Hi friends! We are leaving for our trip in July and I thought I would share our entire process of prepping this time around. This is not our first time going to Europe, but first time as a family of five. A lot of questions come up around traveling with kids, and what parents should expect, what they should bring, how to pack, etc. so I thought I would document it all on the Blog this time.
There are posts from our last trip to Europe. I was pregnant with lady A at the time. You can see the first part of the trip here and the second part of the trip here. I don’t think I ever got around to part three tho.
This first series will focus on the Passport — the number one asked question: does my infant need a passport, how to get one and the process.
We just filled for Anastasija’s passport last week and are in the waiting period. I checked and double checked all of ours and we are still good for a few years. Kids passports are good for 5 years; while adults for 10.
Does my Infant need a passport?
Yes. Everyone needs a passport.
Where can I get a passport?
Most USPS (postal service) facilities now do passports, but you have to make an appointment on their website. You select the USPS location you want and the date and time.
You’ll need a photo too, and most locations offer those services as well just make sure you note that when you make your appointment.
More information on where to apply here.
What should I bring?
When you make your appointment it will tell you exactly what you need to bring. But, for your baby/toddler/minor —
– Birth Certificate
– If the child is renewing their passport, then you need the expiring passport too.
Both parents need to be present for a minor. In cases, of single parents you need to have this form filled out. You both need your Driver’s License too.
Where can I get the Application?
You can print it from the website, or obtain one at your local USPS. Fill everything out (following the instructions) but do not sign. You’ll sign in front of the professional processing your passport.
You can find all the forma here too.
Are there Passport fees?
Yes. The easiest thing to do is bring your checkbook with you (if you have one). We ended up writing two checks, one to State and one to the local USPS for processing. You can find more information here.
How long is the process?
Typically 4-6 weeks. There is an expedite option if you’re doing it last minute too.
Also, if you haven’t received your passport and you have a week before you go, make sure to call and find out what’s going on. You have the option of paying the expedite fee over the phone with your card too.
Hope this helps! And, if nothing else it’s a good checklist before you head on your next trip with the kids. My biggest fear is coming to the airport and getting turned down because of an expired passport, so triple check all of ours each time as well as our ID’s.
Coming up next will be kids busy boxes for the plane, how to pack for five people in two suitcases for a whole month, and then how to make it a successful and not stressful trip. So stay tuned!
Disclaimer. All of the information was obtained directly from the Travel.State.Gov website. The information may vary.