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DWYM: Prepare for foreign travel by getting passport renewed

DWYM: How to work around passport delays
Posted at 10:20 AM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 19:13:37-04

Many Americans hoping to travel this fall are having to cancel their plans.

And it's not because of COVID-19, but because their new passport never showed up.

Are you thinking of traveling outside the United States next year? Maybe to Mexico, the Islands or Europe if COVID-19 ever subsides?

One woman has a warning after her dream trip was ruined by a passport delay.

Recent retiree Liz Glover is getting ready to open a gourmet hot dog stand.

She was hoping to celebrate her big life change with a dream trip to Jamaica with her husband.

"We had a trip planned for July 13, which was our anniversary, our 25th anniversary," she said.

But they never expected passports to take four months to process.

"We paid expedited fees and they didn't deliver a passport," she said. "So we missed our vacation."

Liz is far from being the only traveler facing a passport crisis right now.

Thousands of other people are in the same boat, saying they have been waiting months and nothing has arrived.

"There’s a confluence of delays in passport processing times reaching more than five months," says Scott Keys, founder of

Keys says the typical 10-week passport process is now taking much longer, even if you pay for expedited shipping.

His advice? Get your passport application or renewal in six months before you plan foreign travel.

"If you don't have your passport in hand you can't travel internationally," Keys said.

We contacted the U.S. State Department asking if they could speed up Liz's application.

"Very devastating," she said. "It was our 25th anniversary, we had this planned and it just didn't happen."

Finally, if you are planning to travel internationally next year with family and friends, make sure they have their passports before you book everything - so you don't waste your money.