Passport stamps, love them or loath them?

Love or loath passport stamps


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Moody

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Alert Brigade Raincoat [Travel is a means to an end, people, and I don't mean gathering passport stamps or boarding passes or airmiles etc.]
 

harvyk

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Alert Brigade Raincoat [Travel is a means to an end, people, and I don't mean gathering passport stamps or boarding passes or airmiles etc.]

IMHO a passport stamp is a great souvenir, and really it's about the cheapest one that you'll get on the whole trip. It's very unique to the country that you're visiting, it takes up very little physical space, has no weight and yet can act as a wonderful reminder of a great trip (I always get a smile when I flip through my passport and I see the stamps from places which I've visited). I can sort of understand the annoyance of a passport getting full before the full 10 years is up, that said really apart from been a little inconvenient, getting a replacement passport doesn't cost very much, and the amount of time you're unable to travel for isn't really that long when you consider how long it takes to get some visa's where the OS embassy has your passport.
 

leadman

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I use to love them, now they are a pain! I fill a 69 pager in just over 2 1/2 years and it then costs another $420 to renew and my two year visa's for India, Pakistan etc. are worthless and cost more money and time. If the Customs officials could stamp a bit neater i wouldn't mind utilizing space better. The worse ones are the Europeans, slap bang in the middle of any random blank page.
 

AustraliaPoochie

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As we all know by now, Australia and NZ don't stamp each other's nationalities passports.
We pay so much for the 10 years worth of that 32 page booklet, that if you ask, they will most likely tell you, we can't do that anymore.
I have given up asking, and now just meekly use Smartgate to enter NZ and enter Australia.
I too used to love passport stamps, but now, since Smartgate came along, I don't know, I probably could do without that stamping anymore.
China (where I have not been-but have seen another Aussie's passport with China's visa label), the label takes up the whole page!
 

anat0l

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I like stamps, but the fact my passport isn't full of them is a testament to how much travel I've done :(

That said, now I've moved to CH most of my travel is within the Schengen region. So, no stamps to be had unless I go through a non-Schengen stopover. Had I moved to the UK, different story.
 

muliama

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I'm with Leadman. I live in Malaysia.... Not even a form to fill out when you arrive or depart. I go to Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar frequently...one whole page for a visa every time you go. My super dooper passport fills up after 2 years, and when I apply for a new one, there is always a telephone call from the Oz passport office to inquire why I am renewing when there are 8 years left...8 years maybe but no pages left? Bring on the double jumbo 200 page passport I say.
 

mudlark

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Love the stamps as well. Requested one in May at Queenstown, NZ airport, but was refused. It would have been the last stamp in that passport as I am about to renew, and as I've never gotten a stamp when visiting NZ in the past, I was really hoping to get it. Disappointed!
Congrats to your husband for persisting. :)

My husband loves love loves the stamps and we have wasted time standing around while they find a stamp. Last time, in NZ, he stood around so long for a stamp they gave him a permanent visa stamp.

I remember as a kid, flicking through passports and seeing stamps. Sad that we're losing it although I have quite a few nice visa stickers in the passport.
 

Sanpan

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I absolutely love them.
It's nice to go through all my old passports and relive the great times I have had in different countries.
 

Musongman

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The Thai Tourist Visa (60 day stay), takes up an entire page. I shall be glad when I get my Retirement Visa, which is only a rubber stamp, so my passport with 2021 expiry will last the distance! I hope I do!!! :)
 
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Like most people here, as a tourist I too love the stamps, makes your passport like a little journal of your travels. I almost filled my last passport with trips to Europe, the Middle East and around Asia.
However if it's visiting places where I go regularly I must admit I'm not too phased, especially if the electronic processing means there's a fast-track option like Smart Gate. I live in Taiwan, and they have a similar system there where residents can use automated gates and not get stamped. I'm more than happy to forgo an entry/exit stamp if it means skipping a lengthy line to get through passport control (arrival gate to kerbside in less than 10 mins if HLO in TPE). Same is true for HK if you're lucky enough to be registered with the frequent visitor program.
 

Bindibuys

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Love them. Nothing more special than flipping thru your passport while waiting to land (i.e. while electronics had to be turned off) and knowing you are about to make more memories.
 

LadyC

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Love them as well. I have all my passports and it is great to flick through and look at the old stamps. Just took my 6 month old son overseas and I was so excited to get his passport. We went to HK and Japan and no stamps :( Didn't even think to ask.
 

