Summertime means travel time for so many people. Whether it’s just two of you or the whole family clan, we think it’s smart to be as knowledgeable as you possibly can. Here are a few tips we know will come in handy…

–If a child is 16 or older, the passport book can be used for 10 years. Passports for minors under 16 are valid for five years.
–Some countries may deny entry if your passport book will expire in fewer than six months. For complete information on foreign entry requirements, refer to the Country Specific Information pages on Be sure each member of your family signs his/her full name in the passport book in ink.
–Notify the US Department immediately if you lose your passport or it is stolen. (877-487-2778)

–Passports reported lost or stolen are no longer valid for travel. 

 –Before You Go Away
Remember a well-informed traveler is a safer traveler. To provide timely and accurate information about every country in the world, compiles country-specific information, tips for traveling abroad, and travel alerts and warnings. They also include reports on possible risks and security threats so you can make informed decisions about travel plans. 
–Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
By entering your travel itinerary and contact information in STEP, the U.S. Department of State will be able to better assist you during an emergency, including situations where family or friends in the United States are having problems trying to contact you. Your itinerary and contact information is safeguarded and not released to third parties without your written authorization. Enroll at

–It’s a good idea to enter the emergency contact information for the U.S. embassies in the countries in which you are traveling. This information is located at, and on the Smart Traveler app for Apple devices.

— To access updated official country information, travel alerts and warnings, country maps, and U.S. embassies, and more, there is a free app for Apple devices called Smart Traveler App.
*Reprinted and edited from Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, U.S. Department of State.