The Wild Pair

Ask The Wild Pair: Passports

In Ask The Wild Pair on March 23, 2008 at 5:51 pm

qMy boyfriend and I have just signed up for an awesome adventure travel trip to Costa Rica. I’m really excited about the vacation but just noticed that my passport is expired. The trip is still two months away, but friends warn me that there is a huge backlog for passports and suggest I use an expediting service to be sure. What do you think?

aFunny you should ask. My husband and I have both had to renew our passports recently. I used the expediting service CIBT, Inc. because I needed to travel ASAP. For his, lacking any immediate plans to travel; we sent it through the mail to the Department of State. Mine cost $248.00 with rush and service fees and was back in less than a week, his, $127.00 in government fees, and back in just over two weeks. Friends who have recently applied through the government report similar turnaround times and hassle free experiences. We might have used the expediting service for my husband’s renewal, simply for the peace of mind that their tracking processes provide, but CIBT required proof of international travel plans within fourteen days of application to use their services.

Costa Rica is a great adventure travel destination choice. There are white-water rivers and waterfalls, tropical rain forests, active volcanoes, mountain cloud forests and coral reefs, in addition to rare and exotic wildlife. I wish we were headed there with you!

For entry, U.S. citizens must present valid passports that will not expire for at least thirty days after arrival, and a roundtrip/outbound ticket. And just in case your trip includes time in South America before arriving in Central America, take note: Persons traveling to Costa Rica from some countries in South America and Sub-Saharan Africa must provide evidence of a valid yellow fever vaccination prior to entry. The South American countries include Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, according to the Department of State Costa Rica consular information sheet.

Upon return, we hope you will share your photos and experiences with us here!

Happy trails,

Ellen

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