Yet, I thought I was ready to go with my passport: it didn't expire until late next year, and--since the UK doesn't have any requirements on how long the passport must be good for upon entry to the country--I had been more concerned with hotel bookings, ticket prices and train schedules.
Until I bought the plane tickets.
I was asked to enter the exact names of the passengers who would be using the tickets...which had to match the person's passport information. And then, I realized that I hadn't ever changed my passport to reflect my married (hyphenated) last name. Oops.
So, guess who had to apply for a new passport?
Guilty as charged.
On the fear that I wouldn't be able to get into the UK (or out of it) with a passport that didn't match any of the rest of my travel documents, I decided to pay for the replacement passport. Not a travel expenditure I'd planned on, but one that I absolutely need to make the rest of the trip happen.
So, for your viewing pleasure, the outtakes from my passport picture photo shoot:
And the one that made the cut:
(There's this ridiculous new policy that you can't smile too much in your passport picture...which is why I look like I'm sucking on a lemon.)