Cheers to Adventures ! It's time to get the passport out again, to travel with my small group tour showcasing this time....MOROCCO. I'll be back mid May 24 and look forward to designing your journey.

Organising your passport

Firstly, could you imagine if you were ready to head abroad and then realised that your passport is about to expire? Instant nightmare.  So check that your passport has at least 6 months’ validity from your date of return to Australia.  During the Covid 19 pandemic it is easy to loose track as it hasn’t been dusted off for some time.

Here in Australia we have the standard passport of 34 pages for immigration stamps and visas.  The frequent traveller passport of 66 pages is no longer available.  I’ve found that if you travel frequently to India, Vietnam, Sri Lanka or Africa and you need a visa every time you travel your passport can fill quite quickly.  If you are like me of course you will squeeze as much as you can into the validity of 10 years.  And always remember you will need at least two blank pages in the event that you may be delayed and may need to get back via a country which requires a visa to enter a new country.

When heading through immigration in a new country, one tries to say as little as possible and smile as you hand over your passport.  You typically find that the officer is quite haphazard about where they will stamp your passport – ie in the middle of a page, in the middle of the book.  This does nothing but waste a lot of space and make it difficult to place other stamps on the same page and it is difficult to find the stamp again to show it to immigration as you exit from that country.

After almost running out of pages I started using a system that was simple, a little bold but totally effective.  Using small “post it notes” with a kind message and a smiley face I could direct the immigration officer to stamp my passport where I was hoping to get it, and it worked beautifully when you add a smile and a greeting in the country you are entering.

I simply write on the post it note “Next page please”  or “please stamp here officer”  This has worked a treat and keeps my passport stamps in chronological order, sometimes allowing 6 stamps to a page rather than a scattered three or four.

Another tip is when you have purchased your visa , mark the page so that the immigration officer can stamp your passport where your visa has been approved, saving his time and your thoughtfulness you are on a start to your holiday.

Always keep your Passport with you on your flight.  Check your carry-on restrictions with the carrier prior to departure, if your carry-on needs to be sent to checked-in baggage (as quite often in the US) you don’t want to forget the passport in your bag that you can’t access…..