Getting ready for your Backroads adventure tour is really exciting. We know! We have so many wonderful walking trips and biking trips for you to choose from. And as you know, we take care of all the “heavy lifting” when it comes to planning so you can simply pick the place and enjoy your Backroads vacation.
However, there are a couple really important things you’ll need to take care of if you’re traveling internationally: your passport and visa. When you book your trip, Backroads will send you a Travel Planner that details the documentation you’ll need for your trip and if you don’t already have a valid passport, you’ll need to contact the appropriate consulate – and in enough time.
A few things to think about:
Some countries require that your passport be valid 6 months beyond your departure date. That means you can’t wait until the last minute to apply for your documentation. There are some expedited options, however, if you’re in a big hurry and willing to pay a little extra.
If you already have a passport, you’ll need to check the expiration date as well as the physical condition. Passports with fraying edges or torn pages are not accepted. You’ll also need to make sure you check the document requirements if you plan to travel to other countries not outlined in your Backroads Travel Planner.
And if you think you don’t need a passport for the country you’re traveling to, double check. As of Jan. 31, 2008, a valid passport is required for all U.S. citizens (including infants and children) traveling by air, land or sea to and from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, Bermuda and the Caribbean (excluding Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
We can’t say this enough: Don’t wait until the last minute. Due to a high volume, passport processing times have increased and can take up to 12 weeks from the date you apply! The U.S State Department Passport Services does offer online passport application and renewal information for U.S. citizens.
Alright, so, what if you completely forgot all about your passport or visa and you need it “yesterday.” It’s not a good situation, but it happens. We know this firsthand! If you are in this bind, we recommend using Zierer Visa Service. They’ve been in business for 50 years and specialize in fast, dependable overnight and same day passport and visa services.
And if you tell them Backroads sent you (and mention code 73013), they’ll even give you a discount. Order online or call 866-788-1100 Mon.-Fri. from 7:30 a.m.–7 p.m. Central time.