No More Glasses in Passport Photos

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/02/2016, 11:00 AM

As of yesterday, November 1, the State Department will no longer accept passport photos of applicants wearing glasses. You'll have to take them off for your pic, even if you wear them in everyday life. Evidently, specs tend to obscure your face, even as they make the world clearer for the wearer.   In 2015 more than 200,000 passports were delayed because of low-quality photos, and the ...

The Strange Case of the Expired Passport....

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 10/19/2016, 11:15 PM

There was once a time when Americans traveling to and from Canada could do so with little advance preparation other than a hotel reservation. Almost any form of identification would be sufficient to cross the border into Canada and then later to return to the United States. So it was with upset and anxiety that my wife and I recently learned we might not be able to board a cruise ship leav...

Expiring Passports Should Be Renewed Early

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/21/2016, 5:15 PM

On the Frommer's Travel Show, our weekly radio broadcast, we recently interviewed Brenda Sprague, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Passport Services for the U.S. State Department, and she had a simple message: If your passport expires in the next year and a half, renew it right now. "We are coming up on the 10th anniversary of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, and that was when Co...

River Cruises, An Improved Chicago, Memorials to Terrorism, Airbnb Besieged, and Passport Renewals: The Stuff and Substance of Travel

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 01/29/2016, 7:30 PM

      The commercials for Viking River Cruises, which appear on Downton Abbey and Homeland, are certainly the most beautiful and successful of all such advertising. But their scenes of tourists hobnobbing backstage with cooks and enjoying other singular opportunities are certainly non-representative of the kind of sightseeing experience that passengers will enjoy. I'm willing to bet that p...

Was I Right or Wrong to Recommend That You Leave Your Passport in the Hotel Safe While Traveling Abroad?

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 10/17/2013, 10:30 PM

       No recent bit of travel advice has generated more controversy than my recent suggestion to leave your passport in the hotel safe when you leave to go sightseeing on a European trip.  Will you need that document in your daily round of touristic activities?  Only if you wish to change currency at a teller's window in a foreign bank, I responded to a reader's question.  Otherwise, don'...

New Kiosks Cut Border Control Waits By a Third, But Your Airport Must Ask for Them

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/28/2013, 8:30 PM

In June, Chicago's O'Hare installed 32 kiosks that scan documents for incoming passengers. Right away, despite the fact summer travel was at its peak, wait times were chopped by 33%. The technology is called Automated Passport Control, or APC, and it's the latest effort of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to use technology to cut paperwork and frustration. O'Hare is the first American ai...

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