Ah, 18 – the magic age that officially acknowledges us as a legal adult in the eyes of the law. With this status comes newfound privileges such as being able to own property, get married, and vote! But the one thing we probably won’t think about in the midst of our excitement is owning a passport – which in fact, is actually one of the most important assets we should immediately purchase upon becoming an adult.
These are five reasons why it’s essential to have a passport after turning 18:
- To be able to travel outside the US, you need a passport in the first place
You are only allowed to embark on an adventure by land, sea, air, or travel vehicle outside the US if you have a valid passport. Otherwise, leaving the country won’t be an option. There are alternate document exceptions for international travel, such as the Air NEXUS card or an Alien Registration Card, but those are only attained by special circumstances. Other than that, a passport has to be the primary source to identify your citizenship and identity for travel purposes.
On that note, don’t worry about the process of attaining a passport. It’s really easy! All you need to do is submit an application for one at the Bureau of Consular Affairs, provide evidence of identification, and pay several fees.
- Life may present a special and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to you
You never know when an opportunity will come knocking at your door! For example, your boss may want to send you overseas to represent the company, studying abroad becomes a realistic possibility, or maybe a family member is getting married in an exotic country. Alternatively, someone may offer to whisk you out of the country just for fun!
- Acts as an alternate form of legal identification
If you ever lose or need to replace your driver’s license, a passport makes the process of renewing one much easier since it acts as an alternate form of legal and photo identification. Interestingly enough, in the future, you can also use a passport to buy alcohol when you’re 21.
- Travel can be an enriching part of your life
Diving headfirst into travel will be nothing but a source of positive enrichment for your life. There’s an entirely different world of cultures, people, and places that exist out of your home country waiting for you to embrace them. What’s more, if you become a seasoned traveler, you will inevitably become a more well-rounded, self-aware, and empathic individual!
- Emergencies and unfortunate events can happen
Unfortunately, on the other spectrum of things, it’s essential to have a passport in the case of an emergency. Let’s say a family member or friend overseas suffered an injury, suddenly became very ill or, worst-case scenario, passed away. You never want to be in the situation where you’re unable to travel out of the country at a moment’s notice, especially when it comes to being there for loved ones.
In a nutshell, owning a passport after turning 18 will only be a beneficial asset for you in the long run. Plus, it only needs to be renewed every ten years! Therefore, the next time you find yourself even remotely think of traveling out of the country for whatever reason, don’t hesitate to invest in a passport to prepare you for the adventures and experiences ahead.
Bio: Rachel is a freelance content writer located in San Diego, California. Over the course of her career, she has written a variety of health, parenting, and fitness articles and is currently writing for Audi Atlanta. In her free time, she enjoys running along the beach with her two puppies and practicing yoga.