Our passports are a rite of passage, figuratively and literally. It is a must-have to travel to an international destination, but also having it means you have taken the first step to international travel. A passport is an important document, and we should treat it as such at all times. Here are some ideas to care for your passport.
Make sure to make a copy of your passport. As a traveler, I have kept copies at home in an easy-to-find place, in inner pockets of my luggage, and my purses while traveling. You should secure your actual passport in a secure place in the hotel room, like a safe if provided or in a locked bag if you leave it in a vacation rental to keep your passport secure. Try never to tour or sightsee with your actual passport. Carry another form of identification, even if not local. It will suffice to let people know who you are in unfortunate circumstances.
The most important information on your passport is the issue date, issuing agency, passport number, and expiration date. In case you have misplaced or lost your actual passport, this information is vital to replacing or renewing your passport.
Getting a replacement or new passport is not always an easy process, and it can be even more challenging when you are not in your home country. Please store your country’s embassy or consulate information in the same place you keep copies of your passport. For more passports safety tips, you can find helpful information on STEP, The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program before you travel if you should need embassy or consulate services.
Try to keep your passport in a passport holder. Some newer passports have an RFID chip, and people looking for that information with a scanner can get your passport information without touching you or your passport. Therefore, don’t just get a pretty case, but get one with RFID protection similar to what some wallets now have for credit cards. Additionally, if your passport is damaged or defaced, such as if it is dropped accidentally in water, it will not be accepted or acknowledged as a valid form of ID.
Passports are a vital piece of information when you travel internationally, and you should treat them as such. Have you ever misplaced your passport while traveling? Do you have any other passport safety tips? I’d like to know.