According to the New York Times, the unemployment rate in the US is up to 8.5%, and 663,000 jobs were lost in March. That’s bad news. The good news that if you are among that number, now would be a great time to take that vacation you’ve been putting off.

I know, taking a vacation after losing your job…that’s crazy-talk, right? Maybe…it depends on your circumstances.  For many of the newly unemployed, travel won’t be an option. However, if you have extra money in savings or you were able to snag a decent severance package from your former employer, now is an excellent time to hit the road.

Resorts and hotels around the world are offering “recession packages” to tempt people out of the comfort of their homes. Travel Musings points out that Wyndam Hotels in the Caribbean are offering “stimulus packages,” so you can stay for 2 nights and get 2 nights free. SuperClubs is also offering massive discounts on spring travel to its Caribbean resorts.

Also, Travel and Leisure just published a list of the “Top 10 Holidays for the Unemployed.” This list has a lot of awesome ideas for international travel on the cheap. For example, if you like to garden, why not volunteer to “farm around the world?” Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms lets you volunteer part-time at an organic farm in exchange for food and a place to stay. Or, do a house swap to snag a free place to stay overseas. You can also gain new skills, like stone-working or carpentry, by volunteering for places like the Peace Village Center for handicapped kids in Venezuela.

A lot of the travel deals available right now are for last minute trips-which is fine if you’re unemployed, because your schedule suddenly became a lot more flexible! However, if you don’t already have a passport, you’ll need to order an expedited passport to be able to leave on short notice.

The easiest way to get an expedited passport is to use a private passport expediting company. These companies can get your expedited passport application processed much more quickly that it would be if you applied directly to the US Department of State-sometimes in as little as 24 hours!

Don’t miss out on the awesome travel and volunteer opportunities that are becoming available. Order an expedited passport today!