Me: I look like a grownup and (mostly) act like a grownup, but I don’t do red tape like a grown up.

As I matured (ish) it dawned on me one day (duh) that learning to manage red tape is simply part of a full and rewarding life. And if your kids also have a full and rewarding life too, their red tape is also on you.

Good times.

Here’s what I — finally — figured out:


I stopped calling my red tape problem a dragon (because it unnecessarily sets you up for battle) — instead say to myself, “I heart red tape and I’m super good at managing it.” Affirmations rock.


I look at red tape tasks as if they’re like a part-time job. Therefore if I spend an hour a day — or an entire weekend — dealing with red tape, my brain doesn’t freak out on me.

The reframe works, trust me.


I chunk every large task down into manageable bite sizes. And I focus on one red tape issue at a time. (One never two.)


Next I get smart about the root of the red tape problem like:

  • do I need to order my kids’ birth certificates for the authorities to give me a, b, or c?
  • Or does this red tape require their social security number?


If I’m in a rush to get a red tape document in my hands, I google “how to get my passport (or whatever you need) as quickly as possible. Generally, there’s always a way to get what you need faster, but note: faster is code for money.

The Art of Getting Your Passport

Start with your passport photo. You’ll have this passport for a decade so spruce up (some get their photo immediately after having a haircut). You can get an official passport photo at Costco, CVS, Walgreens, and most Walmarts. (I love Costco because they only charge $5 for four photos.)

Also, don’t wear white and feel free to smile (only don’t show your teeth).

Behold the stupid face I accidentally made in my first photo: You’re paying for this picture so ask the picture taker to give you a heads up by saying “one, two, three” so you don’t look silly. This shot looks better, don’t you think?

Next visit this super friendly site that answers every question you could possibly have about getting your passport:

Are you in a terrible hurry? Then you want this site (that’s an arm of the above):

And, friends, if you need a passport quicker than the standard six to eight weeks, paying a “make it happen faster” fee will get your passport in your hands in — wait for it — two days.

Share how you manage the red tape of travel! We all need tips — big time!!

Wendy ♥♥♥



Adventure more. Panic less. Travel writer wants to shout it from the rooftops every not discussed method for safer, saner family travel. Read me before you take off!

Write A Comment