Planning A Trip Overseas

Rules for getting your Passport, travel.state.gov
People often travel abroad for family vacations and educational trips to see the many old artifacts and to take in a new culture. Planning to travel abroad you need to make sure you check all of the rules for that particular country. But for starters you need to get a passport. Any travel crossing boarders by airplanes requires a passport. There are many different requirements that need to be followed for getting a passport. To apply for a passport for all minors ages fourteen to seventeen each minor child shall appear in person. For security reasons, parental consent may be requested. If the child does not have identification of his or her own, a parent or guardian needs to accompany the child and present identification. To apply for a U.S. Passport you must provide Form DS-11. These forms can be obtained from any passport agency or acceptance facility. Do not sign the DS-11 application form until the passport acceptance agent instructs you to do so. This may stall the process and you will need to refill out the application. Then you will need to present proof of U.S. citizenship. You may prove U.S. Citizenship with any one of the following: previous U.S. Passport or certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state. Following that you need to present proof of identity. You may prove your identity with any one of these: Previous U.S. passport, naturalization certificate current, valid driver's license government ID, and city, state or federal military ID.

Rules for passport photo- Rules can also be found The Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State.
You will need to provide two passport photos. Your photographs must be: 2x2 inches in size, identical, taken within the past 6 months, showing current appearance, color, full face, front view with a plain white or off-white background, between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head, taken in normal street attire, uniforms should not be worn in photographs except religious attire that is worn daily. Do not wear a hat or headgear that obscures the hair or hairline. If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device, wig or similar articles, they should be worn for your picture. Dark glasses or nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons then a medical certificate may be required. They may take the picture at the passport agency to take care of any confusion that may take place. Then you will need to pay the applicable fee for the passport; the fee is $67. Both fees and the surcharge are combined into one payment to the ''U.S. Department of State'': Credit Cards. At over 9,000 Passport Acceptance Facilities, you pay the passport application fee and the security surcharge to the ''U.S. Department of State'' and the execution fee to the facility where you are applying. You need to provide a Social Security Number. If you do not provide your Social Security Number, the Internal Revenue Service may impose a $500 penalty. You can also have it expedited to you for an extra fee but it still takes a little time. It can be very nerve racking when you are on a tight travel schedule to get your passport in time so you can leave for your trip.

Getting your plane ticket
When purchasing your airline ticket for your trip, you will need to make sure you have the exact times and the correct name on the ticket. Once a ticket is purchased the name on the ticket will not be allowed to be changed. People have run into the problem of putting their maiden name instead of their married. They were not allow to change the name on it and have had to buy a whole another ticket just because it was their maiden name. I read different articles on travel rules and have found that this happens. It is a very frustrating situation but they may be able to change the dates on the tickets for a fee.

Airport rules
When you arrive at the airport they tell you not to leave your car unattended and if you do it may result in the car being towed or ticketed. This rule is repeated over and over on a loud speaker so everyone can hear the rule. This also applies to any carry on or luggage. You can rent a locker so you do not have to carry the bags with you. After you arrive at the airport you need to check in and get your boarding pass. Each adult traveler should keep his or her airline boarding pass and government-issued photo ID available until exiting the security checkpoint; children are not required to show identification. The absence of proper identification will result in additional screening. When going through the checkpoint they will make you remove your shoes and walk through the metal detector. If you do not remove your shoes the security people will look at you strangely and make you walk through again with your shoes off so they can screen them.

The following rules, found at www.tsa.gov, apply to all liquids, gels, and aerosols carried through security checkpoints. All liquids, gels and aerosols must be in three-ounce or smaller containers. Larger containers that are half-full or toothpaste tubes rolled up are not allowed. Each container must be three ounces or smaller. All liquids, gels and aerosols must be placed in a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Gallon size bags or bags that are not zip-top such as fold-over sandwich bags are not allowed. Each traveler can use only one, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Each traveler must remove their quart-sized plastic zip-top bag from their carry-on and place it in a bin or on the conveyor belt for X-ray screening. X-raying separately will allow TSA security officers to more easily examine the declared items. If you have too much of one they will make you either throw it away or go back to the counter and check the bottle. If you need larger amounts of liquids, gels and aerosols such as toothpaste or shampoo, you will need to place them in your luggage and check them with your airline. Therefore, any liquid, gel or aerosol, such as coffee or soda, purchased in the secure area beyond the security checkpoint is allowed aboard your plane. In addition to liquids, gels, and aerosols numerous other potentially dangerous items are not permitted in carry-on baggage. These rules are posted at the airport and on the TSA web site. If you do not follow these rules properly you will be held up and may not be able to get on the plane. You can get around these rules by driving your self but these rules also apply to water travel.

Getting back into the country
You also need to present your passport for air travel to reenter the United States. There are special rules for products made from endangered wildlife. Many wildlife and wildlife products are prohibited either by U.S. or foreign laws from import into the United States, and you risk confiscation and a possible fine if you attempt to bring them into the U.S. when you return. Watch out for the following prohibited items: all products made from sea turtles, all ivory, both Asian and African elephant, and rhinoceros, furs from spotted cats, furs from marine mammals, feathers and feather products from wild birds, most crocodile and caiman leather, and most coral whether in chunks or in jewelry. You may import an object made of ivory if it is an antique. To be an antique the ivory must be at least 100 years old, and you will need documentation that authenticates the age of the ivory. You may import other antiques containing wildlife parts under the same conditions: they must be accompanied by documentation proving they are at least 100 years old. Certain other requirements for antiques may also apply. You will need to go through customs and declare what you are bringing back with you. To get around this you can mail back what you so you do not have to take them on the plane with you.

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