5 Passports You Need to Have to Get Up and Go

Any time I board a flight and pull out my passport, I think of the quote, “Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport.” Some of the most exciting stories I’ve got would never have happened had it not been for going on an adventure. Flipping through the pages of stamps while I head through airport security always brings back a few of those memories.

By definition, a passport ensures admission to or the achievement of something. Here are five passports you should have in your back pocket if you want to rack up more stamps and memorable moments.

U.S. Passport

There are two obvious reasons you should have a U.S. passport: it’s proof of citizenship and it grants you the ability to travel to and from 147 other countries. But now is a particularly good time to see if your passport is about to expire and get a jumpstart on the renewal process. Not only do many countries require six-months validity on your current passport to let you into their country, but in 2007, the U.S. saw a big increase in passports issued as the result of a government initiative. With those passports nearly a decade old and about to expire, you can expect renewals to take a little longer than usual. Wonder if a new passport means you have to give up the old one full of stamps? Fear not, the State Department sends your old, cancelled passport back. 

National Parks Passport

There are more than 400 sites, monuments, parks, and trails that make up America’s National Park system. From coast to coast and in every single state, you can Find Your Park, visit, and keep track of where you’ve been with the National Parks Passport. Besides collecting cancellations (National Park lingo for stamps) that note the name, location, and date of your visit, the Passport To Your National Parks® program has several other useful features, including maps, picturesque photos, and park information. Plus, there’s a separate version for kids. While there’s a low cost ($9.95), the proceeds from the passports help protect and preserve the parks. 

CityPASS

When was the last time you took a day to play tourist in your own hometown? If you live in a city, chances are there are sites and scenes that you’ve come to take for granted or have always meant to visit, but never have. With CityPASS, you no longer have an excuse. Operating in 12 locations, the program gets you discounted admission to five or six of the most popular attractions in the given destination. Of course, it’s great for traveling to new places too, and can easily provide an itinerary for your next urban getaway. 

Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Passport

All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon, as the adage goes. In fact, bourbon is America’s only native spirit, as officially recognized by Congress in 1964. So it’s practically patriotic to get the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Passport (for those of you of legal drinking age, of course). The passport itself is free, and upon collecting stamps from all nine distilleries on the tour, you get a commemorative t-shirt to boast about your adventure. 

MLB BallPark Pass-port

You might not catch a homerun baseball every time, but the Major League Baseball BallPark Pass-port will give you a way to commemorate visits to all 30 MLB stadiums. All ballparks can validate the passport for free, and it comes with facts, pockets to store ticket stubs, and a map. Make sure you BYO-baseball glove.   

September 6, 2016