With Spring Break and Summer just around the corner and many families preparing to fly internationally, now’s a great time to check to make sure that everyone’s passports are up-to-date.
The worst thing would be to plan a trip, get everything ready, get to the airport and find out at the gate that yours or someone in your family’s passport just expired. I know people this happened to, and I almost cried with them when I heard the story as their travel plans were now completely ruined. So now we always make sure to check ahead of time.
A few weeks ago while prepping for our Disney Cruise we made sure to check our passports again since we hadn’t pulled them out in a few months. I knew they wouldn’t be expiring by that trip as we’d checked them a few months prior, but would be by the Spring. And sure enough, they were set to expire in April, just in time for the next busy travel season.
Passports take about 6 weeks to be renewed, so we made a note to start the process by February, so they could come in time in case we decide to travel internationally come Springtime. We haven’t needed new passports since the girls were babies, where we did them inside our local Post Office the first time around. It’s possible to have photos retaken and renew passports at the post office, but since post offices are usually super busy we chose to go a different route this time: photos taken separately than during our renewal time.
It was made even easier by the fact that passport photos can be taken just about anywhere now, including while doing our weekly grocery shopping at Costco, like we did.
First things first: Call the place your having photos taken at and make sure they actually do passport photos there. There are two Costco locations near us, and the closest one does NOT have a photo center, so obviously passport photos can’t be done there. But 10 minutes further from that is another Costco location that has a photo center. I called that location ahead of time to make sure they do passport photos and sure enough, they did. I asked if I needed an appointment or could just walk in and they told me I could just walk in and have them developed while I shopped.
Armed with my weekly grocery list in hand, and my girls who left the house looking decently photogenic, we headed to Costco.
When we arrived we were pleased to find there was nobody ahead of us at the Photo Center. Though I wasn’t pleased to find that my girls somehow now looked disheveled in only a 20 minute car-ride. The photographer allowed me a few minutes to get them looking like cute little humans again, and then instructed them to stand in front of the white board she had on the wall where she quickly took their photo. She told us it would be about 10 minutes for the photos to be developed, which was very impressive considering it was a busy Saturday afternoon.
We continued our grocery shopping and picked up our photos at the end of our trip, which only cost $4.99 each. We have an appointment set for next week at the Post Office as we continue the renewal process and apply for new passports for them, which the photos must be brought along to.