Before You Travel Overseas, Make Sure Your Passport Has Blank Pages

Before you travel overseas, don’t forget to pack the essentials like a proper visa, if it’s necessary, and your passport. And while this tip may seem obvious, you should also make sure your passport has blank pages when traveling internationally as some countries require them for you to enter the country.

“Recently, I ran into a problem with my passport. It doesn’t expire until 2022, but I was running out of space—and fast,” Holly Johnson writes for Frugal Travel Guy. “ I realized before I left for Turks and Caicos in May that I only had two pages left—and that one of those pages was one of the final ‘endorsement’ pages, which aren’t for visas anyway.”

Exact requirements depend on the country, however. If you’re traveling to places like Mexico, Canada, the U.K. or Germany, you’ll only need one blank page available to be stamped; if you’re traveling to Italy, Sweden, Singapore or Iceland, you’ll need two blank pages for entry stamps. As the Points Guy writes, countries like China and South Africa also require two blank pages that must be adjacent for visa purposes.

Granted, a passport has plenty of blank pages (17 to be exact) so it’s unlikely you’ll run into this issue unless you’re a frequent traveler or your passport is at the end of its life. Otherwise, it’s a good thing to double-check before your next vacation overseas if you want to avoid a sudden round-trip. (You should also check to make sure your passport is valid for at least six more months before traveling, as other countries like Turkey and Thailand require it for entry.)

If you’re unsure of your destination’s passport requirements, do an online search using the State Department’s website and Visalist to look up any visa needs. As Frugal Travel Guy points out, the final “endorsement” pages at the end of your passport are not considered blank pages for stamps, so keep that in mind, too.

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