Your Passport Can Become Useless Six Months Before It Expires

Travel often requires quite a bit of preparation and documentation, particularly when you're journeying overseas. One of the most important travel accessories when you're going abroad is your passport. Over 80 percent of the world's nations require a passport for entry — and even if your destination doesn't demand it, you'll want to be sure to have yours for re-entry into the United States.

Making sure you have a valid passport for the entirety of your trip should be one of the first steps you take when preparing to cross the border for a vacation. However, there are some times when a passport simply being valid isn't enough. Some governments require that your passport be good for three to six months after entry or departure, depending on the country. For example, if you're planning on taking a trip to Fiji until October 28, 2017, you'll want to make sure that your passport is good until at least April 28, 2018, as the Fijian government requires that you have a passport that is valid for at least six months after the date of departure from Fiji.

Other countries with a six-month rule include Brazil, China, Indonesia, Kenya, Russia, Thailand, and Turkey. Countries with a similar rule, but with a three month buffer period, include Croatia, Germany, Greece, Malta, Portugal, and Spain. However, many of these countries still recommend you ensure six months of validity. For a full list of foreign entry requirements, you can visit the U.S. Passport Service Guide website.

A valid passport is essential, but your travel prep won't stop there. Here's a list of ten healthy snacks to bring on your international flight!