Best Time to Visit Cancun

Best Time to Visit Cancun


When is the Best Time to Visit Cancun?

December to April are the best times for visiting Cancun, offering the perfect mix of sunny skies and little rain. April and December offer the best weather, while May is best for wildlife (whale sharks have arrived and sea turtles are nesting), and November is the least crowded and best-priced (though can be rainy some years). Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Holy Week are the busiest time for Mexican family vacations.

  • Best Time to Visit Cancun for Good Weather: Cancun weather can be fantastic almost all year round, though it is particularly excellent from the end of December through April, with January through March being the absolute peak time for fantastic weather. These months have the least amount of rain and humidity, the balmiest temperatures, and the sunniest skies. Expect gorgeous beach conditions nearly every day, and pleasant weather for exploring the ruins and jungles inland. Ocean temperatures are cooler than during the summer months, but still comfortable for swimming. Night and early morning temperatures are mostly warm during this time, but can get a little cool from December through February, so it’s a good idea to pack a light jacket or sweater if traveling during the winter months.
  • Best Time to Visit Cancun for Great Deals: The best time for great deal is during the summer rainy season, from July through October, with especially discounted prices in September, October, and November. This coincides with hurricane season, but hurricanes have only landed here twice in the past thirty years. The vast majority of days during the wet season are hot, dry, and humid, but with little rain in short bursts. For travelers who don’t mind the heat and occasional rain shower, this is the ideal time to travel. Hotel rates are supremely discounted, and deal-hunters will also find cheaper fares on flights and excursions. Travelers during these months can save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars versus any other time of the year.
  • Best Time to Visit Cancun for Families and Kids: April through June and November are the best times in Cancun for families traveling with children. Rates for hotels, flights, and excursions are lower than during the high season, attractions and beaches are less crowded, and the weather is warm and comfortable, great for visiting the Maya ruins and adventure parks in the inland jungles. Water temperatures are warm for swimming and snorkeling during all of these months, with whale sharks and sea turtles both present in May and June. The only exceptions to this are during the week of Thanksgiving when tons of Americans visit, and during Holy Week (Semana Santa), the week leading up to Easter, which is the busiest holiday week for Mexican families.
  • Best Time to Visit Cancun for Avoiding Crowds: The best time for avoiding crowds is during the rainy season, from June through October, especially in September and October. As mentioned before, these months line up with hurricane season, though storms are very rare. Travelers during this time will find beaches blissfully empty and tours to the ruins almost private. Be advised that because there are fewer travelers at this time, many tour operators and restaurants close down for their own breaks, especially during the month of October.
  • Best Time to Visit Cancun or Sightseeing (Jungles and Ruins): December and April are the best months for sightseeing at Chichen Itza, Valladolid, and the jungle adventure parks. Weather is suitable from Mid-December all the way through April, with sunny days, very little rain, warm temperatures, and relatively low humidity. However, the peak travel time is January through March, so during that time, attractions will be very crowded. Traveling at the start or end of the best weather, in December and April, gives you ideal conditions for exploring all that the Cancun area has to offer.
  • Best Time to Visit Cancun for Swimming, Snorkeling, and Diving: Oceans, reefs, and cenotes are truly wonderful all year round, though there are some fluctuations in conditions. Water temperatures are at their lowest in February and March and at their highest from July through October. September and October tend to have more rainy days, though, so July and August are the better of these four months for swimming. For diving and snorkeling, Cancun is not the best spot. Though it’s fronted by a huge reef and filled with wildlife, the water is often rough enough to reduce visibility, plus the coral near the main Hotel Zone is mostly dead. Snorkeling and diving tours usually take visitors to nearby Isla Mujeres, MUSA, or Punta Nizuc at the south end of the Hotel Zone, where the water is calmer and clearer with active marine life. Visibility is best in the drier months, from November through May, especially during the months of January through March. For snorkeling, with whale sharks in particular, visit in late May; the water is warm, visibility is good, and the first whale sharks have arrived.
  • Best Time for to Visit Cancun Whale Sharks and Sea Turtles: Cancun is one of the most reliable spots for seeing these two endangered animals. Whale sharks begin to arrive in May and are plentiful by June. From June through August, whale shark tours have almost 100% chance of locating these gentle giants, usually several at a time in one location. Whale sharks begin to leave the area in September and are almost all gone by the end of the month. Adult sea turtles begin nesting on the beaches in May, especially toward the end of the month and finish laying in October. The baby sea turtles begin hatching and heading seaward in July, continuing their nightly treks through December. The best time to see all three groups (whale sharks, nesting turtles, and baby turtles) is in July and August when all are fully present and active.
  • Best Time to Visit Cancun for Honeymoon: Cancun is most beautiful from December through May, with ideal beach conditions and clear skies throughout these drier months, the perfect honeymoon mix. Early December, April, and May offer the best mix of good weather, low-ish crowds, and good room rates for honeymooners celebrating on a bit of a budget. January through March has the best weather, with the most number of sunny days, and near perfect beach conditions, but rates are higher and crowds are thicker.
  • Best Time to Visit Cancun for Nightlife: Cancun always has great nightlife, with parties going on continually at all of the uptown clubs and bars near Punta Cancun in the Hotel Zone. However, different times of the year attract different party crowds. Cancun is most legendary for its Spring Break, with wild parties all day and night, top international DJs, and bikini contests throughout the whole month of March. June through mid-July also see tons of partying, this time for high-school grads cutting loose before college begins. The legal drinking age is 18 in Mexico, but IDs are rarely checked. For amazing, grown-up nightlife, visit from December through February. Clubs and bars still get crazy, but the crowds’ average age is over 25, and they’re less likely to barf on your shoes.
  • Best Time to Book Flights and Hotels for Cancun: Who doesn’t want to nab the cheapest airfare when booking a flight to Cancun? While it’s not down to a science, there are tricks to help you get the best price. Generally, the sooner the better; however, buying too far in advance can sometimes get you a worse deal than if you’d waited a bit. Prices are highest if you wait too long. The sweet spot tends to be around three to four months in advance, with the best airfares typically found for low season trips taken between late spring and early to mid-fall. When it comes to hotels, the earlier you book the better deal you’ll find, as there are only a certain number of rooms available at the lowest rates – when they’re booked, prices increase. Reserve your room as soon as you’ve booked your flight if possible.
  • A Note About Spring Break: While Cancun was once infamous for its huge, noisy crowds of spring breakers and a destination to avoid during the month of March, by staying outside of the main drag, not venturing into the clubs late at night and simply avoiding hotels that cater to that group, you’ll enjoy a relatively peaceful environment. Those who want to find a party can easily do so, while those who prefer a more subdued atmosphere can find that as well.