RooFlyer

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Not too keen on the entry / exit cards full stop. Especially the really bad ones like the AU one which pretty much asks for the same data in a variety of different ways, and that problem is just amplified when needing to fill them out for kids as well. After writing out our address 18 times (home address, address we're staying at and emergency contact address from memory x 6 people ) for each of us we where well and truly over it.

Why can't they simply have 1 form and you simply put the names and passport numbers of each person whom will enter in on that form (similar to what the US does with their declaration forms 1 family / group = 1 form)

Canada has a single, 'Family Form', takes up to 6 people. You have to write pretty small.

But they lose major points by making that form really wide, so it won't fit in any pocket without folding/creasing. USA form is a bit narrower, but still too wide for a conventional shirt pocket.

At lest the Aussie one will go in the passport, then tucked into shirt pocket :)
 

seanpodge

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In general I'm a fan of them, although I think some authorities go overboard with them, such as China's full page sticker plus entry and exit stamps. Also don't like having to worry about losing a departure card for a visa that some countries do. That said, I still love using SmartGate when going through MEL.

As we all know by now, Australia and NZ don't stamp each other's nationalities passports.
We pay so much for the 10 years worth of that 32 page booklet, that if you ask, they will most likely tell you, we can't do that anymore.
I have given up asking, and now just meekly use Smartgate to enter NZ and enter Australia.
I too used to love passport stamps, but now, since Smartgate came along, I don't know, I probably could do without that stamping anymore.
China (where I have not been-but have seen another Aussie's passport with China's visa label), the label takes up the whole page!

I've been living in China for about three years and the number of full page visa stickers I have is really starting to get out of hand. Thankfully I have an Irish passport for European travel or I'd be well over half way through with still six years to go.
 

aussiejohn

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Sadly, I have never managed to "fill" a passport. I am now on my 7th and it brings back lots of good memories of places I have been, though none that could be classed as exotic!

The stamps are good for providing dates of entry/exit etc. I am now attempting to compile a spreadsheet of all my travel and flights, and I have a lot of the dates in my passports, but only entry/exit, not the internal flights etc, though I did manage to find a few old itineraries and tickets which helped fill in some gaps. Never been good at keeping a diary so can't fall back on that unfortunately.

As others have pointed out, Immigration officials must be chosen on their ability to be messy. Never found one who could stamp my passport neatly and on the early pages which stubbonly stayed blank while they stamped the last pages for some unknown reason.

As for the full page visas, well Egypt and India are full page adhesive labels stuck in your passport. In the old days, the US and the UK visas used to take up most of the page, though there was room for stamps around the visa stamp.

My very first passport issued in 1968 is stamped "Not Valid for North Vietnam". My second passport only has two stamps in it, entry and exit for a week in New Caledonia! Those were a larger size passport than the ones we have today, and were the last ones to have the Governor Generals signature in them - Lord Casey in the first and John Kerr in the second.

Curious about the numbering, they must have repeated the initial letters at some point. Seems to be random. Mine are:
G - 1968
H - 1974
M - 1981
G - 1985
J - 1990
L - 1999
M - 2009

Just noticed my 1990 passport had the 5 last pages divided into 4 squares so the Immi Officers could neatly stamp!! Mind you, it didn't work that well. Some went over the lines!! I bet they were useless at colouring in as kids!
 
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harvyk

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Canada has a single, 'Family Form', takes up to 6 people. You have to write pretty small.

But they lose major points by making that form really wide, so it won't fit in any pocket without folding/creasing. USA form is a bit narrower, but still too wide for a conventional shirt pocket.

At lest the Aussie one will go in the passport, then tucked into shirt pocket :)

See, I'm more than happy to simply be holding a form / placing such a form with my other important documents that I travel with (eg e-ticket printouts, car hire documentation, hotel vouchers etc...) The inconvenience of an oversized form is completely outweighed by not spending an hour on the plane filling in forms repeating the same information 6 times over (often more)
 

JohnK

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I love passport stamps.

And I don't understand why they are doing away with them. Electronic age and all.
 

DrA

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Depends what day of the week it is. I've got a few pretty awesome passports filled with weird stamps. On the other hand, it's annoying having to replace a passport every 3-4 years because you've run out of blank pages, even when it's a 64 page "frequent traveller" passport.
 

dajop

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The first stamp or two from a country is good. If you visit the same country lots of times not so good. Annoying when you are just popping across the border for coffee with someone and have two more stamps in your passport for the privilege ;-)

My last passport a 64 page one only took 4 years to fill. This one will last longer though for various reasons (APEC card a big help).
 
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