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How To Start Traveling : Part Two

Okay so hopefully you read part one , if not , click HERE !

So honestly getting a passport is so easy ! You go to the post office , fill out the paperwork , bring the documents you need , pay the fee , and just wait for your new passport in the mail !

Well that’s the ideal way of getting a passport ! Unfortunately it wasn’t so easy for me . But let’s start with how you can get one !

Research

Do the usual Google search: how to get a passport.

If you need anymore information, click HERE !

Once you’ve done the research , you have to obtain all the documents and application.

You can print out the application or head into any post office and pick up one for FREE .

Smile For The Camera

You can go to any Walgreens, CVS, or any similar photography store and ask to have your passport photo taken. These places usually already know the regulations and are affordable. If you want to take your own , these are some helpful tips.

1. Submit a color photo, taken in last 6 months

2. Use a clear image of your face. Do not use filters commonly used on social media.

3. Have someone else take your photo. No selfies.

4. Take off your eyeglasses for your photo.

5. Use a plain white or off-white background

Post Office

After you gathered all the documents plus the filled out application, you go to the post office . Some offices need an appointment and some are walk in.

I would suggest going as early as you can , even if your appointment time is late in the afternoon.

After you’ve applied , you’re just waiting for your passport in the mail .

If you need anymore information, click HERE !

If you need passport information by country , click HERE !

Some places need extra information, such as a visa , click for more information HERE !

My Passport Journey

So I had my documents , photos , filled out passport form , and the fee. I was readyyyyyyyy but I ran into some trouble with proving my residency. Since I moved I needed someone to verify my residence.

Imagine going through a whole line and waiting for almost an hour on a rainy day for someone to tell you that you can’t apply for your passport that day. I completely see what they put those glass windows up because my hands were itching.

I think I went back about a week later , friend in tow , and applied again! This time it was no problem and I was so excited! My passport came about a week later ! What’s funny is I didn’t get to use it for two years 🙃

Suitcase Shopping

Now that you’re set with your passport , you need a good suitcase !

Buying The Right Suitcase

There are some categories to consider :

1. Hard vs Soft – Some suitcases are hard case and some are soft . I prefer hard case for safety reasons and for longer use . Softer cases are easier for overhead and storage.

2. Carry On Size – If you want to avoid checked bag fees , I suggest you buy a standard size carry on . Be aware that each airline has their own requirements on sizes for carry – on luggage. The most common is around 22″ x 14″ x 9″.

3. Compartments – I like suitcases with about 3-4 compartments for organization.

4. Zippers /Wheels – Make sure zippers are working and durable . Make sure the wheels are good for rolling through any ground.

5. Telescoping Handle – To make sure you’re comfortable, I would suggest an extendable handle .

6. Price – You get what you pay for honestly but I like affordability . I never paid more than $50 for a suitcase . My suitcase lasts about a year or more .

7. Set – Some suitcases belong in sets . You’ll get a variety of sizes in a set .

8. Online Or In Person – I honestly prefer buying in person just so I can check it out for my preferences.

9. Security – Some suitcases come with a lock for extra security .

10. Color – There are so many colors and patterns to choose from . I would choose a dark color / pattern for easy cleaning .

Suitcases should be able to withstand the roughness of travel. Depending on your activities, destination, and travel style, your preferences will vary.

There are endless considerations to keep in mind as you shop for a new suitcase. It’s all about finding what will work for your unique needs and travel preferences.

Personal Bag

Other bags you can carry are a backpack , laptop bag , tote bag , duffel bag , etc.

Most airlines allow a personal bag and one carry on suitcase for free .

My Suitcase Mishap

One time I bought a bag online and it was just all wrong ! It was way too big and long . I don’t even know what I was looking at when I ordered it .

Now I go into stores and browse for suitcases . I take my time when I do . I open the suitcase , wheel it around the store , pick it up , play with the handle and more .

You’re Ready !

Now you have the money , the passport, and the right suitcase , now you’re ready to start traveling .

Start looking at flights and hotels and you’re on your way. Be on the lookout on how to research and finding the best deals !

Good luck on getting your passport and your brand new suitcase !

The post above contains affiliate links. This means that if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no cost to you. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will benefit my readers.

30 thoughts on “How To Start Traveling : Part Two

  1. Wow, the process for getting a passport is very different were I am. It’s interesting how some countries do things differently.

  2. This is great, especially for first time travelers! I’m going to send this over to my sister so she can stop asking me all of her passport questions haha. Also – I’d recommend getting a suitcase that has wheels that roll in all directions! GAME CHANGER for me!

  3. Great tips for someone getting ready to take an international trip for the first time. I went through several suitcases before settling on the one that I love.

  4. Good hints. One of the more difficult things we ran into when we got our passports was timing because our post offices all closed their passport services before we were out of work and school. But there are ways! We went to the public library downtown.

  5. This is a good start on international travelling. The fun starts on your very first trip. As maximum and carry on suitcase sizes on airlines change all the time, I have a good collection of oversized baggage from years past.

  6. Getting a passport is a big obstacle to a lot of people. Thanks for highlighting all these tips.

  7. I know that getting a passport is not always as easy for some people and it’s such a privilege to be able to travel, but I can’t imagine not having mine. It’s such a freeing experience to get your first passport. Great guide, I’m sure it’s overwhelming to someone new to travel

  8. Love your point about buying suitcases! It’s really hard to imagine how well they’ll work for you when you see them online. I also way prefer to go into a store to look at them before buying. Great post, helpful tips – thanks!

  9. These are some awesome tips! Getting a passport is always a pain but it’s so worth it to be able to travel! I love your tips for finding the perfect suitcase too…a good one will last you for years! Thanks for the great guide!

  10. Wonderful tips. Sorry for your mishaps! It’s the worst when you wait in line forevvvver and get to the front and can’t get what you need!

  11. Definitely need to get myself a passport cover! My passport is a mess 🙁 My bags always break too, maybe I should look into getting a hard case.

  12. Thanks for the useful tips! I like the passport cover very much. Sorry to hear you went through all the troubles. I hope it was worth it.

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