I Have A Relationship With…
One of my longest lasting relationships is with my passport. My first one was issued when I was 16 prior to my first trip abroad to Spain. Though I was excited about traveling, I didn’t take into account what this passport meant. A passport is your gift of freedom, exploration, and an opportunity to meet the world.
Since having that first a passport, it has never lapsed. It was too important to ever let it expire since it is the key to the world. So tell me, why have you let your passport expire? Has it been that long since you traveled? Have you looked at your passport lately?
Traditionally passport renewal was projected for 6-8 weeks. If you wanted it expedited, less time for it to be returned to you. However, now, due to drastic government staffing cuts, the time to process your passport renewal or to apply for a new passport can take anywhere from 12-18 weeks. Expedited passports projections are 10-12 weeks. In an emergency, you may be able to make an appointment at a government recognized passport agency.
Its very important to understand your passport. There’s more than just an expiration date, but let’s start there. Did you know many destinations you visit require your passport to be valid for 6 months from the date you return from the country back to the USA? If your passport doesn’t have this allotted time remaining, either airline staff will turn you back and not permit boarding or you will be stopped at the airport when you arrive for your vacation and sent home, at your own expense.
According to the US if your passport is damaged, it may be deemed invalid. The damage includes water damage, hole punches, tears, missing pages, and anything that may be obscuring the identification page. As you can see, it’s important to keep your passport in a safe place and in good order.
Several countries require visas to be attached to your passport. Some need to be affixed prior to travel and some upon landing at customs and immigration. Be sure you have empty pages as many require 2 pages, face to face, for the visa.
Invest in a good passport holder, but never laminate the outside cover. You must be able to remove the passport from the cover if requested. Also, never staple anything to your passport such as the return stub given to you by some countries for your exit. If you must, use a soft paper clip that will not damage the page.
Lastly, either scan your passport or take a photo of the ID page. This is useful in the event your passport is lost or damaged. It serves as proof of your passport in the event you need to go to a US Embassy in a foreign country. Getting an emergency passport will be that much easier.
Always remember to apply for a new passport or renewal with an authorized government agency. Though there are some trusted third-party services, unfortunately there are many which are not. Be careful not to fall into the wrong hands. Check on the credentials!
For more information on your passport, go to:
Rubinsohn Travel wants to make sure that it’s the most memorable vacation of your life. Let us know when you’re ready to start planning!
Wishing you happy travels,
Adrienne Sasson, VTA