Have you ever dreamed of traveling to the Caribbean but don’t know where to start?
First things first. You’ll need to apply for a U.S. Passport. If you’re visiting the British Virgin Islands and many other Caribbean nations you’ll need to have a passport handy so you can enter the country and exit when your trip comes to an end.
Getting a passport isn’t as complicated as you may think. Although there are several ways to apply the most common way is through your local Post Office. It’s how I applied for my passport and I highly recommend it to anyone who is getting their passport for the first time.
You can apply for a U.S. Passport through your local Post Office in 5 easy steps:
- Locate your nearest Post Office and call to make an appointment.
- Go to the State Department website and complete the Form DS-11 application for U.S. Passport. Travel.State.Gov
Complete your passport application but leave the box for your signature blank until you reach the Post Office. You must sign your application in the presence of a Post Office employee for it to be considered valid.
- Have the proper photo taken
Get your passport photos taken before your appointment arrives. You can get passport photos taken at your local Post Office or at your local Walgreens like I did. I received two perfectly sized, professional-quality passport photos that were in compliance with government Passport photo requirements in less than an hour for around 12 dollars.
- Take your passport application, photo and all required documents to your appointment.
Required documents include:
- A birth certificate as proof of citizenship
- A military id, driver’s license, or government issued identification as proof of identity
- Two passport photos
- The original and a copy of each required document
- That’s it! In a few short weeks you’ll receive your very own U.S. Passport in the mail.
Visit the United States Postal Service website for additional information about the application process and processing fees.
Not ready to apply for a U.S. passport?
Don’t let a little thing like not having a passport stop you from traveling to the Caribbean. U.S. territories and commonwealths, like Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which include St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix, do not require U.S. citizens to have a passport to enter the country.
Do you have a passport story that you would like to share, helpful information about obtaining or renewing passports, or comments about traveling to the Caribbean? Let’s chat! Please comment below. Don’t forget to sign up for my monthly newsletters.