The last thing you want is to be worried about your new passport arriving in time (Picture: Getty)

With two years of no foreign travel, we might have forgotten how to do it – you might have also realised your passport has nearly expired.

There is nothing more stressful than planning the trip of a lifetime only to realise that out of date documents could put a spanner in the works. And getting a new one isn’t as simple as you might thing.

At the moment, travelers are waiting weeks for their renewed passports, and the chaos is only set to continue this summer. Searches for ‘TNT passport tracking have already soared by 4,250%, but is there a way to make sure you get your passport on time?

Thankfully, the travel experts at Next Vacay have revealed exactly what you need to check on your passport, and application tips and tricks to speed up the process as much as possible.

Check your passport to see when it was issued

‘After travel took a pause for many holidaymakers during the pandemic, plenty of passports need to be renewed,’ says Naveen Dittakavi, founder and CEO of Next Vacay.

To beat any disappointments for your summer vacations, Naveen says you should make sure that it has been no more than ten years since your passport was issued.

‘You also need the minimum of three or six months to gain entry into many destinations, including popular travel spots such as Eygpt, Thailand, and Dubai,’ he adds.

‘It may be worth seeing if you can push your vacation back to a later date if either of these issues applies to your passport, otherwise you may end up losing out on your vacation.’

Ensure your details are correct

‘I would recommend thoroughly checking your application before you send it off,’ says Naveen.

Check, check and check again.

He adds: ‘Many delays are made through typical errors – such as incorrect photos or typos – which can worsen your chances of receiving a passport in time for a summer trip.’

Go for digital rather than paper

Naveen says there are many variables that affect how long it will take to get your passport renewed – whether it’s a first-time passport or a child’s renewal. But choosing the best application format can make a difference.

‘When it comes to the method of how you apply, digital applications generally take a shorter amount of time as parts of the application are less likely to get lost, plus the online process will be more efficient,’ says Naveen.

‘Keep this in mind if you don’t want to end up stuck in the backlog.’

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Make an appointment in person or over the phone

With the current demand for travel in recent months, Naveen says that even the fast-track services for passport renewal are becoming overwhelmed – so there is no quick fix to receiving your passport on time.

‘However, if you are traveling for urgent family matters – such as a funeral –  you may be able to expedite the process,’ he says.

‘Alternatively, look to book an appointment to one of the various passport centers across the country – that way you can speed up the process in person and have someone on hand should there be any errors.’

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