Advertiser Disclosure: This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers.


My Passports

My Passports

Lots of people ask me what personal documents (that identify who I am) I travel with on a normal basis. Of course you have your usual passport, ID, etc., but it depends on the itinerary and where you are going to.

Domestically

United States: for travelling within the U.S., I usually just take my Global Entry card which is an acceptable form of ID for TSA and airlines when travelling inside of the United States. Before I had global entry, I would use my driver’s license for domestic travel, but since the Global Entry card is a trusted-traveller document, I use it the most.

Within Poland/Schengen Area: while travelling within Poland or the Schengen Area, I use my Polish ID Card (different from Driver’s License), we have a special personal identity card which we use as an alternate to our passports and in addition, we also have a separate driver’s license. If I desire to drive in Slovakia (for example) then I would need both my Polish driver’s license and Polish ID card since Slovakia is a member of the Schengen Area.

Internationally

Passport: I have both Polish and United States citizenships and therefore I can decided how to enter certain countries. Generally in the Europe/Africa/Asia region I will use my Polish passport since the visa requirements are lower and sometimes the cost of a visa is less with a European passport. For travel to Central America/South America I would use my American passport since I would be coming from the United States and not Europe (not that it really has to do with anything). For certain South American countries, I would use my Polish passport to avoid visas that Americans need. Plus, the Polish passport is just downright beautiful.

By car to Canada: Global Entry card works. Since I live in Seattle, I visit Canada every couple of times and therefore it is much more convenient to just take my Global Entry card rather than a passport.

 

Also, due to Polish regulations, I cannot identify myself as an American since I hold Polish citizenship and therefore I must enter the country as a Pole. Therefore when I enter the EU (usually in Frankfurt, Lufthansa First Class after all!), I always show my Polish passport and no questions are asked. When leaving the European Union, I always show firstly my Polish passport and then (if I’m headed to America), my U.S. passport. In fact a German officer in Frankfurt once told me that I should be proud to show my ‘European pride’ by showing first the Polish passport and then the American one – not the other way around. Which is what I have been doing anyway.

Hopefully that answers some of your guys’ questions regarding which personal ID/travel documents I use – it just depends on several factors!


Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.