SHAFTSBURY >> International travel increased in 2015 to more than 1.2 billion travelers. According to the World Tourism Organization, that's 4.4 percent more than in 2014 — 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 Shaftsbury Post Office is hosting a Passport Day with extended hours on Saturday, April 2.

Just stop by the Shaftsbury Post Office at 56 Church Street between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on April 2, no appointment is necessary. Postal clerks can even take your passport photo if you do not have one.

Shaftsbury Postmaster Michael Ryan says "With routine passport processing times of six weeks, it's never too early to start planning for that out-of-country trip. And we're here to help." He 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.