One thing that many people are now worried about is the documentation that they will need when traveling on a cruise or to places like Canada or Mexico. For years, we never needed a passport to Canada, but obvious happenings over the last decade have changed all of that. Today, anyone that is leaving the country needs some type of passport documentation.

Prior to June 1, 2009, passports were not required for land travel to U.S. border countries. Passports were often times not required for air travel, provided that the border country was the only destination. Before June of 2009, state issued documents such as driver’s licenses or government identification cards were sufficient to re-enter the United States.

The law changed in June 2009 and while it is a good thing, it has shaken up travelers who were unprepared for the new documents that are required. Today, any traveler that is moving in and out of the United States, even if only by land and heading to a border country such as Canada or Mexico, is required to have passport documentation. This is a delayed response to 9/11, but at least it has finally happened.

According to Homeland Security, this is all an attempt at shoring up our borders and making our country a more secure place to live. Many times, illegal immigrants and possible terrorists took advantage of these lax regulations and passed into our borders with barely an eyebrow being raised. Old documentation was not exactly difficult to forge and entry was quite easy for just about anyone.

Although the law would seem to make perfect sense, many of the citizens on the bordering states are up in arms about the inconvenience that has been posed to them. There are outcries that it is ridiculous to have to carry a passport to Canada when we have traveled so freely in the past. These same people are not taking the time to consider that these border countries are the very means by which terrorists have previously entered our country.

The government continues to stick to their guns in that this definitely improves the overall security of the country. While no system is perfect, it does at least add one more safe guard to be in place to attempt to prevent illegal entry into the country. However, they do recognize that getting and carrying a passport can be somewhat of an inconvenience and there are new measures in place to help with this.

One of the new items available to travelers is the passport card. It conveniently fits right into a regular wallet and does not have the bulk or size of a standard passport. Anyone traveling on a round trip Caribbean cruise or heading into Canada or Mexico by land can now use this instead of carrying their passport around with them all the time.

It should be apparent to everyone that these measures are in place for our safety. We may not like having to carry a Passport Card to Canada, but it beats the alternative of having our borders being completely open. Instead, a small inconvenience adds a heightened level of security and a little piece of mind to everyone that lives in the United States. Research rush US passports today!

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