A story last week on CNN about how few Americans travel abroad both frustrated and confused me. According to the article, out of the 308 million-plus citizens in the United States, only 30% have passports, compared to Canada’s 60% and the United Kingdom’s 75%.
I’ve written about this phenomenon before, as have many other travel writers and bloggers, but the fact persists regardless of much we may lament the sad state of American international travel. That’s why I want to do something about it.
I’m not sure how successful this will be, but I want to start an online push to get people to at least obtain a passport. That’s the first hurdle but, with it, many more people will be able to take advantage of last minute travel deals to Canada, Mexico and even the Caribbean. This initiative though depends on you all.
I want everyone who reads this to pledge to convince at least one person to go out and obtain their passport for the first time. Even the most experienced traveler knows at least a few people who have never been overseas and it’s time we did something about it.
By the time we’re done, I want at least 100 people to have obtained their passport for the first time. Please make sure to come back here and post your success!
So please take a moment to take the pledge and share this page with whomever you want to encourage to get their passport. I have a number of resources below to help them get started.
Hopefully by the end of this experiment we will have convinced at least a few more people to get out there and experience the world in which they live!
[/stextbox]How to Get Your Passport
All passport information obtained from U.S. State Department Web Site
First Time U.S. Passport Applicants
If this is your first time applying for a passport, you must do so in person. Adult applicants must have all of the following documents:
1. Fill Out Form DS-11: Application For A U.S. Passport
2. Submit Completed Form DS-11 In Person
3. Submit Evidence of U.S. Citizenship
4. Present Identification
5. Submit a Photocopy of the Identification Document(s) Presented (Step 4)
6. Pay the Applicable Fee
7. Provide Two Passport Photos
More information and copies of forms required can be found here. Applicants under the age of 18 can find specialized information on this web site.
To find the closest Passport Acceptance Facility, please use this search page. .