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(Daily Mail)   Half a million Brits face ruined vacations due to huge passport backlog. Americans ask, "What's a passport?"   (dailymail.co.uk) divider line 256
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5875 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Jun 2014 at 10:04 AM (6 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-09 08:15:24 AM
The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.
 
2014-06-09 08:17:25 AM
I'm an American, and I'll have you know I do have my International Crepe Passport.

s3-media4.ak.yelpcdn.com
 
2014-06-09 08:19:35 AM
1/2 a million?
Heathrow laughs at your small amount of ruined vacations.
 
2014-06-09 08:25:41 AM
That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?
 
2014-06-09 08:27:36 AM

EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.


But many do.  In fact, about 1/3rd of all Americans, or 110 million, have a valid passport:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewbender/2012/01/30/record-number-of -a mericans-now-hold-passports/

The *TOTAL* population of the UK is only about 64 million.

The other thing to consider is that the United States is roughly the same size as all of Europe:

United States:  9.826 million km2
Europe:  10.180 million km2

The US is almost 97% the size of Europe.  And while a citizen of any European nation needs a passport to travel to any of the other nations in Europe, a US citizen doesn't need a passport to travel to a different state from where he or she resides.
 
2014-06-09 08:29:15 AM

BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?


The last time I did it, which was almost ten years ago (I guess it's time to renew), the turnaround was about three to four weeks. If you could show a genuine need to expedite it and paid an extra fee, you could get it with a turnaround time of a few days.
 
2014-06-09 08:30:11 AM
I also forgot to point out:  Until relatively recently, a US citizen didn't need a passport to travel to Canada.  Now, you do, or an "Enhanced Driver's License".
 
2014-06-09 08:43:06 AM

EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.


I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.
 
2014-06-09 08:47:56 AM

EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.


They also speak the same language in all of that.  I've been to Canada and the Bahamas back when you didn't need a passport, so I've never had one though I probably will get one sooner or later.
 
2014-06-09 08:51:20 AM
Is this the first time an invasion by the crown has been spoilt by a bloody passport problem?
 
2014-06-09 08:58:38 AM

Tigger: EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.

I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.


The neat thing about America is you can do that also.

And you don't need a passport.
 
2014-06-09 09:07:11 AM
dittybopper: 
  And while a citizen of any European nation needs a passport to travel to any of the other nations in Europe, a US citizen doesn't need a passport to travel to a different state from where he or she resides.

Actually, you're missing the Schengen agreement which allows all of the citizens of those countries to travel between them without a passport, just their national ID.  (That said, the UK and Ireland aren't part of that agreement.)
 
2014-06-09 09:11:13 AM

dittybopper: Tigger: EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.

I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.

The neat thing about America is you can do that also.

And you don't need a passport.


This is a weird thing I hear people say a lot and it just isn't true. I travel for a living - primarily internationally but significantly within the USA. The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.

That's not a criticism - I just don't understand why people always claim that there's a breadth of different values that there simply isn't when compared to travelling outside the country.
 
2014-06-09 09:59:04 AM

Tigger: The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.


I'm willing to bet that in your travels you stay in chain hotels, eat in chain restaurants, and work at corporation locations, so mostly, you don't get the local color.  You get the bland, averaged out experience.
 
2014-06-09 10:06:08 AM

dittybopper: Tigger: The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.

I'm willing to bet that in your travels you stay in chain hotels, eat in chain restaurants, and work at corporation locations, so mostly, you don't get the local color.  You get the bland, averaged out experience.


And you would be totally and completely wrong.

But if you want to believe there's as much cultural variation within the US as there is between the USA and, say, South East Asia then I can't really stop you. It's just a bit weird.
 
2014-06-09 10:08:37 AM

BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?


I just got mine renewed, it took about two weeks.
 
2014-06-09 10:08:55 AM
It took me three farking months to get my passport, I KNOW what a passport is thank you very much.
 
2014-06-09 10:10:04 AM
WTF is wrong with people? Know when your passport expires, and take care of it off-season.
 
