This country has the most powerful passport in the world

When you’re leaving for an international trip, a passport is the single most important thing to double-check you remembered. Remembering to pack it is almost as important as remembering these important things to know about your passport. After all, it’s your one ticket to get out of the country—and get back in. Passports are powerful, but not all are created equal.

Depending on what passport you own, you’ll need a visa to get into different countries. For instance, a U.S. passport is all you need to get into Peru. If you decide to head to Brazil while you’re there, though, you’ll need to apply for a visa. But a Peruvian passport would let you cross the border into Brazil without a visa.

RELATED: Consider this your travel inspiration

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The most extravagant Airbnb Luxe accommodations
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The most extravagant Airbnb Luxe accommodations

Culebra, Costa Rica

Contemporary cliffside estate on the point, $18,500/night

22 guests, 8 bedrooms, 12 baths -- complete with pool, hot tub, golf cart, gas grill and kayaks

Hout Bay, South Africa

Tranquil tropical modernism above fishing village, $1,300/night

6 guests, 3 bedrooms, 3 baths -- complete with an infinity pool, pool, sauna and more

Avon, Colorado

Stone and log cabin near Beaver Creek Village, $1,500/night

10 guests, 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths -- complete with hot tub, BBQ grill and terrace

Sydney, Australia

A nod to Art Deco in posh Paddington, $670/night

6 guests, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths -- complete with BBQ grill, Chef's kitchen and more

Viagrande (CT), Italy

Maude, $1,149/night

8 guests, 4 bedrooms, 4 baths -- complete with saltwater infinity pool, alfresco shower, terrace and sun loungers

Monteroni D'arbia, Italy

Hilltop Romanesque villa just outside Siena, $3,349/night

16 guests, 6 bedrooms, 9 baths -- complete with heated infinity pool, hot tub and wood-burning oven

Queenstown Hill, New Zealand

Commanding hillside retreat above Lake Wakatipu, $8,922/night

10 guests, 5 bedrooms, 6 baths -- complete with hot tub, fire pit, wine cellar and more

Marrakesh, Morocco

Palm-lined designer villa near Atlas Mountain, $1,339/night

12 guests, 6 bedrooms, 6 baths -- complete with pool, fire pit, gym, terrace and hammam

Canggu, Indonesia

Modern oceanfront villa with classic interior, $1,395/night

10 guests, 5 bedrooms, 5 baths -- complete with pool, sun loungers, Chef's kitchen and dining area for 12 people

London, United Kingdom

Modern Chelsea penthouse with rooftop terrace, $1,508/night

6 guests, 3 bedrooms, 3 baths -- complete with indoor fireplace, Chef's kitchen and more

Palm Springs, California

Eclectic estate above downtown Palm Springs, $2,313/night

8 guests, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths -- complete with saltwater pool, hot tub, outdoor kitchen and wet bar

Bophut, Thailand

Designer Thai estate overlooking Choeng Mon, $490/night

6 guests, 3 bedrooms, 4 baths -- complete with infinity pool, pond, yoga studio and BBQ grill

Zermatt, Switzerland

Classic chalet with modern interior in Petit Village, $3,887/night

14 guests, 7 bedrooms, 7 baths -- complete with plunge pool, home theater and Chef's kitchen 

Pointe Milou, Saint Barthélemy

Balinese-style villa by the sea, $714/night

4 guests, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths -- complete with infinity pool, BBQ grill, terrace and balcony

Malibu, California

Contemporary oceanfront beach house in Malibu, $6,950/night

10 guests, 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths -- complete with alfresco shower, sun loungers, balcony and beachfront views

Kralendijk, Bonaire

Sleek tropical modernism near Pink Beach, $1,415

8 guests, 4 bedrooms, 4 baths -- complete with saltwater poor, charcoal BBQ, sun deck and gazebo

Punta Mita, Mexico

Designer Balinese-style villa above the Pacific, $1,950/night

10 guests, 6 bedrooms, 6.5 baths -- complete with saltwater infinity pool, pergola, alfresco shower and home theater

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Naturally, some passports will get you into more countries visa-free than others. Global financial advisory firm Arton Capital ranked every country’s passport from most to least powerful, based on how many countries it would give access to without a visa. The Passport Index updates in real-time when new visa rules come out, and you can even explore passports by country or by color. Find out what your passport color really means.

