There's a lot about US passports that you might not know (like you're allowed to have two of them), but if you're taking an international vacation sometime soon, you might wanna double-check your credentials: the State Department's predicting a spike in passport renewals in the coming months, which translates to longer processing times than usual. They've even named September Passport Awareness Month,
These expected delays come thanks to an "unprecedented surge in passport applications" which occurred nearly 10 years ago, resulting in an increasing number of renewal requests as those passports begin to expire. Thus, it would behoove anyone who got their passport before President Obama took office, or who's never gotten a passport at all, to submit their requests ASAP to avoid any potential snags -- especially if you're going somewhere (like the EU) that requires at least six months of passport validity when you visit.
Sure, you can fork over an extra $60 to try and shave a few weeks off the processing time, but that's not likely to do you much good if the whole system is bogged down with an overwhelming volume of renewal requests (including your own), is it? Remember, the off-peak season for passports is from September through December, so just stop by your local passport agency office or submit your renewal by mail, ASAP.