At midnight tonight, a new year will begin. New Year’s Eve means parties, champagne and of course, New Year’s resolutions. According to, “taking a trip” is one of the 10 most popular New Year’s resolutions. It’s also a New Year’s resolution you can actually enjoy keeping-unlike, say, resolving to cut out sweets.

If you’d like to travel overseas, 2009 is a great time to do so. In fact, travel experts such as Genevieve Shaw Brown from Travelocity have proclaimed it “The Year of the Deal,” with the current recession driving the cost of international travel down.

Where would you like to go this year? Europe? South America? Asia? Obtaining a passport is the first step in traveling to these and other destinations outside of the US. The procedure for obtaining a passport varies depending on whether you’re renewing an old passport or getting one for the first time. If this is your first time obtaining a passport, here’s what to do:

1) Fill out form DS-11 at a US Acceptance Facility or Passport Agency.  Acceptance facilities are designated by the Government and can include post offices and public libraries. You can search for an approved facility at the US Passport Agency Website.

2) Submit proof of citizenship and proof of identity.

3) Pay the applicable fee. Before you send your check, review these examples to make sure the government can process your payment.

4) Submit two passport photos.

Of course, you can also use a private passport expediting service. If you need your passport in a hurry, this is your best option. When you use a private expeditor like, your application will be monitored by our trained passport specialists. Expediting services make obtaining a passport easy and fast!

No matter where your New Year’s resolutions take you, wishes you a happy New Year and happy traveling!