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Cancun Travel Seasons

  • High Season (Mid-December through March): Winter and early spring are peak travel times in Cancun when rates for hotels and flights are at their priciest and crowds at their heaviest. Christmas, New Year’s, and especially Spring Break are the most popular times for travel here. But by booking a several months in advance, travelers can find better rates and occasional deals. To avoid crowds during high season, book your stay in Riviera Cancun, Playa Mujeres, and Isla Mujeres, which are all less populous than the main drag along the Hotel Zone.
  • Low Season (June through October): Summer is the low season here when deal-hunters can score the best rates on hotel rooms, flights, and excursions. Expect beaches, bars, and attractions to be low-key and much less crowded than usual. These budget-friendly months are not the best weather-wise, with long hot days and frequent showers. Storms are generally heavy but brief, and though this is technically hurricane season, big storms are rare and have only landed twice in the past thirty years. July and the tail end of October tend to have the driest and least cloudy days of the season.
  • Shoulder Season (April, May, and November through mid-December): Shoulder season can be an amazing time to visit Cancun, with sunny days, lower chance of rain, and manageable crowds. Though deals aren’t as hot as in the low season, room rates are much lower than in the high season, especially if booking in advance or for stays over five nights. Exceptions to this fall during Thanksgiving Week, a popular travel time for Americans, and during Holy Week, the week before Easter, the busiest time for Mexican family vacations.

Cancun Weather by Month

Cancun Weather in January: January in Cancun is warm, sunny, and dry, with daily highs around 28°C – dropping down to a cooler, comfortable 20°C at night. Cancun is located on the edge of a tropical jungle, so humidity is always present, but January is the least muggy time of the year, especially toward the end of the month. This is a great month to get out and explore the ruins and jungle inland, as well as visiting Downtown Cancun and the beach. Rain showers come occasionally, but they are typically very light and brief, lasting only an hour or two. Ocean temperatures are cooler than other times of the year but are still comfortable for swimming. Visibility is excellent for snorkeling or diving. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C, Average Rainfall: 46mm, Days with Rain: 7, Ocean Temperature: 27°C.)

  • Cancun Weather in February: February continues the trend of gorgeous weather, just a degree or so warmer than January and slightly drier, with fewer and shorter rain showers. Though the cloud coverage is minimal, humidity increases a smidge, making it just a little muggier, though still comfortable enough for exploring inland. Beach conditions are excellent, with good visibility for snorkeling and comfortable water temperatures for swimming. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C, Average Rainfall: 44mm, Days with Rain: 5, Ocean Temperature: 26°C.)
  • Cancun Weather in March: Expect gorgeous weather in March, the second driest month in Cancun, with warm days averaging highs of 29°C, and comfortable nights. Rain only comes once a week on average, and even then showers are light and over with quickly, leaving skies clear and bright. Humidity is on the rise, but it is still comfortable for hiking, visiting the ruins or colonial pueblos; beach breezes keep the coastline fresh. Water temperatures and visibility remain constant from February. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C, Average Rainfall: 37mm, Days with Rain: 4, Ocean Temperature: 26°C.)
  • Cancun Weather in April: April is the driest month of the year. It only rains about three days in the month, and on those days, showers are usually very short and light. Days and nights are warm, with a few downright hot hours in the afternoons. Humidity runs high, but the temperatures are usually mild enough that exploring the ruins and jungle is still easily doable. Beach weather is just about perfect, with plenty of sunny, breezy days and warming ocean temps, especially later in the month. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C, Average Rainfall: 31mm, Days with Rain: 3, Ocean Temperature: 27°C.)
  • Cancun Weather in May: May is the third driest month of the year, with brief storms most likely toward the end of the month. Cloud coverage is generally heavier than in previous months, and humidity is very high. The majority of the days see clear skies, warm mornings and evenings, and hot afternoons. Beach days are breezy, so the humidity may not be noticeable. But if you plan on visiting Chichen Itza or the adventure parks, go in the morning before the day heats up; earlier in the month is better, too. Ocean temperatures are rising, and the first whale sharks and nesting sea turtles are arriving now. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C, Average Rainfall: 52 mm, Days with Rain: 5, Ocean Temperature: 28°C.)
  • Cancun Weather in June: Summer is the rainy season here, with June being one of the rainiest months. Most days see a good amount of cloud coverage, but actual storms only hit on a quarter of the days, and even then, it’s unlikely to rain for very long. The first truly hot days of summer arrive later in the month. June marks the beginning of hurricane season, though large storms are rare and tend to happen later in the season. Beaches are the most comfortable places to relax this month, as the steady breeze keeps the perceived heat down. If you decide to venture inland, be sure to pack plenty of water and plan on a cenote swim to cool down. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C, Average Rainfall: 115mm, Days with Rain: 8, Ocean Temperature: 28°C.)
  • Cancun Weather in July: Rainy days are less frequent this month, with heavier storms that finish quickly. Days are hotter and muggier than in June. In fact, the last half of July and the first half of August are the hottest weeks in the year. It’s best to spend your time on the beach or cooling off in a cenote; they stay refreshingly brisk all year long. If you venture toward the ruins, be sure to bring plenty of water. Sea temperatures remain steady from June. The first baby turtles start hatching now and head to the ocean every evening. This is an excellent month for marine life, with whale sharks, nesting turtles, and hatching turtles all here at once. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C, Average Rainfall: 103 mm, Days with Rain: 5, Ocean Temperature: 28°C.)
  • Cancun Weather in August: August starts off hot and oppressively humid for the first couple of weeks, and begins to cool down as the month goes on. While ambient temperatures decrease, rainy days increase, especially toward the end of the month. The majority of days see sun mixed with periods of overcast skies. Days that do have rain usually only experience showers for an hour or two in total. Stay at the beach or in the cenotes as much as possible. This is the last month of the year that has all three animal groups: whale sharks, nesting sea turtles, and baby turtles. (Average Max Temperature: 33°C, Average Rainfall: 136mm, Days with Rain: 6, Ocean Temperature: 29°C.)
  • Cancun Weather in September: The rainiest month of the year, September sees at least a little rain for about one-third of the month and cloudy days most of the time. Though showers are more regular and intense, they generally only last around two or three hours. Hurricanes rarely ever hit Cancun, but when they do, it’s usually in September or October. Days are extremely muggy, though the heat and humidity are less constant in the last week. Water temperatures are slightly warmer compared with August. The beach will likely be the most comfortable spot to relax most days, though it’s a good idea to have a few rainy day activities planned, just in case. Whale sharks begin to leave the area this month, while sea turtles continue to nest and hatch. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C, Average Rainfall: 185mm, Days with Rain: 10, Ocean Temperature: 29°C.)
  • Cancun Weather in October: Expect more days of rain but less total rainfall than in September. Most of the rainy, cloudy, and humid days are in the beginning of the month, with the weather getting nicer as the weeks pass. The month ends with clear skies, balmy temperatures, and gorgeous beach weather. Ocean temperatures are slightly lower than in previous months. This is the last true month of hurricane season, though storms are rare in Cancun. The last few nesting turtles will lay their eggs this month, before returning to the sea. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C, Average Rainfall: 157mm, Days with Rain: 11, Ocean Temperature: 28°C.)
  • Cancun Weather in November: Temperatures continue to fall, skies become clearer, and rainy days are less frequent in November. Most of the humidity and rain comes at the beginning of the month, with showers rarely lasting more than a couple of hours. Most late November days are perfect for hitting the beach or visiting the adventure parks or ruins. Ocean temperatures hold steady from October, while the last of the nesting sea turtles leave the area. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C, Average Rainfall: 95mm, Days with Rain: 8, Ocean Temperature: 28°C.)
  • Cancun Weather in December: December is a phenomenal time to be in Cancun! Days are warm, nights are cool and comfortable, and skies are sunny and clear. Brief patches of rain are fleeting, with mostly bright days. The dry season officially begins in the last two weeks of the month and carries through March. Beaches are beautiful with comfortable temps for swimming and good visibility for snorkeling and diving. The last few baby turtles will hatch and march into the ocean this month. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C, Average Rainfall: 70mm, Days with Rain: 7, Ocean Temperature: 27°C.)

