Friday, April 6, 2007

Stop procrastinating!

Procrastination! That seems to be a universal theme weaving its way in and out of my days.....I put off going to the grocery store....delay doing the laundry.....wait a few more days to pay the bills.......and then one day it hits me.....I have no food, no clean clothes, no electricity (no, just kidding -- it hasn't gone that far)....and today I realize I have no passport for my kids and no current passport for my husband!

Now, this may not seem like any great cause for concern but it is when it has the potentional to affect our summer travel plans!

To give you a little history of why we need a passport to travel this summer, I will tell you of the new requirements for travelers. For more information you can visit

Beginning January 23, 2007, ALL persons, including U.S.
citizens, traveling by air between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda will be required to present a valid passport, AIR NEXUS card, or U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document, or an Alien Registration Card, Form I-551, if applicable.
As early as January 1, 2008, ALL persons, including US
citizens, traveling between the US and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and the Bahamas by LAND or SEA (including ferries), may be required to present a valid passport.
There isn't really great cause for panic on my part as our summer travel plans are for a 5-Night Bermuda Cruise from Baltimore thus a passport is not actually required at this time since we will be entering and exiting US by sea, BUT (there is always a BUT, isn't there?) lets just say we were to get 3-days into our wonderful cruise vacation and are relaxing on the beautiful pink beaches of Bermuda when we find out that there is an emergency back home and we need to return right away! One big problem, we don't have a passport so we can't fly home.

Other situations could arise besides emergencies that would hinder those traveling without passports -- imagine you are departing for a cruise from a different city/state. Your plane is delayed and your much-awaited cruise sets sail without you. You arrive at the port hours later and the ever-helpful cruise official tells you that they will fly you to the next port where you can board your cruise ship and enjoy the rest of your vacation. Guess what? You don't have a passport so you can't fly to the next port!

With all that said, I am making an appointment first thing tomorrow morning to get the ball rolling on our passports. We really can't delay any longer as the estimated wait time for non-expediated passport applications is 3 months from date of submission.

If you are planning on traveling in 2007 here are some tips for submitting your application.

  • You can complete and print the passport application at
  • Most post offices require an appointment for passport applications so call your local post office to find out
  • Bring with you a certified US birth certificate/Naturalization, etc; proof of ID (driver's license); two identical passport photos
  • Children under 14 must be accompanied by both parents
  • USPS accepts cash, check, money order or credit card for payment of fees -- $97 for adults/$87 for child 15 and under

1 comment:

Jen said...

I have an appointment to get my passport done this week. This is a good reminder!