Travelling Abroad? Don't Forget to Bring These Documents

Travelling Abroad? Don't Forget to Bring These Documents

You'll need to bring these items to cross international borders!
All Regions
Amy Tiernan

Passports: Did you know?

  • Countries have the right to refuse entry to anyone holding a passport that will expire in 6 months prior entry into a foreign destination. It varies from nation to nation of how strictly this rule is enforced but it was first created because nations did not want the risk of having travelers and/or tourists overstaying their passport validity.

  • Processing a passport can vary depending on the time of year and can take up to 4 to 6 weeks. If you’re thinking of traveling internationally then you should apply for a new passport or renew your old passport as soon as possible.  Need a passport in a hurry? For an extra fee of $60, you can expedite your application process and receive your passport within 3 weeks of sending in your application.

  • Passports for anyone 16 years old or older are valid for 10 years. The issue date of a passport can be found on the data page of a passport or on the front of your passport card.

  • Every individual traveling abroad requires a passport, including young children and infants.  Children 15 years old and younger receive a “child” passport which is valid for 5 years instead of 10.

  • You must have enough blank pages in your passport to accommodate entry and exit immigration stamps for each country of travel. Also there must be blank pages for a visa stamp if require (See visa section for more information).*

Your local AAA Travel Center can provide passport photos, answer questions, and assist with travel documents. Learn more here.

Visas: Did you know?

  • Some countries such as Brazil, India and China require Americans to have a passport AND a visa to travel within their country.

  • Visas are usually required to be in hand before traveling and can be applied for at your desired destination’s embassy or consulate. The processing time for a visa can vary from nation to nation. Click here to search your desired destination processing time.

  • Not all visas are the same but the visa that is issued the most is for short term travel, mostly for tourists or for business trips.

  • It varies from nation to nation of what required documents you will need when applying for a visa but generally you will need a valid passport with at least 6 months of  validity, a completed application form, 2 passport photos, and payment for an application fee (price may vary depending on the country).

  • *Visas can be stamped in your passport depending on the travel requirements for your desire destination. Passports are required to have a blank visa page without any ink or stains from any other pages in the passport.

  • Many countries do not require a visa for traveling through their country to get to your desired destination but transit requirements vary from nation to nation so please contact a AAA travel agent to check travel requirements in advance before traveling.

Click here for more information about visas and how AAA can help you plan your next vacation.

International Driver Permits (IDP): Did you know?

  • A valid driver’s license issued in the United States won’t be recognized when driving abroad. But many governments will accept an IDP, an international driving permit, which grants an individual the privilege to legally drive in a foreign country.

  • You can only apply for an IDP through the American Automobile Association (AAA) or the National Automobile Club (NAC). Click here for the AAA IDP application form.  

  • You will need the following when applying for an IDP: a completed IDP application form, a valid driver’s license, 2 passport photos, and payment for the application fee.

  • You must obtain your IDP in the same country that issued your driver’s license before traveling to your desired destination.

  • You must carry both your IDP and your driver’s license while driving abroad.

  • An IDP is necessary to rent a car in a foreign country.

Click here to learn more information about International Driver Permits and learn about their restrictions and qualifications.

Don’t forget! AAA provides a wide variety of document carrying products that will help protect your personal information from RFID, a radio-frequency identification that uses electromagnetic fields to identify and track your personal information such as your credit cards, license, and passport. Keep all your important documents safely in one place. Visit a AAA Travel Center for more information. 

AAA Travel Center


Submitted by Nedra S Griswold (not verified) on Wed, 09/04/2019 - 10:09


Thank you for supplying the IDP application on your website. By completing and printing it prior to going in to a AAA office I am expecting and hoping to save some time for the agent and myself.

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