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Cancun Events and Festivals

Cancun in January

  • New Year’s Day – Año Nuevo, or New Year’s Day, is a national holiday in Mexico. January 1 tends to be very quiet in Cancun and throughout the country, with everyone resting and recovering from festivities the night before. While most businesses are closed, restaurants and other places that cater to tourists are usually open.
  • Mayan Village Show – At Xcaret Park, located about an hour from Cancun, recreations of ancient Mayan festivals, including a jungle walk and celebration of the discovery of fire, take place throughout the month of January.
  • El Día de los Reyes (Kings’ Day): January 6 is the twelfth day of Christmas, which is the traditional gift-giving day in Mexico. Children receive their presents, and the family eats together, especially a wreath-shaped, sweet bread called Rosca de Reyes. A baby Jesus figure is baked into the bread, and whoever finds it in their slice will host El Día de Candelaria, the upcoming holiday, and make the tamales for the celebration.

Cancun in February

  • El Día de Candelaria/Tamale Day: February 2. Candlemas falls 40 days after Christmas and is a celebration of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. It is also the midway point between the winter solstice and spring equinox. On this day, people dress up figurines of the baby Jesus and take them to the church to be blessed, along with candles. A meal of tamales, hence its other name, with family and friends follows this. Celebrations in Veracruz and huge, with parades and more, but in Cancun, this is a more intimate holiday.
  • Carnaval: Exact dates vary, but celebrations take place the whole week before Ash Wednesday, with the biggest parties the night before. They celebrate Carnaval in different parts of the Riviera Maya on different days, with the biggest celebration on Cozumel. Cancun’s Carnaval is intimate, taking place in Downtown away from the main tourist zone. Expect parades, live music, wild costumes, lots of food and booze, and dancing in the streets. Street vendors will sell amazing local specialties, while candies and other goodies will rain down from the parade floats.
  • Island Time Music & Fishing Festival: Six-day festival in Isla Mujeres. Local and world-renowned musical acts play in small venues around the island, while fishermen chase sailfish through the local waters. Proceeds benefit the Little Yellow Schoolhouse, serving special needs children on the island.

Cancun in March

  • Inception Music Festival: The largest Spring Break party in the world, lasting 30 straight days and nights and featuring top-name musical acts and DJs. Events take place every night at the clubs in Punta Cancun, including The City, Dady’O, Mandala, and Palazzo. Day parties take place at Mandala Beach, while exclusive day parties also go on at the Oasis Resort.
  • Wine and Food Festival, Cancun-Riviera Maya: Five-day celebration of food and wine, with renowned chefs and sommeliers from Mexico and the U.S. Events include winemaker and celebrity chef dinners, taco competitions, beach parties, golfing, and more.
  • Spring Equinox at Chichen Itza: Occurring annually on March 20, the first day of spring, when the afternoon light hits the pyramid temple of El Castillo just right, it reveals a representation of Kukulkan. The feathered serpent god seems to appear and climb down the side. This amazing event happens twice yearly at the spring and autumn equinoxes, amazing visitors with the astronomical and mathematical prowess of the ancient Maya peoples. It is usually very crowded on the equinoxes and tons of fun. If you prefer to avoid the crowds, you may still see the effect two days before or after the actual equinox.
  • Laser Sailing Show: During the second half of March, this event attracts sailboat enthusiasts and merchants from around the world. The waters around Cancun are filled with sailing vessels of all types, big and small, that roam the coastline for two weeks.

Cancun in April

  • Anniversary of the Founding of Cancun: Cancun’s history is relatively new. Families of the city’s founders put A master-planned tourism community founded in 1970 on. This month-long celebration is held at various locations in Downtown and features masses, music, exhibitions, and a parade down Avenue Tulum.
  • Holy Week – Holy Week is celebrated nationwide, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, which typically falls in early to mid-April, March 25 – April 1 in 2018. In Cancun, just about everything stays open during this period to cater to tourists, and it’s usually very busy. If you plan to travel to Cancun during Holy Week, make your reservations as early as you can as flights in and out of Mexico are typically filled months in advance. Easter services are held at churches of various dominations, though mostly Catholic.
  • El Día del Niño (Children’s Day): A holiday filled with fun, gifts, and special activities just for kids. Though not an official holiday, many schools don’t hold classes this day. Zoos, amusement parks, and attractions often offer special discounts on April 30. Travelers can also take part by handing out toys or candy to street kids.

