It had been over ten years since I got a new passport so mine was expired and the girls had never traveled out of the country prior to our trip to the Philippines over a year ago, so we all had to get new passports. We don't have a big passport office here in Durham, unlike the federal building I went to when I applied for my previous one in L.A. Here, all we did was go to the main post office, fill out an application, submit all the necessary documentation and we were good to go! I love small towns :)
There was a time when you can travel to some countries like Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean without a passport. Since the implementation of tighter border security though, you now have to have a passport to vacation in these neighboring countries. Gone are the days when we used to drive down to Mexico for lunch with just our driver's license for ID. Even for a short trip across the border, you now have to have a passport. So even if you don't have any overseas trips plan, it's probably best now to just have a passport anyway. You never know when you'll need it.