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Expedite Your Passport for Oktoberfest in Germany

Germany’s Oktoberfest is going on even as we speak- millions of people from all over the world gathering together to celebrate their love for a cold, frosty brew. Sounds great, doesn’t it? If you feel like you’re in your element in the midst of a large crowd of very drunk people, sure. However, as Matador Travel’s Karyn Johnson discovered, the reality of Oktoberfest is often far less glamorous and far more vomit-filled than the hype. She says:

“This is great if you love meeting people from all over the world, but if you’re looking to mingle with Germans while experiencing a bit of the local culture, you might want to look at any of the smaller Oktoberfest celebrations going on throughout Deutschland. They’re every bit as festive and the beer flows just as much, but they’re less tourist-clogged.”

So, where are these smaller, saner Oktoberfest alternatives? Everywhere, really, but here are some of the most notable:

Cannstatter Volksfest

Canstatter Volksfest lasts three weeks, from late September to early October. Held in Stuttgart, Germany, the festival has much more to offer than beer: carnival rides. local foods, and games beckon as well. The Cannstatter Volksfest was originally an agricultural festival and was founded by the “farmer king,” King Wilhelm I, in 1818, but very little of the original “4-H” vibe remains.

Hamburger Dom Winter Festival

The Hamburger Dom Winter Festival celebrates more than just beer. It attracts locals and tourists alike to the city of Hamburg with carnival rides, games and more. This year’s Winter Dom takes place on the weekend of November 11.

“Auer Dult” Festival

Held in Munich, the Auer Dult is like Oktoberfest’s quieter, more laid-back sibling. A combination of a street market and a carnival, it features beer tents along with carnival rides and the largest ceramics market in Europe. This year, it takes place from October 15th to October 23.

Oktoberfest Hanover

The Oktoberfest in Hanover is the second-largest Oktoberfest in the world. Still, with “only” a million attendees, it’s much more manageable than Munich.

Kulmbacher Beer

Located in northern Bavaria, this beer festival takes place in August, so you’re out of luck this year. It might be worth marking on your calendar for next year, though- the brew is supposed to be a secret traditional recipe served nowhere else and at no other time!

If you’d like to attend a fall beer festival in Europe this year, you’ll need to expedite your passport. Regular processing takes at least six weeks, so it’s really too late for that. If you expedite your passport application via the Department of State, you’re still looking at around three weeks before you’ll have your passport in hand. For faster service, you’ll need to make an appointment at one of the country’s 24 regional passport agency offices, or use a private expediting company like RushMyPasssport for convenient processing in as little as 24 hours.

Expedite your passport with us today!

US Passport Renewal to Travel Along Germany’s Fairy Tale Road

Every child knows the stories of Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty and Little Red Riding Hood. If you’ve already done Disney, you might consider getting a US passport renewal, grabbing your kids, and heading to Germany to drive down the Fairy Tale Road to take them to the scene of these enchanting stories.

The New York Times just ran a feature on the  Fairy Tale road, which connects the real, historical homes of the Brothers Grimm with sites that fit the descriptions of the settings of classic fairy tales like Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood.For example, the Dornröschenschloss Sababurg is an old castle near where Kassel, where the brothers Grimm collected many of their fairy tales. When the brothers were alive, the castle was deserted and surrounded by masses of briars and wild roses, just like in Sleeping Beauty. Nowadays, of course, there’s the obligatory museum with a gift shop where you can treat your own little princess to a souvenir.

Then there’s Rotkäppchenland, which roughly translates to “Little Red Cap” land in English.   Long ago, the people inhabiting this valley wore clothes that indicated their ages and social position.  Little girls wore red caps-hence, “Little Red Riding Hood.”

In addition to the New York Times article referenced above, Weather.com also has an excellent guide to the Fairy Tale Road that can help you plan your trip.  But if you want your trip to have a happy ending, check the expiration date on your passport, and make sure to apply for a US passport renewal well in advance if necessary!

It takes about 6 weeks to get your passport renewed if you apply with normal processing, and about 3 weeks if you request the government’s expedited service. Also, don’t forget that your kids need passports too, no matter how little they are.

If you’re about to leave the country and looking for a fairy godmother to get you your passport on time, don’t despair! You can either make an appointment at a regional passport agency office or use a private passport expediting service like RushMyPassport.com. An expediting service is much faster and more convenient-there’s no need to make an appointment at a passport agency or wait in line. The expediting agency delivers your documents directly to the Department of State for you, for processing times as low as 24 hours. It’s like magic!

Apply for your US passport renewal today!

Get a Rush Passport And Celebrate New Year’s Eve In Berlin

Still looking for something to do on New Year’s Eve?  Here are 4 good reasons to get a rush passport (if you don’t already have one), book a flight to Germany and celebrate New Year’s Eve (otherwise known as “Silvester”) in Berlin.

One of the Largest New Year’s Eve Parties in The World

You want to be somewhere memorable when you wave goodbye to the awkwardly-named decade of the Aughts, right? Where better to bid the decade farewell than one of the world’s largest open-air New Year’s Eve parties?

Every year, over a million people come to the Berlin Open End New Year’s Eve party, an extravaganza complete with food, music, drinks and fireworks.

German Beer

Sure, champagne is the traditional fizzy alcoholic beverage of choice for New Year’s Eve, but German beer is world-famous.

Cheesy Music

This year, folks attending the Berlin Open End party can celebrate the future with the cheesy pop music of yore.  Musical performers include the ABBA Celebration Band and Right Said Fred. Wait, you don’t remember Right Said Fred? Maybe this will ring a bell:

“I’m too sexy for my shirt, too sexy for my shirt, so sexy it hurts!

I’m too sexy for your body, too sexy for your body, no way I’m disco dancing!”

Oh yeah, those guys…I used to have that album on a  quaint musical device called  a “cassette tape.”

Fireworks

The New York Times’ InTransit blog has an informative post up about the New Year’s Eve celebration in Berlin, including recommendations for smaller parties if you don’t want to attend the Open End blowout. The commenters on the post also pointed out that New Year’s Eve in Berlin is an “orgy of fireworks.” In addition to the big fireworks show, expect to have firecrackers go off around you or even be used as missiles. Stay away from those super-flammable synthetic fabrics, mmm-kay?

If you want to leave the country for New Year’s and you don’t have a passport, you’ll need to submit a rush passport application. At this point, your choices are to get an appointment at a Regional Passport office or to use a private expediting service like RushMyPassport.com.  An expediting company is often a more convenient choice, since you don’t have to make an appointment or wait in line.

With RushMyPassport, you simply complete your application and forward your application package to us via Fed-Ex. Then, we deliver it by hand to the US Department of State, for processing times as fast as 24 hours.

Celebrate the New Year in style-let us help you rush your passport today!