Cancun in May

  • Cinco de Mayo: May 5th is a national holiday that commemorates the country’s defeat of the French in the Battle of Pueblo in 1862. Unlike in the States, it’s a regular day in Cancun, with not much in the way of celebrations. There are usually drink specials in the bars, and some resorts might do a small party, but it will be all for tourists. The only spot in Mexico that really celebrates Cinco de Mayo is in Puebla, more than a day’s drive away.
  • Festival de Cultura del Caribe: Celebration of Maya, Mexican, and Caribbean culture through food, music, dance, literature, film, and more. The eight-day celebration takes place in a variety of venues throughout the city and features a variety of local and international acts.
  • Cancun Jumpoff: This is like Spring Break for grown-ups. A four-day music festival, with live acts and DJs spinning the best in hip-hop, r&b, reggae, and soca. One water park day, plus beach parties, lingerie parties, and overnight after-parties keep the action going non-stop.
  • Regata del Sol a Sol: A 456-mile yacht race beginning in April in St. Petersburg, Florida and ending in early May in Isla Mujeres. Events include a basketball tournament and the Regata Amigos, post-race sail around the island.
  • Sacred Mayan Journey/Travesia Sagrada: Annual recreation of a thousand-year-old pilgrimage from Xcaret to Cozumel in worship of the fertility goddess Ixchel. Roughly 300 men and women row canoes across the ocean beginning at dawn and making their return journey the following dawn. Rituals, music, and dance begin and end the event. A feast awaits the rowers in Cozumel, but the biggest celebration is in Xcaret upon their return.

Cancun in June

  • Día de la Marina – Mexico’s Navy Day is celebrated on June 1 in all coastal towns, including Cancun, to acknowledge the country’s maritime service men and women. It’s commemorated with military parades and fireworks.
  • ExpHotel – The most recognized event in Mexico for the hospitality industry, held June 12-14 in 2018, is an international affair open to the public showing the latest products and services as well as hosting seminars and workshops by leading experts, competitions among prestigious chefs and the Festival of Cheese, Bread and Wine.
  • Festival de los Oceanos: From mid-May through mid-June, they designed this event to encourage ocean conservation. Events include concerts, kids’ drawing competitions, beach cleanups, and competitive cooking, along with plenty of fun beach and ocean activities. Most events are free, though some require registration ahead of time.
  • Pride Cancun: Pride is a smaller celebration in Cancun, lasting just a weekend. Though there is no parade, there are beach parties, sunset cruises, parties in Downtown, events at the ruins, and special nights at all of the major clubs.

Cancun in July

  • El Día Fuera del Tiempo: According to the Maya calendar, July 26 is the first day of the new year. The more important day of celebration comes on the 25th, El Día Fuera del Tiempo, or The Day Out of Time. This is a day for reflecting on the past year and the lessons learned, while also being a day in which anything can happen. They scattered festivities throughout the Riviera Maya, with the biggest ones held in Tulum, lasting as long as five days, and smaller ones at several Cancun resorts.
  • Isla Mujeres Whale Shark Festival: Week-long celebration of the whale shark, including family-friendly activities daily at the main fair, with sand sculpture and piñata contests, a parade, live music, and food competitions with local chefs. Water activities include a fishing tournament, diving and snorkel tours, and swimming with the whale sharks.
  • Destination X The Urban Summer Oasis: Wild five-day festival in the heart of Cancun’s nightlife district with DJs spinning hip-hop, r&b, and reggae. Events include bikini contests, late night hookah parties, a booze cruise, beach parties, and plenty of dancing.

Cancun in August

  • ZoukMX: Ten-day music and dance festival in Playa del Carmen on the beach and in the jungle. This event begins with several teacher workshops, followed by days and nights on end of dancing to zouk, a fast tempo, Caribbean dance music.
  • Assumption of the Virgin Mary – Celebrated nationwide in mid-August, there are special masses held throughout the country, including Cancun. Though some cities will host processions, Cancun typically does not.

Cancun in September

  • El Grito and Mexican Independence Day: Celebrations begin in the afternoon on September 15 in Downtown near City Hall with mariachi music, dancing, and amazing food, especially chiles en nogada, pozole, and mole. Tequila and mezcal are the major drinks here. At 11p, the grito, or cry for independence, is called with bells ringing and fireworks. The country’s biggest party begins immediately after and goes well into the night. Downtown has the most authentic celebrations, but the biggest parties for travelers take place at the nightclubs and bars in the Hotel Zone, especially at Carlos’n Charlie’s and Señor Frog. On Independence Day itself, September 16, a grand military parade winds through downtown, attracting thousands of spectators.
  • Salsa Casino Mayan Congress: Four-day celebration of salsa dance with live music, parties, and workshops. Classes expand from traditional salsa to include Afro-Cuban dance, Casino Wheel, Rumba, Folklore, and more.
  • Autumn Equinox at Chichen Itza: Occurring annually on September 22, the first day of fall, when the late afternoon light hits the pyramid temple of El Castillo just right, it reveals a shadow image of the feathered serpent god Kukulkan, just as it does in spring. However, September is the rainiest month of the year, and sometimes the cloud coverage prevents Kukulkan from making an appearance. With daylight savings time, the event occurs after the park is closed for the evening. Some years, the park stays open late to accommodate the event, but other times, they close at the usual schedule. Check the weather and check the park’s officially posted hours before planning a trip out – It’s a long drive!

Cancun in October

  • Cancun Travel Mart – In mid-October, October 8-10 in 2018, the Cancun Travel Agent Association and the Cancun Hotel Association hold this annual convention, part of which is open to the public, showcasing food, hotels and other services offered in the area.
  • Cancun Jazz Festival: Four-day music festival featuring some of the top names in contemporary jazz. This all-inclusive festival takes place at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, near Tulum. Pre-festival concerts will take place a few days ahead of the main event.
  • Día de la Raza (Columbus Day) – This holiday celebrated nationwide on October 12 commemorates the fusion of the Spanish and Mexican peoples. In Cancun and many other places throughout the country, they often held colorful parades.
  • Día de las Brujas (Halloween) – Traditionally on this day, residents bring flowers and candles to the graves of loved ones on the evening of October 31; however, in Cancun and many other popular tourist destinations, it’s celebrated similar to how it is in the U.S., with kids dressing up and trick-or-treating, and costume-wearing adults heading to bars and clubs. Dady’O consistently throws the best Halloween parties in the area. It’s a good idea to bring your own costume, as local shops will have a very limited selection.

