Finance expert Martin Lewis has reissued an urgent warning to anyone with a passport who is due to go abroad this year. The MoneySavingExpert is continuing to emphasise the importance of checking your passport in his money-saving newsletter, and has said holidaymakers must check these two crucial things before they set foot on that plane.
Millions have already booked a summer holiday this year and more than 60,000 others are planning to leave UK shores this year, according to Martin Lewis’s Twitter poll. In order not to get caught out during your holiday he has advised to check your passport for these two things to avoid possible problems.
Travellers must check their passport has under six months left or be over ten years old before they go as renewals can take months. He said: “Brexit means more countries now require UK passports to have months left on them, and be under 10 years old, to let you in.
“If you need to renew, go quick, as the UK Passport Office is over-burdened and under-resourced. It says to allow ‘up to 10 weeks’ to get a passport, but I’m hearing it’s taking even longer for some, and paying to ‘fast-track’ isn’t an option for many as there are few appointments.”
The warning comes just a couple of weeks after the finance expert explained how third-party websites charge a fee to process your passport application. Speaking on ITV, he said: “What happens is on search engines, at the top, you will see something and it will say ‘ad’.
“But we do not notice the ad because certainly Google has changed over the years. In the past, it would scream at your ‘advert! advert! advert!’.
“Now you don’t know it is an advert. So what these companies do, is they charge you for processing something you can do for free.”
It is estimated that over five million people delayed their passport applications in 2020 and 2021 when Covid rules meant you couldn’t go on holiday abroad. There are some premium and fast track services in place 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 a paper form through the Post Office, for an extra £9.50.