Frugal Passports and Travel
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    Registered User Nada.Leona's Avatar
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    Default Frugal Passports and Travel

    Hi ladies! I've got a friend who wants to go to Indiana this summer to meet a friend. She is 28 with two children (single mother) and we're trying to figure out how to go about getting her the money for the trip.

    My question is: What is the cheapest way to get a passport and to travel with two children under the age of 6? Any and all suggestions would be of great use. Fire 'em out!

    Thank you muchly!

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    Registered User ama's Avatar
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    I don't have a clue about the passport thing but is she going by car or plane?? By car would be easier to be frugal. Be sure to pack lots of snacks and games for the kids. I'll think of more...

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    Registered User Nada.Leona's Avatar
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    Yes, she's driving her van. Thanks!

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    I don't think there's a frugal way to go about getting a passport. Here in the States, the cost doesn't change. Well, it's cheaper if you already have a passport and just need to renew it, but there's no way to save on it. I have no idea about Canada, but I don't think it would be any different.

    Do you need a passport to travel between Canada and the U.S.?

    As far as cutting down on traveling costs with 2 kids in tow, I'd say pack a cooler. Stop and eat at picnic places along the way from the cooler. Sandwiches, crackers, juice, water, fruit, etc.

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    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    Here's the link for the official Canadian Passport:
    http://www.ppt.gc.ca/

    I dont think there's any discount to be had b/c its an offical gov't document but if there is, please let us know! And I think you will need anywhere between 4-8 wks to obtain one once you've submitted a valid form aka nothing wrong with it and its been cleared asap. Some people I know have received theirs 2 wk's later - but to be safe, obtain it well in advanced.

    Having the passports will definately make it easier to cross the Canada/US border via vehicle. If not, valid photo ID and something with your address on it (?) should be suffcient, but you will need 2 pcs.

    If by air, its highly reccomended to have it to make the security checks bearable otherwise be prepared to prove those kids are who you say they are and your own identity and possibly endure unnecessary delays potentially making you late, thus missing your flight (part of the reason why you should go very ahead to airport )

    Hope that helps on that aspect.

    Entertainment for either method of travel should be judged on a case by case basis. Preferences and room to pack/tote it all. Entertainment factor, they may love it now at home but once in the car/plane they may not want to see it till next yr.

    As for going by car, pack food!! I cant stress enough BYOF!

    We drove from Eastern Canada to Western USA. We did stay in some seedier motels along the way but for us it was alright b/c of budget restraints.

    We were armed with:

    * our own lil kettle/hot pot
    * box of instant noodles
    * powdered soups and canned
    * oatmeal
    * buns/bread/crackers
    * cheese - processed block and cheese strings
    * deli meat in ziploc's/plastic containers
    * cases of water/soda
    * munchies
    * disposible dishes, cups and cutlery - along w/sturdier re-useable plastic ones
    * dish soap, paper towels/TP *tee hee*, wet naps, cooking utensils etc

    It sounds a bit much but considering what your dining options were cheap and very unhealthy fast food OR overpriced fancy regular meal kinda food, this was just better for us. We knew what we were eating. We werent over eating b/c of portion size and after all we were just sitting in a car for 5 days and it didnt blow our budget.

    Of course items like fresh fruit, milk and other things we may have wanted but didnt pack, we'd stop at a local grocery store and pick them up. (DO NOT BRING FRUIT/VEGGIES ACROSS THE BORDER - chances are you will be asked to toss them on the spot) And of course, we'd have to restock for our journey back.

    ( Keep in mind, we had a large van and also had 2 of those plug in chests/coolers. The kind that are portable fridges for vehicles )

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