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  #1  
Old April 29th, 2013, 11:00 AM
LuckyZ LuckyZ is offline
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Default Passport - why so scary

On this thread, I see so many questions about people asking about the need for a passport when cruising to various destinations.

My question is in this day in age, why doesn't everybody have a passport? I mean the US requires foreign visitors to have one when coming to the US, so why is it so hard to understand that US citizens should have one when traveling abroad? And why do people chance it in going to a foreign country without a passport?

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  #2  
Old April 29th, 2013, 11:04 AM
lovebelle lovebelle is offline
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I agree that everyone should have one, but I think many peoples hesitation may be economy. I guess for some its hard to reconcile spending money for a passport when you can cruise with just a birth certificate or they may not travel enough to justify the cost. Im just making assumptions though and could be completely wrong.
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Old April 29th, 2013, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by LuckyZ View Post
On this thread, I see so many questions about people asking about the need for a passport when cruising to various destinations.

My question is in this day in age, why doesn't everybody have a passport? I mean the US requires foreign visitors to have one when coming to the US, so why is it so hard to understand that US citizens should have one when traveling abroad? And why do people chance it in going to a foreign country without a passport?

Opinions?
For the type of travel that I am able to do right now neither the US government nor the governments of any of the countries that I visit require me to have a passport, so I don't have one.
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  #4  
Old April 29th, 2013, 11:09 AM
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It'$ all about the money.
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  #5  
Old April 29th, 2013, 11:10 AM
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It'$ all about the money.
I don't spend it if I don't have to.
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  #6  
Old April 29th, 2013, 11:10 AM
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Not everyone travels out of the country. And if you are planning to cruise, there are alot of expenses involved. I would guess people pause to see if the trip is doable without one. Passports are not cheap. We contemplated too since our trip would require all 4 of us getting passports. In the end we got them just for the peace of mind. Can't wait till they arrive in the mail.

I think it's better to have one and not need it than to need it and not have it. But I also understand the cost is a major factor. Especially if a whole family needs one like in our situation.
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Old April 29th, 2013, 11:19 AM
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Default Just get a passport!

I can see why people hesitate to spend that kind of money for small children, but I can't see why you wouldn't just get a passport for yourself as an adult. It's good for 10 years so, although the initial outlay may seem a lot, it really isn't. And you never know when the chance to travel abroad may occur and then you've already got your passport. And heaven forbid you're injured in port or late back to the ship. To me, it's silly not to make sure you have proper identification when traveling outside the US. I'll bet many of those who balk at the cost think nothing of spending much more than that on drinking. It's like the folks who don't purchase insurance and then have an incident where they have to cancel and come here begging, "Is there anything I can do?" Yes, plan wisely when you travel and spend the money on a passport and trip insurance. Not purchasing these items is a gamble and you're gambling on your own safety and finances.
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  #8  
Old April 29th, 2013, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyZ View Post
On this thread, I see so many questions about people asking about the need for a passport when cruising to various destinations.

My question is in this day in age, why doesn't everybody have a passport? I mean the US requires foreign visitors to have one when coming to the US, so why is it so hard to understand that US citizens should have one when traveling abroad? And why do people chance it in going to a foreign country without a passport?

Opinions?
My daughter is 10 and on her 3rd passport already, she had her first one when she was 3 months old. It amuses me too when I see 'middle-aged' Americans pondering whether to get their first one or not.

But it is obviously a different situation in the US compared to Europe, you can't leave the UK and go anywhere without a passport, even Ireland or France, whereas there are less strict rules about travelling locally to the countries around the USA. With that said, personally I would always like the peace of mind when I left the country of knowing I had a passport just in case...
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  #9  
Old April 29th, 2013, 11:23 AM
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It'$ all about the money.
Well, and the timing. My family has passport cards. We only got them because we were driving to Niagara Canada. When we plan a trip or vacation we usually have a budget. It's just not easy to put passports into the budget. At the time we got the cards the price of getting full passports was enough of an increase that we couldn't justify it. Looking back, yeah we probably should have gone full passport. But it's a big difference so we chose not to spend it.

