Monday, October 18, 2010

Passport Applications and Renewals

Source: http://travel.state.gov/passport/
It is always a good idea to ensure that your passport is current and up to date.  In fact, should you need to travel with a passport, Beyond Group Travel, Inc. recommends that your passport be valid for at least 6 months after your departure date.  In other words, should your trip leave on November 1, 2010, we suggest your expiration date not proceed May 1, 2011.  If your passport will expire soon, please look into to the Renew Passport page on travel.state.gov.  There you will find the proper procedure for renewing your passport.

Has your name changed since your last passport (issued over 1 year ago)?  If this is the case and you have proof of the name change, you will be following the renewal steps as well that are linked above.  Documents that you provide to prove your name change (if submitting by mail) will be returned to you, though they might come in a separate package from your new passport.

If you do not currently have a passport and are planning to travel internationally, it's urgent that you apply nowRoutine service is taking anywhere from 4-6 weeks, at the current time, per the Department of State website.  It it definitely possible to have your passport expedited, just be advised that you can expect an extra $60 charge for the expedition of your passport application.

What happens if you lose your passport on your trip?  Beyond Group Travel, Inc. hopes this never happens to you, of course, but it's always a possibility.  Lissa Harnish Poirot gives some great tips on FamilyVacationCritic.com.

"Contact the local embassy, which you will have to do in order to receive an emergency passport. These will be granted on a limited basis and can get you home; once home you'll have to apply for a new passport. However, in order to receive an emergency passport, you will need:
  • Three passport photos for every person applying for an emergency passport
  • A photo ID
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship
  • Airline ticket, booking confirmation or itinerary
  • A police report, if your passport was stolen
  • $100 (U.S. dollars) passport application fee"
She goes on to discuss how beneficial an emergency passport kit, with the above items, could be when kept in another piece of luggage.  Should all of your things/luggage not be lost or stolen, you'd likely have this emergency passport kit to save you in a sticky situation.

Further information on checking the status of your passport, changing or correcting a passport, or lost or stolen passports can be found on the Passport Services website of the Department of State.

Also, be sure to check out how you can reserve your spot for one of our upcoming trips!

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