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Before Your Trip

Booking Your Tickets

Match Names on Tickets and Documents

Purchase your travel tickets in the exact same name that appears on your passport or official ID. Ensure that all travel documents match that name precisely.

If the names don't match, your travel carrier or the Transportation Security Administration may require additional documents to verify your identity before allowing you to board.

Each Country is Different

Learn the required travel documents for each country you will visit. Find out about specific travel warnings, U.S. import restrictions, and other rules that apply to the countries on your itinerary by visiting www.travel.state.gov.

Find the latest on making your return to the United States problem free - go to www.cbp.gov/travel.

Documents You Will Need

Carry - do not pack - all travel documents.

  • All U.S. citizens need U.S. passport books if re-entering by air. Land and sea border crossings accept additional travel documents, such as U.S. Passport cards and Trusted Traveler cards. Child travelers have additional options - see the Traveling with Children section.
  • Green card (Form I-551), or document for lawful permanent residents, or advance parole (Form I-512) if your Form I-551 is pending.
  • A visa or other entry document for the countries you will visit.
  • Receipts or registration (CBP Form 4457) for new electronics, such as a camera or laptop, that you are taking abroad. (Only suggested if the goods are less than six months old.)
  • Proof of rabies vaccination for dogs traveling abroad. Check the requirements for other pets at www.aphis.usda.gov.
  • Valid license for driving overseas and for use as a second form of photo ID.
  • Permits and/or certificates if bringing restricted animal or plant products - go to www.aphis.usda.gov.
  • Medications in their original packages. Bring only the amount of medication you will need. Prescription medications have to be under the traveler's name.
  • Envelope to hold the receipts of your purchases abroad.

Traveling with Children

When U.S. citizen children under the age of 16 arrive by land or sea from Canada or Mexico they may present an original or copy of their birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Naturalization Certificate.

Unless the child is accompanied by both parents, the child must have a notarized letter from the other parent or signed by both parents stating, "I acknowledge that my son/daughter is traveling outside the country with [the name of the adult] with my permission."

Groups of Children: U.S. citizen children under the age of 19 arriving by land or sea from Canada or Mexico and traveling with a school group, religious group, social or cultural organization or sports team, may present an original or copy of their birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Naturalization Certificate. The group should have a letter on organizational letterhead with:

  • The name of the group and supervising adult(s).
  • The names of the children on the trip and their primary address, phone number, date and place of birth, and name of at least one parent or legal guardian for each child.
  • A written and signed statement of the supervising adult certifying that he or she has parental or legal guardian consent for each child.
Last modified: 
January 30, 2018