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I have come to expect excellence from Odysseys Unlimited and have never been disappointed.Michael E. Leahy
We have been to many, many places all over the world, with many different tour companies. None of them compare to the Odysseys Unlimited small group experience.Nancy & William Sondervan
The small group is wonderful and the quality of tour directors is exceptional.Bill Jones
All that was advertised was delivered. Consider this tour to be a real value as to sites visited, itinerary, hotels, and travel between sites.Susan & Paul Krupp
Odysseys does everything with style, but without pretension. Beautiful meals and hotels. Excellent guides.Barbara Schoetzau
Very early in the tour we saw we got much more for our dollar than anything we could have put together ourselves. The value exceeded our expectations.Tara Malmberg
Good value for $ — accommodations, food, guide, itinerary, and [small] size of group. Have traveled with other tour groups ... and like you best.Jean Hall
We like the model – small groups, excellent tour directors, solid hotels, good mix of group/independent activities.Roger Soder
The combination of excellent hotels with a small group is the way I like to travel. I would highly recommend Odysseys to everyone I know.Patricia Joyce
We love the small group experience.Dave & Alice Wilson
Odysseys is the best company we have traveled with. You have first-rate tours at affordable prices, with great itineraries, excellent guides, and outstanding accommodations.Jane & Ronald Decker
Odysseys tours are just right for us: great value, nice group size, complete trips, sufficient free time.Laurin & Phyllis LeTart
This trip far exceeded our expectations: the small group size, the quality of the tour director (the best we’ve ever had), the ability to have dinners on our own, the lower cost without a significant reduction in the quality of the accommodations.Barry & Bobbi Rosner
I thought I would not like traveling in a group but I was wrong! [Our tour director] was so good at making the group seem as one that it turned out to be the best part of the trip.Donna Stevenson
It was the best value in travel we’ve ever had. It was a wonderful experience.Trish Merrill & Mac White
This was my 7th trip with Odysseys and they keep getting better and better.Merle Frank
Love the small group format and the ease of traveling with arrangements made for us.Ken & Carolyn Helm
Tour exceeded my expectations having never taken a group tour. An excellent experience – can’t wait for my next one!Ronni Goldberg
Absolutely the best bang for the buck – organization, quality, consistency.Harvey Wine
I like the small size of Odysseys tours. [You] have excellent Tour Directors, great itineraries and spend more time in areas than some of the other tour companies.Lynn Bafaloukos
Because of the group size and outstanding guides, you make travel easy for us!Sharon Irwin & John Akamatsu
6-time honoree Travel + Leisure's World's Best Tour Operators awards
Passport and REAL ID basics
Below are the answers to some basic questions about passports, government-issued IDs, and the REAL ID security program.
When do I need to use my passport?
Whenever you enter or exit the United States, you need to show a valid passport. Additionally, because of the new REAL ID compliance measures, residents of several states may need to show passports instead of driver’s licenses to travel domestically by air in the near future. See the next section for more.
What is REAL ID, and how does it affect me?
REAL ID (formally The Real ID Act of 2005) is an Act of Congress aimed at making driver’s licenses and other forms of government-issued ID more secure. States are now working to produce IDs that comply with this Act.
The key takeaway for travelers is, starting on October 1, 2020, driver’s licenses or ID cards from several states will no longer be accepted as valid identification for domestic flights. Travelers will need to present a REAL ID-compliant form of identification, a list of which can be found here at the TSA website.
The Department of Homeland Security is currently reviewing many states’ applications for compliance with REAL ID, and the best way to check the status of your state’s ID compliance is to visit the DHS REAL ID page.
The DHS is currently reviewing REAL ID applications from Alaska, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. These states have until October 10, 2018 to either comply with REAL ID regulations, or to apply for a further extension. Crucially, this 2018 deadline refers only to the state ID-issuing facilities; travelers do not need to obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card until 2020.
All other states are compliant with REAL ID. Please note: Even if your state is compliant with REAL ID, you must apply for, receive, and present the new, compliant license or ID card in order to board a domestic flight once the October 1, 2020 deadline hits. To obtain a REAL ID, contact your state’s ID-issuing facility.
Where and how do I get a passport?
The U.S. State Department is in charge of issuing passports (sometimes called passport books, to distinguish them from passport cards). The State Department’s website has an easy-to-use, interactive guide that helps you apply for a passport, whether or not you’ve had one in the past. This guide will take you through every step of the process, from entering your date of birth to taking a passport photo to printing the application. An important note: you are not allowed to wear glasses in your passport photo.
