An exciting holiday can quickly turn into one from the pages of a horror book when you lose your passport. Even as a savvy traveler, you can never predict what will happen in transit. To avoid the headache, we've compiled the best strategies for keeping your passport safe while traveling according to travelers on an online platform.
1. Conduct a “Status Check” Before Departure
A travel enthusiast says, “Before I depart or move to any location like the bathroom, I do a status check to ensure my passport remains where I last kept it. “A status check lets you know you have your passport tucked away safely before you get into the travel madness.
2. Use Zippered Pockets
You don't want your passport dangling out when you're walking; it may fall or get lost easily. A backpacker suggests, “Whether it's in your pants, jacket, or in a carry-on, I keep my passport in a zippered pocket to ensure safety.” Zippered pockets could be in a tote bag, trousers, or fanny pack that you'll carry around your chest.
3. Agree To Check With Each Other When Traveling as a Group
If you're traveling as a group, it's wise to agree on a particular point that you'll hold each other accountable for your passports. Take time to check and ensure you all have your travel documents and they are safely kept. It's also acceptable to carry the passports in one bag so you all know where to look.
4. Invest in a Passport Holder
Cross-body bags or nice wallets will serve as great passport holders. Don't keep your passport in your pocket as it could be easy to misplace. Keeping it in your luggage is also risky as you may be required to leave your luggage behind in an emergency. It's best to use a passport pouch that will always be with you.
5. Consider the Hotel Safe
Once you arrive at your destination, you don't need to carry your passport everywhere you go. You can move around with your driver's license or local government ID and leave your passport in the hotel safe. Sometimes a screenshot of your passport, if needed, will suffice in some countries.
6. Make Copies
It's best to carry two to three copies of your passport with you and have them in different places as you travel. Also, email a separate document to a family member or friend. An online contributor says, “I prefer to have my passport copies at hand but keep my original passport safe.”
7. Don't Give Your Passport to Anyone for “Safekeeping”
You are solely responsible for your passport and shouldn't have anyone else keeping it for you. No matter how trustworthy and accountable the person may appear, leaving your passport with them is not advisable. They may get pickpocketed, drop the passport, get in trouble with authorities, or go through several other unexpected events while holding it.
8. Use a Passport Cover
A passport cover will protect it from wear and tear, keep it safe from water damage, keep the pages from bending over, and help you to identify it amongst other items in your luggage. This reduces the risk of misplacement.
9. Complete All of Your Passport's Detail Sections
Don't leave your details blank on your passport. Please fill them out with your current information. In case of loss, they contact you using the details you give. Include a working phone number and the latest address to make it easy for whoever finds it to contact you. An online user affirms, “A kind-hearted person called me back for my missing passport when they saw the phone number on the back.”
10. Check for Your Passport Regularly
Depending on where you choose to put your passport, check that you still have it while you travel. However, do this privately, as you don't know who you're sitting next to. There have been many cases of stolen passports. A traveler recalls, “This time, I had my passport in my front pocket, but by the time I was alighting, it was missing. I think it fell during a layover. If I had checked, maybe I would have found it.”
11. Don't Put It in Your Carry-on Bag
Having your passport in your suitcase may sound convenient, but remember, your bag will go through security checks as you move from one point to another. Due to this, you may easily misplace it or leave it behind.
12. Insure Your Passport
When travel insurance covers your passport, it will handle the costs of loss or damage. This preventive measure ensures you won't incur unexpected replacement costs. Also, your travel insurance agent can advise you on how to go about your trip in case you lose your passport.
An online user advises, “Don't take your passport out when you don't need it!” This will ensure it remains safely tucked where you kept it, and will prevent you from misplacing it or prying eyes from seeing where it is kept.
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