If your passport is set to expire within the next two or three years, it’s a good idea to go ahead and renew it now.
According to an article from CNN, the US passed a law back in 2007 requiring US citizens to have a passport when traveling to Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, and Bermuda, so nearly 18 million people signed up to get their passports that year. This means nearly 18 million passports will be up for renewal next year. Add to that the fact that some European countries don’t accept passports that are within 6 months of expiring, and there will be a lot of people putting in applications for passport renewals. You can apply for renewal online with the $110 fee, and it usually takes 4-6 weeks to receive your new passport. However, with the influx of passports up for renewal, it could take longer. You can check passport processing wait times on the Department of State website.
Remember that a passport is not required if your cruise is leaving from and returning to a US port. However, a passport can get you through customs much quicker at debarkation. But if you’re planning a cruise leaving from a non-US port such as a Mediterranean cruise or an Alaska cruise departing out of Canada, it might be wise to renew in advance and avoid any delays in receiving your passport. You don’t want to miss your cruise because you couldn’t get your new passport in time. Anticipate delays and plan ahead.
featured photo: Flickr/travelingaround