When I book a cruise I don't want to spend another $480 so we can have passports when we don't need them. The reason I mention timing is simply this. If we are booking a cruise we don't really have an extra $480. If we aren't booking a cruise it doesn't seem to make sense to spend $480 for no reason.
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  #10  
Old April 29th, 2013, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruizinisthebest View Post
Not everyone travels out of the country. And if you are planning to cruise, there are alot of expenses involved. I would guess people pause to see if the trip is doable without one. Passports are not cheap. We contemplated too since our trip would require all 4 of us getting passports. In the end we got them just for the peace of mind. Can't wait till they arrive in the mail.

I think it's better to have one and not need it than to need it and not have it. But I also understand the cost is a major factor. Especially if a whole family needs one like in our situation.
But now you have it, and the next time you have the opportunity to travel outside the country with your whole family, you're covered. You are absolutely right about it being better to have one and not need it rather than the other way around. We purchased a passport for our youngest son when he was still in his teens and the whole family cruised. He is trying to be a professional musician and doesn't make much money. This summer he has the possibility of traveling abroad with a band and he doesn't have to pay for a passport because mom and dad covered that for him when we cruised.
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  #11  
Old April 29th, 2013, 11:26 AM
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for most people its $$$$. I have one since I had to have one for my job. IMO, its worth the $. you NEVER know what can happen while on a cruise (look at the past events!)
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  #12  
Old April 29th, 2013, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by frayedend View Post
Well, and the timing. My family has passport cards. We only got them because we were driving to Niagara Canada. When we plan a trip or vacation we usually have a budget. It's just not easy to put passports into the budget. At the time we got the cards the price of getting full passports was enough of an increase that we couldn't justify it. Looking back, yeah we probably should have gone full passport. But it's a big difference so we chose not to spend it.

When I book a cruise I don't want to spend another $480 so we can have passports when we don't need them. The reason I mention timing is simply this. If we are booking a cruise we don't really have an extra $480. If we aren't booking a cruise it doesn't seem to make sense to spend $480 for no reason.
It is a pain when you need them all at the same time, like replacing all the tyres (tires!) on your car all at once. The good thing about us getting them when the kids were little is that ours are staggered now, we just changed my daughter before we flew to Antigua at Easter, my son's is due in 2015, my wife in 2017 and then my daughter's will be due again in 2018 and then mine in 2020. So at least the cost is spread out.
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  #13  
Old April 29th, 2013, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by jsfromsc View Post
I can see why people hesitate to spend that kind of money for small children, but I can't see why you wouldn't just get a passport for yourself as an adult. It's good for 10 years so, although the initial outlay may seem a lot, it really isn't. And you never know when the chance to travel abroad may occur and then you've already got your passport. And heaven forbid you're injured in port or late back to the ship. To me, it's silly not to make sure you have proper identification when traveling outside the US. I'll bet many of those who balk at the cost think nothing of spending much more than that on drinking. It's like the folks who don't purchase insurance and then have an incident where they have to cancel and come here begging, "Is there anything I can do?" Yes, plan wisely when you travel and spend the money on a passport and trip insurance. Not purchasing these items is a gamble and you're gambling on your own safety and finances.
To take the bolded sentences in order: if I got a passport now but didn't use it for 5 years then 5 years have been wasted, but if I wait to get it until I need it then I will not have wasted it.

Yes, I do know when a chance to travel abroad may occur and for the forseeable future that chance is close to nil (but if the chance did occur there would be time to obtain a passport at that time). It's not like a fairy godmother is going to drop an international trip into my lap.

For me and mine that risk is very low and that's why we do have travel insurance in the event that it does happen.