Cancun in November

  • Day of the Dead: November 1-2. Known as Hanal Pixan in Yucatan Maya. This is actually two holidays rolled into one, Día de Todos Santos (All Saints Day) and Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead, All Souls Day). On All Saints Day, Mexicans honor deceased children, leaving offerings to them on custom-designed altars in cemeteries or in their homes, with sugar skulls, toys, and treats. Day of the Dead is similar but for the souls of deceased adults. People decorate altars in their homes or in cemeteries, some keeping vigils and others leaving offerings, usually tequila, cigarettes, and the deceased’s favorite foods. Candles and trails of marigold petals are led from the altars to light the way for the spirit’s return. There are usually parties in the nightclub area in the Hotel Zone, but travelers can also head Downtown for a more traditional experience in one of the many parks, including Parque las Palapas, Luum Pakul, or at the Centro Cultural de las Artes. Daily from October 31-November 2 there is a parade from Avenues Chichen Itza and Tulum to Parque las Palapas, plus performances, foods, and elaborate altars. The eco-tour group Alltournative usually offers a special Hanal Pixan event on November 2, an immersive Maya experience with altar decorating, a ceremony performed by a shaman at a cenote, and a traditional Maya dinner.
  • OHL Golf Classic: An official, PGA tour with over 100 pro-golfers competing for a huge prize in four rounds over the course of one week. The event takes place in Mayakoba at the El Camaleón golf course just north of Playa del Carmen. Some of the proceeds benefit local charities.
  • International Festival of Caribbean Culture: Six-day festival with events held throughout Quintana Roo and Cancun. The event is most popular for its amazing musical lineup featuring the top Caribbean salsa groups, along with poetry and lots of dancing.

Cancun in December

  • Cancun Marathon: aka The Most Beautiful Marathon in the World. The marathon path begins and ends in Downtown, with most of the course following Boulevard Kukulkan for the length of the Hotel Zone, passing the beach and lagoon. A live mariachi band awaits runners at the finish line.
  • Sunset Boat Parade: Annual, holiday event at Jardin del Arte, the sculpture park facing the Nichupte Lagoon. A parade of lit-up, decorated boats begins at sunset, with live music, food, and craft vendors. Family-friendly and always free.
  • Christmas Week – Christmas Week (December 16-25) is celebrated with processions and mass, and children go door-to-door singing Christmas songs for donations. The most important day isn’t December 25, however, it’s Holy Night, known as Nochebuena on December 24, a time when families gather to eat a traditional midnight dinner.
  • Día de los Santos Inocentes/Day of the Sainted Innocents: December 28. This is basically a Mexican April Fool’s Day. Originally meant to commemorate the deaths of the Holy Innocents, the children slaughtered by King Herod to kill the baby Jesus; the holiday has developed into a day of pranks. Once someone is fooled, it is customary to say to them, “Innocent little dove that you let yourself be deceived.” This is also a day where people are known to borrow items and never return them.
  • New Year’s Eve – On December 31, Cancun celebrates New Year’s Eve similar to much of the rest of the world, with big parties and fireworks. Playa del Carmen, about an hour south of downtown Cancun, is typically the place to be, where the party starting at dawn and lasts well into the New Year. There are plenty of parties to be found in Cancun as well, and fireworks are shot over the lagoon, visible from all hotels and resorts with rooms that face it, as well as from walkways.
River Cruising : Did you know?

River Cruising : Did you know?

River Cruising : Did you know?

River Cruising is one of the fastest growing businesses in the travel business. While big ship cruising grows every year by 3%, River Cruising is growing every year by as much as 13%. Once looked at as the vacation for seniors, the age of river cruisers is getting younger. This is largely because the retiring baby boomers are taking the entire family on a river cruise.

River cruising through Europe allows you to enjoy the peaceful and scenic countryside and offers a smooth ride along the world’s most remarkable waterways.  Castles and fortresses tower on both sides, as if you could reach out and touch them. When your ship docks in the heart of town, you get to stroll ashore for included excursions or set off to explore on a complimentary bicycle. Here are some of the reasons why you would want to do a River Cruise with AmaWaterways if you are going to visit Europe:

1. All-Inclusive Cruises

Contrary to big ship cruises, River Cruising is all-inclusive.  Your cruise, meals, drinks, transfers and excursions are all included in one neat package. No surprise bill at the end of the cruise other than tipping.  You get mimosas for breakfast and wine and beer are included with every meal.  You get to taste some of the finest beers and wines that the region has to offer, and it’s all included in your cruise package.

life onboard a river cruise is all inclusive      Amazing service

2. Unpack Once and Get Comfortable

Like the big ship cruises, you only have to unpack once.  This is really helpful for people who don’t want to be dragging their luggage around with them and unpacking and repacking at every destination.  You get to visit different cities and countries and your hotel travels with you.  The amenities on a river cruise can compare to a first class hotel. You will get to leave the ship with ease as only 150 passengers are on the ship.  No long waiting lines to get on or off of the river boat.  Your stateroom is very stylish and comfortable so you can relax after returning from an excursion.  And while you can go topside, you can enjoy the scenery from the comfort of your balcony as you leisurely sail to your next destination.

River cruising allows you to dock in city

3. Dock Right in the Heart of Historic Cities

Enjoy the excitement of waking up in a new town, docked just steps from markets, museums and landmarks. Ships rest close to the town center so you can easily sample local culture and favorite past times. Simply walk off the ship and into the heart of the city. Take a guided excursion or instantly blend in with daily life. And if you do have to travel to a destination further from the shore, we include transportation in your package.

Enchanting Rhine

4. Discover the World’s Most Scenic Waterways

You get to cruise through some of Europe’s oldest cities or on the world’s most scenic waterways. These were the original highways between great cities built along the water’s edge. Over the course of your journey, you’ll find yourself surrounded by rolling vineyards, hilltop castles and time-honored cities. Vibrant locales not accessible by sea or that can take hours to reach by motor coach are up close and personal on a river cruise.

www.dreamtravelescapes.com5. Intimate Environment, Inclusive Value

 With river vessels accommodating a mere 150 passengers, you will never wait in a long line to board or disembark. Smaller tours and intimate meal settings with open seating create a warm, personal atmosphere accentuated by five-star service. Your inclusive vacation provides incredible value from the champagne breakfast and free-flowing hand-selected European wines with dinner to a fleet of bicycles, free Internet access, included sightseeing excursions and live cultural entertainment onboard. On a river cruise, your vacation’s price tag doesn’t keep adding up. Compare this to a big ship cruising.

6. A Smooth, Relaxing Way to Cruise

Constant, soft-flowing river waters are always peaceful and smooth, so leave any fears of motion sickness behind. Take a dip in the pool or sink into the bubbling whirlpool, get pampered with decadent spa services or enjoy live music in the lounge. The deck invites you with a fresh river breeze and unforgettable changing scenery.
 Theme Cruises Available

7. Themed Cruises

 Amawaterways offers themed cruises.  If you love to paint, or even if you only love to admire art, this cruise is for you. An artist on board will help you paint a masterpiece you will be proud to take home.  There are themed cruises for beer lovers, wine lovers and Jewish heritage lovers. Whichever river cruise you pick, be it themed or not, you are going to be talking about this vacation for a very long time and you probably will not want to travel any other way!
Mardi Gras Feb 22

Mardi Gras Feb 22

MG at sea

Carnival’s newest ship, XL class MARDI GRAS is almost ready to launch, and we want to invite you to come.

