Can you book a holiday without a passport? It’s common knowledge that you need a valid passport to be able to travel abroad. But can you book a future holiday before applying for your passport?
Unfortunately, there is no clear cut answer to this question and it’s down to the individual travel agent or company to decide if you can book a holiday without a passport. In this article, we’ll explore which travel providers will let you book your holiday before applying for and receiving your passport, and which companies have more stringent rules, insisting that you obtain a valid passport before booking.
Which Holiday Providers Allow You To Book Without A Passport?
Whether or not you can book a holiday before receiving your passport will depend on the individual holiday provider. Whilst some companies will insist on your holding a valid passport before booking, others may allow you to apply for the passport after booking your holiday.
Let’s take a look at the policies of some of the most popular holiday providers in the UK.
Popular travel company Jet2 states on its website that they do not require passport information of travellers until the check in process. This means that you are able to book a Jet2 holiday without a passport, providing you are confident that you have enough time to go through the passport application process and receive your documentation before departure.
Similarly, TUI UK states that they do not require passport information for their flights and holidays until the customer is ready to check in at the start of their holiday. Just like Jet 2, providing you have enough time to apply for your documentation and receive it before departure, you can book a future holiday with TUI UK without a passport.
Whilst Ryan Air requires all passengers to hold a valid passport, you don’t need to have submitted your physical travel documents before making the booking. This means that you have some leeway to obtain a passport after booking, providing your booking is far enough in the future to allow for time for your passport application to be processed.
First Choice Holidays
First Choice’s terms and conditions suggest that you will need to hold a passport prior to booking, stating that all passengers are required to have a valid passport when checking in at the airport. This means it might be much harder for people without passports to book with First Choice Holidays. Whilst it may be possible for you to receive your passport in a short time period, there’s no guarantee that you will be able to do so.
On The Beach
On The Beach are another company that doesn’t require passport details before making a booking. As long as you have enough time to submit your application, the holiday provider will allow you to book even if you don’t yet hold a valid passport.
Similarly to On The Beach, Thomas Cook don’t require you to have a passport before making the booking. However, they do state that your holiday would be booked as ‘at will’ meaning that if for any reason there is an issue with your documentation during travel or you are not able to provide them on arrival, then they are entitled to cancel your holiday.
David Lloyd Clubs
One of the most stringent policies in place in terms of passport requirements is that of David Lloyd Clubs. The company requires all members to hold a valid passport before they are able to book their next holiday with them whether this is through their website or over the phone.
This means that you will need to hold a valid passport before making any future holidays at David Lloyd Clubs. The only way around this would be to give written consent for your details to be shared with another travel provider, allowing you to book at another club under that company’s rules.
Easy Jet is one of the few travel providers that openly state that their passport requirements vary depending on where you’re travelling. They state that customers wishing to book a holiday to European countries such as France or Italy, do not need to provide a valid passport before booking. However, should you wish to holiday outside of Europe including regions such as North America, South America and Asia, then you will need to hold a valid passport before booking.
Norwegian Cruise Line
All passengers must hold a valid passport upon boarding with Norwegian Cruise Line but, like Jet2, you can make your initial bookings prior to submitting your travel documents. This means that you can book a cruise with this company before even applying for your passport, provided it’s within the allotted timeframe.
Whilst you must hold a valid passport at all times whilst on board Tui Cruises vessels (this includes travel to and from the vessel) you don’t need to supply travel documents at the time of booking. This means that you can book a Tui Cruise without a passport, as long as you have enough time to complete the passport application process and receive your documentation prior to departure.
Travelling With Your Passport?
When you book a holiday to an international destination, your passport is the key to entry. You are required to have this documentation with you at all times whilst travelling abroad so it’s important to consider this when booking your holiday. If you’re travelling within Europe for example, where border controls are less stringent, you may be able to travel with a few other pieces of documentation in lieu of your passport. You should check the rules and regulations for travelling into your destination country to determine what documents are acceptable forms of identification.
Having an up-to-date passport is important for many reasons but it’s perhaps more crucial while you’re on holiday. On many occasions, you may need your passport to check in for your flight at the airport, access your hotel room (or even partake in excursions offered by your holiday provider). Always keep hold of this documentation throughout your trip and make sure that it’s up to date; don’t book a holiday without checking if you’ll require travel documents to access it.
When Does The Holiday Provider Require Passport Information?
The good news is that all the travel providers discussed above require passport information at or around the same time as check-in – prior to departure as well as before any pre-booked excursions. In addition to this, you may be required to present your passport when collecting your boarding pass at the airport or during a form of check-in. Don’t book a holiday without checking when your passport needs to be presented in order for you to board your flight and attend your resort destination.
How Long Before Departure Should You Apply For A Passport?
The amount of time you’ll need to apply for and receive your passport will vary depending on the speed of processing you require. You can secure a fast track service to increase the chances of having your travel documentation within two weeks, or you could go down the regular application route, which takes around 2-3 weeks.
You should factor in this extra time and plan accordingly, so book your holiday as early as possible. Remember that the sooner you book, the better chance you have of securing a lower fare price and locking in your holiday at a good rate!
Can You Book Overseas Flights Without A Passport?
When planning your travel itinerary, you may want to book your flights before you receive your passport. In the majority of cases, this is acceptable, providing you are confident that you will have your passport available by the time it comes to check in for your flight. However, it’s always best to check with your airline to ensure that you don’t run into any problems and risk losing your flights.
Do You Need Six Months Left On Your Passport To Travel Abroad?
There’s no hard and fast rule for this one, as passport validity requirements vary from country to country.
For example, in the US, you will need at least six months date remaining on your passport, beyond your intended return date. This is to allow for any delays that may occur during your trip which prevent you from departing on your intended date.
In most European destinations, your passport will only need to be valid for the duration of your trip. However, you may find that it takes longer to pass through immigration if you have less than six months left on your passport.
What Does ABTA Say About Booking Without A Passport?
The Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) are clear on their website that any customers wishing to book a holiday or trip abroad without having received their passport must inform the travel company before booking. This is likely down to the fact that Abta members are required to provide all customers with an ‘unconditional’ contract.
This means that if you book a holiday but don’t have the relevant travel documentation, the travel company could cancel your booking (and any possible alternatives) without refunding any money paid towards it. The only way around this is to inform the provider in writing before making your initial booking; this will require you to plan ahead and leave yourself enough time to receive your travel documents prior to departure.
Booking Without A Passport – The Bottom Line
It is always highly advised that apply for your passport and wait for it to arrive before booking your holiday. If you do decide to book before your new passport arrives, you should make sure that you book your holiday early to allow enough time for your passport application process. You can leave this too late and risk not being able to secure transportation if the company aren’t willing to wait for your documentation to be processed.
So, can you book a holiday without a passport? The answer is yes in the majority of cases, but you’ll need to check with your individual travel company regarding their policies to know for certain. You’ll also need to ensure that you book in plenty of time, allowing your passport to arrive before travel.