Why You Should Renew Your Passport Now
Calling all passport holders - this is for you, so listen up!
You may have forgotten about that little blue book that gives you access to the world. But with the demand for travel picking up for 2021 and beyond, you may need to dust it off and open it back up to see if it is nearing its expiration. Sure, the year of 2020 made you wonder if you'd use it again anytime soon. In fact, you may have tucked it in a drawer, or filed it away for "someday when...", but if you are planning to travel internationally, especially within the next six to twelve months, we recommend finding it now and checking to see if it is ready for you.
For months we’ve shared about the various delays the U.S. State Department has been experiencing with processing passport applications during the onslaught of COVID-19, but now, as travel demand is increasing, so are the delays to process both first-time and renewal applications. In fact, as of this writing, (July 2021) the State Department now states: “Routine service can take up to 18 weeks from the day an application is submitted to the day a new passport is received. The 18-week timeframe includes up to 12 weeks for processing and up to 6 weeks for mailing times on the front and back end. Expedite service (for an additional $60) can take up to 12 weeks from the day an application is submitted to the day a new passport is received. The 12-week timeframe includes up to 6 weeks for processing and up to 6 weeks for mailing times on the front and back end. Our processing times (up to 12 weeks for routine; up to 6 weeks for expedite) do not include mailing times. Mail times vary and delays have been significant. Plan ahead.” - U.S. Department of State - https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.html
After having clients experience delays prior to heading to Mexico in May of this year (2021), and still with no passport in hand five days before their scheduled travel, I can tell you that waiting until the last minute is not a good idea. They submitted their passport renewal application about eight to ten weeks in advance and paid for the expedited processing, but even with quicker turn-around times then, it still was barely enough. In fact, due to issues with signatures on one of their renewal passport applications, the process was delayed even further leaving them with little to no wiggle room before traveling. Due to calling the U.S. State Department repeatedly and paying an expedited overnight shipping fee, they were able to have their passports in hand a mere four days prior to travel. But you may not be so lucky. Nerves were shot and emotions were high as they struggled with whether they should cancel their upcoming travels or not. And for me as their travel advisor? I can tell you it was no party here.
Expect to have six months of validity.
Many travelers believe that as long as they have a few months left before their passport expires, they are safe from any potential passport-related glitches or issues when entering their desired country of travel. That simply is not true. What most people may not know is depending on what your intended travel destination is, you may be denied entry for not having enough valid time on your passport before expiration. Some countries require three months of passport validity, while others require six months or more. You won’t want to get to the airport just to learn that you don’t have enough time left on your passport to meet the country-of-entry’s requirements. Sadly, you would have to return home and you could lose out the entire cost of your vacation. (Many insurance policies won't protect you for negligence of proper documentation, which includes passport issues, etc.)
In a time when we have learned not to take even the modest thing for granted, be sure to do your due diligence and ensure your passport doesn’t keep you from arriving in your next international getaway. And don't worry, when you're one of our clients, we ensure that you have everything you need to make your travels as seamless and easy as possible!
Looking for ways to stay up-to-state on all of the travel requirements and restrictions? We’re here to help! Our job is to ensure that your travels go as smoothly and easily as possible. Don’t leave your vacation to chance - book with us, The Everyday Escape, to ensure no stones are left unturned.
Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and learn how we can ‘Help You Escape the Everyday’.
For quick links to some of your most common travel questions, be sure to visit our Resources tab on our website located here: RESOURCES
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