We are not going in a travel agent capacity, we will not be doing much hand-holding, (this is our vacation too), but y’all are welcome to come. ?

The ship has some features worth pointing out:

Ultimate Playground

Summer Landing

Cool stateroom features

Red Frog



Street Eats


Big Chicken


Being its Carnival’s flagship, and bringing back the first cruise ships name, they have high ambitions for this ship.

I have expectations for it to be less of a Booze cruise, and more of an experience.

MG lobby

MG pool


MG attrium

Info from Carnival….

Mardi Gras sails in 2020 with a nod to where we’ve been and a salute to where we’re headed. Our vision involves inspiring you to have a great vacation! When we launched our first ship, 1972’s TSS Mardi Gras, we knew we were shaking things up. We made cruising a lot less stuffy, a bit less fancy, the kind of fun everybody could enjoy. Nobody expected this ship to change the cruise world, but here we are! In 2020 we’ll be launching a brand-new ship with a familiar name. You guessed it: Mardi Gras. We aren’t just paying homage to our first ship — in cruising circles this name suggests innovation, signals the start of something big. And it shouts “fun!” at the top of its lungs. Everybody can enjoy Mardi Gras, sailing from Port Canaveral in 2020!

“The new Mardi Gras will follow the trailblazing lead of her predecessor, introducing features and technological innovations that have never been seen before on a cruise ship while setting a new standard for seagoing vacations.” – Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line


MG pool deck

Carnival Cruise Line announced some details about the ship, including that it will have 20 decks and six themed zones.


MG attrium

The themed zones include Grand Central (Decks 6-8, midship), French Quarter (Deck 6, rear), La Piazza (Deck 8, midship), Summer Landing (Deck 8, rear), Lido (Decks 16-17, rear) and The Ultimate Playground (Decks 18-20, rear).

The Ultimate Playground will include the largest and most elaborate Carnival WaterWorks aqua park in the fleet, as well as an expanded SportSquare. It also will feature BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster, the first roller coaster at sea, where riders will travel along an 800-foot-long track as speeds of nearly 40 miles per hour.


The accommodations on Mardi Gras will include more than 20 stateroom categories and multiple levels of suites.


Carnival said the Mardi Gras also will include the most expansive open decks on any Carnival ship, and an atrium that will serve as the hub of the ship.




Double occupancy, with taxes and fees included.

Pricing is per couple.

We have several categories booked at a special price.

Balconies start at $2300

Interior start at $1675

Includes a $100 OBC per cabin

Suggested deposit is $250 P/P

Rest due by Nov 29, 2021

There may be other rates available as well.

Contact me for other room categories for more, or less, than 2 people, or any other questions.


We only have Limited space at these prices which will go up as they sell out

Other categories may be available to be booked into the group as well. Email

[email protected]

for more info.

The benefits of booking as an Apollo Travel group are free On board credits, dining together and customized excursions.

MG side

Sailing March Feb 26, 2022




Misc facts:

Ship: Mardi Gras (First ship to not be named CARNIVAL something)

Year Built: 2020

Class: XL

Length: 1130

Guest Capacity: 6,630

Cruising Speed: 17 knots

The 180,000-ton “XL-class” Mardi Gras will have a maximum capacity of 6,500 passengers and about 2,000 crew members. It will be the first cruise ship based in North America to be powered by liquefied natural gas.


Port Canaveral is building a two-story, 188,000-square-foot cruise terminal that will be used by the Mardi Gras. It is part of the port’s largest single construction project in its 65-year history – the $163 million Cruise Terminal 3 complex on the port’s south side that also will include a 1,800-space parking garage.



Basic Suggested addons:

Gratuities: $98 pp

Cruise Insurance : $129 p/p


Hidden Cruise costs

Hidden Cruise costs

Let’s face it. Money doesn’t grow on trees and cruising, however fun, can be a costly experience.

You have finally saved up enough money to take your family on a 7-day Eastern Caribbean Cruise. With your heart excitedly pounding in your chest, you call Apollo Travel Orlando, and say “Lets do it”!

Cruising, here we go!

Next, you look and see “what are my options”, they bombarded you with a myriad of options to bump up your cruise experience. You’re on vacation, so why not indulge, right? You picked a few excursions and maybe a beverage package to spice things up on your cruise. These things add up to a hefty sum. Unless you have budgeted for these hidden costs, you might end up with a substantial credit card bill on the next billing cycle.

Especially for first-time cruisers, the final bill at the end of your cruise can be jaw-dropping. Hence, we came up with a list of 18 hidden costs of cruising that bumps up your cruising budget and leaves a dent on your savings account. Ouch!

23 Things That We've Learned From Our Royal Caribbean Cruise

Automatic Gratuities

Most cruise lines automatically add a $14–$18 gratuity charge to your account per person per day. In addition, an automatic 18% gratuity is added to all bar bills and spa services. They pool together and divide gratuities among all crew members.

a. If you think you have received sub par service, you can have the amount changed at guest services.
b. Some cruise lines will allow you to prepay your gratuities before your cruise.

c. You can always give a little extra to your favorite crew member for exceptional service.

Port Excursions

Excursions are fun, but they’re not cheap. Depending on the type of excursion activities you are into, excursion fees can quickly add up, especially if you have a sizeable group.

How to save:
a. Shop around and find the best deals. You don’t have to book your excursions through the cruise line. However, be wary of the schedule and transportation availability. You don’t want to be left behind when your ship leaves.
b. Save on dining by eating your lunch on board the cruise ship.
c. You can skip them. There are enough fun activities on board the cruise ship to keep you entertained.

Dining Onboard Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas

Specialty Dining

Some people (like myself) savor a little bit of culinary luxury on board a cruise ship. However, cruise ship specialty dining options charge an extra $40- $60 per person. Sometimes, even higher.

Here are a few things you can do to save:
a. Purchase a dining package.
 It is like prepaying for specialty dining offerings at a discounted price. You’ll end up paying roughly $25 per person instead of paying full price.
b. Skip specialty dining options. There will always be an abundance of complimentary dining options onboard.

Alcoholic Drinks and Beverages

Your throat will never run dry on a cruise ship. For meals there will be water, coffee, iced tea, juices and milk that are all complimentary to your cruise fare. However, alcoholic beverages, premium coffee and tea, soft drinks, beer and wine are not, and can quickly add up especially with the automatic 18% gratuity added to bar drinks.

