by Great Beyond
Ahh, vacation…a time to relax and unwind. Did you know that according to Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, American workers leave a grand total of 459 million vacation days unused every year. Additionally, giving up the stress-reducing benefits of vacation can also potentially affect your health. For example, Royal Caribbean’s press release quoted John de Graaf, Executive Director of Take Back Your Time, who stated that men who take vacation days have a 32% lower risk of having heart disease, while women who take all of their vacation days cut their risk of heart disease in half.
It’s amazing what a vacation can do, and there’s no better way to get away from it all than to leave the country, even if you only go as far as Canada or Mexico. After all, when you leave the country, you suddenly have to deal with roaming charges for cell phone calls and roaming data charges for accessing the internet on your phone, so you have a perfect excuse to not be “always on.”
Before you book an international vacation, make sure to check the expiration date on your passport. Adult passports expire 10 years from the date they were issued, while child passports expire within 5 years.
Applying for your US passport renewal well in advance can help keep your vacation from inadvertently adding to your stress.
Remember, it generally takes about 6 weeks for a US passport renewal application to be processed with normal processing. If you pay a $ 60 expedite fee and fork over the money for overnight shipping to and from the passport office, you can cut the processing time down to 3 weeks door-to-door. For even faster service, you’ll have to make an appointment at a Regional Passport Agency office capable of issuing same-day passports, or use a private passport expediting company for an additional fee.
Alison Kroulek is a freelance writer and blogger with a focus on the travel industry.