There’s so much to do to prepare for this trip!
I’m not much of a planner, so this is strange for me. The trip is 7 weeks away and our tour company, Andean Treks, is asking us for all of our information now—plane ticket itineraries, where we want to stay, how early we’re getting to Cusco, whether or not we want to rent sleeping bags…
I spent my lunch hour at work today doing things to prepare. I filled out my trip application, which I emailed along with some other documents they wanted. I took a fresh picture for my new passport, and filled out and printed my passport renewal application.
Then I went to the bank to take care of some final car loan stuff. They wanted proof of insurance, which wasn’t as easy as walking in with my insurance paper and handing it over. I don’t know why I keep thinking these processes will be quick and simple! Same thing happened when I went to “pick up” my loan last week, which I had already applied for over the phone days prior. It took over an hour before I was told to come back later to get the money.
Anyway, I got that taken care of, and I picked up another chunk of change for my passport renewal fee. Then I went to Walgreens to print my passport photo, but the machine wouldn’t read my flash drive, and by that time my lunch break was over and I was running late to a meeting. So I went back to work.
After work, I went back to Walgreens with my photo on an SD card, submitted it through the machine, and then wandered around the store for 5 minutes while the photo was printed and processed. By the time I paid for it, it was too late to get to the post office. So that will be my chore tomorrow.
Except now I don’t know if I should actually renew my passport yet. It expires in November. I’ll be back from Peru by then, and according to the country regulations on our Department of State Travel website, you just need a valid passport for when you enter the country. It’s not one of those weird countries that requires 6 months of validity on the passport. But I’m nervous anyway, because there’s a slight possibility that my airline has different regulations, and I can’t find them to verify.
Seven weeks. I should be able to get my passport processed and back by then, even if I don’t pay the ridiculous fast-processing fee. But what if I don’t?
Which risk would I prefer—the one where I don’t have my passport in hand before I travel, or the one where I have my passport in hand but am refused entry? Which route would you take? Please help me out in the comments below.
Next up… things like vaccinations, books that Andean Treks recommends reading before the trip, and… oh yeah. I just remembered I am supposed to be researching hotels because they want that decision tomorrow. More later!
P.S. You know what else I just remembered? My current passport, which was issued in November, 2004, was the one I got in order to study abroad in Australia!
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