Do you have a Passport?

“We don’t get that much Americans around here,” or “When we are traveling, we don’t meet many Americans.”

Every continent that I have been to, I constantly always have conversations with locals and other travelers about how Americans do not travel internationally. However, I do agree, it’s so rare sometimes meeting another American throughout my travels. I have only met a handful of Americans, and most of the time we are always both surprised when we tell each other where we are from. Only 46% of Americans have a valid passport and a lot of factors play into why more than half of the country does not. For instant, the cost could be a bit expensive to some, fear to leave America, ignorance, and Americans do not have enough vacation time.

  • Cost
    • Passport book 110$
    • Agency fee 25$
    • Passport photo 7-15$
    • Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck, so the last thing on their mind is applying for a passport that could be quite expensive
  • Fear
    • We live in a nation of fear and people are always terrified when I tell them that I’m traveling abroad…
      • “BUT WHAT ABOUT… ” or “I SEEN IN THE MEDIA THAT….” or “DID YOU HEAR…” or “ISN’T THAT A COMMUNIST COUNTRY….”
    • The media tends to instill fear into the minds of the American people daily
    • Every time events around the world are being discussed, they tend to be quite negative
    • Don’t believe everything that you see on TV
  • Ignorance
    • There are so many Americans who think that the USA is the center of the world and it’s pointless to travel
    • “America is the best country in the world,” so why should I leave?
  • Vacation
    • Most Americans on average receives 2 weeks of paid vacation
    • Not enough time to go abroad when I could take a 2 hour flight to Miami

These factors all need to change especially the amount of vacation that hard working Americans are given. I think a month PAID vacation would be awesome and more people would be more happy both lifewise and workwise. I understand that when a lot of Americans were growing up, the idea of traveling internationally wasn’t instilled into their psyche by parents or other individuals in their lives. A lot of people see traveling internationally as a luxury, but there are so many airlines out there that have cheap flights abroad. Sometimes it’s actually cheaper to leave America, then it is to travel from one coast to the other.

Passports could be a bit expensive, but it is definitely worth it. Instead of asking for some expensive shoes or an expensive piece of technology for your birthday, you should ask for a passport. I promise, it’ll be worth it. Once you get a passport, you will be more motivated to look up flights and plan that next trip abroad. I got my passport on April 11, 2013 and less than 4 years later, I’m on passport number 2 and I’m addicted to traveling!!!

QUICK STEPS:

  1. Gather required documents *16 years or older
    • Complete Passport Application DS-11 (do not sign)
    • Submit Proof of Citizenship
    • Proof of Identity
    • Photocopy of ID
    • One passport photo
      • Obtain this at CVS or Walgreen
      • Google “passport photo” and you’ll find the nearest location
      • DON’T TRY TO TAKE YOUR OWN PHOTO #NoSelfies
  1. Visit a passport agency
    • Visit your local passport acceptance agency in your area
  1. Pick a Passport Processing Option
    • Cheaper Option
      • Longer processing time
      • Processed in 4-6 week
      • No additional fees
    • Expensive Option (Traveling sooner than 4 weeks)
      • Bring proof of itinerary
      • Process in 2-3 week
        • Extra $60
    • Emergency Passport
      • Processed in 8 business days or less based on need
        • Extra 60$ or even more

NOTE: additional $25 for agency fee

In total your passport could cost you 145$ to 205$ (including the passport photo)

Once you do get your passport and start traveling abroad, REMEMBER to:

  • Make sure that your passport is signed in the indicated areas
  • Make color copies of the info page in your passport
  • Always have a copy on you and one at the place that you will be staying and make sure that you give a copy to a person that you can trust, such as someone in your traveling party.

For more information, please visit here: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/apply.html

This is the official site & it will give you a lot more information and it will give you the locations to the closest passport facility.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope that you found the given information quite helpful. Please get your passport and if you have any questions please contact me.

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