Keeping Your Passport Safe

Losing your passport before or during foreign travel can really put a damper on your plans. This is why it is so crucial to always keep a close eye on the official documentation. If you lose your passport, it could delay your upcoming vacation abroad, or it could delay your return home. It could also delay your plans to travel to yet another country. Thankfully, a few easy tips can make keeping your passport safe and secure a much easier task.

Money Belts

Money belts can go a long way in keeping your passport safe and sound, no matter where you are. These small, flattened pouches can be worn tightly against your body. They have zippers that can keep passports securely inside. If you fasten the adjustable cloth belt, your money belt will be totally invisible to all others. Losing a passport becomes significantly harder if it's on your body at all times.

Hotel Safes

If you don't feel quite comfortable keeping your passport on your person while you explore and check out the sights, you can keep it locked away in your accommodations. Many hotel rooms feature security safes for guest use. If you're planning on visiting a particularly crowded tourist attraction or event, this can help give you some much-needed peace of mind. If you keep your passport in a suitcase while you're out of your room, be sure it has sturdy locks and lockable zippers.

Smart Practices

Tourist attractions and hostels sometimes ask for deposits in the form of personal identification. If you come across this request, refrain from handing over your passport, period. Instead, give the staff your driver's license. Getting a new driver's license is markedly easier, and quicker, than getting a new passport.

While traveling with lots of baggage can be extremely stressful logistics-wise, it's important to avoid making one big mistake: placing your passport anywhere in the baggage section of a bus or train. This is especially problematic when the bus or train is crowded. The goal is to always have your passport in front of you and easily accessible. Remember, it isn't hard for unattended baggage to become stolen, misplaced, or lost.

While precautions can indeed be helpful for preventing lost passport scenarios, there are no guarantees. If you do end up losing your passport for whatever reason, stay calm. Keeping several photocopies of your passport can make replacing it a much easier and faster process. It's important, however, to be just as protective of the copies as you are of your actual passport. Keep your passport photocopies in safe and concealed spots. If you lose your passport, report the situation immediately.

Last Updated: February 12, 2015