You've got your passport and you're ready to go on your trip, right? Not quite. You still have to check with the country or countries you'll be visiting to determine whether or not you'll need a visa. A visa is permission from a country to cross their borders and comes in the form of a page inserted in your U.S. Passport. You usually have to mail your passport to the Embassy or Consulate of the country you'll be visiting, so allow plenty of time to accomplish this.
Also, check the State Department website for travel warning and consular information sheets that provide very helpful information about the country you plan on visiting. The State Department services website also contains very comprehensive information on all the services it provides both stateside and abroad. This includes crisis assistance for U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad, and various travel publications available on-line.
American Embassies and Consulates General
Many U.S. Diplomatic Missions abroad have information on-line. For those that don't, check the State Department's Key Officers of Foreign Service Posts for addresses, and phone and fax numbers for U.S. Embassies and Consulates throughout the world.
Passports in a Hurry
Passports usually take from 30 to 40 days to issue. For a $60.00 fee -- plus the cost of 2-way overnight mail -- you can "expedite" this process and receive your passport in 7 to 10 working days.