The most valuable document you will need when traveling overseas is your passport. It establishes your US citizenship. Please take great care with it. Never lend it to anyone or use it as security for a loan. Your best means of identification is this. When you check into hotels, consulates, or embassies, or when you pick up the mail, you will need it. The passport page with your photo and details must be signed and notarized in most foreign countries. A passport Apostille might also be required so it’s best to check with your destination country before traveling. You can keep your passport safety by following a few passport safety tips when traveling abroad.
You could be required to fill out a police card with your name, passport number, destination, local address, and reason for travel while entering certain countries or checking into hotels. It could be necessary for you to leave your passport at the hotel reception desk for the duration of the night so that local police officers can review it.
These are standard processes mandated by regional statutes. Report the impoundment of your passport as soon as possible to the local police authorities and the closest American embassy or consulate if it is not returned the next morning.
According to law enforcement records, criminals abroad who wish to assume a different identity occasionally use U.S. passports to enter the country illegally. When identities are connected to illegal activity, this could humiliate innocent citizens of the United States.
Consular officials stationed abroad have discovered that when handling lost passport situations, they must be careful to safeguard both the security of the bearer and the integrity of the United States passport. The process of issuing a new passport may take some time due to these procedures.
The most common reason for losing or having a passport stolen is negligence. The country you’re visiting may require you to carry your passport as identification, or you’ll need to bring it when you cash traveler’s checks. Keep your passport hidden on your person when you have to carry it. Never put it in an open pocket or in a handbag. Your passport should never be left in your luggage or in an unoccupied hotel room; instead, place it in the hotel safe. It is not ideal for one family member to have the passports for everyone in the group.
Particularly vulnerable to theft are hip pockets, coat pockets, and handbag pockets. Thieves will use a variety of strategies to divert your focus long enough for them to reach into your pocket and take your wallet or bag. These tricks can involve making a commotion, getting stuff on your clothes, or even giving you a baby to cuddle.
One way to try and stop theft is to make sure your possessions are carried securely. For instance, when traveling congested streets, think about not carrying a wallet or pocketbook.
When wearing a shoulder bag, women should tuck it under their arms and hold it firmly by the strap. Men should utilize money belts instead of hip pockets or place their wallets in the front pockets of their pants. Rubber-banded wallets are harder to take out discreetly. In crowded places like the subway, buses, markets, festivals, or areas with lots of homeless kids, use extra caution. Don’t give thieves an easy time.
It’s best to keep your passport in the hotel safe and make sure you have a color copy of both your passport and visa with you at all times. Certain nations mandate that you keep your passport with you at all times. However, most people won’t mind if you bring a color copy. Whether you’re traveling abroad for a short or extended vacation passport safety should always remain a top priority.