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Traveling this summer? Major passport delays are expected

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A surge in demand for travel has led to a significant increase in passport wait times in the United States. Compared to last year, experts report a sharp rise in the demand for passports, causing delays in processing times.

Currently, AAA estimates that passport wait times have stretched to three months or more, as opposed to the usual 8 to 11 weeks. Passport applications in New York alone have risen by about 40% compared to 2022. Mark Gruba, spokesperson for AAA Western and Central New York, attributes this to the 30% surge in international travel, with AAA bookings experiencing a 200% increase from the previous year.

Travel experts advise planning ahead and remaining flexible to avoid complications. If the demand for passport applications continues to rise, wait times may increase even further. Gruba emphasizes the importance of having a valid passport and checking the expiration date before planning a trip, as some countries require passports to be valid for six months beyond the departure date from the U.S.

For those in urgent need of a passport, AAA recommends the “Rush My Passport” courier service, though it comes at a steep price of $800 for a one-week delivery and $600 for a two-week delivery.

As for popular domestic travel destinations, AAA lists Florida, Myrtle Beach, and the Outer Banks as top choices for U.S. travelers.