Tags: international | travel | protect | passport

International Travel: 8 Ways to Protect Your Passport

By    |   Tuesday, 31 May 2016 11:10 AM

A lost, stolen or damaged passport can ruin a carefully planned international vacation, not to mention the possibility of identity theft causing lingering problems once you've returned home.

Here are eight ways to protect your passport.

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1. Make copiesThe U.S. Department of State advises travelers to make two photocopies of the ID page of their passport and other travel documents. Leave one copy with a friend or relative at home and carry the other copy separate from the original. Having a copy with the pertinent details of your passport will help prove identity and speed up the process to replace a lost or stolen document.

2. Don't hand it over
— Be wary of those who want to hold onto your passport, Corporate Travel Safety warns. If a foreign hotel asks to take possession of the document, ask if they will accept a copy instead. Also be on the lookout for phony or corrupt police officers asking for your passport and avoid or delay handing it over until you are in sight of a group of people and can verify the legitimacy of the request.

3. Use a cover — A blank cover will help keep your passport from drawing attention, Corporate Travel Safety notes. Many covers also include features that shield your passport from unauthorized devices that can read the RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip in your passport. Conceal your passport in a hidden belt or travel bag with anti-theft features.

4. Plastic bags and locks
— Placing your passport and other travel documents in a plastic bag can protect them from being damaged by spills and moisture, USA Today notes. Using travel locks and placing your bags in wire netting can also deter theft.

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5. Keep it secure — Whether you choose to carry your passport with you or lock it in a hotel safe once you reach your destination, experts advise vigilance in keeping it safe. Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com, recommends wearing a passport holder underneath your shirt to keep your passport with you at all times, according to CNN. He also recommends never losing sight of your possessions and investing in a portable alarm.

6. One per person — When traveling with others, don't have one person carry all passports together, Travel Insurance Review advises. Instead, each adult should carry his or her own passport, and the passports of children should be divided among the adults. This eliminates the problem of losing all passports at once.

7. Include contact information — Adding emergency contact information such as a phone number will enable a lost passport to be more easily returned to its owner, Travel Insurance Review says.

8. Contact authorities — If your passport has been lost or stolen, you should contact the State Department to deactivate the passport, the Better Business Bureau advises. File a police report if you think it was stolen. Then apply for a new passport. Seek the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate office for assistance.

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A lost, stolen or damaged passport can ruin a carefully planned international vacation, not to mention the possibility of identity theft causing lingering problems once you've returned home.
international, travel, protect, passport
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2016-10-31
Tuesday, 31 May 2016 11:10 AM
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