Losing a passport when you're abroad is a nightmare. Whether you're traveling for a short period of time or staying in a country for a longer period replacing a passport is a hassle that can get in the way of your plans. Losing your passport also can be a risk when it comes to your identity being stolen.
To keep your passport safe when you're traveling there are a few tips as well as some products to help you keep your valuable identification safe.
Keeping it on your person
When you're getting on and off planes and transferring flights you'll want to keep your passport safe while also having it easily accessible. Don't keep it in luggage that you're checking as you'll have present it multiple times through the traveling process. The easiest thing to do is to keep your passport on your person. This makes sure you always know where it is and also lets you grab it quickly when you need to.
These are a bit like fanny packs but with a much lower profile.
There are a few different styles of wallets and carriers that can keep your passport on you. A neck wallet might not be the most fashionable but it is one of the most functional. This one from Travelambo has many pockets so you can also keep your phone and other items in it, wraps around your neck, and is small enough to be worn underneath a shirt or jacket. As an added bonus it also has RFID-blocking material to stop anyone from scanning your valuables.
Another way to keep your passport physically on you is to use a money belt. These are a bit like fanny packs but with a much lower profile. They can be worn underneath clothes and can be hard to notice by onlookers. The Alpha Keeper money belt has multiple zippered pouches, has enough room for your passport, and has RFID-blocking for extra security. As a bonus, its low profile lets you wear it once you reach your destination as well.
Have a dedicated place for it
While theft is a real concern, another way to lose your passport is to simply misplace it. If you're traveling and just put it in any bag pocket or pouch you may forget where it is or it may fall out of your bag or pocket when moving around and packing and unpacking throughout your trip. While it's much safer to have a passport holder that's physically attached to you if you're just looking for a wallet that can also hold a passport there are a variety of options. Remember it's safer to store wallets in front pockets as they are closer to your body than back pockets which can be easier to steal from.
Simpac has a sleek looking one that looks more like a traditional wallet but is big enough for a passport. It has slots for cards and other items. It doesn't attach to your person but if that isn't a priority for you this one is lighter weight than other options. It also has RFID-blocking for extra security.
If you're looking for something more elegant, Travelambo has a wallet that's more in the vein of a pocket book. It has a subtle design with a flip over button shot top that's cut in the shape of many pocket books. It has enough room for multiple passports, cards, money, and has an internal zipper pouch. A nice touch is that it has a SIM card pouch which can make it easier to switch to a local sim because you'll have a place to keep your U.S. one. It also has enough room for a phone up to 5.8 inches. As with the others, it has RFID-blocking.
If you're traveling with your family or in a large group the Zoppen wallet has room for multiple passports as well plane tickets and many other items. It's water resistant, it says proof but is not submersible, for a little extra protection. It has RFID protection and includes a wristlet to help keep it on your person.
Having a dedicated spot in a wallet for these items will get you in the habit of putting your passport in one place and also give you a visual reminder of where it is as you'll be using your wallet throughout your travels. You'll also be made quickly aware of it going missing if you go to use your wallet for something else and don't see your passport.
Alternatives to keeping it on your person
It's important to remember though that any safe in a hotel isn't your personal safe.
If you don't want to keep it on you when you travel, you can keep your passport locked in hotel safes after you arrive at your destination. Many hotels have safes in the room that provide some extra security. It's important to remember though that any safe in a hotel isn't your personal safe, and isn't as secure as one you'd have in your home where you know who has the keys or combinations. If you are hesitant to trust a hotel or location you are staying at it's best to keep a hold of your passport and other valuables.
Ways to make replacing it easier
In a worst-case scenario where you do lose your passport, you'll have to be able to prove who you are and apply for a new one. One major step you can do to help this process is making a copy of your current passport, in fact, you should make multiple copies.
You can keep these copies in different locations but should have at least one with you as you travel, one at home, and one with a trusted friend or family member. You can also keep a digital copy that you store on your phone or a safe cloud storage solution. Your passport has identification numbers and dates that will make the process of applying for a new passport easier.
The information on a passport will help you in your application for a new one but if you'd like to take it a step further you can get a certified copy of your passport.
Wrapping things up
The best way to keep a passport safe is simply to keep it with you as much as possible. These bags and items will help you do that but you'll need to stay on top of where your passport is. If you do lose your passport make sure you have copies of it and report it going missing immediately.
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