Travel

Family Vacation Destinations?

Family Vacation Destinations

The following are in no particular order. They are just 20 great U.S. family vacation destinations where both parents and kids can have a great time! Most of them tend to show up on list after list of vacation websites. Enjoy!

  1. Atlanta, Georgia (Six Flags, Stone Mountain, etc.)
  2. Orlando, Florida (Disney and Universal Parks, etc.)
  3. Branson, Missouri (Siver Dollar City, Dixie Stampede, etc.)
  4. Las Vegas, Nevada (Adventuredome, Madame Tussauds, etc.)
  1. Anaheim, California (Disneyland, California Adventure, etc.)
  2. Tampa, Florida (Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, Clearwater Beach, etc.)
  3. Williamsburg, Virginia (Busch Gardens, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, etc.)
  4. Carlsbad, California (Legoland, SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo, Beaches, etc.)
  5. Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin (Theme Parks, Rubber Duck Rides, Caves, etc.)
  6. Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico)
  7. Yellowstone National Park (Idaho, Montana and Wyoming)
  8. Biscayne National Park (Florida)
  9. Everglades National Park (Florida)
  10. Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)
  11. Acadia National Park (Maine)
  12. Cape Hatteras National Seashore (North Carolina)
  13. Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)
  14. Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)
  15. Nickelodeon at Sea Cruise (Norwegian Cruise Line)
  16. Disney Cruise Line

Thank you for visiting our Family Vacation Destinations post!

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Posted by admin - January 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm

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How to Get a Passport?

How to Get a Passport

If you have an undamaged but expired passport that is less than 15 years old AND you are inside the United States AND you are over the age of 16, you can renew your expired passport by mail. All others must get their valid passports in person. If you are trying to renew a passport outside the U.S., you must go to an American Embassy or consulate. Most of them only process passport renewals on certain days and times so call ahead first! When you arrive, tell the guards you are an American citizen and ask them where to go to renew your passport.

For everybody else, here’s the simple steps to take in order to get a passport:

  1. If you need your passport in less than eight weeks, you will more than likely need to do an epedited application. There will be additional fees for this and you must contact your local passport office to do so. Find them by going to step #3.
  1. If you want to fill out the application at home, you can download a Form DS-11. The form can be filled out on your computer and then printed. DO NOT sign the application until a passport official can witness your signature! You can also simply fill out the application at the passport office.
  2. Get a list of names, addresses, telephone numbers, and the distance to each from your zip code for all passport offices in your area here.
  3. Get two passport photos. Many drug stores, one-hour photo shops, and copy centers provide this service. I’m pretty sure all or most Kinko’s and UPS Store locations do it. It is allowed to take your own passport photos but not suggested. If you decide to try it yourself, make sure that each photo is 2 inches by 2 inches in size, is filled by your image (forget the pretty palm tree in the background) and shows you face forward from shoulder to top of hair, with a plain or white background, no shadows on face, mouth closed, and no sunglasses or hats. If you can’t be easily recognized, your photos will be refused!
  4. If you are under the age of 14, your parents must go with you or sign a statement of consent Form DS-3053 in front of a notary public.
  5. If you lost your old passport, you will need to fill out Form DS-64.
  6. Take proof of citizenship with you to the passport office. A certified copy of your Birth Certificate (available at the county clerk’s office in the county you were born) or your original naturalization papers are preferable. An expired passport is acceptable. If their are no records of your birth, see the procedure listed below.
  7. Take proof of you identity. Anything official with your photo will work like a driver’s license, expired passport, military ID, or any other ID issued by a governmental agency.
  8. If your name has changed since either your ID or proof of birth was issued, bring a marriage license or court name change order with you!
  9. Be prepared to pay the application fee. Most passport offices inside the U.S. will accept cash, checks, money orders, credit cards, etc. Embassies and consulates will typically only accept cash but they’ll usually take both American dollars and the local currency! There is an application fee and an execution fee. The two together currently (2006) total $97 for those 16 and older and $82 over the age of 16.

So what do you do if you don’t have a previous passport and you can’t get a certified copy of your birth certificate? Well, first you need to get a “Letter of No Record” from the State you were born in with your name, date of birth, the years that were searched for your birth record, and a statement that no birth certificate could be found. In addition, you will need as many of the following items as possible:

  1. A Hospital birth certificate (Preferably the original sealed copy)
  2. Either one of your parents’ certified birth certificates if they were born in the U.S.
  3. Either one of your parents’ naturalization papers if you were born after they were naturalized.
  4. A baptismal certificate.
  5. Census records showing your U.S. residency/citizenship at the first census after your birth.
  6. Any official school records you might have from elementary school (the younger you were, the better).
  7. Any documents from a doctor showing proof of your post-natal care.
  8. A family bible record with an entry about your birth.
  9. Anything else that shows or talks about your birth or about you as an infant. Films, letters, videotape, etc.

A few final notes:

  1. If you have an expired passport less than 15 years old, take it with you! The passport officials will not search their records for it!
  2. If you ever lose a passport, report it right away to your police department or U.S. Embassy/Consulate if outside the U.S.
  3. If you find a passport you’ve previously reported as lost, don’t try to use it! It’s invalid and probably on a list of passports to watch for at the border!
  4. If your passport’s visa pages are all used up, you don’t need to apply for a new passport. You can get additional visa pages added to your current passport for free! You will need Form DS-4085 to do this.

Thank you for visiting our How To Get A Passport post!

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Posted by admin - January 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm

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