It is reccomended that you do not keep your passport in your pack pocket

Your passport is the most important document when traveling abroad—keeping it in safe custody in a foreign country demands prudent measures. Keeping in touch with your surroundings would be best because losing your passport abroad can be a drawn-out and inconvenient process. A stolen or lost U.S. passport means you may not be able to get back into your country as planned. Explaining your options will help you narrow your options, keeping your U.S. passport secure. 

1. Keep Your Passport On You

Pro: You will always have a universally accepted legal document when you carry your passport. Even if you have your State issued ID, some countries won’t accept it.  Keeping your passport on you is also recommended in case of an accident or any legal issue during your stay.

In most cases, you will need to prove that you are legally in their country. They may ask to see the arrival stamp on your passport to verify that you are legally allowed in the country.

Con: There is a more substantial chance of stealing or losing your passport. Try keeping your passport in hidden pockets, not easily accessible to anyone around you. Try not to keep essential documents in your wallet because your wallet is usually the first thing to go if you are stolen from or pickpocketed. 

2. Leave Your Passport in Your Hotel Room

Pro: Your passport is least likely to get pickpocketed if you aren’t carrying the passport with you. 

Con: You must find a safe place to put your passport in your hotel room. Safes are easy to break into, and locks are relatively easy to pick. Unrelated but essential, some countries require you to carry your passport with you. Check to see if the country you are traveling to has this requirement. If you get into legal trouble, such as an arrest, you will not be able to return to the hotel room to retrieve your passport. This can cause a prolonged stay in a country because you must prove that you are in their country legally with your passport. 

3. Keep Photocopies of your Documentation

We recommend you take multiple color photocopies of your travel documentation, including your passport and visa. Keep photocopies on your person or with a trusted friend. Some recommend keeping extra copies in your travel luggage. It may help to take a photo or scan documents on your phone. This way, you have a backup option in case you need a specific document that you do not have on you. 

4. Consider a Passport Card

Some experienced travelers recommend acquiring a passport card and carrying it instead of your passport book. A passport card still acts as a passport, so you can use it as an ID on your trip. It’s also more convenient to use because of its size. Losing your passport card may not be favorable, but it won’t set you back as much as a passport book. For one, they cost less, and you do not need the card to return to your country. Remember that you cannot use a passport card for international travel, so you will still need to bring the book with you on your flights. Read more about passport books VS passport cards.

5. Find Good Hiding Spots 

There are better ideas than keeping your passport in the same place as your wallet or readily available cash. This is the first place pick pocketers and robbers check for. Never keep anything in your back pocket. It makes pick pocketers’ jobs easy. Make sure you’re more than one zip away from being able to retrieve your passport. Avoid any outer pockets of purses, backpacks, and clothing. Some tourists recommend keeping their documents underneath their clothes in an anti-theft pouch or money belt. 

Keep all of the passports your group travels with in different places. Letting your responsible friend hold them all to keep them safe is risky.  If one of them is found, they are all found. This can quickly turn your group vacation into a nightmare. 

If Your Passport is Lost or Stolen

Before anything else, you must report your passport as lost or stolen to the U.S. Department of State. You can call them at 1-877-487-2778. Once a passport has been reported, it will be invalid for travel and can no longer be used. Don’t forget to report your passport lost or stolen! You may not know who got their hands on your passport.

You can always research where the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate is in the country that you are visiting. Be sure to have this information somewhere because you will need to visit them if you lose your passport. They are the only way you can get back into the U.S.

Replacing Your Stolen or Lost Passport

You must apply for a new passport using Form DS-11, as well as a Form DS-64  (Statement regarding lost or stolen passport)

You will also need to provide…

  • Proof of U.S Citizenship ( a photocopy including the front and back of the document)
  • Proof of identity (a photocopy including the front and back of the document)
  • A passport photo that meets the U.S Department of State’s requirements for passport photos
  • Payment: Post Offices will accept credit cards, checks, and money orders for acceptance fees, but you will also need a check or money order written out to the “U.S Department of State” with your application.

Finding a Lost Passport

On the contrary, if you find a U.S. Passport in the United States, mail the passport to the U.S. Department of State’s Consular Lost and Stolen Passport Unit, or CLASP.  If you find a U.S. passport while abroad, return the passport to the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate.

If You Need Your Passport Expedited

If you are looking for a passport near you and need it expedited, don’t hesitate to use a private courier. For those who want to take on the tip of getting a passport card, we can help you! Couriers like The Passport Office can rush the passport process as fast as three to five days! You can apply at The Passport Office today for your expedited passport in Hollywood, Orlando, Miami, or Tampa.

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