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26 April 2016 09:15
ABTA is warning: check your passports
British tourists heading off abroad can save themselves stress and money by getting their passports in order now before the big summer rush, ABTA is advising.
The travel group says that as many as 26 million Britons will be travelling to foreign climes.
But several non-EU nations need half-a-year's validity on a passport from the precise date of a traveller's return to Britain.
Leaving things late could put travellers at risk of having to get a passport renewed during an already busy period for the passport office.
It may seem just a small, innocuous document, but a passport is key to getting travellers from one country to another.
That is why taking out trusted travel insurance is key to any preparations for heading abroad.
It can cover tourists for loss of passports or other travel documents as well as replacing stolen or mislaid luggage and other possessions.
Chance to save money
Travellers who leave more time to plan can also save themselves money, as the following table shows:
• a normal adult passport costs £72.50
• a seven-day fast-track service passport costs £103
• a 24-hour premium service costs £128
The passport office can put a maximum of nine months' validity which has not been used up on to holidaymakers' replacement passports.
More details about renewals can be found on the Foreign Office's website.
What the experts say
Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA, says many tourists only discover an outdated passport just prior to their setting off. This means having to hurriedly update their document.
He says not only do early checks and renewals save potential anxiety, but this also guarantees people the lowest costs.
The passport office's director general Mark Thomson calls it "important" that tourists remember to inspect their passport for validity well in time for their trip abroad.
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