Passport-less travel is on the cards for Australians, but until that arrives (and it’ll probably be a long way off) make sure you check these six things on your passport:

-Your name: Sounds obvious, but if your name doesn’t exactly match the one on your passport, you could well be denied entry into your destination, or even boarding your plane at your point of origin.

-Your appearance: If you’ve changed your weight dramatically, undergone significant facial surgery or changed sex, you may need to explain your change in appearance. Have that extra photo evidence handy just in case. General aging, new beards and hairstyles are okay though.

-Expiration date: We know it makes little sense (do you need to renew a drivers license six months before its expiry?), but you’ll have great difficulty getting into most countries, particularly Schengen countries, if you’re within six months of your passport’s expiration date. Some countries only require you to have a passport valid for no less than 30 days after the end of your intended stay, but your entry into a country can sometimes just depend on the discretion of the immigration officer. So check the individual requirements for your destination. 

-Blank pages: You’ll need to have at least two entirely blank pages in your passport if you want to enter many nations, but some even require four. Again, check your destination’s specific requirements.

-Visas: One of the first things you should do when planning a trip is check to see if your intended destinations require visas. And then check again to be doubly sure. Or ask your travel agent at the time of booking. You wouldn’t believe how many travellers are turned away from countries because they didn’t have a visa, or more commonly, the correct one.

-Condition: This would probably be the most commonly overlooked thing to check on a passport. You won’t need to keep your document in absolute mint condition (having a dog eared passport is particularly hard to avoid if you’re well travelled), but it will need to appear as though it hasn’t been put through seven laundry cycles or been used as a coaster at every bar in Bali, or else you could be denied entry at your destination.

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