Nearly a decade ago, new requirements set by the government required Americans to have valid passports for travel to Canada and Mexico. The result was a surge in applications and significant backlog in processing the documents. With many of those documents set to expire in the next 24 months, combined with an increase in the amount of people wishing to travel abroad, this could lead to more delays and travelers left in a predicament when it comes to their travel plans. To avoid this, consider setting your sights on some of the gorgeous destinations that the United States has to offer and if possible, postpone your overseas travel a bit. In addition, there are some other things you should know about new passport delays and what else you can do to avoid difficulty.
Tip #1: Have your passport, even if you don’t think you’ll need it.
Passports are good for traveling, no matter where you’re going. For example, while passports aren’t required for cruises that start and end in United States ports, it’s good to have a valid passport with you anyway, in case you get sick or injured at a port and you need to cut your trip short to fly back. Passports are the ultimate ID! Driver’s licenses and/or state IDs are not valid forms of identification in every travel situation, but passports usually are.
Tip #2: Renew or apply as soon as possible.
The first thing you should do when considering a trip is to make sure your passport is renewed and ready to go. If this is your first time applying for a passport, allow yourself plenty of time so you can get ahead of the curve and save yourself money in expedited processing fees.
Tip #3: Know when peak passport season is.
The peak times for passport application and renewal start in the middle of January and peak in March. Generally, it will run steadily through August, then will start trailing off. Some travel destinations will require that passports be valid for six months upon arrival, so be sure to check into this well ahead of time when you’re applying or renewing as peak season could mean you need to allow for additional waiting time.
Tip #4: Submit everything correctly.
This may seem obvious, but it is very common that travelers that submit incorrect passport fees or forgetting to provide supporting documentation could significantly delay the processing of your application.
Planning a trip is an exciting time that requires some a bit of research. With a little patience and planning ahead, you’ll have your passport ready to go for all of your vacations, whether it’s an exotic country or exploring the beauty of the United States.