If you are a frequent or infrequent international traveler, you need your passport for travel abroad. But a critical issue since 9/11 is that you must complete your travel (that is, your return to the U.S.) within 6 months PRIOR to the expiration of your passport. For example, if I plan to go to Israel in October 2016 and my passport expires in January of 2017, my passport MUST be renewed before my trip.
And when it comes to renewing your passport, know that during the height of travel season- the summer- it can take up to 6 weeks to get your passport renewed. Of course, there are companies that charge you a fee to get it done faster if there is a time squeeze. But if you plan a few months ahead, you’ll be fine. So if you are traveling during the summer, renew your passport by March and you should be good to go.
If you are planning to go into Jordan (perhaps to visit Petra), then you must secure a visa. The cost of a visa is somewhere around $65 and must be paid in U.S. dollars (you cannot use a credit card) at the Jordanian border crossing. With Israel Celebration Tours, we take your passport information ahead of time and pass it along to the border facilities. This way, when you get to the border crossing, they have all your information and the process is a lot quicker.