How to save:
a. Purchase a beverage package. Just like dining packages, most cruise lines offer prepaid options for premium beverages. Depending on your personal preferences, beverage packages are priced differently, so you can pick what you want.
b. Purchase wine by the bottle instead of by the glass. You can always save what’s left for your next meal. Note: Some cruise ships allow you to bring a few bottles of wine on board. Be sure to read cruise policy and take advantage of it.
c. Check your daily cruise newsletter for drinks specials or something like a “Drink of the day” and take advantage of reduced prices on some drinks.

18 Hidden Costs That Bumps Up Your Cruising Budget

Internet Connectivity

If you would like to stay connected on social media, or stream movies and videos at sea, you can pay for your ship’s Wi-Fi service. This would typically cost around $15–$20 per day for unlimited access, depending on the cruise line. Some lines charge based on the amount of data you use. Take the time to read about what they offer on your cruise.

How to save:
Some cruise lines have a free access area that may come with a coffee purchase. Some even have internet cafes that offer free or discounted internet service on board.


For the most of us, we do not live near embarkation ports and would need to fly to get there. This can be an enormous expense depending on where you’re at.

How to save:
a. Purchase your plane tickets as soon as possible. Airfares typically go up the closer you are to your planned date of departure.
b. Go on a road trip. Driving is a lot cheaper than flying as long as you don’t mind getting behind the wheel for hours on end. Yikes!

23 Things That We've Learned From Our Royal Caribbean Cruise

Ground Transportation

Now that you’ve arrived at the airport, you still need to get to your Port of Embarkation via ground transport. There are several options to choose from, but depending on how far the port is from the airport, it can cost over $100 per person back and forth.

How to save:
a. Go for a third party shuttle service around the area. This is a cost effective option. Paying for taxi or Uber can be costly depending on the distance between the nearest airport and your cruise’s embarkation port.
b. Ask a friend or family member who lives around the area to drive you to your embarkation port.
c. You can always take the bus (most economical)

Spa and Salon Services

Getting a massage on your cruise can be quite a luxurious experience, but paying for it afterwards can quickly pile up on your final bill especially with the automatic 18% gratuity added to the cost.

How to save:
a. Check your daily newsletter for special discounts on spa and salon services.
b. Some cruise lines offer bundled services at discounted prices. Watch for special discounts on embarkation and port days.

Onboard Shopping and Souvenirs

Cruise ships offer a lot of fun activities including duty-free shopping on board your cruise. With so many cruise memorabilia to choose from, it is at times tempting to buy that little figurine, or maybe that nice-looking T-shirt you’ve been eyeing as a souvenir. Remember that for the most part, cruise ship prices aren’t exactly deals. From spending $10 on souvenir key chains to spending thousands of dollars on jewelry, there are enough things to buy on a cruise ship that might burn a hole through your wallet.

How to save:
a. Research and compare prices online.
b. Have a budgeted amount for shopping. (Okay this doesn’t really help you save, but it helps you avoid overspending.)

Souvenir Photos

For immortalizing precious moments, souvenir photos are great and it might tempt you to buy a few prints to take home. However, 8×10 photos can easily cost over $20 each.

How to save:
a. Ask for deals and discounts. Some would offer discounted prices if you buy a certain number of prints.
b. Learn to take better photos on the cruise ship. You can take the photo yourself, or ask a fellow cruiser to snap a photo for you.


Gambling on a cruise ship can be costly. According to some sources, the odds of winning slots on cruise ships are lower than that on land because some gambling and gaming laws don’t apply. I am not a gambler myself, and I have no way to prove the above statement. But if you rack up gambling losses, you’ve just made your cruise a whole lot more expensive than you budgeted for.

Only tip I have on gambling is to have some gambling money set aside and stop playing once it is gone. Set limits and stay with them. Some cruise ships even give out free onboard gambling credits just to get you hooked into playing big.

Travel Insurance

Getting sick on a cruise ship can be very costly. This is completely optional, but purchasing a short-term travel insurance is the one thing you can do to offset unforeseen health care charges on your trip. Get you a travel insurance quote here

How to save:
Shop around and try to find the best deal for your state of health. Always read the fine print and read what’s covered or not. Travel insurance can cost as low as $20 for your trip to $400 depending on its terms and conditions.



Onboard Activities

Part of the allure of cruising is the plethora of activities on board the cruise ship. Although most of them are free of charge, some activities do incur additional charges. Some of these “non-free” activities include fitness classes, cooking classes, wine tasting events, and other fun activities like laser tag, Go Karts, IMAX movies and even ice skating.

How to save:
a. Watch for deals on your daily cruise newsletter. Some cruise ships offer discounted rates if you bundle.
b. There are others things to do on a cruise ship that will not cost you extra. You can watch Broadway-like productions, exhilarating game shows, comedy shows, trivia games, BINGO, karaoke showdowns, and other fun-filled activities to keep entertained.

Port Fees and Taxes

The cruise line pays for tax and port charges on every port the ship docks. These charges usually translates into a 12%–15% on top of your cruise fare depending on the cruise line.

Hotel Accommodations

To avoid the possibility of airline delays and the eventual outcome of missing your cruise, Apollo Travel always advise for would-be cruisers to arrive a day ahead especially if you’re flying in. However, that also means you’ll be staying overnight in a hotel.


Parking Fees

Whether you fly or you drive to your port of embarkation, deal with long-term parking fees is a real possibility. This will usually run around $8–$20 dollars per day depending on the location and the level of security they provide.

How to save:
The only way to save on parking fees is to shop around for the best parking rate in and around the area. If you have someone who can take you to the port, that’s even better.

Room Service

Most major cruise lines will now charge a small fee for room service to your stateroom account. For instance, Royal Caribbean charges around $7.50 per room service order. Carnival has recently announced that they are now charging a nominal room service fee per item effective mid January 2019.

How to save:
You can always enjoy the cruise’s complimentary dining options whether buffet style or at the main dining room. If you prefer, you can take some food items from the dining room to your stateroom as a snack for later with no extra charge.

Babysitting Services

In-stateroom babysitting services are no longer available on some of the major cruise lines. However, late night babysitting are still offered so parents can enjoy some late night activities while someone looks after their little ones. Typical charge is around $8 hourly.


One of the few things I adore about cruising is the way you can define your own cruise experience. For the true cost of cruising, it all depends on how much you want to indulge and spend money on. Except for automatic gratuities, port fees and transportation costs, you can choose to spend nothing more than the cruise fare you’ve already paid for. There are plenty of things to do, food to eat, activities to enjoy and sights to behold on a cruise ship that makes them worth your while without having to pay anything extra.

