Cruising: If you plan to start and finish your cruise in the same U.S. homeport, and will only be traveling to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean, you don’t need a passport. (Barbados, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique, St. Barts, St. Martin, and Trinidad and Tobago however, all require cruise passengers to have a valid passport in order to enter their countries.) These are called closed loop sailings. It’s important to know that in the event of an emergency, however, you won’t be able to fly out of a foreign port easily without a passport. You’ll get home, but there will be delays.
Also, certain on-shore excursions require a passport if they cross a land or sea border into a foreign country.
Winning: Whether you win a getaway through a contest or are gifted a trip from a friend or family member, you’ll want to be ready to back your bags and go! What if someone asks you to jet-set off to Europe on their dime (a proposal, a business trip, a friend using up her airline miles)? You don’t want a measly passport to stand between you and an amazing opportunity! Applying for one takes time (approximately six weeks), so start the process now to be prepared later.
ID: A passport is a legal form of identification. The likelihood that you carry it in your handbag is slim, but having your wallet stolen or leaving your driver’s license somewhere is actually a very real possibility. If you have a passport, you can still travel, purchase alcohol, and it will make getting a new license a breeze.
Pride: It’s estimated that more than 60 percent of Americans have never left the country. That’s kind of embarrassing considering how much the rest of the world travels. We live in a great place, but sometimes, experiencing how other cultures live can make us even more grateful for what we have back home. It also gives us a sense of cultural awareness and unifies humanity, so get out there!
Street Cred: Let’s be honest: it would be pretty cool to show-and-tell that little book full of stamps from around the globe! Every time a friend whips hers out, I feel a little bit like a slacker!
Growth: Need I say how fulfilling travel can be? There’s a saying that goes, “Getting lost is the best way to find yourself”. I couldn’t agree more. While travel within the United States can be enriching, there’s a great big world out there. Start checking off destinations from your travel bucket list now, instead of waiting for someday.
Let's discuss: What made you decide to get your passport?