Thursday, April 6, 2017

Large Book

My passport expires this summer, so I'm in the process of getting a new one.  I fully intended to do it last week on my day off, but that didn't happen.  And knowing that we are about to buy international plane tickets for the Fall (after my passport will be expired) is starting to majorly stress me out!  What if the State Department staff all gets fired, or they stop renewing passports, or renewal suddenly starts taking 6 months instead of 6 weeks?  Those are all fairly remote possibilities, but the idea of having to eat a couple thousand dollars of air fare because of the US government is not appealing.  So finally I got on the ball this week, and started doing the application in order to renew my passport that expires in a few months. 
Aside from all the usual background stuff, I saw  something very interesting at the top of the application:  a choice between a regular book and a large book passport. 


Having that option kind of boggled my mind.  I have no idea what is true about this large-book option:
  • Fees have changed (and I'm cheap), or
  • I never read the choices fully, or
  • I didn't think I'd travel as much as I do. 

For whatever reason, I've always just gotten the standard passport in the past. And I've traveled enough on each of my last two passports that I've needed to get extra pages (which is a moderate PITA).  This time, I'm going for it!  The large passport book will be mine in about two months!
Unless of course any of the out-of-my-hands governmental failures occurs. 
So now, assuming I manage to get this application into the mail within a few days (another pain because I can't just mail it, they recommend sending it in some track-able form), the question is:  do we go ahead and book plane tickets for September, banking on having a passport again in my hands in less than five months?  Or do I wait 6-8 weeks, see if have my new passport, and then book tickets, and risk that the price will be higher?  And what do we do if I wait two months and still don't have it?  Hmmm....


  1. Haha - we both just went through getting our passports renewed (they expire late this year), and for us, the standard was enough. Also, for ours it only took 2-3 weeks for them to arrive. Good luck - and have fun filling out those pages!

  2. You know, honestly, passports should be good for 10.5 years. You can't really use them past the nine and a half mark, right? What's the point? I renewed mine last year, and we're lucky that the process is pretty speedy here: one of the processing centers is here in New Orleans, so turnaround time is fairly quick.