Financial expert Martin Lewis has reiterated an urgent warning to anyone with a passport who needs to travel abroad this year. The MoneySavingExpert continues to stress the importance of checking your passport in its money-saving newsletter, and says vacationers should check these two crucial things before stepping foot on that plane.
Millions of people have already booked summer holidays this year and more than 60,000 more are planning to leave Britain’s shores this year, according to Martin Lewis’ Twitter poll. In order not to get caught on your vacation, he advised you to check your passport for these two things to avoid possible problems.
Travelers should check that their passport is less than six months old or more than ten years old before leaving, as renewals can take months. He said: “Brexit means more countries now require UK passports to be months old and under 10 years old to let you in.
“If you need to renew, go fast as the UK passport office is overwhelmed and under-resourced. It says to allow ‘up to 10 weeks’ to get a passport, but I hear it still takes longer for some, and paying to “speed up” is not an option for many as there are few appointments.”
The warning comes just weeks after the financial expert explained how third-party websites charge fees to process your passport application. Speaking on ITV, he said: ‘What’s happening is on the search engines, at the top you’ll see something and it’ll say ‘ad’.
“But we don’t notice the announcement because certainly Google has changed over the years. In the past, he would shout at your ‘ad! advertisement! advertisement!’.
“Now you don’t know this is an advertisement. So what these companies do is they charge you for processing something that you can do for free.”
It is estimated that more than five million people delayed their passport applications in 2020 and 2021 when Covid rules meant you couldn’t go on holiday abroad. There are premium and expedited services for people who need a passport urgently, but these appointments have limited availability and high demand, as Martin Lewis explains above.
You can find out more about the application process on Gov.uk. The cheapest way to apply is online where it costs £75.50 for an adult passport. You can also apply via paper form via the post office, at an additional charge of £9.50.