Photo by tootdood
My sister Charm was denied a boarding pass the minute she presented her passport at the check-in counter.
Because her passport had only less than six months validity.
My sis and I have been planning a trip to Vietnam since last month. The snag was that her passport was about to expire in six months but I needed her passport number to book our tickets. I told her to check with the Vietnam consulate and even asked my Canadian friend who’s only been to two countries if we can still travel if our passports will expire soon (you guessed it, she said yes).
All was to go according to plan except –
we forgot to check with our own country’s immigration laws.
No Filipino can exit the country if their passports aren’t valid for six months.
We replanned to fly from Cebu instead of Manila (where immigration is stricter). The problem is that there were no direct flights to Vietnam from Cebu. We decided on international hub Singapore then hop on a flight there to Ho Chin Minh.
Except it was too late that we found out we can’t enter the country if your passport’s not 6 months valid.
There are some places that will accept less than 6 months passport validity. Hong Kong’s one of them (one month validity). If you want to know more, check with your local travel agent. Wished we consulted one before we secured tickets online. Lesson learned.
So check when your passport is going to expire before you leave. It can save you a lot of trouble and money.
I am currently in Saigon/Ho Chin Minh, Vietnam now after being in transit in Singapore. It’s a wild and crazy city. Watch out for those motorbikes!
How to Make an Easy Travel Itinerary
Sample Travel Itinerary
The Real Travel Itinerary – What Really Happened
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Here’s a sample travel itinerary I made for my Vietnam and Cambodia trip. A- stands for primary or have to see/do, B- so so and C- secondary/can wait. As you can see, it’s pretty loose. To know how to make one, read my post: How To Make an Easy Travel Itinerary.
Pretty excited to go home to the Philippines tomorrow! Uncensored faster Internet surfing here I come!
Vietnam- Saigon/Ho Chin Minh
Cu Chi Tunnels USD10
(takes most of the day)
Mui Ne Sand Dunes- Bau Trang – 5 hours travel/1 Day Tour
Le Fenetre Soleil- 2nd flr, corner of Le Thanh Ton and Nam Ky Khoi Nghia (watch out for decrepit staircase)
Benh Thanh Market
Notre Dame Cathedral
Le Thanh Ton
Diamond/Zen Plaza- expensive shopping malls
Vietnam to-do list:
- Exchange money to VND (Vietnamese currency)
- Look for cheap travel agency in backpacker’s District 1.
- Secure bus to Phnom Penh. USD15 – 6 hrs land trip. 4 hour wait for bus to get on Neak Leung Ferry transport across Mekong River
- Watch Water Puppets
- Buy souvenirs.
- AnAn Hotel- July 15-21 7 days
- Vinataxi- VND12,000/15,000 starting rate
- Mr- An’oi, Ms- Je’oi
- Bill please – Chin-chin (make a gesture of scribbling a pad with your hand). The Vietnamese would understand.
Updated: It’s important that you make a detailed plan on your first day though so you won’t waste waste it on idleness. Here’s a sample below:
- Pack for Saigon
- Leave City Backpacker’s Hostel in Singapore via Subway- don’t forget MRT card!
- Go to Green Line Tanah Merah
- Switch to Changi Airport
- Go to Terminal 1 for Jetstar for flight to Saigon
- Arrive in Saigon
- Money Exchange at airport (no commission)
- Buy a Vietnamese Sim card (in this case, Mobi fone) with help from hotel
- Get in touch with Marjorie (my friend who works in HCM City) and Mr Chinh
- Plan get-together- write in calendar
- Look for good travel agent and money exchange center in backpacker’s street
- Book tour to Cu Chi, Mui Ne,- Mr Chinh will take me to Notre Dame and Reunification Palace and other places on B Secondary Places. Write in calendar
- Walk around backpacker’s street and look for Le Fenetre Soleil.
To know what really happened and changes made in the real itinerary you can read this post: The Real Travel Itinerary- What Really Happened.
Other related posts:
How To Create A Budget For Your Travel In Just Three Steps
The Quick Pack List
How To Prepare for Your Trip the Lazy
Spirit Possession in Cambodia- The Real Travel Itinerary 2
Your Passport Might Not Let You Travel- A Cautionary Tale in Immigration