Passport Safety Tips for International Travellers
Your passport is an internationally recognized document used to prove your citizenship and identity. You will need your passport to board international flights to visit other countries or when returning to your homeland. Therefore, passport safety should always be one of your top priorities while travelling internationally.
Losing Your Passport May put Your Travel Plans on Hold:
- You may not be allowed to board international flights
- Missing your flight may mean losing the money you paid for your airline ticket
- A passport serves as valid international proof of identity, in the wrong hands your passport may be used for identity theft
In this post, we will discuss passport safety while travelling.
Make Sure Your Passport is Valid:
Check your passport’s expiry date. Typically, you will be allowed to travel internationally if your passport has a minimum of at least 6 months validity remaining. If your expiry date is nearing, renew your passport before you travel. Make sure at least a few unused pages are available for visa stamping.
Make Copies Before You Travel:
Make multiple photocopies of your passport before you travel. Carry a couple of additional copies with you and keep them separately from the original, preferably in other bags.
Note: You won’t be allowed to board flights with photocopies of your passport. However, the photocopy will help you in expediting the passport replacement process at the local embassy if you lose the original one.
To learn more about the procedures for replacing lost passports, refer to the information booklets available at the passport office. This information is usually published on the office’s official website as well.
Scan a Copy and Save it Online:
As you know, losing a passport can be very inconvenient. It is important to have it replaced as soon as possible to avoid further hassles. Before you travel, scan your passport pages and save a copy online.
You can upload the scanned pages on apps like Google Drive or DropBox. Alternatively, you can zip or compress the scanned pages and send them from one of your e-mail IDs to another one. This way you can access them from any computer with an internet connection.
If you have long-term visa stamps on your passport, scan these pages and save them online too. It will make your job easier if you need to reapply for these visas.
Another option is to email the scanned copies to a family member or friend whom you trust. You can always call them to help you out if you lose your passport.
Save a scanned copy on your mobile phone too. If you are fortunate not to lose your mobile phone along with your passport, then the scanned copy will come in handy for initiating the replacement process at the embassy.
Include Your Contact Information:
Write your contact information, such as your telephone number and email address, on a small piece of paper and place it inside your passport. If you lose your passport, this will increase the chances of you getting it back.
Note: do not overlook this basic passport safety practice.
Exchange Passport Copies with Your Travel Partners:
If you are travelling in a group, leave a copy of your passport with your fellow travellers. This way, if your passport is lost or stolen, you will be able to access a copy even if you do not have access to the internet.
Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket:
When travelling in groups, don’t make the mistake of having one person carry all the passports. This is a very poor passport safety practice as you may lose all of your passports at the same time.
Even if there are children in your group, it is not a good idea to place their passports with one person. It is better to spread them out among several adults.
Always Carry Your Passport:
The best person to take care of your passport is you. You can secure it safely in a money belt. Never keep your passport in your back pocket; this location is an easy target for pickpockets. It can also easily slip out of your back pocket.
Look online for belts and wallets specifically designed for carrying a passport and money while travelling. If you are carrying your passport in a cross body purse, make sure it is always in the front of your body and zipped securely at all times.
Be Aware of Passport Scams:
Not everyone you meet while travelling will have your best interests in mind. You may come across corrupt police officers or even con artists posing as police officers.
If someone who looks like an official asks you to produce your passport on the streets, try your best not to hand over your passport to that person. If you must provide identification, try using another piece of photo identification, such as a government-issued ID card. Contact your provincial or territorial service centre for more information about getting photo identification that is separate from your driver’s license.
Corrupt individuals may try to extort money from you in exchange for returning your passport. If they insist that you hand over your passport, try to make sure you do so in a public place where at least a few people can witness the exchange.
Don’t be easily intimidated because these individuals expect you to become scared and lose your composure. If you are cool and composed, it may throw the perpetrator off-guard, and they may decide to leave you alone.
If the individual is a real officer, then they should not have a problem accompanying you to your hotel, where they can easily verify your identification.
When checking in at a hotel, you may be asked to give your passport to the front desk clerk; this is a common practice. If you are not comfortable with this, ask the hotel clerk to accept a copy of your passport instead of the original.
Learn about the hotels you will be staying at before embarking on your journey. https://www.travelance.ca/passport-safety-tips-for-international-travellers/You can find a lot of information about the hotel through online reviews. Be sure to check several sources for a complete picture of others’ reviews.
It is easy to go overboard after a few drinks, especially when you are on holidays abroad. However, make sure to check that you have your passport with you every hour or so.
Note: When checking for your passport, make sure you do so discreetly, not in full public view. Carrying your passport in a passport folder can help mask its appearance.
Additional Tips for International Travel:
Always travel with travel insurance. Reputable companies like Travelance offer competitively priced insurance packages for travellers. For more information or to find a broker in your area, call 1-855-566-8555.