Q: I lost my passport. I think it’s in my house somewhere. It’s expired anyway. Can I just replace it? — Scatter Brain
A: You can, but with a lot more hassle than if you just cleaned up your messy house until you found the old one.
If you lose your passport, you have to fill out a special DS-64 form “Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport” — plus admit that it wasn’t stolen in Manila or left on Mount Everest, just lost in the house. Plus, you can’t renew by mail, only in person.
See all the rules for lost passports here.
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Or get busy looking under the couch and behind the armoire.
Q: My wife and I are going to Ft. Myers, Fla., in November. Should we book our airline tickets now for the best price? — Planning Ahead
A: Absolutely not. Start looking for good prices in September, and book when you find a value fare. Kayak.com just did a study looking at airfare trends and concluded the best time to book a domestic flight actually is 21 to 35 days ahead. The best time to book an international flight is no earlier than three months ahead. That also minimizes the chance that the airline will mess around with the schedule of the flight you book.
One exception to these rules? If you are flying into a small airport with a huge event. For instance, if you waited to book a flight from Detroit to Duluth, Minn., for the Grandma’s Marathon and USA Track & Field Minnesota Marathon Championship on June 22, you’ll be paying a gasp-inducing $643 round-trip for the 90-minute flight, about $200 more than normal.