2014-06-09 10:10:36 AM
it's that thing you don't need to travel across the US.
 
2014-06-09 10:10:38 AM

EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.


What if you don't travel to experience climate change?

"Oh, wow, its like hotter than at home, how novel." not.
 
2014-06-09 10:11:14 AM
my voice is my passport, verify me
 
2014-06-09 10:12:06 AM

dittybopper: EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.

But many do.  In fact, about 1/3rd of all Americans, or 110 million, have a valid passport:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewbender/2012/01/30/record-number-of -a mericans-now-hold-passports/

The *TOTAL* population of the UK is only about 64 million.

The other thing to consider is that the United States is roughly the same size as all of Europe:

United States:  9.826 million km2
Europe:  10.180 million km2

The US is almost 97% the size of Europe.  And while a citizen of any European nation needs a passport to travel to any of the other nations in Europe, a US citizen doesn't need a passport to travel to a different state from where he or she resides.


No, people in the Schengen area doesn't need a passport to travel to other countries within the Schengen area.

Comparing different states to different countries is just moronic.
 
2014-06-09 10:12:40 AM

EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.


More importantly, you can drive for more than 4 hours and not change countries.  If we had to go past a border guard every time I crossed into Pennsylvania, more Marylanders would certainly have passports.   It's also why we only speak one or two languages.  I can drive a car from the North of Canada to Buenos Aires and only run into Two languages.  (If I miss Brazil an that weird part of Canada).
 
2014-06-09 10:13:05 AM
Multipass?
 
2014-06-09 10:13:28 AM
You don't need a passport to go to the International House of Pancakes!  French toast, danishes and Belgian waffles! All the Europine countries lay before me! Where shall I fly to first?
 
2014-06-09 10:13:46 AM

BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?


I think they say up to 6 weeks if you do it the standard way, but everyone I know who has done it says it is way faster than that. Expedited will cost you a hundred bucks or so more, and i believe they say it will take 2 weeks.

However, if you live in\near NYC or a couple of other places and have proof of travel, you can go to the passport office in person with your stuff, and get one cut same day, in a couple of hours. Its honestly the most insanely efficient operation I have ever seen.
 
2014-06-09 10:13:53 AM

dittybopper: Tigger: The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.

I'm willing to bet that in your travels you stay in chain hotels, eat in chain restaurants, and work at corporation locations, so mostly, you don't get the local color.  You get the bland, averaged out experience.


And even if that's true, he's still right.  U.S. culture is varied, but in a fairly narrow band when you compare us to South America, Asia, or anywhere in Africa.  Even most of western Europe is radically different than anywhere here.
 
2014-06-09 10:14:00 AM
Wasn't Passport a Microsoft thing?
 
2014-06-09 10:14:15 AM

spawn73: No, people in the Schengen area doesn't need a passport to travel to other countries within the Schengen area.


But I think you need a national ID.  Will any state ID (like a drivers licence) do the trick?
 
2014-06-09 10:14:16 AM

Tigger: dittybopper: Tigger: The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.

I'm willing to bet that in your travels you stay in chain hotels, eat in chain restaurants, and work at corporation locations, so mostly, you don't get the local color.  You get the bland, averaged out experience.

And you would be totally and completely wrong.

But if you want to believe there's as much cultural variation within the US as there is between the USA and, say, South East Asia then I can't really stop you. It's just a bit weird.


You just can't help those people.
 
2014-06-09 10:14:27 AM

BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?


Call it about 3 weeks. Now, if the country you're visiting requires a visa prior to entering, you have to send your passport off to their embassy in the US to get a visa put into it. That could take another 2 weeks.

Not all countries require that and issue you a visa when you land. So, you need to check their websites for the requirements well ahead of time when you plan a trip.
 
2014-06-09 10:15:02 AM

LineNoise: BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?

I think they say up to 6 weeks if you do it the standard way, but everyone I know who has done it says it is way faster than that. Expedited will cost you a hundred bucks or so more, and i believe they say it will take 2 weeks.

