Planning a trip internationally? Before you start booking hotel rooms and tours, be sure to check your passport expiration date (and the visa requirements of your destination!) If you find yourself in need of a renewal mere weeks away from your trip, don't worry, we've got you covered!
On today's We Hear, we've rounded up the best online resources to help you get all of your passports, visas, and international travel documents ready in no time!
- Even though most U.S. passports will last you a full decade, the application and renewal process has a reputation for being anything but speedy. Luckily, ItsEasy.com has now made it possible for customers to recieve their much-needed paperwork within days or even hours. Using the ItsEasy smartphone app, you can even take your own document photos so you'll never be embarrassed by your passport photo again. We recommend that you opt for their concierge service for personalized assistance on expediting passports and visas.
- Did you know: One day, our children and grandchildren will be shocked we even bothered to carry around those little paper booklets. The world's biggest passport producer, De La Rue, recently announced that they are working on mobile passport technology that could store your international identification right on your smartphone. Alas, it could take several years for the technology to be fully developed. In the meantime, check out ItsEasy.com as well as the additional services below.
- Not sure if you need a visa for your upcoming trip? Always double check your destination's visa requirements using the US Department of State’s online "visa wizard" tool before booking your flights.
- While you can always apply for a visa in-person at the appropriate consulate nearest you, you can easily save time and money by using a service like Visa HQ. Simply fill out their application, follow their instructions, mail them the necessary documents, and have your visa shipped to your doorstep. You may also visit the Visa HQ offices in New York City, Washington D.C., Houston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles to apply in-person.
- An alternative service, PassportsandVisas.com, offers almost all the same services as Visa HQ while providing additional important travel information about your destination. Plus, both services offer passport renewal services, so you can do all your 'international travel document shopping' in one place.
Need more help planning your next international trip? Stay tuned, as we'll be sharing our favorite TSA and international security line tips in the next episode of We Hear. Be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter by clicking the envelope at the top righthand corner of this screen, and 'Like' us on Facebook so you never miss a beat!