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1.8. Key advice about travel documents

The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World The Practical Nomad Guide to the Online Travel Marketplace

from The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World

and The Practical Nomad Guide to the Online Travel Marketplace

by Edward Hasbrouck

  • Get a passport before you try to travel anywhere across any national border, even just to Mexico or Canada.
  • Verify the current visa and entry requirements of each country you want to visit, for people who are citizens of your country, directly with each country’s embassy or consulate.
  • Remember that travel is not a right. Maybe it should be, but it isn’t. Other countries don’t have to let you in if they don’t want to. Ask for permission politely and respectfully.
  • Approach visa applications and border crossings as learning experiences and opportunities, not confrontations or ordeals.
  • Play by the rules. When you are dealing with foreign governments, you are not in control. Trying to claim special privileges (especially as a citizen of the USA) or to assert your nonexistent authority will only reduce the chances that you’ll be allowed to go where you want.
  • Respect foreign laws, even if you don’t like them. Violations of other countries’ customs and immigration rules are no joke. They are real crimes with nasty names like “smuggling”, “theft”, “fraud”, “subversion”, and “espionage”, and penalties to match.
  • If, like me, you’re a citizen of the USA and you want to be treated better by foreign governments, lobby our own government to treat foreign visitors and would-be visitors to the USA better.
  • Never judge a country by its border guards, customs and immigrations inspectors, or police. Would you want foreign visitors to judge the USA by the conduct and attitudes of the INS, the Customs Service, or the Border Patrol?

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