However, if you live in\near NYC or a couple of other places and have proof of travel, you can go to the passport office in person with your stuff, and get one cut same day, in a couple of hours. Its honestly the most insanely efficient operation I have ever seen.


I got mine about two years ago in 4 weeks, standard processing.  I might have been lucky on that, though.
 
2014-06-09 10:15:25 AM

LineNoise: BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?

I think they say up to 6 weeks if you do it the standard way, but everyone I know who has done it says it is way faster than that. Expedited will cost you a hundred bucks or so more, and i believe they say it will take 2 weeks.

However, if you live in\near NYC or a couple of other places and have proof of travel, you can go to the passport office in person with your stuff, and get one cut same day, in a couple of hours. Its honestly the most insanely efficient operation I have ever seen.


I did that in DC a few years ago.  I dropped my paperwork off in the morning, and went to the zoo.  It was ready by 2 PM.  I think it cost a bunch of money though.
 
2014-06-09 10:15:59 AM
Families face the threat of not being able to go on holiday as an overwhelmed Passport Office struggles to issue travel documents in time.

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour.
 
2014-06-09 10:16:52 AM

Tigger: dittybopper: Tigger: The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.

I'm willing to bet that in your travels you stay in chain hotels, eat in chain restaurants, and work at corporation locations, so mostly, you don't get the local color.  You get the bland, averaged out experience.

And you would be totally and completely wrong.

But if you want to believe there's as much cultural variation within the US as there is between the USA and, say, South East Asia then I can't really stop you. It's just a bit weird.


but the difference between France and Monaco? Or Germany and Denmark?
 
2014-06-09 10:16:57 AM

LineNoise: BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?

I think they say up to 6 weeks if you do it the standard way, but everyone I know who has done it says it is way faster than that. Expedited will cost you a hundred bucks or so more, and i believe they say it will take 2 weeks.

However, if you live in\near NYC or a couple of other places and have proof of travel, you can go to the passport office in person with your stuff, and get one cut same day, in a couple of hours. Its honestly the most insanely efficient operation I have ever seen.


You and your bullshiat NYC Privilege.
 
2014-06-09 10:17:03 AM

Tigger: This is a weird thing I hear people say a lot and it just isn't true. I travel for a living - primarily internationally but significantly within the USA. The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.


I've been to South Korea and Canada ( British Colombia ). Korea is like going to another planet, but Sydney, BC is almost like home, IMHO.

/ Pacific Northwest
// I feel more (culturally) at home with Canadians in BC than with Southerners here in the US...
 
2014-06-09 10:18:44 AM

BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?


I got one about 4 years ago and everyone was telling me that it would take months to be processed. It took 2 weeks.
 
2014-06-09 10:18:51 AM

Tigger: dittybopper: Tigger: The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.

I'm willing to bet that in your travels you stay in chain hotels, eat in chain restaurants, and work at corporation locations, so mostly, you don't get the local color.  You get the bland, averaged out experience.

And you would be totally and completely wrong.

But if you want to believe there's as much cultural variation within the US as there is between the USA and, say, South East Asia then I can't really stop you. It's just a bit weird.


It's completely wrong.  I think dittybopper began with a good point - that the lack of multilingualism or passport holders among Americans is less an indicator of American anti-intellectualism and more an indicator of differing geography, history, and culture.   But I think he went off course with the differences in culture.  I think there is a surprising amount of cultural variation within the United States, but I don't think it's nearly as much as the difference between, say, Big Stone Gap, Virginia and Phuket, Thailand.
 
2014-06-09 10:18:56 AM

dittybopper: I also forgot to point out:  Until relatively recently, a US citizen didn't need a passport to travel to Canada.  Now, you do, or an "Enhanced Driver's License".


yeah, I used to spend a lot of money in Canada.
Now, fark them.
They allowed us to pull that post 9-11 bandwagon patriot bullcrap.
fark them

I'll spend my money locally.
And I'll not be donating one red cent more than I have to to the federal govt. without the IRS's guns to my head.
Assholes. We had a nice country here until you lost your shiat in 2001.
 
2014-06-09 10:19:29 AM

BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?


