If you are going to apply for Global Entry, this is the official website to use! Other websites will charge you a fee on top of what the government charges for Global Entry. There is no need to pay an additional fee for the application process. It can all be done through this government website.
TSA Pre Check
Getting approved for TSA Pre Check might bring back some of the joy of travel! Once you are approved for TSA Pre Check, you can enjoy expedited security screening and a much simpler process. It is becoming more widely available at airports across the US. It will also expedite your security screening at border crossings.
Beginning January 1, 2016, you will no longer be able to add pages to your passport!
After the start of the new year, you can specify whether you want a passport with 28 pages (the standard passport) or 52 pages (for the more frequent international traveler). This MUST be specified at the time of renewal by checking the appropriate box on the application. There is no fee difference for the two book sizes.
If you need to renew your passport, you can do it by mail using form DS-82. If you are getting your first passport, use form DS-11. These forms can be found using the link below along with other necessary forms if you are changing your name, reporting a lost/stolen passport, etc.
IMPORTANT REMINDER – it is a general rule that passports need to be valid for at least 6 months beyond your RETURN travel date for international travel. You will be denied boarding at your point of origin if your passport is not in compliance!
The forms can be completed online and printed from your computer. Or you can complete them by hand. The form will specify EXACTLY what needs to be submitted with your application. It is strongly advised that you submit your passport application by a service that allows you to track the shipment. You can also include a pre-paid “airbill” in your application package so that the completed passport can be expedited back you and the shipment can be tracked.
Routine processing of passports (new or renewed) is about 4-5 weeks. You can pay for an expedited service and get it done in 2-3 weeks. It can be done faster if you use a service that expedites passports.
The most up-to-date and accurate information regarding visa requirements will be at the US Govt website. This link will help you determine if you need a visa for any country in the world. It will also tell you what the passport requirements are and give you contact information for the US Embassy in that country.
Not having the right plug-in adapter or voltage converter can lead to costly mistakes that can ruin a trip. Spend some time researching the voltage options at your destination, the voltage requirements of your devices, and the types of plug-ins and adapters available at your destination.
Currency Exchange Calculator
There are a million currency converters online! Regardless of which one you use, keep in mind that they will show you official currency exchange rates. That does not mean that you will get that rate when you actually exchange your US Currency. The bank will make some money on the exchange! But, it will show you the official exchange rate so that you know what to expect when you make the exchange.