Travel News and Updates: What You Need to Know in 2024

Whether you're a frequent flyer or an occasional vacationer, one thing remains true: The travel landscape and rules are constantly changing, and the devil is in the details.

There are several important travel updates and upcoming changes that could impact your next trip. In this post, we'll cover the latest news on fee increases for Global Entry, new security protocols for Europe, Real ID requirements, and visa policies for Americans traveling to Brazil.

Real ID Requirements

Beginning May 7, 2025, all U.S. travelers will need a Real ID-compliant driver's license or other acceptable form of ID to board domestic flights. This is a federal law established by the Real ID Act to increase security standards for state-issued IDs.

If your driver's license is not Real ID compliant, you'll need to obtain an alternative like a U.S. passport, military ID or other acceptable document to fly within the United States after the deadline. Many states are now issuing Real ID compliant licenses, but you may need to provide additional documentation like a birth certificate to obtain one. Check your state's requirements well in advance.

Keep an eye on our Real ID countdown and get more information

Increase in Global Entry Fee

The fee for new Global Entry memberships is set to increase from $100 to $120 for a 5-year membership starting October 1, 2024. This trusted traveler program allows pre-approved U.S. citizens and residents to bypass long immigration lines when returning to the United States.

Download a Checklist for Traveling Abroad

ETIAS for European Travel

Beginning in January 2025, travelers from visa-exempt countries like the United States will need to obtain travel authorization through the new European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) to visit countries in the Schengen Area.

ETIAS is an electronic security screening system. Each approved ETIAS should be valid for three years or until the holder's passport or other travel document expires. The processing fee is 7 euros.

Know before you go: Financial Requirements for Your Overseas Adventures

Fingerprint Entry Checks in Europe

On a related note, the European Union plans to start taking fingerprints and facial images of most third-country nationals, including U.S. citizens, when they cross EU borders. It is currently set to start sometime in late 2024. This biometric data will be checked against EU security databases.

The fingerprint requirement will apply to all foreign visitors between the ages of 6 and 80 at both entry and exit points like airports, land borders and seaports in the Schengen Area. It aims to improve border control and security while also supporting better intelligence on overstays.

Also read: Does Travel Insurance Cover Passport Issues?

Brazil Visa Changes

Until April 10, 2025, U.S. citizens can visit Brazil visa-free for up to 180 days per year, with an option to extend their stay by another 90 days. However, beginning April 10, 2025, Brazil is reinstating visa requirements for U.S. travelers, regardless of the length of stay.

The new visa application process will be fully digital, requiring travelers to apply online at least 15 days before their intended arrival to account for an approximately five-day processing period. Applicants will need to provide details such as proof of sufficient funds, a return travel ticket, and have a U.S. passport valid for at least six months beyond their intended stay. The Brazilian visa will have a validity of 10 years.

Brazil made our list of best travel destinations for extroverts

Stay Informed for Smoother Travels

Whether it's new security protocols, fee increases, or updated entry requirements, there's always something new on the horizon when it comes to travel policies and regulations.

Keeping up to date on these changes is crucial for a stress-free and compliant travel experience. We'll continue monitoring the latest news and providing updates to ensure your journeys go as smoothly as possible.


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