Will you need an expedited passport for Summer vacation?
I know our summer is winding down and many of those in the Southern States have already started back to school but my summer vacation is just about to begin. Tomorrow we leave on our grand family vacation to Pigeon Forge, TN so today we were busy packing. I very much dislike packing at the last minute but I seem to do it over and over again.
While we were finding matching socks and that elusive favorite pair of shorts… I couldn’t find my passport anywhere! I pulled out my 4 kid’s passports and even managed to find my hubby’s but mine was nowhere to be found! I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to have to get an expedited passport at this stage in the game! Thankfully, I eventually found my passport but would you know what to do if you suddenly needed a replacement? I found this article and I thought I’d share it with you…. Enjoy!
It’s now officially summer, and that means it’s time to start planning your family’s summer vacation. One question you should be asking yourself is this: Will I need an expedited passport this year? It all depends on where you want to go, and to a certain extent on how you plan to get there. If you considering traveling outside the US this summer, read on to find out whether or not you will need an expedited passport:
Traveling Outside the US By Plane
If you are flying out of the country, you must have a US passport. No exceptions.
Traveling Outside of the Western Hemisphere
For travel outside of the area covered by the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (that’s Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean), you definitely need to carry your US passport.
Traveling in the Area Covered by the WHTI
Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean are covered under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). If you are traveling to one of the countries included in the WHTI by plane, you still need a passport, but the rules for traveling by land or sea are a little bit different:
Land or Sea Travel: When traveling to other countries in the WHTI by land or by sea, you can either use a US passport or one of the following documents:
US passport card
NEXUS, FAST or SENTRI card
Enhanced Driver’s License (only available in certain states).
If you are going on a cruise to Mexico, Canada or the Caribbean, you may be able to skip getting a passport as long as you are going on a closed-loop cruise, one that begins and ends in the same US port. On closed-loop cruises, US citizens may simply carry their driver’s licenses and birth certificates.
As long as they are traveling by land or by sea, children under the age of 16 do not need a passport to travel to and from countries covered by the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. They can use their birth certificates instead.
Children under the age of 19 who are traveling with an organized group under adult supervision, such as a church group, school group or sports team, can also bring their birth certificates instead of passports for land and sea travel only.
If you need a passport for summer vacation, at this point it would be prudent to order expedited passport processing. The government’s expedited passport processing takes 3 weeks door-to-door. If you need your passport sooner than that, either make an appointment at a passport agency office or use a private passport expediting company.