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Don’t get caught out! Here are the latest passport rules ahead of your next holiday

Travel tips

We’ve all heard the horror stories. A friend shows up to the airport for a once-in-a-lifetime holiday only to find out that their passport expired the day before. It’s no wonder that sometimes, as the day approaches, you can find yourself almost as anxious are you are excited. 

It can feel like the travel rules are always changing – they certainly did during COVID before restrictions were lifted. That’s why we’ve broken down some of the most important passport rules you need to check before you fly with London Southend Airport, so you can set off on your journey stress-free. 

However, please remember that these rules are regularly refreshed and updated, so it’s best to check the website for the latest information.

Check your passport issue date

Before you jet off on your next adventure, make sure to check your passport issue date, not just the expiry date. 

If you’re travelling from London Southend Airport to the EU, your passport must have been issued less than 10 years before your day of arrival. For example, if you are flying in October 2024 but your passport was issued in September 2013, you won’t be able to enter an EU country.

The 6-month passport rule

Here’s another friendly heads-up: your passport must be valid for another six months before you depart for international travel to many countries. This period may begin from your date of departure or arrival, depending on the country you are visiting, so it’s always best to check the rules specific to your destination. 

Varying passport rules

Not all countries follow the 6-month passport rule; some countries, like those in the EU, require only 3 months of validity. It can be a bit confusing, we know! 

To determine specific passport requirements, reach out to the embassy or consulate of the country you plan to visit. Alternatively, check out this handy passport validity calculator developed by MyBritishPassport.

Renewing your passport

Is your passport due for a makeover? If you have more than four weeks before your travel date, you can pick up an application form from your local Post Office or use the convenient online Passport Check & Send process.

For those urgent renewals, don’t fret! Check out the Government’s official passport advice to find out more about soon-to-expire passports.

Applying for a new passport

Looking to finally get a shiny new passport? Apply as early as you can to avoid any last-minute stress! Processing times can vary, especially during busy seasons. If you’re in a hurry, you can book an appointment for the 1-week Fast Track service on GOV.UK.

Remember, a little preparation goes a long way when it comes to your passport. Always double-check those expiry and issue dates before your journey. 

Looking for more travel advice before you set off? Take a look at our Travel Hub ‘Travel Tips‘ page.