Since no single country can claim any or all of Antarctica as its own, no Antarctica visa is required for visitors. While there is no visa requirement for Antarctica, you will need more than a simple photo I.D. When it comes to the entry requirements for Antarctica, getting a passport will be your main concern. Most Antarctica flights and cruises depart from Argentina or Chile, and you will need to show your passports in either country. You will also need your passport for any unscheduled stops in foreign lands, which could be the result of rough seas or all around bad weather. You can also make unscheduled stops along the way if you are on a small ship cruise with a flexible itinerary.
While you won't have to worry about getting an Antarctica visa, there are some things to keep in mind when it comes to your passport. Applying for a passport as soon as you can is generally recommended, as it can take a while to get one on occasion. The entry requirements for Antarctica stipulate that your passport must be valid for a period of at least six months after your intended departure date. Once you get your passport, you'll want to make a photocopy of it before you leave for your trip.
There is no visa requirement for Antarctica and you aren't required to carry a photocopy of your passport either, but it's a good idea to have a copy handy. It can help facilitate replacement of your passport should you lose it, and it will also allow you to store your actual passport in a safe place. You can change travelers checks with your passport photocopy, and it can also be used for general identification purposes while you're out and about during your trip. Once you secure your passport and make a photocopy, you can worry about other aspects of your trip, such as when to go and what to pack.
November through March is when Antarctica tours are offered, as these months are easily the best times to visit. As for packing your bags, don't forget to bring some sort of remedy for seasickness, as you're bound to encounter some rough waters at some point. Even if you fly to Antarctica, you're likely to get on a boat at some point once you arrive. Other essentials that you will want to bring along for the trip include a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. The reflection of sunlight off the snow, ice, and water combines with a thin ozone layer to make for some very strong UV rays that come from all angles. For all intents and purposes, one could argue that sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen should be added to the existing entry requirements for Antarctica.
The fact that there is no visa requirement for Antarctica only helps to make it an attractive vacation destination. While it might seem odd that you don't need an Antarctica visa, it reflects the international feel of the continent. Antarctica is essentially everyone's continent, and it's fast becoming the place to go for travelers who have an adventurous spirit. It seems so appropriate that there are few entry requirements for Antarctica. After all, humans didn't set foot on this southernmost continent until the 1800s, and the early explorers came from a variety of countries. The native wildlife owns this land, and as long programs remain in place to conserve and protect them, they don't likely mind too much human intervention.