When you’re moving to a new country or just traveling for fun, the last thing you want to worry about is losing your passport and other important travel documents. Your passport is your key to not only traveling across borders, but also proving your citizenship. It is of the utmost importance to keep your passport in a safe place to avoid future problems!
1. Carry your Passport on Your Person
If your passport is physically close to you, it’s easier to keep it secure. Put it in a location that’s hard to get to - not your back pocket! If you carry it in a travel bag or purse, secure it carefully in an inside pocket. One of the safest options is to wear a pouch or bag under your clothes.
2. Keep a Physical Photocopy of Your Passport With You
In fact, it's best to make many copies and put them in different places! In addition to this, a digital scan on your phone is great to have as a back up.
3. Put a Cover on Your Passport
A cover not only keeps your passport pages from being damaged, but also further protects you if you want to have a low profile and not draw attention to your nationality.
4. Never Put Your Passport in Your Carry On Luggage
When you are carrying your luggage around the airport or trying to catch a taxi, mishaps can occur. Someone might mistakenly (or purposefully) grab your bag when you glance away for a moment, or you might accidentally leave your bag on a bus or a taxi.
5. Be Consistent and Check Often
Keep your passport in the same place while traveling, and regularly check that your passport is safely where you last placed it. Make sure you check in a private space though, not in a busy area with lots of people.
6. If You Don't Need To Use It, Put It Away
To minimize risk, just put your passport away! After you check into a flight, put it away in your designated space until you need it again. After you arrive to your hotel or hostel and you don’t need to carry your passport around, lock it up in a secure location. If your room doesn’t’ have a safe place, consider buying your own travel lock.
7. Understand the Culture You’re Traveling to
It’s good to have have some knowledge about the new culture you are traveling to - this will help you know what will make you stand out as a tourist or what might make you a target for potential thieves and scams. Be careful who you show your passport to and make sure they are an official authority figure.
8. Know What To Do If Something Happens To Your Passport
In the event that something does happen to your passport, it’s important to know what to do and how to move forward. You should immediately report your lost passport to avoid identity theft and follow your country's procedures for replacing your passport. Most countries will have a website or phone number you can report it to and receive help.
It's a good idea to always carry another form of identity on you as well, such as a driver's license.
You can never be too safe with your passport and other important documents! Adopt smart travel habits that will minimize the risk of theft or loss so you can enjoy your travels more.