Here at HumanitarianXP, we don’t claim to be absolute experts on all things passports, but after decades of international travel, we’ve definitely been around the block. If you need a passport for your trip, here are some tips to make sure you’re ready to go.
Tip 1: Start Early
A non-expedited passport takes six to eight weeks on average to arrive after an appointment, but it can be difficult to get an appointment in some areas and there are rare cases where passports get stuck and the process takes much longer. Make a plan now to get your passport as soon as possible!
Tip 2: Check the Expiration Date
Travel industry standard says that you shouldn’t travel internationally with a passport that expires within six months of your trip return date (March 2024). For most countries, this is non-negotiable, and you won’t be able to fly with an almost-expired passport. As an organization, we stick to this rule, especially when it comes to minor travel. Make sure you check your current passport’s expiration date closely and make sure it’s valid for international travel.
Tip 3: Make Sure the Information in Your Portal Matches Your Passport
Is there a dash in your name that doesn’t appear on your passport? Is there a middle name that does? Did you double-check for typos? Make sure everything you put into your portal matches your passport. We use the information you submit to book flights, and errors often result in name-change fees and hassles that you won’t want to deal with.
Tip 4: Don’t Miss the Deadline
Passports for Summer 2023 are due January 6, 2023. This is plenty of time to get your passport if you stay on top of things, and will help us make sure we can reserve your international flights. We are aware that passports are valid for longer once you’re 16, but if your birthdate is November or later, you won’t have enough time to get your passport by the deadline.
Tip 5: Keep Us in the Loop
We can help you, but only if we know you need help! If you’re experiencing delays while trying to get a new passport, please call or email us and we’ll do our best to help you out. Early communication is the best way to make sure we can still get you on your trip.
Tip 6: Make an Airport Plan
Once you arrive in the country, your trip leaders will collect everyone’s passports and put them in a safe place for the duration of your trip. It is your responsibility to keep your passport safe while you’re traveling! Before you leave for your HXP experience, make sure you have a designated place where your passport is, then keep it there while you are traveling.