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Before You Travel
Obtaining Your Passport
In general, your passport should be valid for at least six months after the date you will be returning from your expedition. If you do not have a passport, or need it renewed, please begin procedures to obtain one immediately as the process takes time.
Passport agencies of the U.S. Department of State are located in Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Stamford, Connecticut. In other cities, you can apply to the clerk of a federal, state, or probate court or at selected post offices. If you are unsure where to apply, inquire at the office of your town clerk or county clerk, or at the main post office.
Be sure to specify your departure date on your application in order to get expedited treatment. This is very important — passports are processed in the order of departure date. Application forms that arrive by overnight services do not receive expedited treatment.
Loss or theft of a valid passport is a serious matter and should be reported in writing immediately to Passport Services, Department of State, Washington, D.C., or to the nearest passport agency. If you are abroad, it should be reported to the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy. We suggest you make a photocopy of your passport and carry the photocopy with you. In case of loss, this will help expedite the paperwork for obtaining a new one.
For more information on obtaining or renewing your passport, along with a current list of associated fees, please visit the U.S. Department of State:
Traveling with Children
Many of IE’s nature travel expeditions are great for families and children. If you are traveling with children, there are certain legal departure and arrival requirements. Minors under 18 years of age traveling out of the United States with someone who is not their parent (a grandparent, for example), or with only one parent, must carry a notarized permission letter signed by both parents or by the parent not traveling with the minor child. In case of divorce, the permission letter must be signed by the parent with legal custody, and the passenger must carry proof of this fact (such as a divorce decree). In the case of a minor with a different last name than the accompanying parent(s), the child’s birth certificate must be carried by the parent(s).
If you are traveling on the following IE nature travel expeditions, you WILL NOT need to obtain a visa:
- Amazon Voyage (Peru)
- Machu Picchu & Cusco (Peru)
- Galapagos Voyage (Ecuador)
- Costa Rica
Patagonia (Chile): However, a reciprocity tax must be paid for U.S. citizens to enter Chile, currently $131 USD to be paid in U.S. dollars or credit card at the airport in Santiago
If you are traveling on the following IE nature travel expeditions, you WILL need to obtain a visa:
- Kenya & Tanzania Safari
- Kenya Migration Safari
- Tanzania Wildlife Safari
- Wings Over the Nile (Egypt & Jordan)
- Guyana & Trinidad
If you are traveling on the following IE nature travel expeditions, you WILL need to obtain a visa PRIOR to departing the U.S.:
- Brazil’s Pantanal
- Papua New Guinea (Papua New Guinea & Australia)
Custom Travel to Laos & Vietnam: The Lao visa may be acquired on arrival in Laos; however, you must acquire your Vietnam visa in advance.
Various vaccinations are required for travel. Please reference the Travel FAQ section for your selected journey for complete details. Be sure to consult your personal physician and visit the Center for Disease Control for vaccination suggestions. Visit www.cdc.gov for more information.