Filed under: Luxury Travel & Hotels
What do you need to do? Get reading, and get planning. According to an L.A. Times article pulled from Philly.com:
What you need now. Generally, you need a passport to enter the U.S. by air from any foreign country. If you enter by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Bermuda, you may not need a passport, but you will need at least a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship, plus a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license. Children 18 or younger need only a birth certificate for land and sea entry from these areas.
What you'll need starting June 1. The same rules apply for air travel -- passport required. If you're arriving from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Bermuda by land or sea, you'll generally have several choices: a passport; a passport card; an enhanced driver's license; or a "Trusted Traveler" card such as SENTRI and NEXUS for frequent border-crossers. There will be exceptions for land and sea crossings from these destinations. U.S. and Canadian children younger than 16, for example, will need only proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate; in organized groups, the cutoff will be age 18.
Passengers on cruise ships that sail round-trip from a U.S. port may need only a birth certificate and a government-issued photo ID (although the cruise line or foreign countries they visit may require a passport).
You'll find a summary of the current and new rules at a Web site maintained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The State Department's travel Web site is one-stop shopping for information on passports and passport cards. Click on "Passports for U.S. Citizens," and you can get instructions and forms.