Over the past many months of writing this blog, I have mentioned the need for 2nd passports. One may ask, “Why isn’t one passport sufficient?”
Usually, one passport is sufficient for most travelers. If visas are needed for travel, one must send in their passport to the appropriate embassy along with other pertinent documents as required by the country into which one is seeking access. Doing so, would leave us in a foreign country without a passport in our possession for a week, a dangerous situation.
Visas are not required by all countries, many are only required for stays of 30 days or more, many for as much as 90 days. It is imperative that we check the requirements at the embassy of the countries we’ll be visiting, found easily online at a number of sites.
Rather than take the time and effort to apply for all the visas we will need as we need them and, based on our long stays in many countries, we have decided to use the services of VisaHQ, a company located on Embassy Row in Washington, DC. They have the ability to quickly and easily process the paperwork, not only for our 2nd passports but also for our many upcoming visas.
Unfortunately, it is necessary to wait about 30 days before traveling to a specific country, since they usually are only good for a specific period.
Of course, there are additional fees for processing each visa, usually under $79 each. Early on in our budgeting discussions we decided to include this expenses rather than taking the time and the effort at each of our locations to do the paperwork ourselves. Doing so would create stress, distracting us from the enjoyment of the experience at the time.
VisaHQ, along with other such websites, has the traveler complete a master form kept secure on their site. When a visa is needed a single page is all that is required to complete online along with sending in the 2nd passport and any necessary documents which are quickly returned.
Second passports are only good for two years. We’ll note the renewal date on our calendar upon receipt. For this reason, we are waiting until we are down to the wire to ensure we have full use of the two years.
Once we apply and have experienced the process of our first application online with VisaHQ we will report back here with the details. Of course, we already have our “first” passports, good for another nine years in our case. (US passports are valid for a of a total of 10 years).
This past Friday while here in Nevada, we had additional passport photos taken at a Walgreens pharmacy, who along with CVS are certified to take passport photos, making this process easier than in years past. The cost for each pair of photos is $10.99.
We each ordered two sets leaving us with a total of four passport photos plus a fifth we already had of an older photo. Generally, passport photos are valid for six months. (Yes, us old timers do change in appearance in six months, I suppose).
The time here in Henderson, Nevada has been low key as we continue to prepare to leave the US, visiting family, playing with family kids and dogs, Monty and Owen.
We dined in the past two nights. On Saturday while at Whole Foods we purchased a huge chunk of bison sirloin steak, gluten free of course, that I cut into two nice sized pieces to marinate. After all, we are trying “new things.”
Nah, Tom took one bite and gagged. It didn’t help that we were watching a show on TV, Extreme Cheapskates, whereby the “star” of the episodes would go “dumpster diving” at restaurant dumpsters for dinner.
That didn’t bother me! I busily chomped away on my big steak, noticing a “gamey” flavor but hungry enough to eat the entire thing. I eyeballed Tom’s plate considering attacking his steak also deciding not to “pig out.” Bison in the future? Not so much.
Undoubtedly, we’ll have plenty of opportunities to try new foods along the way as we travel the world. Later.