21 Jun US Passports for Kids
When I was a bit, um….younger, domestic road trips and trips abroad confettied my calendar. Spontaneous plans to drive endless hours for a late night dive in the ocean piqued my interest. Months spent trekking around Europe with 40 lbs. strapped to my back…why not? Flying to the other side of the world for my honeymoon, yes please! Oh, I haven’t been to South America yet…let’s do that!
And so it went, me traveling anytime I felt the compelling need to GO somewhere, anywhere for a change of scenery. Then the babies came.
Now some people can let go and travel with kids as if they are tiny extensions of themselves. They can go without the midnight insomnia, thinking about the thermostat being set, and the mail being put on hold, and activities for kids in the plane to keep mommy from going mad. I, on the other hand, need a plan. A list. An itinerary, and most of all…..advanced notice. Am I crazy? Maybe a little bit…but I know I am not alone!
So this is what I will share with you, my dear Type-A mommy readers…a plan. I’ve done this a few times now, so my lists are becoming a bit more refined, my process more streamlined. Take bits and pieces of this series, and make them yours. Go have an amazing adventure….with your kids….without losing your mind! And have fun!
To begin, my husband and I knew we wanted to share our love for travel with our kids. We chatted and dreamed about WHERE we should take them to show them a fun little corner of the world with which they were unfamiliar. After reading some pretty great things about Montreal, we decided that it would be a great place to take the kids. It’s still an international experience and totally unfamiliar to us, but the language barrier should be relatively easy to navigate and the flights are pretty reasonably priced.
Passorts for Kids
So step one: What do we need to get there? You guessed it, passports! We have ours (from our glory days) but the kids need theirs to fly into Canada. They only last 5 years, but baby passports!? What could be cuter?
A few tips to save you time & money:
- You can take your own photos (it’s super easy and it will save you $10-$15 per person), see tips and downloads below
- You will need kids and BOTH parents present to submit your children’s passport applications (or notarized consent forms)
- You will need your kid’s birth certificates & your photo IDs
- You will likely need cash or checks to pay your fees (they are allergic to credit cards)
You can find application forms and more helpful tips HERE.
Taking your own passport photos
Honestly, it is so easy to do this yourself if you have a bit of photoshop or other photo editing tool knowledge.
Set your subject in front of a white/off-white wall, facing your light (window). If you do not have a blank wall that faces a window, kids fit easily in front of a piece of foam core or white posterboard….even a taped up white sheet will work as a backdrop!
Make sure there are no major shadows across your child’s face. Also, remove glasses and make sure there is nothing that is distracting like a loud shirt or hair in their face in the photo. Smiling faces are sort of frowned upon and image must be in focus.
Photoshop users, I’ve made this free template for you to make life easy when you are preparing the photos for print. CLICK HERE for download!
Once you are done resizing your photos, you can tile them to fit up to 6 head shots on one 4X6 print. Add your cute little prints to your gathered documents, and you are ready to apply for your child’s US passport! Bon Voyage!