traveling to certain U.S. territories are you allowed to do so without a passport. U.S. territories include the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

When Re-Entering the U.S.

In addition to using your passport to enter a foreign county, you’ll also need it to re-enter the U.S. To avoid complications when it comes time to re-enter the United States, the team at TravelPreCheck.org recommends keeping your passport and other documentation locked up in your hotel’s safe to ensure that your passport isn’t lost or stolen during your trip.

For Cruises

In some cases, you do not need a passport when traveling by cruise ship. For instance, a passport is not needed during closed-loop sailings (cruises that start and end at the same U.S. port). However, the team of experts at TravelPreCheck.org recommends obtaining a passport even if you plan to set sail on a closed-loop cruise. When you take a cruise, you’ll still need to present a form of government-issued photo identification to re-enter the U.S., and traveling with a passport in hand helps to eliminate worry while also reducing the risk of possible travel-related complications.

While Abroad

According to the team at TravelPreCheck.org, not only do you need your passport to enter and exit certain countries, but you may also need it if questioned by local officials at any point during your travels. In some cases, you may be asked to present a passport to prove your visa status and identity. If you don’t have your passport, you could be taken in for questioning. For this reason, it’s important to keep your passport on you while abroad in certain countries, but it’s also wise to keep your passport tucked away beneath your clothing in a hidden pouch for security.

During Emergencies

To prepare for a possible emergency, the team at TravelPreCheck.org recommends using a pencil to complete the emergency contact portion of your passport. During a medical emergency such as an illness or injury, you could use your passport to save your life. Note that it’s best to include the contact information of a close friend, spouse or family member who knows about your allergies, health and medical history.