What Not to Wear for a Passport Photo

passport photos

Have an international trip coming up, and you need a passport photo?  First, obtaining a passport photo is a major step to getting your passport.  Not following the State Department’s rules will certainly qualify you for a returned application.  So, before you head to the photo store to obtain a passport photo become knowledgeable.  Here are a few tips:

Hats – No baseball caps, fedoras, straw hat, cowboy/cowgirl hats or any other head covering is allowed.

Head Scarves – Scarves worn for religious purposes are allowed.  However, scarves worn for fashion are not.

Headband – Avoid anything that will obstruct your hairline.  This includes headbands and/or scarves.

Glasses – Glasses are not allowed.  This includes prescription or sunglasses.

Uniform – Military, scrubs, police or security guards and/or pilot uniforms are not allowed.  Religious clothing is allowed.

A Smile –  As of 2016, the State Department does not allow passport applicants to smile in their photos.

Electronic Headgear – This includes earphones, Bluetooth or other electronic devices.

The State Department requires that an applicant’s picture not be older than 6 months. Why, because the State Department wants the photo to reflect your current appearance.  Furthermore, your photo must be 2 x 2.  Therefore, wherever you have your passport photo taken, they should return to you in the correct size.  As a result, it will need to fit into the appropriate area on your passport application.  You will want to implement the following too:

  • The background of the photo must be solid white
  • The photo must be in color
  • Photo paper should be glossy or a matte finish
  • Lay infants on a white sheet or infant blanket.  Next, place the white sheet or blanket in the carrier or on the area provided.  Most importantly, your child should be able to look into the camera, and their eyes must be open.

Finally, you may also like How to Obtain a Passport in 5 Easy Steps.

6 Tips To Save On Travel Food Budgets

travel food budgets

When I’m traveling with my family, setting travel food budgets is imperative.  I look for ways to save on meals, but also ensure we have a great time. My grandchildren like snacks and sandwiches.  But, I’m also feeding adults who need meals that will fill them up.  Eating 3 meals and snacks out for 7 days can be expensive for a family.  I have a grocery store budget and an eat out expense within my travel food budgets. Here’s a few ways that I ensure we stay within the set limits:

1.  Check Out Resorts That Offer Kitchens/Kitchenettes  –  First, I always book accommodations that have a full or partial kitchen. This allows me to cook meals and save on food expense.  Having a kitchen is great, especially when I’m traveling with my grandchildren. It’s difficult to get them up and out for breakfast and sometimes lunch.

2.  Look For Discounts in Travel Guides or Online – Second, I research local restaurants wherever I’m staying. And if I decide that I would like to check out a few of them  I search for a coupon or discount.

3.  Take Advantage of Happy Hour –  So, if you want to eat light check out restaurants that have happy hour.  I have taken advantage of specials on wings, burgers, stuffed mushrooms etc. It’s a great way to have a few adult beverages on the cheap too.

4.  Find The Local Grocery Store  – Next, I purchase snacks, drinks, bottled water and any items that I need for meals.  After checking in, this is the first task on my list. I’m able to purchase drinks and food for the beach, bathroom items, a candle to relax, batteries if needed and anything else on the list. I save a ton of money by taking this step.

5.  Check Out The Resort/Hotel Welcome Package –  Finally, I visit the hotel or resort concierge and ask for information on local activities or restaurants. They normally have a welcome package which contains coupons for local attractions and other valuable information.  Take the coupons into consideration, it will help with your budget.

6.  Look For Resorts/Hotels That Offer Free Activities – Most importantly, I look for resorts or hotels that offer water slides, lazy rivers, or firework displays.  In addition to the beach, I like to have nearby activities for the kids.  I search for coupons for miniature golf, amusement parks, seek out free concerts.  Furthermore, I use the savings for ice cream treats, Sno-cones etc. while we’re out and about.

Finally, don’t wait until a month or two before you arrive at your vacation destination to start saving. You should be saving all year for your vacation. This takes the stress off and any worries that everyone won’t be able to have a good time because of a cash shortage.

Additionally, you may also like 15 Ways You Can Save Money to help with your travel food budgets expense.



Traveling With Toddlers


Traveling with your toddler can be difficult.  A mother and her 2 year old son were kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight from Amarillo, TX to San Jose, TX because her son was disruptive.  According to a Southwest Airline representative, the child was so disruptive passengers were unable to hear pre-flight instructions. The child repeated over and over, “Go Plane Go” and “I Want Daddy”.
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