I am sure that you know that you need a passport for most international travel.I am also sure that you have heard that by October 1, 2020, you will need to have your driver’s license updated/reissued to travel stateside in compliance with the Real ID law. Click Here for more info. Of course, you could use your passport for all of your air travel, but if you don’t want to carry it for domestic travel, get your driver’s license updated if you are over 18 years of age.
Now that we have done the extra research about Real ID, it is time to double check our passports to make sure that we have at least 6 months on our passports beyond the time we will be traveling and that we have at least 2 empty pages for passport stamps and visa stamps for each country that we are visiting. Along those same lines, since we are headed to Kenya and Tanzania, we need to go online to order our mulit-visit visa for Kenya.
We will not be getting our Tanzania visa before we leave home. We don’t want to send them our passports and hope we get them back. Also, there is more than one type of visa to visit Tanzania. There is one for people who are transiting the country. At the time of this writing, that is about $30. For those who are visiting Tanzania, the fee is about $100. Also, they want newer, clean, crisp $20 dollar bills, or in the case of the transit visa, a couple of $5 dollar bills to go with your $20. Also, if you are with a guide, they won’t believe that you are transiting the country so make sure to have the $100 in clean cash.
Another thing to think about when we discuss getting a visa. For many years, most countries listed the United States on a short list of countries that did not have to apply for a visa to visit that country. Things are changing. Many countries, such as New Zealand and Australia, now require us to apply online for an ETA. An Electronic Travel Authority. You need to do this before you leave home, so don’t forget to check the countries you are visiting to make sure you are good to go.
While waiting for the visa and your eta’s, it is time to get started on shots. Some countries require you to have your shot card with you as well as a document from your doctor that shows you have received certain shots, such as a yellow fever shot, depending on which country you are visiting or have visited in the recent past.
When we went a couple of years ago, we had to get a series of shots, some before the trip and a final one after we got home. So, I called Kaiser to set the appointment with the Travel Nurse to discuss what shots and meds that we may need for our trip.
Don’t forget that you need to consider the re-entry process when we return to the U.S. The first choice for many people would be to get the Global Entry paperwork done before hand, but for us that means going to San Francisco to do the interview. A pain in the back side. Also, after you fill out the documents and paying the fee, you can still end up waiting months before you get your conditional approval. We applied in May for an October trip. Still no joy and it is already September.
After you get the conditional approval, you need to sign up for the interview. Unfortunately, it could be several more months before you can go in for your interview. If you have your conditional approval, you can get an interview on the fly if you return from an international trip and land at one of the several dozen airports that allow it, you can do your interview there after you disembark. When landing in an international terminal follow the signage directing you to CBP officers who can complete your Global Entry interview during your admissibility inspection. Click here for info on that process.
Also, since our Pre-Check was expiring, we had to renew it because of the long delay in getting Global Entry.
The second option is using the app on your phone called Mobile Passport. We continue to use this second option while we wait for the government to get back to us.
One final thing to think about is that because child trafficking is a huge problem around the world, many governments are also requiring you to have your child’s birth certificate, along with passports. Better to be safe than sorry, carry a legal copy of your child’s birth certificate when you travel.
Turning Dreams into Memories,
One Vacation at a Time.
As you might guess, this document is a compilation of information from our travels as well as from other travelers. I hope it has been of value to you. Check out the important links below.
- Packing Checklist
- Parent Authorization Letter For Unaccompanied Minors
- Medical Treatment Authorization Letter
- Travel With Minors – Permission Letter
Don’t hesitate to email us when you return from your trip with any suggestions that will make this document better for you and your fellow travelers!
You may also want to visit our Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/TeamEdwardsTravel