It’s been hard to avoid all the changes, confusion, and drama that has surrounded passports needed for travelers who have booked international luxury vacations. With the continuing changing standards and rules, it is important to check and double check before you finalize any plans. With that in mind, here are a few helpful passport hints to making your international travel painless.
Important to Gather the Necessary Items for Your Luxury Travel Vacation
Before you show up at a government agency to begin your passport process, be sure you have all the necessary items. The first thing you should do is go to the passport website at http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html. There you can fill out the basic application form and print it out. If you are unable to do this, go to your local travel agent who specializes in luxury vacations. They might have one. If not, try your local post office, library or passport office. If you go in with this paper work filled out, you save yourself and the passport clerks lots of time. In addition, you will need to provide your own passport photos. These cannot be just any photos. There are very specific parameters, and must be taken by licensed passport photo operators. To find the one nearest to you look in your phone book under passport photos, or ask your local post office passport center. You will also need proof of citizenship. This is either a birth certificate, a naturalization paperwork or a previous passport, all of which MUST be official copies. You must also have a state issued photo ID. If you do not have some or any of these items, refer to the website for specific circumstances.
Apply in a Timely Manner
You have probably heard that passports are recently hard to come by. It is true that the average time was once six weeks for regular service and one or two weeks for expatiated. These time estimates have now doubled to 12 weeks for regular and 3 to 4 for expedited. This is disturbing to some, but not if you submit your application early. If you currently do not have a passport, and somewhere in the back of your mind you are thinking about traveling to a foreign country on a luxury travel vacation, then just bite the bullet and get one! The earlier you put in for one the better. You won’t have to pay for expiated services if you put in now. And passports are good for ten years, so even if you end up not using it immediately, you might in the next ten years. For more help on planning your luxury travel vacation visit http://www.amtvacations.com/american-express-vacations.html.
Everyone has probably heard one of the lost application stories. Agencies claim to never have received it, the application being lost in the mail, or bring denied a week before they leave. Again, applying early will solve a lot of these problems, but if that is not an option to you, then follow up. If you apply in person, keep your receipt and your paper work that says you have applied. You can also check to see if your passport is being processed on the website. To do so, you must have the application number that can be found on your paperwork. If you mail your application, send it with signature required, and ask for received documentation. If you are having problems, call the agency immediately to follow up.
From luxury world cruises to a weekend in Mexico, passports are now required for any Americans traveling outside of the United States. It can be a hassle, but if you do your part, it can also be painless. Make sure you gather all your paperwork and documentation. Apply as soon as possible. If you travel often, you should have a passport anyways. And make sure you follow up on your application. Now that you are armed with information, go forth and get your passport!