If you’re Canadian, and you’re travelling outside of Canada, please get your passport. And please, make sure it has at least 6 months remaining before its expiry date. Believe me, you don’t need a panicked trip to the passport office, getting copies of all travel documents, paying for an expedited renewal, standing in lines just before a big tirp, and praying that expedited processing times are expedited enough for you.
Problems can definitely arise if you’re not attentive. Expiry dates matter. Don’t risk being turned away from reboarding your cruise ship because there’s only five months remaining on your child’s passport instead of six. Don’t risk being turned away from the airport at the check in desk because of document issues. This kinda stuff is so avoidable.
Besides turning to your friendly travel advisor, there are lots of resources online to help address questions.
There are details about Canadians needing passports to get into the US (and vice versa) http://www.consular.canada.usembassy.gov/passport_requirement.asp and more generally about travelling in North America http://www.ppt.gc.ca/support/faq.aspx?lang=eng&id=110
And you should also check travel reports about where you’re travelling http://www.voyage.gc.ca/countries_pays/report_rapport-eng.asp?id=308000
Know the requirements of Passport Canada http://www.ppt.gc.ca/index.aspx
There’s lots of info for adults http://www.ppt.gc.ca/support/faq.aspx?lang=eng&id=044 and children http://www.ppt.gc.ca/support/faq.aspx?lang=eng&id=046 . And details about the new simplified renewal process, http://www.ppt.gc.ca/support/faq.aspx?lang=eng&id=500, processing times http://www.ppt.gc.ca/support/faq.aspx?lang=eng&id=240 , and passport fees http://www.ppt.gc.ca/support/faq.aspx?lang=eng&id=228
There are special conerns about travelling with childrenhttp://www.ppt.gc.ca/support/faq.aspx?lang=eng&id=130 particularly if your child is travelling with only one parent (and/or that parent has a different surname than the child). Custodial issues are paramount. Obviously, check with your lawyer if separations/ divorces have created some acrimony. Make sure you have proper consent letters http://www.voyage.gc.ca/faq/children-travel_enfants-voyage-eng.asp . Here is a sample consent letter to consider. http://www.voyage.gc.ca/preparation_information/consent-letter_lettre-consentement-eng.asp
Passports – ya gotta have ’em. Make sure you do.