Passport travel planning cannot be over-emphasized. The moment you know you are planning to travel internationally, you should check your passport for its expiration date. If you plan ahead, it will be cheaper for you. As we have read many articles and many books when traveling, passport planning is never a part of the book or articles’ first focus. But without your passport, traveling out of your country cannot happen.
We found out all this the hard way. We ended up staying in the U.S. a lot longer just to get my husband’s passport renewed even though it would not have expired until several weeks after returning. Instead, the passport needs to have at least 6-months expiration “after the date you are supposed to return”. So don’t let this happen to you! This is intended so that in case you need to stay in the country that you are visiting a little longer, you can still return to the country of origin.
If you are in a rush, like we were, we would highly recommend visiting a passport office in a major city, like Atlanta, Georgia. If you are in need of renewal, major cities can have it done that day by the afternoon. Otherwise, it can take 24-48 hours for expedited passports if you don’t have one. We would highly recommend that you stay in a hotel that is next door or on the same street as the Passport agency. Hotel Indigo is next door to the passport agency in Atlanta. They have an elevator that goes directly into that office, and people from all over stay here for that very purpose, as you want to be first in line when the passport agency opens. Gather all your information before you get there, and while there is an upcharge, it is well worth it! There are 28 passport agencies in the U.S. including Puerto Rico. Here’s a link to the passport agencies.