June 1, 2020
Due to travel restrictions, plans are only available with travel dates on or after
Due to travel restrictions, plans are only available with effective start dates on or after
Ukraine; Belarus; Moldova, Republic of; (North) Korea, Democratic People's Rep; Russian Federation
Israel; Jamaica; Republic of Ireland; Northern Ireland;
You’ve waited for this trip for so long. You’ve spent so many hours in transit. And when, at last, you reach your destination, the customs official frowns. She informs you that you don’t have the right travel documents for entry. What are you supposed to do now?
Around 60,000 travelers are turned back at destination or transfer points by immigration authorities each year, according to the International Air Transport Association.1 To avoid being one of the unlucky few, use these travel document checklists to ensure you have everything you need. Keep in mind that the documents needed vary by destination.
For the latest information on travel requirements and entry restrictions for international destinations, including COVID-19 testing, vaccination policies, necessary travel documents and quarantine periods, check our interactive map. (Content is provided by Sherpa, an affiliated third party).
We’ll do our best! But the assistance we can provide depends on the situation.
If your passport or other travel documents are lost or stolen, we can assist you in getting your documents replaced, and we’re happy to help you change your travel arrangements, if needed. Your trip delay benefits can reimburse you for eligible expenses incurred (such as accommodations and meals) because of a delay caused by lost or stolen documents.
Also, if lost or stolen travel documents cause you to miss more than 50% of the length of your trip, that can be a covered reason for trip interruption, which means you can be reimbursed for your lost trip costs.
However, failing to meet a country’s entry requirements is not a covered reason for trip cancellation or interruption. If you don’t have the right documents because you didn’t know you needed them, or because you couldn’t get them in time, there’s not much we can do. Be sure to check international entry requirements before booking a trip.
Valid passport: This is the most important travel document to carry. It’s required for virtually all international border crossings.
There are limited exceptions: If you have a NEXUS or SENTRI card, you can use it to enter Canada or Mexico instead of a passport. An Enhanced Driver’s License also allows you to enter the U.S. by land or sea from Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean.2 A passport card can be used to enter the U.S. by land and sea from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.3 And U.S. citizen children under 16 who are arriving in the U.S. by land or sea from Canada or Mexico may use an original or copy of their birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Naturalization Certificate.4
Also, you typically don’t need a passport for a closed-loop cruise — that is, a cruise that departs from and returns to the same U.S. port. You do need to provide proof of citizenship, which can be a birth certificate, a driver’s license or an Enhanced Driver’s License.5 And it’s smart to bring your passport, just in case something goes awry and you need to fly home.
Make sure you check your destination’s rules for passport expiration dates! Many countries require your passport to be valid for 3 or 6 months beyond your expected return date.6
If you’re a U.S. resident but not a citizen, you’ll need your green card (Form I-551), or document for lawful permanent residents, or advance parole (Form I-512) if your Form I-551 is pending.7
Visa: A visa is a travel document that gives you official permission to enter another country for a specified reason (e.g. tourism) and amount of time. You may need to apply ahead of time for a visa, or you may be able to get one upon entry, depending on where you’re going.
To find out if you need a visa, look up your destination country on the U.S. Department of State’s website. Be aware that you may need to provide documentation to get the visa, such as proof of sufficient funds, written evidence of a hotel reservation, or a letter stating the purpose of your trip.
Vaccination records: If your destination requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination, you should carry the original paper card. Make sure the vaccine(s) you received match the types and timeline approved by your destination. It’s a good idea to also carry digital proof of vaccination, whether photos of the card or a QR code that links to your official records.
Some countries require other vaccinations as well, such as yellow fever. Look up your destination on the CDC’s Travelers’ Health site to see which vaccinations are currently mandated or recommended. Bring your International Certificate of Vaccination to show you’ve received the required shots.
Don’t yet have travel insurance for your trip? Don’t wait too long — buy a plan today to ensure you’re protected. Get a quote.
Are you flying within the United States? As of May 3, 2023, U.S. travelers must have a passport, REAL ID or military ID to board domestic flights and access certain federal facilities. A REAL ID is a state-issued driver’s license/identification card with higher security standards. To get a REAL ID from your state, you’ll typically need to provide documentation showing your full legal name; date of birth; Social Security number; two proofs of address of principal residence; and lawful status. It will be marked with a star symbol to distinguish it from an ordinary license/ID card.
The TSA is testing the acceptance of certain digital IDs, including mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs) from participating states. Check this page to see if you may be able to use a digital ID to fly.
The TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling within the United States.