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Hidden cost of travel Oct 26

Here’s a little item that no travel club will cover for you—your passport. They aren’t cheap, but passports last ten years, so if you spread the expense over a decade, it’s not so bad.

Not having a passport when you need one is really inconvenient, so if you might possibly maybe perhaps travel out of the country in the next ten years, get a passport. You have to bring them an original birth certificate and a copy of it, two passport photos (about $10 at the local camera store), and a credit card, check, money order, or cash.

  • Getting a passport for the first time? Bring a hundred bucks.
  • Replacing an expired passport costs $75.
  • Processing takes 4–6 weeks. Want to have it expedited? That takes only 2–3 weeks, and it’ll set you back another $60.
  • Some large cities have government buildings where you can make an appointment, bring your stuff, and get your passport on the spot. It’s for people leaving in less than two weeks (for example, you have a funeral in Europe) and I don’t know how much extra it costs to go that route.
  • They have a passport card, which costs only $20 if you already have a passport. It’s not good for air travel, but if you’re going by land to Canada, Mexico, or on a cruise it’s all you need.

The Department of State has other fees, and you can pay a service to handle it for you. Here’s a link to the schedule of fees on the State Department’s site. Look around—there’s a lot of information on their site.

Did you experience any glitches when you got your passport? Give us a heads up in the comments section.

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