Real ID (Identification)
Effective 3 May 2023, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or anther acceptable form of ID like a passport. To find out more about your state program, google “real ID and then your state.” Do not wait.
Forget the long lines and the even longer waits. You will soon be able to renew your passport online.
The U.S. State Department started a pilot program last month where you could sign up to renew your passport online. Now, the agency plans to accept another batch of applications in October before rolling out the program more widely in 2023.
It’s not clear how much time the online process will really save. But you can look for updates on the state department’s travel website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/have-passport/renew-online.html
Remember many countries require the passport expiration date to extend 6 months beyond the date of departing the country. For example, if you are returning to the USA on 1 January, your passport needs to be valid until 1 July.
Covid-19 Vaccination Record Card.
You must be fully vaccinated with the primary series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine to travel to the United States by plane. Only limited exceptions apply. Carry your card with you. I keep mine in my passport.
PS People feel that money spent on experiences and creating lasting memories is better spent than on the cheap (sometimes not so cheap) thrill of purchasing something new. That feeling always fades quickly while the joy and memories of experiences from all of your adventures will last you a lifetime.