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Are you prepared to travel? Let’s find out.

From passport renewals to vaccination updates, here are some tips and tricks to know before jet-setting.

Two passports being held in the air.

Check to make sure your passport isn’t expired.

Photo by RALtoday

Whether you’re planning a tropical vacation or a European getaway, it’s imperative to plan ahead for a smooth travel experience. Check these travel pro tips off your list before jet-setting.

Passports

As of Feb. 6, the routine US passport processing time is eight to 11 weeks. Here’s what you need to know:

  • New passports: First time passport applications must be processed in-person. Pro tip: Find a location and fill out your application form ahead of time.
  • Passport renewal: On Feb. 7, the online renewal process temporarily paused services for new customers. However, travelers can renew by mail with all required credentials.

Bonus: Check out this passport checklist to be extra prepared.

Additional travel information

ICYMI: The REAL ID deadline was pushed back to May 7, 2025. In 2025, flyers will need the REAL ID to board commercial flights in the US.

Pro tip: Some destinations still have COVID-19 related travel restrictions such as testing and quarantine requirements. Make sure to check directly with your airline and destination before traveling.

Travel series: Learn to travel like a pro with Wake County Public Libraries’ virtual Travel Smart series. Rick Steves will kick off the program today, Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m. Register for free.

Bonus: Use our RDU airport guide to navigate gates, food, and more.

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