Being a fairly frequent traveller, it is important to time a passport renewal in between trips to ensure it arrives back in time for the next trip.
My passport was due for renewal in September 2016, but I had four trips between the start of the year and then, so I had to think about how I was going to do it. The biggest gap was between my recent skiing trip to Nice in February and a few days we are spending there at the end of May.
I filled out the forms online and made the payment of £72.50 using a credit card. I then printed the forms and took them to the Post Office where I could get my photos taken too. These cost £5 for 5; it is a shame that you cannot select how many you need as I know have 3 awful identical photos that are of no use to me. The lady at the counter was very helpful, and recommended that I send it special delivery. This was another £6.45, but thankfully they accept AmEx so it was another 9 Avios in the pot.
Now I just have to wait until it arrives back. I could have paid an additional £3 to have my old passport returned by recorded delivery, but I am not worried.
The total cost was £83.95 which is fine for the lifetime of the passport, but 16% more than the base cost, so it does add up. I am just glad that I will now have an ePassport like all my other frequent travelling companions so I don’t get stuck in the horrendous queues at the border!