PAWLET >> Strong travel demand from the U.S. propelled 20 million American tourists abroad through the first four months of 2015. According to the World Tourism Organization, that's 7 percent more than that period the prior year — and the U.S. Postal Service is ready to prepare travelers for such future excursions.

Now is the time to plan that international trip of your dreams. To make it easier to apply for a U.S. Passport, the Pawlet Post Office is hosting a Passport Day with extended hours on Saturday, Feb. 13.

Stop by the Pawlet Post Office at 5707 VT Route 30 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on February 13; no appointment is necessary. Postal clerks can even take your passport photo if you do not have one.

Pawlet Officer In Charge Jennifer McDermott says "With routine passport processing times of four to six weeks, it's never too early to start planning for that out-of-country trip. And we're here to help." She cites as an excellent resource for getting passport paperwork and locating other acceptance facilities across the nation.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.