People often ask, “If I’m a United States citizen, do I need a visa to travel abroad?”
Simply speaking, a visa is a document issued by a country that will allow you to enter, leave, or stay for a specified period of time. Not all countries require you to have one. For those that do, excuses like “I didn’t know I needed one,” or “My agent was supposed to get one for me,” or “My dog ate my visa,” will not be tolerated, whether you are a United States citizen or not.
Where “No visa required” is indicated, you must hold the following:
- A passport (which is an official document that certifies the holder’s identity and citizenship, and entitles you to travel under its protection to and from foreign countries) containing one blank visa page that is valid for six months past the date that you will enter the country
- Proof of sufficient funds
- Proof of return flights
- All documents required for your next destination
What is the difference between a US passport and a US Passport Card?
A US Passport is for international travel by air, sea, or land, whereas a US Passport Card resembles a driver’s license, and is used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico and Caribbean and Bermuda.
Who is responsible for getting your visa and/or passport before you travel?
YOU ARE. Unless, of course, you are working with a travel professional who will help you obtain one.
Be aware that travel agents who work on quotas or who work strictly on commission for a company may not follow through in getting you the required documents.
If you are making your own travel arrangements online, it is important to know that while a travel visa may not be required, many countries have specific travel requirements in addition to the points listed above that you must meet in order to enter! Booking travel through a computer is not the same as booking with a human – a travel professional – who genuinely cares about what happens to you when you arrive in a foreign country.
As a travel consultant who provides a personalized, travel concierge service for the “over-50 crowd,” I take care of:
- Checking to see if you need a visa or any other special documentation
- Checking to see if the visa laws have changed for the country you are planning to visit; if they have changed, I will make sure your visa meets their latest requirements
- Obtaining a visa or passport for you
Peace of mind: Priceless!
Travel Concierge, Sara Raney, is an Alaska and Antarctica Specialist. Having traveled to over 100 countries herself, Sara has the knowledge and experience to make travel plans and special arrangements for her clients (things you wouldn’t even think of) so that you can relax and enjoy a wonderful, memorable, hassle-free vacation!
Join Sara on one of her escorted cruises to
Alaska, Panama, Canada/New England, and more!
Sara is the author of the Amazon best-seller: “Senior Travel Guide: How to Survive Squatty Potties and More!” (available on Amazon and on major cruise lines).