An International passport is one of the best forms of ID one should have. Even if it sounds a lot more official, getting a passport is not too different from the university or financial aid application process—except that there’s no essay required, less decision-making involved, and fewer chances of getting a rejection letter.
Every country has specific requirements, but in general it’s as simple as:
- Filling out a passport application
- Submitting the required payment
- Getting (flattering) passport-approved photos
- Proving your identity with some ID photocopies
- Dropping off the signed bundle at an approved passport facility near you (or via mail, depending)
Regardless of if your passport is red or blue, if northern lights appear under UV light (Norway), or an animated moose hops through the pages as you flip them (Finland), the benefits of getting a passport are many. Here’s a brief list of some of our favorite perks:
- It’s a formal government-issued ID
Not only is a passport a legal proof of ID, but it’s recognized across the globe as such. Sure, it’s handy to have a passport as back-up when entering bars if your driver’s license has been lost, but it’s even more useful to get you out of trouble with the police abroad in Peru or to apply for a monthly metro card in Poland.
School ID’s or DL’s don’t get you very far abroad, but passports are universally respected. Plus, a passport is now required for some domestic flights as well! (And remember that Canada or Mexico are still foreign countries.)
- It’s your ticket to the world
Some passports give you more freedom than others, but for Americans, Europeans, and Aussies, a passport opens the door to a majority of the world. That’s around 170 countries to visit, enjoy, get lost in, learn from, and go back to. In other words, 170 additional reasons to have a passport.
- Peace of mind
Surprise birthday trip? Wedding invitation? Funeral? Work relocation? Spring semester abroad? Caribbean cruise raffle winner? There are endless reasons to hop on a plane, many of them last-minute and unexpected. Having a passport in your bedside drawer means that you are ready for any adventure, anywhere, anytime.
Remember to renew when needed (at least six months before expiration).
- Improved legal safety around child laws
On another, more serious note, obtaining passports for children minimizes the risk of losing them in child custody battles or kidnappings from ex-partners. Furthermore, if you are interested in adopting a child abroad, you will need a passport to go visit, apply, and bring them back home safely. Plus, the application for a children’s passport is a lot easier, and it’s better to apply for it sooner rather than later!
- Easy proof of citizenship
Whether at home or abroad, a passport proves that you have the right to be in your home country (or temporary access to another country). Pretty straight-forward reason to own a passport, but definitely worth mentioning and very important!
As cool as airports are becoming, no one wants to recreate The Terminal…
- More work opportunities
Whether you want to earn some extra pocket money with a fast’n furious seasonal job abroad or you got a promotion that requires international travel, a passport lets you seize many more professional business opportunities.