Even If It's Valid, You May Not Travel

Booked your bucket-list vacation to a foreign country? Check. Bought travel insurance in case something goes wrong? Check. Pulled out your passport, and verified it's still valid? Check. All systems go for departure? Not necessarily.

Due to visa limits in many foreign countries, if your passport expires within six months of your departure date, you may not be allowed on your flight. This catches a lot of people by surprise, because they assume if their passport is valid, they're all set. It's called the Six Month Passport Validity Rule, and for some countries, it even applies to travel within 3 months of the passport expiration date.

It's recommended that you renew your passport nine (9) months before it expires to be safe. There are expedited processing options available to those traveling within 14-30 days, but they can be pricey.

So play it safe. Take two minutes this weekend to look at your passport expiration date, and renew it if it's nine months or less away from expiration. You'll be glad you did.