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U.S. Passport Guide : Travel Advice and Passport Information

Expedited US Passport Services for Winter Travel

December 6th, 2013
What's the best way to get your passport expedited during the busy travel season? The US Department of State's standard passport processing time is four to six weeks. In a recent press release, the State Department said customers using third-party expediting companies "do not receive their passport any faster than those who come directly to the U.S. Department of State and apply at one of our 25 passport agencies located across the United States." Does that mean expediting companies like RushMyPassport are not worth the money? Not so fast!  Due to geographic location and work schedules, many consumers may not be able to get an expedited passport without the help of a third party expediter. To see why, let's take a look at the options you have available to you. The government fe

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Best Apps for International Travel

December 5th, 2013
Earlier this summer, we posted a blog on 4 Great Apps for International Travel.  We wanted to add some additional apps to the list to ensure you were up to date on the latest and greatest apps for international travel. Trip Journal -- Trip documenter :  Trip Journal is an award-winning travel app that lets you digitally document your trip on your iOS, Android, Bada or Symbian device. Converse:  Have a conversation with speakers of other languages with Converse, a $4.99 iPad app. Converse translates between English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Dutch. UNESCO World Heritage -- Location guide:  For travelers who would like a bucket list of amazing places to visit in their lifetime, the World Heritage app will do the trick. Wikitude:  Award-winning augmente

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50 Places Everyone Should See In Their Lifetime

November 22nd, 2013
Got a vacation coming up and wondering where to go?  Disney World again?   Your in-laws?  The beach?  All great ideas but we think we’ve got a better one.  Grab your passport and plan a visit to one of these 50 amazing destinations that everyone should see in their lifetime.  Take your family, take your friends and start planning.  And yes, you will need a current passport for 47 of the 50 destinations we’ve included.  We’ve listed them in alphabetical order to help you keep them straight.  Whether you see 1, 20 or all 50, we know you won’t be disappointed. Angel Falls (Venezuela) Angkor Wat (Cambodia) Bagan (Burma) Berlin Wall (Germany) Bora Bora (French Polynesia) Borobudur (Indonesia) Cappadocia (Turkey) Chichen Itza (Mexico) Christ the Redeemer (Bra

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Washington Passport Agency is Moving

October 24th, 2013
If you live in Washington, DC and you need an emergency passport, here's an important update- the Washington, DC passport office is moving! Until Friday, October 25th, the agency will serve customers at its current location, 1111 19th Street, N.W.  However, when it opens back up for business on Monday, October 28th, it will be at a new location. Set your GPS to the new address: 600 19th Street NW, Washington, DC. The passport agency's fancy new digs offer more space in the lobby and more windows to accommodate passport seekers.  Looking at the numbers, the Washington Passport Agency needs the extra space. According to the Department of State, last year the agency saw approximately 30,000 customers and issued more than 200,000 passports! About the Washington Passport Agency The

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Houston Passport Agency Closed

October 15th, 2013
  Houston, you have a problem: The Houston Passport Agency is closed for renovations. If you need an emergency passport, you have two choices: travel to another city or use a private expediting company like RushMyPassport. The Houston Passport Agency handles urgent passport requests. Typically, you are eligible to use this office if you need a passport AND You have an international departure planned within the next 14 days You are leaving in the next 4 weeks and your trip requires a visa. Long story short, if you're eligible to use the Houston Passport Agency, your stress levels are probably already high. To add insult to injury, the Houston Passport Agency will be shut down until some time in 2014. How are you supposed to get your passport now? With the office c

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Top Tips for Booking Holiday Travel

October 8th, 2013
October is in full swing and the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays are fast approaching. If you are wondering when the best timeto book your trips and travel, we’ve got your answers here. The short answer is the time is now! “The best bet for the consumer is to travel as early before the actual holiday or as late as possible afterward, and always leave room for schedule changes,” explained Dean Headley, co-author of Wichita State University’s Airline Quality Rating report. “During the past several years, the holiday travel period has continued to be a challenging time for travelers, and with industrywide seat capacity reduction, it will remain a stressful travel experience [this year].” Travel search engine Kayak.com analyzed “hundreds of millions”

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Passports and the Government Shutdown

October 1st, 2013
Can you still get a passport?  Yes! You can still get a passport even though the federal government is partially shut down. Passport Services are fully supported by the fees you pay to get a U.S. passport, instead of appropriated money, so these activities are not affected. According to the Department of State, "In the event of a lapse in appropriations, the Department of State will continue passport and visa operations as well as provide critical services to U.S. citizens overseas. It is a national security agency which means it has national security responsibilities and will continue working despite the shutdown." One caveat: Some passport services located in some Federal buildings MAY BE DISRUPTED if the buildings are forced to close due to lack of maintenance and support staf

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The 411 On Child Passports

September 22nd, 2013
Figuring out the who, what, when and how when it comes to traveling abroad with your children - the 411 on child passports - can be overwhelming.  Here's for the busy parent looking for quick and easy instructions. We've broken it down for you so you can get the appropriate documents to travel when and where you need to with your infant or toddler. Do babies and toddlers need a passport?  YES.  Any United States citizen, no matter what age, traveling outside of the United States by air requires a passport. The confusion can be when a minor is traveling by land or sea to Canada or Mexico they can use their birth certificate.  You can get additional information here. Here is the 411 on child passports: Passport Application You must fill out Passport Application Form DS1

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Trusted Traveler Programs: TSA Pre✓™ – No More Groping

August 27th, 2013
So far we’ve covered the 3 key Trusted Traveler Programs:  Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI.  The 4th program, and the last post in our series, is focused on TSA Pre✓™.  On Friday, 7/19/13, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it would be open up the program to more US citizens. Previously, to be eligible for TSA Pre✓™, travelers had to opt-in through an airline’s frequent flier program, or be enrolled in one of CBP’s Global Entry, SENTRI or NEXUS Trusted Traveler programs.   To date, more than 12 million travelers have experienced TSA Pre✓™ at 40 airports nationwide. The reason for the popularity of TSA Pre✓™ is that travelers get to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compl

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Trusted Traveler Programs: SENTRI – Easy Access

August 20th, 2013
In our fourth post in our Trusted Traveler Program Series  we are going to cover SENTRI, the program for pre-approved travelers who cross the U.S./Mexico border frequently. SENTRI users have access to specific, dedicated primary lanes into the United States.  Members are issued a Radio Frequency Identification Document (RFID) that will identify their record and status in the CBP database upon arrival at the U.S. port of entry.  Participants in the program wait for much shorter periods of time than those in regular lanes waiting to enter the United States, even at the busiest time of day. SENTRI Dedicated Commuter Lanes are available at El Paso, TX; Otay Mesa, CA; San Ysidro, CA; Calexico, CA; Nogales, AZ; Hidalgo, TX; Brownsville, TX; Anzalduas, TX; Laredo, TX; and San Luis, AZ

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