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How To Keep Your Travel Documents Safe

“I make copies and give them to my wife. She keeps them in her
around-the-neck document holder. I put them under my shirt or fold them up
into an around-the-neck document holder. They are always on our bodies

On a side note, I keep a wallet from the dollar or £ store with just enough
paper in it to create a slight bulge where the wallet is supposed to be.
Generally, I wear a thin windbreaker/raincoat that covers all my pockets.

We also draw only enough local currency from a bank cash point (“hole in
the wall”) to cover the day’s room and food with a no-charge ATM card that
cannot be used as a credit card should it be lost.. That gives us the best
rate of exchange. We rarely use a credit card outside the US.”

Evan Jackson
Virginia Beach, VA USA


I read in several travel tips several years ago (how is that for vague?) that you should take a photocopy of your passport and hide it in your luggage – say in the lining – or better yet take your expired passport with you. This advice also suggested copies of your credit and ATM cards to have the numbers available in case the cards were stolen. I do that and have never had a problem, but then I have never had any travel documents or cards stolen – I keep them on my body to avoid pickpocket problems. Thank God for e-tickets, I no longer worry about losing the printed ticket. I have only been on 3 international tours (I prefer to travel with a friend or two) but on each one at least one person in the tour lost documents or credit/ATM cards through carelessness (carrying them in a purse or a backpocket wallet.)

I do wonder about the safety of carrying the copies. I am curious if anyone has had occasion to use the copies or have had a problem with losing the copies. Does having a photocopy of your passport expedite the replacement?”

Richard (Dick) Pilgrim

“I plan on scanning my passport and visa into a new copier we just got at work that will store it as a PDF I can email. I plan on sending it to myself and to my parents.”

Marilynn Storms

“RE: Copies of travel documents, passport etc.
When traveling to modern destinations I scan all my documents and email them to me. This way if I should loose any of them all I have to do is log on to get my email and just make a copy of them.”

KC Curatolo, USA

“I only carry my travel documents from location to location. Once I arrive at a destination I lock them in a hotel safe (in many parts of the world the hotel requires this anyway). I carry copies with me as I sight see around the area. This reduces the odds of having my documents stolen and ruining my trip, but provides what I need if I have an accident or something. Just remember that to cash a travelers cheque you need your actual passport (but who uses travelers cheques much anymore?). If I’m traveling with a companion we carry a copy of each others documents so if one of us is robbed we still have everything we need to remedy the situation. It’s much easier and faster to get an emergency passport when you have a copy of the original (or so I’m told). With all my precautions I’ve never lost my passport or had it stolen, though my daughter left hers on an airplane once. Kudos to the cleaning crew in Hue, Viet Nam, for returning it and not selling it on the black market.”

Donna – Vermont

“Here’s a tip I learned from someone:

Scan copies of all your travel documents (and perhaps the numbers of your credit and debit cards) and e-mail the scans to a free e-mail account you have set up with a service like Yahoo, MSN, etc. Rather than carrying copies around, you have them available online if you need them. These days, its pretty easy to find an internet cafe where you can access them and print them out if you need them.”



I recently returned from a trip to Italy. Luckily for me I was attending a
school in a small hilltop town in Tuscany, so I felt very safe. But none
the less I had color copied my passport, drivers license, and credit cards
(front and back). I trimmed the copies so I was basically carrying little
paper versions of my documents (which took up virtually no space). I
slipped them into a ziploc bag and kept them in my silk money belt. It lay
perfectly flat under my clothes along with some additional money for
emergencies. The ziploc bag kept them moisture-free and legible. Leaving
copies in luggage or a hotel safe may leave you stranded if you’re out and
about and your wallet/purse is stolen. This would be especially traumatic
if you have no money to get back to your hotel or call for help. Bags can
also be lost in flight and hotel rooms are open to cleaning staff while you
are enjoying the sights.”

MariLouise Sole


The easiest way to keep copies of your travel documents available is to scan them in and attach them to a draft e-mail saved in an on-line e-mail account like yahoo, hotmail, gmail, etc. These accounts are available to you internationally from libraries or Internet cafes as well as many other places. If you lose any of your official documents just login in and print an attachment from your saved e-mail.”

Baltimore, MD

3 thoughts on "How To Keep Your Travel Documents Safe"

  • Glyni Cumming says:

    Thank you for all the good advice.

  • Doudoune Moncler Outlet says:

    thanks for your share,wish you have a good

  • Larry Benedict says:

    Tanks for all the tips. I am taking my first out of the USA Trip to the Philippines to meet my GF and family…i am reading everything i can to be up to date on security proplem i could face???

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