It’s your identification.
It indicates where you are from, where you’ve been, and where you’re allowed to go. You could say it takes you places, but it also allows you to go home.
It’s a symbol.
It’s a book of dreams, and of possibilities. It allows you to enter dozens of countries, cultures, access knowledge, and new experiences.
It’s a story.
It chronicles your passage from one country to the next, from one year to the next. Each stamp, visa, and scratch provokes a memory. Your own compressed mixed media scrapbook of travel memories. That’s your passport. There’s so much in one tiny little book that it’s almost easy to take it for granted. But you shouldn’t. Make sure you keep it safe.
Your passport should be your most prized possession when you’re traveling. Here are a few tips to help you keep your passport safe before and during your trip:
- Photograph the information on the identification page of your passport and email yourself a digital copy. Also send it to a family member or friend you can trust. If your passport is lost or stolen, a digital copy can speed up the emergency replacement process.
- Put it in a Passport Cover. If you just chuck your passport unprotected into your bag or pocket, it’s more likely to get damaged. Keep your passport in good condition, so you’re less likely to be scrutinized or detained by immigration staff.
- Keep it in a safe place! Your back pocket or the outside pocket of your backpack do not qualify as “safe places.” If you are staying somewhere safe, then you can leave it in your locked hotel room, or deep in your bag. If you are staying in a bamboo hut on the beach it might be an idea to carry it with you. Check out our neck wallets as a super safe way to carry your passport around with you.
Here’s my old passport.
It went around the world with me many times. Every once in a while I pick it up and flick through the pages, and the memories come flooding back.