Currently, the United Arab Emirates reigns as the most powerful passport in the world. It gets their owners into 177 countries without a visa. In second place are Finland, Luxembourg, and Spain which all give access to 169 countries. But none will cross a border if you’re part of this weird rule that considers some valid passports expired.

The United States, which has 168 visa-free countries on its list, doesn’t come in until the third group. It’s tied with Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Japan, South Korea, and Ireland.

Count yourself lucky if you don’t rely on an Afghanistan passport—that document is the least powerful, only letting citizens into 34 countries without a visa. After that comes Iraq, with 36 visa-free options, and Pakistan and Syria both with only 39.

Visa or not, make sure you avoid these airport mistakes that could ruin your vacation.

The post This Country Has the Most Powerful Passport in the World appeared first on Reader's Digest.

Traveling? You might want to avoid these airports:

6 PHOTOS
6 worst airports in the US
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6 worst airports in the US

#6: Los Angeles International Airport

On a 1,000-point scale, travelers scored LAX a 702.

The airport is know for its long waits to get through security, immigration, and customs, according to the LA Times. Some travelers have also complained of poor signage, limited seating, unclean restrooms, and crowded terminals.

There are renovations planned for the airport, including a $1.6-billion midfield terminal that will add 12 gates for aircrafts. In February 2016, a revamped Terminal 2 also opened, which now features a mix of 20 new local and chain restaurants, more open space, and luxury retail.

Photo credit: Reuters

#5: Boston Logan Airport

On a 1,000-point scale, travelers scored Boston Logan Airport a 689.

The airport deals with extreme congestion: there were more than 5.5 million arrivals and departures in 2015, the Boston Globe reported. In the past, TSA lines have also stretched up to three hours. And the Globe notes that it's still not uncommon to have over five flights land within the same hour.

In 2016, the Massachusetts Transportation Authority approved a $45 million redevelopment plan, which includes expanding some terminals, for the airport.

Photo credit: Reuters

#4: Chicago O'Hare Airport

On a 1,000-point scale, travelers scored O'Hare a 689.

Due largely to weather, O'Hare can be a nightmare for flight delays — a major reason for its low score in the study. Thunderstorms and snow storms were relatively mild for O’Hare in 2016, which reduced flight delays compared to previous years, according to the researchers.

Photo credit: Reuters
#3: Philadelphia International Airport

On a 1,000-point scale, travelers scored Philadelphia International Airport a 688.

Philly's international airport's infrastructure continues to age, while the number of passengers that use it continues to grow. During 2016's spring break, nearly 6,800 passengers missed flights because of TSA checkpoint delays at Philadelphia International Airport, according to the local NBC station. The airport hired about 200 new workers each week last summer to try to make up for the gap.

Photo credit: Reuters

#2: Newark Liberty International Airport

On a 1,000-point scale, travelers scored Newark Airport a 669.

In 2016, the airport handled over 430,000 arrivals and departures, though many of them did not come or leave on-time. According to a report by the Department of Transportation, only 74% of flights avoided delays in 2016.

That year, United Airlines spent $120 million to redesign Newark's Terminal C, but the airport still needs many improvements.

Photo credit: Reuters

#1: New York LaGuardia Airport

On a 1,000-point scale, travelers scored Newark Airport a 649.

LaGuardia may be ugly, horribly congested, and not so efficient. (In 2016, 29% of LaGuardia flights had delays.)

But it's about to get a huge upgrade. In March 2016, the Port Authority of New York approved a $4 billion redevelopment plan for the aging airport. The first part of the new airport is expected to open in 2019, with the rest scheduled to debut 18 months after that.

Photo credit: Getty

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