Ready to wander? First thing is first…get a passport.

If you even have an inkling to travel –  a passport is a must.

Is Christmas, a birthday or anniversary coming up? Are you looking for a great wedding or baby shower gift? Money towards a passport is the perfect gift because it’s a gift of endless possibilities. What better way to tell someone you love them than by giving them the world? (And what better way to treat/invest in yourself?) passport2

At the time this post was written, a U.S. Passport cost for someone over 16 is around $135 with processing fees if you are under 16 it’s around $105 with processing fees. That is pretty spendy for a small booklet of paper but it is TOTALLY worth every penny. I repeat – worth.every.penny.

Remember, when it comes to planning it’s passport first – vacation afterwards. Don’t wait to apply for a passport until you have a vacation planned. Passports are already a big enough expense without adding it onto the cost of a vacation. If you have a passport in hand months before you start planning – it will feel like a non-related expense.

I must also mention that passport processing can take 4-6 weeks.  This means that you could potentially miss out on that great airfare or cruise deal simply because you don’t have a passport.

If you have never applied for a passport, the process can be a little intimidating but it doesn’t need to be! Here is a great blog post from one of our favorite travel blogs with step by step instructions: http://www.peanutsorpretzels.com/how-to-get-your-first-u-s-passport-in-5-easy-steps/

Also, here is a link to the passport application forms: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/forms.html

If you already have a passport – check the expiration before making any plans. An expired passport is NO BUENO! Some countries do not let you travel if your passport is set to expire three to six months before your departure date. (Some even won’t let you travel if your passport expires three to six months after your scheduled return date from that country.) Always check you passport expiration before you plan.

Honestly, once you bite the bullet and get that first passport in hand you will have a strong desire to actually use it! (I believe it’s the definition of “wanderlust”) That’s where the fun begins and before you know it – you’re a wandering bastard!

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2 thoughts on “Ready to wander? First thing is first…get a passport.

    • Great question Jana! You can renew your U.S. passport by mail if you: 1. Fill out a DS-82 form 2. Your passport is undamaged – just having normal wear and tear 3. If your passport was issued when you were 16 yrs or older 4. If your passport was issued within the last 5 years 5. If your passport was issued in your current name (Or you can document your name change with an original/certified copy of your marriage certificate…and yes, they do need an original) This information as well as the DS-82 and DS-11 forms are located here: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/renew.html

      If these don’t apply to you then you need to apply in person again using the DS-11 form. My actually husband ran into this issue – he had a passport from when he was just a kid (under 16) and when he went to reapply he had to go through the DS-11 form. Let us know if you have any follow up questions. Thanks for wandering with us! 🙂

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