Buying Your First Passport…

Happy Monday everyone (or at least I hope it’s been a happy one)!

Not that I’m counting down or anything, but I have 7 days left of work and 15.5 days until I leave America and fly my happy ass over to get eaten by a big ol’ lobster or kangaroo!

So lets talk about some travel tips/info…

When buying a passport there are a couple ways to reduce the cost

  • The biggest thing you can do to save yourself some money is look into your passport ahead of time- you won’t have to buy the speedy 3 week delivery instead of the standard, less expensive, 6 week delivery. You will also be able to take the time to do these other tips by yourself instead of having to pay for them.
  • Take your own passport photo. There are parameters to be followed, of course, like the photo has to be 2 inches by 2 inches (that’s off the top of my head- so don’t quote me; your application will list these parameters, though), as well as the background has to be blank. If you have the post office or whatever business you can go to to get your picture done, it costs about $15. I know that’s not a ton of money, but if you’re also buying a plane ticket and visa, it helps to save money anywhere possible. Why spend money on something you can do yourself? You’ll have more money to go towards spending on your vacation! If that’s overwhelming to you, though, you can go to places like CVS, Walgreens, or Target to get an official passport photo done, and I’m fairly sure they’re cheaper than doing it at the post office. Look this up and find the cheapest place. Just an FYI: you get two passport photos- you turn one in with your application and get to keep the second one. DON’T LOSE THIS. I needed to scan this photo into my visa application.

  • This last tip isn’t necessarily going to save you money on your passport, but it’ll save you from an extra trip to the post office so you won’t be wasting time or gas money: make sure you have your application fee, some form of i.d, proof of citizenship, and your application form filled out. I went in there a couple times before finishing the process because I realized I didn’t have all of the right documents or I just had questions.

Save yourself the hassle and think about all of this ahead of time. I kind of just jumped in to the process blind and hoped for the best. I wish I would’ve followed this advice because in the end I payed the post office to take a photo of me and I paid for the speedy quick shipping so that I got my passport in 3 weeks (which was honestly pointless, but that’s a different conversation). I ended up paying over $200 for my first passport, when it should’ve been about $135.

I was honestly overwhelmed by this official government document because I thought I would somehow fill out the form wrong or send the wrong documents and the process would end up getting extended or something. There’s nothing to worry about. 

If you have any tips about the process of getting your passport, i’d love for you to share. xx

 

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