This list should not discourage you from cruising. Rather, it should encourage you to plan your next cruise, calculate your expenses ahead of time and have a better perspective of what to expect from your cruise to get the biggest bang out of your buck. Bon Voyage on you


Passport Application tips

Passport Application tips

Successful Travelling Begins with a Passport

~ Passport information update ~

The Department of State has issued updated passport guidance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In accordance with new safety guidelines, the Postal Service has made changes to its passport application process.

Beginning March 25, 2020, the Postal Service will conduct all passport application services by appointment only. You can use a computer or mobile device to go to to make appointments.

Passport fairs will resume only after it is safe to do so.

Make your passport the first of your travel check-off list

To help you prepare for your international traveling any time of year, here are some passport application tips that are spot-on for happy adventurers. You can access passport information on our Passport Page on®.

The Postal Service has operated as an agent for the U.S. Department of State to process passport applications since the 1970s.

The Postal Service is currently expanding offsite availability of its passport acceptance services and extending appointment hours across the country. You can see a list of passport offices throughout the country at the Department of State Travel Newsroom.

In 2007, more than 18.3 million passports were issued. The Postal Service accepted applications for more than half — 9.8 million. Those passports expired in 2017, creating a surge in passport applications and renewals.

In addition, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (enacted in 2009 that requires a passport or passport card when entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and other countries of the Caribbean by land and sea) has added to the surge.

Preparing to travel out of the country

First, as you make your foreign travel plans, don’t forget to check your passport’s expiration date. It should be valid for at least six months after you return home and needs to have two or more blank pages. Also, be sure to check your family’s passports.

The passport application process can take several weeks, so it’s important to apply for your first-time or renewal passport as soon as you know you and your family will need them. You can check the current approximate processing time on the State Department’s Travel website.

The good news is the Postal Service has 4,800 passport acceptance facilities around the country that can accept first-time passport applications on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. It’s easy to find one by using the USPSLocator for a list of Post Office™ locations near you that process passports.

Gearing up for future travel and in need of a passport? The Postal Service will be here to help by offering the convenience of passport application and renewal at passport fairs, once it is safe to do so. New fairs will be listed regularly so be sure to visit the USPS press release page and click on your state. During the fairs, appointments are not required. Customers are encouraged to arrive early, as applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis until the applicant maximum capacity has been reached.

USPS processes first-time passport applications and passport renewal applications for those not eligible to renew by mail. See ‘How do I renew my passport?’ in the FAQs listed below for information on renewal by mail.

What’s New?

Passport Execution Fee Effective

The Department of State passport execution fee for submitting your passport application to a passport acceptance agent (a United States Post Office, state or local government or State Department official) for verification and review is $35.  For more information, see details at the Department of State .

Applying for a Passport is Just a Few Clicks Away

There are a total of 4,800 Post Offices around the country that offer passport acceptance service. Of these, more than 3,100 offer appointments via telephone, and these select offices now offer the ability to schedule appointments through the online Retail Customer Appointment Scheduler (RCAS) tool.

Be Timely

Current applications for the first-time at acceptance facilities throughout the country, routine passport processing is estimated to take between 4 to 6 weeks.

We encourage adult applicants to apply well in advance of travel plans as we anticipate longer than average wait times for passport processing over the coming months. First time applicants are encouraged to apply at the nearest acceptance facility.

Acceptance facilities do not accept renewal applications, so adult renewal applicants should mail in their application.

Take a new photo

There are new guidelines for passport photos. If you want to renew your passport and your existing photo shows you wearing eyeglasses, you will need to take a new passport photo without them. At some Passport Acceptance Facilities, photos can be taken for an additional fee.

Passport Video

Please see our video on USPS TV for a short presentation with some helpful passport tips. The tips include how early to apply for a passport, where to locate a USPS office for assistance, how long a passport is valid, expiration requirements, application requirements, and other important information to ensure your passport is ready for travel.

For more than 40 years, passport acceptance has continued to provide a convenient service for customers as well as a revenue stream for the Postal Service. The Postal Service is proud to work with the Department of State to provide customers with such a convenient way to apply for their passports.

Frequently Asked Questions

We want to ensure your passport application process goes smoothly and that you have the resources you need to begin your travel planning. Here are some common questions USPS passport acceptance clerks are often asked regarding passports.

Q: How do I apply for a first-time passport?

First-time passport applications must be submitted in-person at a passport acceptance facility (e.g., U.S. Post Office).

Here’s what you’ll need to do at a Post Office facility:

Complete Form DS-11: Application for A U.S. Passport

Submit evidence of U.S. citizenship

Present state-issued identification

Submit a photocopy of the identification document

Pay the applicable fee

Provide one passport photo

At some locations, you can have your passport photo taken on-site for an additional fee.

Q: Can I renew my passport at the passport acceptance facility?

No. First time applicants are encouraged to apply at the nearest acceptance facility. Acceptance facilities do not accept renewal applications, so adult renewal applicants should mail in their application.

Q: How do I renew my passport?

You can apply for a passport renewal by mail if the following apply to your passport:

Undamaged and able to be mailed with your application;

Was issued when you were age 16 or older

Was issued within the last 15 years; and

Was issued in your current name or you can legally document your name change with original or certified copy of your marriage certificate or the government-issued document evidencing your legal name change.

If you meet the above criteria for a mail-in renewal request:

Complete Form DS-82: Application For A U.S. Passport by Mail

Include your most recent U.S. passport book and/or card

Include a certified copy of your marriage certificate or court order if your name has changed

Pay the applicable fee

Provide one passport photo

Mail your application to the address on the form

If none of the above passport criteria apply, then you need to apply in-person. See the USPS Locator for a list of Post Office locations that process passports.

See more information about passport renewals here:

Q: I’m not currently in the United States, how do I apply for a U.S. passport?

See here to apply for a U.S. passport while outside of the United States:–passport-from-outside-the-united-states.html

Q: I’m traveling in two weeks and need my passport renewed. What are my options?

If you have urgent travel needs (within two weeks), make an appointment at your nearest passport agency by visiting Travel.State.Gov or call our National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778.

Q: How long does it take to get my passport?

Passport processing takes between 6 to 8 weeks, however, if you choose an expedited service*, you can receive a faster processing time.

See here for expedited passport application information:

There is a $60 fee for expedited requests.

Q: Where do I find general passport information?

Information, a list of fees and instructions how to apply for a U.S. passport is available at U.S. citizens may also obtain passport information by phone, in English and Spanish, by calling the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778.

Or you can always stop in at your local Post Office and ask us in person, we’re happy to help.

Finally we would like to wish you and yours happy travels this year wherever your journey takes you.

Bon Voyage – Aloha – Cheerio – Farewell – Adios!

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