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Quick post here, but it might save you from having to renew your passport early because you ran out of pages.
Prior to 2016, you could order more pages for your passport if you ran out. That’s no longer an option, so if you need more space, you’ll have to pay $110 to renew. But you can avoid that hassle (and expense) with one simple move.
The large passport book is 52 pages (44 page for passport stamps) compared to only 28 pages for the regular book (20 pages for passport stamps). Since it doesn’t cost extra, I don’t see any reason you wouldn’t just go for the larger book. You’ll just need to check the “Large Book” box on your application form.
I just renewed my passport and got extra pages added at no extra cost. I knew getting a large passport book was an option, but for some reason, I thought you had to pay extra. Maybe it’s a recent change, but you can renew or apply for your first passport and get more than double the amount of passport stamp pages for free!
It might not seem like a big deal to have extra passport pages, but some countries, like South Africa, require you to have 2 to 4 blank pages for visas before you enter the country. And it’s possible an airline could deny you boarding if you don’t meet the requirements.
US passports are valid for 10 years. So to fill out the 20 pages available for stamps with the regular book you’d need to make at least 20 to 30 international trips because most country’s entry and exit stamps don’t take up a whole page.
Obviously, if you know you’ll be doing a lot of intentional travel in the next few years it makes sense to get the extra pages. But I’m doing it for more of a philosophical reason too.
I believe that empty spaces get filled. Ever moved into a bigger apartment? How long was it before the rooms were just as packed as before? So I’m looking forward to filling up all those empty pages. 😉
And don’t forget, if you need to renew or apply for your passport, make sure you’re not overpaying for passport quality photos.