We will be driving into Canada this summer for our family vacation and are in the process of confirming reservations and completing paperwork. Since passports take an average of 4 - 6 weeks to arrive, getting our them on their way was among our top priorities.
We have never applied for passports before, and had no idea where to begin. We heard so many different things from several different people, so it was difficult to know which direction to begin! Luckily, getting a passport was a quick and painless process.
We chose to get a passport card instead of an actual passport, as it is good for land and sea travel between the US, Canada and Mexico. Passport cards are not good for air travel, but since we won't be flying, it was our best option. Passport Cards are also much cheaper, making it the frugal choice!
Passport Cards: $30 adult, $15 child
Passports: $110 adult, $80 child
(Plus a $25 processing fee for EACH passport or passport card)
Frugal Tips for Getting a Passport:
1. Go to your Post Office and pick up the passport application. Why waste your paper and ink when you can get the forms for free? I also suggest you get a couple "extras," just in case you make a mistake. I'll admit that I messed up on two of ours and had to start over.
2. Fill out your passport application at home. This will save you time and get you through the process much quicker. Be sure to make sure you have all required items when you go, this will save you another trip.
3. Shop around for the best deal on passport photos. We went to Kinkos (several people told us too), and paid $12.95 per person. A couple hours later, while at Costco we noticed they do passport photos for just $4.99. That's a big price difference and would have saved us $32!
Do you have a passport?