Having a passport gives you the ability to travel the world. You will find yourself quite challenged if your passport is lost or stolen when you're abroad, so it's important to keep it safe at all times. It's certainly worth your while to avoid the stress of having to replace your passport so you can get back home or becoming a victim of identity theft. It's better to be proactive, before and during your travels, to ensure the security of your passport.
Make at least two copies of your passport information before departing on your trip. Leave one copy with family or friends. Carry another copy with you. In the event that your passport is lost or stolen, contact your nearest U.S. consulate or embassy office. The copy contains information that will aid in the process of obtaining a reissued passport.
Leave your passport in your hotel room or cruise cabin only if you can lock it in a room/cabin safe. If your room lacks a safe, ask the management at the establishment to lock it in the hotel's safe.
Protect your passport from pickpockets if carrying it while you are out. Place it in an inside pocket or a hidden money belt and away from any other cash or valuables. If you choose to carry your passport in your bag or purse, make sure it's closed and you keep it close to your body by wearing the shoulder strap across your chest. Many luggage and travel accessory companies sell passport holders and packs specifically made to keep your passport safe.
Tips & Warnings
- While not common today, some hotels hold your passport for a short period to report your information to local authorities as per local tourism laws. If you're uneasy with this practice, see if the establishment will accept a copy of your passport in lieu of holding onto the passport itself.
- Don't have one person in your group hold on to everyone's passports. Have each adult in the party responsible for her own passport. This lessens the possibility that all the passports will be lost or stolen.
- Don't store your passport in your locked luggage. In the event of a robbery, a thief will simply walk out of your room with the bag and all its contents.
- Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
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