You are so ready to travel. You have picked the perfect location, booked the flight and found this amazing hotel located in the perfect spot AND your vacation time off has been approved for work. You are ready to go, but is your passport ready to go with you??
When traveling outside the great U.S of A., you need a passport and there's no way around it. The problem is most travelers do not plan ahead when applying for their passport AND the timing of their trip. I have booked group trips and had travelers pay the trip deposit and DID NOT receive their passport in time. What does this mean? What's the outcome? They had to cancel their trip and apply for a refund. Keep in mind most refunds are not cash back but instead a travel credit that you will need to use within a certain amount of time. If you are not an avid traveler, you may or may not use this travel credit. This means you may end up losing money for a trip you couldn't take all because you didn't apply for your passport in time.
The best way to avoid this? Go ahead an get your passport NOW so you already have it on hand when you decided to take that destination vacation. It's good for 10 years, so why not?
The other option is to make sure you give the passport office enough time to issue your passport. We are talking a couple of months, not a couple of weeks. According to the U.S. Department of State, it can take 10-13 weeks for a routin passport and 7-9 for expedited. You also need to consider if your may need to send it back because of incorrect information. Yes, this does happen!
This actually happened to my daughter. She was going on a school trip to Belize (that was already paid for in full!) and when we received her passport, her gender was incorrect and we had to send it back and wait for a new one. Luckily we had enough time, but barely. We received the corrected passport a week before her trip.
I recently had a client who was booked on an girls trip and when she received her passport, her name was spelled incorrectly so she had to send it back. Unfortunately, hers didn't get mailed back in time for the trip and she was unable to go.
Just go ahead and get your passport. You do not need to wait to plan and/or book a vacation in order to apply for one. If you would like more information, here is the link to the U.S. Department of State passport website.
The Glamour Planner