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I am planning a long trip over a year from now. The tentative itinerary is

  • Canada
  • USA (maybe LA, maybe Hawaii, doesn't matter, I have Nexus)
  • Australia
  • New Caledonia
  • Vanuatu
  • Fiji
  • Samoa
  • New Zealand
  • Cook Islands
  • Tahiti
  • Easter Island
  • Chile (or possibly back to places we have been before)
  • Canada

I will be traveling on a Canadian passport. All of these countries are (for me) "you can stay 30 days without a visa" or "visa on arrival" except for Australia, which is an electronic visa.

In my past travels, some countries have been pretty good about fitting 4 stamps on a page (eg Bulgaria stamped on the way in and out, but they chose the page that the Netherlands had used for in and out.) However not all have been. Australia put their entry stamp on an otherwise empty page and then found a different empty page for the exit stamp.

I have three blank single pages scattered among the stamped-on pages, and then a stretch of 12 single blank pages running to the end. My passport is one-third full, then, and I have almost 3 years left on it. But I am a little worried this trip will fill it up. If each of the 10 not-Canada, not-US places consumes one page for the entry stamp and one for the exit, I will not have enough pages. But if they're more like Bulgaria was, I'm fine. Further, if travel from New Zealand to the Cook Islands and from Easter Island to Chile is considered domestic, there may not even be stamping involved for those legs.

It is not possible to add more pages to a Canadian passport. It is not normally permitted to renew less than a year before it expires, though you can request it and you need a good reason. "My passport is full" is a good reason. I don't know if "I have calculated my passport will be close to full" is a good reason or not. Further, I don't intend to spend long enough in any place to allow for the time it would take to renew my full passport and continue along my journey, should it become full along the way.

Bottom line: not just "should I be worried?" but "how can I tell whether to be worried or not?" Some specific subquestions:

  • is there a way to tell whether a given country uses a 1/4 page standard size stamp, or glues a piece of paper into the passport, and the size of that piece of paper?
  • is there a way to tell in advance which countries use exit stamps?
  • is there a way to tell in advance whether trips between countries that belong to each other are domestic (eg LA to Hawaii will not generate anyone a stamp) or not - thinking of the Cook Islands and Easter Island for me, but generally applicable
  • any specific advice about wildly early renewal of a Canadian passport would also be good
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3  
You probably read those questions, but they might be interesting for other future readers: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/2939/… travel.stackexchange.com/questions/2932/… –  Bernhard May 18 at 18:30
    
I got a 48 page passport last time to avoid these problems but they've now phased them out in favour of compromise 36 page e-passports (no more 24/48 choice) –  Spehro Pefhany May 19 at 4:40

2 Answers 2

I have found one resource that I think I can use to answer some of my questions. This includes information about countries that don't use exit stamps, and I think I can also figure out the sizes of some of the visas from it.

Many countries are missing from the list: anyone who can help fill it in, please do!

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I think you have enough pages. Most custom officer are reasonable.

Beside that, I don't know for Canada, but ...

In France, you can not renew a passport until before it expire but you still can make a new one.

It means that your "new" passport will have the same expiration date as the previous one.

Plan B, if you have time: you can renew your passport in any Canada embassy. Well.. I don't know for Canada, but it is for United Kingdom.

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5  
I don't think this answer tells me anything I don't already know. Indeed, most customs officers have put their 1/4 page stamp on empty pages. Only two of the countries I've visited have done anything efficient about saving space. I've updated my question with some subquestions to indicate the sorts of facts I'm looking for. A general "it should be ok, most customs people are nice" I already have, I'm now seeking some hard facts if anyone has them. –  Kate Gregory May 18 at 17:17
3  
The bit about France, beside being irrelevant, is not even true. –  Relaxed May 18 at 20:13
    
@Annnoyed What do you mean? Maybe rules changed or one of us met an incompetent servant, but when I wanted to renew, they told me it was impossible because it was valid more than 2 more years. My current passport was emitted in 2011 and expires in 2015. –  Madlozoz May 19 at 4:19
3  
@Madlozoz You can apply for a new passport at any time, you just have to pay for it. I recently did it myself and service-public.fr does not mention any restriction. But your passport seems highly unusual, regular French passports are valid for ten years. –  Relaxed May 19 at 10:20

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