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This summer is expected to be one of the busiest in a while for holiday travel. In a bid to cut the headaches in involved with passport paperwork HM Passport Office has issued a warning to travellers to ensure that they organise necessary passports and paperwork in plenty of time.

According to the data, applications in December last year numbered around

175,000 while experts predict that the number for July this year could be as much as tripled to around 560,000. With so many of us jetting off on holiday in the coming weeks the agency wishes to help travellers avoid the headache and expense of discovering that their passport is expired all too late.

While there are fast tracked services available, the Passport Office is keen to stress that these are strictly limited and despite additional staff being employed over summer a quick turnaround cannot be guaranteed.

Ensuring your paperwork is up to date early can also save holiday makers cash too as an emergency appointment to renew a passport costs up to £55.60 in additional charges. Not to mention of course that a lack of a valid passport could end a holiday before even boarding a flight and typical travel insurance doesn't cover this kind of problem.

Around five and half million passport applications are processed each year according to the passport office and travellers are advised of three routes to renew their passport. Passports can be renewed online via the Passport Office website, a call to the Passport Advice line on 0300 222 0000 and providing an address to send a hard copy form out or finally a visit to the local Post Office for their 'Check and Send' service will get the wheels in motion for a passport renewal.

Renewals can take up to three weeks to process but a first time application is far longer. Many travellers rely on the fast track service to reduce the turnaround time which can be reduced to a week or even a day. Travellers will need to visit one of the seven Passport Customer Service Centres located across the UK and almost certainly be prepared for a wait.

It seems to be the younger travellers that are the most forgetful or simply a little too laid back. According to Passport Office statistics youths aged 16 to 20 years are the age group most likely to go for last minute renewals.

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