More than half of Americans age 18–35 don't have passports, according to Contiki, a tour operator specializing in that very demographic.
For a limited time, Contiki is offering some passport-acquiring incentive to first-time international travelers—at least, those who fall within the 18–35 age range.
Contiki customers who book one of the company's trips lasting longer than seven days can get their passports for free, saving them the usual government fees totaling $135.
Additionally, each of those travelers will get 15% off their Contiki tour.
Among the overseas itineraries currently offered by the company that would be covered: 15 days on the Adriatic Coast, 16 days in Southeast Asia, or 14 days in New Zealand.
To qualify, any customer should book one of Contiki's 7+-day vacations, apply for a U.S. passport the usual way, and then give Contiki a call at 866.266.8454 to have the company issue a refund for State Department fees (be sure to save your receipt).
Quite apart from opening the possibility of exploring the world beyond U.S. borders, a passport is an ideal possession for even domestic travelers, thanks to the federal REAL ID Act. That measure requires state-issued driver's licenses to have certain security features in order to serve as valid forms of ID at airport security checkpoints.
If your state isn't compliant with the law—and only about half of them are at the moment, while the others have been granted an extension to October 11—you might need to present a federal passport or passport card someday to get beyond the Transportation Security Administration at the airport, whether your final destination is outside the country or in it.
Contiki will reimburse only 100 travelers, though—so if you're young, passportless, and interested, you'd better hurry.