As temperatures dip and the sky darkens, some rejoice in the snow while others yearn for warmer times. There’s another option than hopes and dreams: Travel. And travelling to most of the world requires a passport.

Obtaining a passport isn’t a difficult process, but it does require a form, evidence, and a payment. You can fill out form DS-11 online or print and complete a paper form. You’ll also need evidence of U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate, and an identification document, such as a driver’s license; you’ll also need a copy of each. The last item you’ll need to submit is a recent photo meeting some specifications that photography studios are familiar with. A passport book costs $115 for children and $145 for adults.

For your first passport, you’ll need to apply in person. In Eau Claire, the Eau Claire Main Post Office requires appointments; in Chippewa Falls, the Chippewa County Clerk allows applicants to drop-in. Routine applications take between 6 and 8 weeks to process, so a submission now should be ready in January.

Macho Picchu

As you await your passport, it’s a great time to read a travel guide and plan your trip—and using Freading means that you’ll have access to 2019 Lonely Planet travel guides without any waiting. We’d love to see photos from your travels, too!


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