CSB: 
I got a passport in a day about 9 years ago - discovered 3 days before my trip to Europe that my passport had just expired. I drove 6 hours to Chicago (where there's one of the few actual passport offices) overnight, waited outside until they opened, then was first in line to sign up. I had brought a picture from a 24-hour Walgreens and all my papers, etc. Once they had my paperwork, they said it'd be done in 6 hours, and it was! I had to pay like double the normal price, plus all that driving, but I did get to enjoy a nice day in Downtown Chicago by myself, and it just so happened to be the day when all the museums were free.
 
2014-06-09 10:19:46 AM

The Southern Logic Company: It took me three farking months to get my passport, I KNOW what a passport is thank you very much.


You may know what it is but 3 months means you were doing it wrong.
 
2014-06-09 10:19:58 AM

fireclown: . I can drive a car from the North of Canada to Buenos Aires


You'll need a ferry to get past the Darien Gap.
 
2014-06-09 10:20:24 AM

phenn: BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?

Call it about 3 weeks. Now, if the country you're visiting requires a visa prior to entering, you have to send your passport off to their embassy in the US to get a visa put into it. That could take another 2 weeks.

Not all countries require that and issue you a visa when you land. So, you need to check their websites for the requirements well ahead of time when you plan a trip.


You are better off checking the US governments travel site as they tend to have a more up to date country and travel requirement list.
 
2014-06-09 10:20:26 AM

fireclown: I did that in DC a few years ago.  I dropped my paperwork off in the morning, and went to the zoo.  It was ready by 2 PM.  I think it cost a bunch of money though.


I had to do it about a year ago. Was going on a vacation, and couldn't find it for the life of me. I was still within the window to do the expedited, but it was actually cheaper to go in person by about 50 bucks because you didn't have to pay for the express shipping and handling. So I just strolled on in because I knew i could get it for sure, vs having the wife freak out a few days before the trip if it wasn't there yet.

Guy I know actually wrote a pretty good story about it  http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_dismal_science/2013/07/ren e wing_your_passport_visit_the_incredibly_efficient_new_york_city_passpo rt.html
 
2014-06-09 10:20:26 AM
State to state, no papers?


www.ibiblio.org
 
2014-06-09 10:20:45 AM

dittybopper: I also forgot to point out:  Until relatively recently, a US citizen didn't need a passport to travel to Canada.  Now, you do, or an "Enhanced Driver's License".


You used to be able to go to Mexico without a passport too. I did that when I was in high school. Different times then (heh, now that I think about it, it was 20 years ago this past spring... wow).

Most Americans just have little need for a passport. Going out of the country can be expensive, especially if you aren't going to Canada or Mexico. If you can get a nice beach in Florida or California and good skiing in Colorado, there's not always going to be much reason to go outside the country for travel. Sure, there's other cultures and other things to experience but that's not always a priority.

Hell, even when you go outside the country with your passport you don't always get stamps in the thing. My passport looks like it's done nothing but sit in the drawer at home and it's been used. I kinda feel cheated when I don't get a stamp.
 
2014-06-09 10:20:59 AM

LineNoise: BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?

I think they say up to 6 weeks if you do it the standard way, but everyone I know who has done it says it is way faster than that. Expedited will cost you a hundred bucks or so more, and i believe they say it will take 2 weeks.

However, if you live in\near NYC or a couple of other places and have proof of travel, you can go to the passport office in person with your stuff, and get one cut same day, in a couple of hours. Its honestly the most insanely efficient operation I have ever seen.


When I got my son's, it took about four weeks to get it. But that was in 2004.  Have no idea what the wait times are now.
 
2014-06-09 10:21:44 AM

BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?


There are a lot of variables now but if you are a clean record, natural US citizen you can do a rush order for $$ and get it in 48 hours if needed. If not in a rush plan on 3 to 4 weeks.
 
2014-06-09 10:22:13 AM

Tigger: EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.

I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.


Largely depends on the person's age.  'Experiencing diversity of culture' is more of a young person's goal.  Older vacationers just want a temperate climate to park their RVs.
 
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