I bought my plane ticket inside the 4-6 week window for passport renewal. So, I opted to wait to the 2 week mark to make an appointment, per the Department of State instructions. Mistake. The next appointment is only four days before I leave. Now, I am faced with paying an extra $150 to a passport agency to handle my passport application.
Since my tickets were paid for with frequent flyer miles (Thank you United) I can delay my trip. But, I don’t want to! Life is short. I’ll go again in the Spring, anyways. This is an exploratory trip.