Getting your passport is an exciting thing! Chances are you are probably planning, or have already planned, a trip abroad and this is your logical next step.
If you are like many people, you probably have a budget that you want to stick to as far as trip expenses. While there is no getting around most of the mandatory passport fees, depending on your situation, you could still potentially save some money.
The first option that anyone can utilize is saving money on your passport photos. Generally, passport photos will cost you $15. If you are in a relationship or have a family who also need passports, this cost obviously increases. You can get your photos for less than $1! There are a variety of free apps that you can download and take your own passport photos at home. All you will need is appropriate lighting and a white background.
One word of advice I have about using this option is to make sure your photo is bright enough and has no shadows. If your photo has these issues, it may not be accepted. This can cause a delay in receiving your passport. A couple of apps that I have used are Passport Photo Booth and Passport Photo – ID Photo. These are both available for iPhone and work great! You can simply email the photos to yourself and either print them on good quality photo paper at home, or print them off at a local place, such as a Walgreens. This generally costs less than $1. You then have to cut out your two photos, and double check to make sure they fit the 2×2″ standard. I did this method for my personal passport photos and had no issues!
The second option would only work for a select group of people. If you are traveling from the United States to Canada, Mexico, The Caribbean, or Bermuda by land border crossings or sea ports of entry, then a Passport Card might be the right option for you. Keep in mind that while you can access these areas with this option, you cannot fly to any of them. This option is significantly cheaper than a traditional passport. So if this is all you need, this might be the right option for you.
You can always get your traditional passport at a later time should you want or need it.
While the second tip is obviously not for everyone, the first one can be completed by pretty much anyone. I hope that one or both of these tips were informative for you! If you already have your passport, maybe this could help someone you know 🙂
Do you have any other passport tips that may help someone? Have you tried either of these methods? Let me know!