I do have the proper identification for leaving the country.
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  #14  
Old April 29th, 2013, 11:29 AM
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I don't have one for my kids because their dad lives in Hawaii and I live in Michigan. We either have to go to get a passport together (he doesn't come visit) or he has to send the notarized form (I've only asked about 10 times for that) so I can't get them passports. When my son turns 16 in September I will get him a passport but my daughter will have to wait a few more years.

I do have the notarized letter authorizing travel from him, I got that in 2007 and hung on to it. I will bug him a few more times for the passport form but I think he's getting ready to deploy for 6-12 months so he might be distracted.
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  #15  
Old April 29th, 2013, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StillPooh View Post
It'$ all about the money.
I'm sure for many, this best sums it up-the money! I do have a passport and use it every time I fly anywhere. Much easier to flash passport than to dig out drivers license. We are also fortune enough to be able to cruise all over the world and not just the Caribbean, so a passport is required. The cost of a passport and even renewal is, however, high for many individuals and families.
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  #16  
Old April 29th, 2013, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by frayedend View Post
......................... If we are booking a cruise we don't really have an extra $480. If we aren't booking a cruise it doesn't seem to make sense to spend $480 for no reason.
Oh the 'Leaky Roof' defense.

Don't need to fix the roof when it's dry and who wants to go outside when it's raining?
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Old April 29th, 2013, 11:39 AM
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I agree. I think it just comes down to money. We each have ours and I'll get one for the baby as soon as I'm able. As mentioned they're good for 10 years so why not. That makes them what 10 or 15 bucks a year? Most of us waste that on coffee or cigarettes in a week, or day depending on your bent.

I'm Canadian so mine only lasts 5 years and iirc is no cheaper than a US passport. I have no sympathy for the expense argument don't even get me started on how hard it is to get somebody to take a picture that conforms to Canadian passport requirements in the South! Sears used to do them but now that they're closing their photo studios I guess I'm back to square one.


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  #18  
Old April 29th, 2013, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by jsfromsc View Post
But now you have it, and the next time you have the opportunity to travel outside the country with your whole family, you're covered. You are absolutely right about it being better to have one and not need it rather than the other way around. We purchased a passport for our youngest son when he was still in his teens and the whole family cruised. He is trying to be a professional musician and doesn't make much money. This summer he has the possibility of traveling abroad with a band and he doesn't have to pay for a passport because mom and dad covered that for him when we cruised.
My children are both under 10 and they were so excited to get them. Not that I think they even understand. All they know is it coincides with their trip to Disney and the "big ship" they are getting on. lol. It was $480 so a hefty load. I can totally see why families can't afford them all at once. My advice is to foks is to plan ahead and get them one at a time.
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Old April 29th, 2013, 11:43 AM
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I can see why people hesitate to spend that kind of money for small children, but I can't see why you wouldn't just get a passport for yourself as an adult. It's good for 10 years so, although the initial outlay may seem a lot, it really isn't. And you never know when the chance to travel abroad may occur and then you've already got your passport. And heaven forbid you're injured in port or late back to the ship. To me, it's silly not to make sure you have proper identification when traveling outside the US. I'll bet many of those who balk at the cost think nothing of spending much more than that on drinking. It's like the folks who don't purchase insurance and then have an incident where they have to cancel and come here begging, "Is there anything I can do?" Yes, plan wisely when you travel and spend the money on a passport and trip insurance. Not purchasing these items is a gamble and you're gambling on your own safety and finances.
I agree. For me, being a single mother, it's important that I think ahead for both of us. When DD was a union, I decided to take her to Ireland for Spring Break. Fortunately, I'd already gotten a passport for her or it would have been difficult since her father had moved to another state and wasn't exactly always cooperative.

I've had passports since my first international trip when I was 18. About 5 years ago, I transferred to a new group where I work and one of the first things my new manager said was, "Do you have a passport?" When I said I did, she was really pleased. We left a week later for a business trip to Malaysia and India.
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  #20  
Old April 29th, 2013, 11:46 AM
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Too expensive, especially for a large family.
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