Once you follow this guide and print your passport application, you will need to bring it to a physical location that accepts passport applications, as the State Department does not accept them online. The United States Postal Service has a website where you can find the nearest passport acceptance location. Then, simply bring your application to the location and submit it, along with your payment. Renewing a standard passport by mail costs $110, while purchasing a new passport costs $145, plus any expedited processing or shipping charges incurred.
How long does it take to obtain a passport?
Standard processing of a U.S. passport takes 4-6 weeks, but it’s wise to allow more time than that, as backups in passport applications can result in longer wait times. For an additional $60, you can purchase expedited processing, which takes 2-3 weeks door to door. You will receive your passport via a free USPS shipment, but you can also elect to pay $20 for overnight shipping.
What is a passport card, and is it right for me?
A passport card is a wallet-sized, REAL ID-compliant identification card. This card can be used as identification for any domestic flight, but cannot be used for international air travel. If you’re worried that your current license or ID is not REAL ID-compliant, and you do not plan on traveling out of the country, you may consider applying for a passport card (the card costs $55, and you can apply for just a passport card without applying for a full U.S. passport book). You can find more information on passport cards at the State Department website.
Passport validity and renewal
Whether you’ve just obtained a passport or have had one for years, it’s important to know when your passport expires and how to renew it.
How long is my passport valid?
United States passports are valid for 10 years from the date of issue. Many foreign countries have different rules on passport validity and restricting travel access, but as a general rule, your passport should be valid up to six months after your return date from an international trip.
When should I renew my passport?
It’s a good idea to renew your passport significantly ahead of its expiration date, to ensure that you will receive the new passport with time to spare. If your passport has expired, you can still renew it up to five years after the expiration date, otherwise you will need to apply for a new passport. Please note: The State Department expects a large uptick in passport and renewal applications in 2017, so the earlier you renew or apply, the better.amp; Chordify Kah-lo Id Riton Chords Audio - Fake official
How do I renew my passport?
There are two ways to renew a passport—either by mail or in person—and each has its own eligibility requirements. The State Department website explains how to renew a passport by mail, and also has a page dedicated to explaining how to renew a passport in person. If your passport was issued in the last 15 years, is undamaged, and was issued in your current name (or you can produce verified documents validating your name change), you may be eligible to renew by mail. Otherwise, you will need to visit an in-person passport renewal location.
How long does it take to renew a passport?
Renewing a passport takes about as long as applying for a new one: roughly 4-6 weeks, depending on wait times. Expedited service can take 2-3 weeks, and if you need your passport renewed in a hurry, you can make an appointment at a passport agency or center.
Your passport is the most important travel document you own. Here’s how to keep it safe, and what to do if you lose it.
How do I keep my passport safe?
It’s essential to keep your passport safe in all phases of travel, from the airport to ground travel to sightseeing.
Before you travel, make several photocopies of the photo page your passport. Leave one with a friend or relative, and keep one in a secure compartment of your suitcase and possibly another in your carry-on. In the event your passport is lost or stolen, these copies will prove useful for receiving a new passport.
While at the airport, consider keeping your passport in a zippered, easy-to-reach pocket in your handbag or daypack. That way, you can stow this bag below the seat in front of you on the plane and have it easily accessible once you land. You also may wish to store it in a money belt which can be worn around your waist and concealed under your clothing. Regardless, do not pack it in your checked luggage.
While traveling on ground transportation (for example, on motorcoaches between tour stops), keep your passport in your day pack, rather than stowing it with your luggage underneath the coach.
During sightseeing excursions and day trips during touring days, protect your passport by leaving it locked in the safe in your hotel room. If your room doesn’t have a safe, ask the front desk of your hotel about safe deposit boxes.
What should I do if I lose my passport?
The first thing to do if you find that your passport has been lost or stolen is to contact the State Department. There are three different ways to do this, all available on the State Department website. If you haven’t left the U.S. yet, you can apply for a replacement passport the same way you would apply for a new one.
If your passport is lost or stolen in a foreign country, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate and declare the passport missing or stolen. The embassy will be able to assist you in obtaining a replacement passport. The State Department website has a list of the documents you need to bring with you to the Embassy in order to obtain a replacement passport. And, it can be a good idea to travel with two extra passport photos in the event that you will need to get a replacement.
We hope this has been helpful in giving you some insight into the world of passports. If you have any questions, or want more information on a specific passport-related issue, feel free to get in touch via our Message Board.