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!