Passport Delays Straining International Travel Planning

Insurance plan sales surge as travelers hedge their bets

A passport in jeans pocket
The wait for a U.S. passport is about 13 weeks right now, officials say. Pixabay

A recent surge in passport applications has led to significantly extended waiting periods for applicants. New data from Squaremouth, the leading US travel insurance marketplace, confirms these delays come at a time of growing demand for international travel, and offers advice for concerned travelers.

In 2023, travelers are planning their international trips less than 19 weeks in advance. The latest reports from the U.S. Department of State reveal travelers applying for a passport are having to wait roughly 13 weeks to receive their book in the mail.

With wait times likely to increase with demand, travelers heading abroad should confirm their passports are valid for their travel dates and take immediate action if they are set to expire. Keep in mind that some destinations may require your passport to be valid for at least six months beyond the trip dates.

In May 2023, 89.4% of insurance policies sold on Squaremouth were for international destinations, the most of any month this year. Squaremouth also reports the cost of international travel continues to rise, increasing the financial impact should a trip be affected by passport delays.

Many policies, almost half of the plans found on Squaremouth, offer an optional Cancel For Any Reason (“CFAR”) upgrade, which can provide reimbursement for issues not covered under a standard plan, including any passport issue. CFAR policies average roughly $599 this year.

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