First let me say this, I am honored to hold an American Passport and the countries around the world it affords us to visit; pretty much any time we would like to. However, in a blink of an eye, 10 years can fly right by when your passport is about to "expire" in less than six months from a planned trip. This means a new one needs to be issued, and quickly, before traveling to your desired destination.
This all came into the forefront while planning an upcoming international trip and I noticed in the "fine print" on my itinerary about the six month "window" the travel agent printed at the bottom of the ticket. Sure enough, when I looked at my perfectly "good" passport; the travel window expires by a mere 10 days, and therefore, a new passport has to be expedited.
So, if this post can be a sort of "PSA"; and you take a close look at your passport, hopefully you won't be in the predicament as me in getting a new one in a hurry.
In addition to making an appointment at the State Department; filling out very easy forms on-line, and getting a new passport photo; it's really quite a seamless process I have come to find out. But...the photo thing...is another story (can be easy if you find a place that takes them when the equipment is working!).
Thankfully, I called around the local places that, in the past, took the passport photos. Costco being one of them. Apparently, they closed the photo department at our "local" Arundel Mills, Maryland, location. When I called to inquire, the CSR said they only have a handful of photo departments left in the state, as they do everything online now. So then I called my local CVS; and their equipment was down. Hmm, so I googled passport photos near me, and Target with a Kodak Kiosk popped up. I needed to go over there anyway to return an item, so I wandered over to the Kiosk to see what I can do about a photo.
Sure enough, I loaded a photo of me off my phone and out popped two - 2"x2" photos (passport required size) in less than a minute...for $12.99. Kind of pricey, but everything worked and was seamless and I did not have to drive or worry about faulty equipment anywhere else. Whew!