Your passport is an important document that gets you in and out of countries and allows you to travel the world. That is why you have to protect it when you are traveling, because the last thing you need is for it to be lost or stolen.
Before you even go on vacation, make copies of your passport and leave the copies (as well as copies of any other important identification documentation) with a trusted family member or friend. Scan the documents and send the copies to your email so they are accessible to you at any time should you need them.
When you are traveling, keep your passport on you. Do not pack it in your checked luggage, even after you pass airport security. Do not put it in your carry on unless you can lock the luggage. You just never know who can get up while you are sleeping and search through your bag. Your passport should be on you at all times. In some countries, it’s actually required that you possess your passport. To hide it from potential thieves, you can put your passport in a front pocket, thigh pouch, security anklet pouch, or money belt – any kind of pouch that is hidden under your clothing.
If you are in a country that does not require that you have the document on you, then lock it up in the safe at the hotel or on the cruise.
It is also important to keep the passport and all of your important documentation in a waterproof pouch to make sure they aren’t saturated with spilled coffee or dropped in any liquid – hey, accidents happen, so don’t say it won’t happen to you.
If your passport is unfortunately lost or stolen, it can be replaced, but know that once you report it lost or stolen, it is invalid and cannot be used to travel internationally. If you are in another country, find the nearest US embassy or consulate and report it and file a police report. Try to find a place to take a new passport photo and bring the photo and your identification (remember the email) to the embassy or consulate.
Sign up for the U.S. Passports & International Travel’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at step.state.gov. You can receive travel and security updates about your destination, and it will help them to contact you in case of an emergency.
Travel Specialist Group