There’s a multitude of factors that need to be taken into consideration when planning a trip – where you’re going, when you’re going, who you’re going with, and how you’re going to get there. Furthermore, if you’re planning on going out of the country there’s the extra step of obtaining a passport.
Believe it or not, passports are harder to acquire during certain times of the year. Heading out for a spring break trip to the Caribbean? An adventurous getaway in Barcelona? Planning on snuggling up next to the fire during a ski-getaway in the Swiss Alps?
These three scenarios describe the toughest times during the year to obtain a passport. Passport applications can be seen overflowing in passport offices around the globe during spring, summer, and winter, due to these time-periods being considered prime travel seasons.
If you find yourself needing a passport during one of these super busy times, don’t panic. It may be harder than normal, but there are things you can do to ensure that you get your passport on time.
When Exactly Are the High-Volume Passport Times?
Spring and summer bring two of the most popular vacation times throughout the year. There’s a huge pile of passport applications that need to get approved during this time considering the plethora of people looking to travel.
The biggest surge in travel comes typically during Memorial Day Weekend (an estimated 43 million Americans traveled during 2019’s Memorial Day Weekend). While many people choose to travel to destinations within the United States during this time, international destinations such as Rome, London, and Dublin are becoming popular among Americans for the spring holiday.
Other popular travel days during the year are Labor Day and Thanksgiving. At this time, travelers are globetrotting to visit family and friends for the holidays, and then escape the winter cold to warmer international destinations. These destinations include London, Paris, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Australia, South Africa, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.
What This All Means to You
Though there are certain times of the year when it might be more difficult to obtain a passport, it doesn’t mean you won’t get your passport in time. However, you’ll be better off applying for your passport at non-peak travel times. Here are some tips you can follow to give you the best chance of obtaining your passport in time for your trip:
- Apply for your passport way earlier than needed. The farther in advance you apply, the better chance you’ll have in getting your passport in time for your trip. The US Department of State suggests that you apply for your passport at least a few months in advance so you don’t run into any unforeseen hurdles that could delay your passport processing time.
- Take note of current passport application processing times. Before you are looking to apply, you can check out the current processing times for United States passports. These times usually range from four to six weeks but can extend all the way up to ten weeks during peak application periods.
- If you’re concerned about not receiving your passport in time, your best option is to go with an expedited passport service. Here, at Swift Passport and Visa Services, we would be happy to make sure your passport is in hand before your trip. Our flexible expedited services feature processing times that range from one business day on up, depending on what services you need, and how quickly you need them done.
How Swift Can Help You Obtain an Expedited Passport or Visa
We do our very best to process your passport as quickly as possible, including during the peak passport application season. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or to get started on obtaining your passport. No matter where you’re traveling, we’ll get you there!
7 thoughts on “The Toughest Time to Get a Passport, and What To Do About It”
New Link for Passport current processing times (link provided in article is broken / outdated)
Cheers… much appreciated!
My holiday is August 25th I have 12 weeks before I go will they come back in time what if their is, a back log
Once the passport is in the department of state how can I get to expedite it?
You would need to contact the US Department of State at travel.state.gov to see what your options are, as they vary on what stage the application is in.
My passport expires in August and there is a possibility I might need it in August. Given the current delays would you advise that I apply for the routine renewal or wait and see if they open the expedited application?
Personally, I would hold off to see what type of expedited options become available in the coming weeks. Normal processing is taking “…several months” currently. Stay tuned to our site, we will post all updates on processing status. Hope this helps!