In some countries, getting a passport is almost second nature. Not here, though. According to this recent post on The Expeditioner.com, only 22% Americans have a passport. That’s less than a quarter of the population! For a little perspective, compare that rate to our neighbors in Canada. According to Wikipedia, 56.2% of Canadians have a Canadian passport.
Why is it so different here? The Expeditioner lays out a couple of possible reasons, both of which I basically agree with:
- Money: Most families don’t have enough extra lying around right now for a passport, much less all of the other expenses associated with international travel. Getting a passport for a family of 4 is no joke, financially speaking, and the US Department of State’s proposed passport fee increases certainly aren’t going to help matters.
- Culture: Traveling abroad isn’t as much a part of the culture here as it is in, say, Europe for example. The Expeditioner attributes this to Europe’s history of colonizing other parts of the world, while America pretty much kept to itself. I think you could also argue that America’s size plays a part-you can do and see a lot without leaving the US, and unless you live next to Canada and Mexico, it’s not as easy to visit another country as it is in Europe.
Here’s another factor I think the Expeditioner might have left out:
- Paperwork: Getting a passport requires dealing with paperwork, forms and bureaucrats, all of which Americans are historically impatient with.
In fact, if you have a deadline coming up and you need your passport quickly, the paperwork and time involved can go from intimidating to downright terrifying. Did I fill out this form correctly? Is there anything that could hold up my application?
In times like these, you may want to consider using a private passport expediting company like RushMyPassport.com. When you apply through us, you get helpful instructions and checklists to make sure that nothing is missed, and you get the assistance of a private passport specialist who can answer any questions you may have. Then, we deliver your application directly to the Department of State for processing in as little as 24 hours.
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