How to Avoid Passport Panic

Empress Travel and Cruises recommends applying for a passport now in light of December 31, 2006, deadline.

Bedford Hills, NY (PRWEB) August 11, 2006 — While some travelers may feel woozy in the car or fatigue after a lengthy trip, the experts at Empress Travel and Cruises are warning travelers about ways to avoid another type of ailment, called “passport panic.”

As of December 31, 2006, the United States will require passports for all international air and cruise travel-including to and from the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, Bermuda and Panama. Previously, drivers’ licenses and birth certificates were sufficient. Under the new federal law, without a passport, passengers coming from these areas via airplane or ship will be denied entry.

“Passport panic will set in if you are going on a Caribbean cruise in January 2007 and suddenly realize in November that you don’t have a valid passport,” said Charles DiGiacomo, President of Empress Travel and Cruises. “But there’s a prescription — it’s called ‘preparation’ — and it’s as simple as applying now instead of waiting until it’s too late.”

DiGiacomo recommends visiting the U.S. Department of State’s web site at to learn about how to apply for a passport. Empress Travel and Cruises can also assist travelers in obtaining passports-especially if expedited service is necessary.

According to the U.S. Department of State, the busiest time for processing passports is usually January through July. “But common sense dictates that as the December 31, 2006, deadline approaches, there will be virtually no down-time this year,” said DiGiacomo. “Apply for your passport now and avoid any unnecessary stress and panic leading up to your vacation.”

Empress Travel and Cruises has been recognized for the fifth year in a row as “One of the Best of the Best” in the travel industry by American Express and Travel Impressions. The company has been in business since 1970, specializing in family and couples vacations to the Caribbean and Mexico.

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