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Wondering how to keep your passport secure while having it easily accessible when you need it? This is a great question! My answer varies depending on your situation. Read on to discover our top passport safety tips!
How To Keep Your Passport Safe While Traveling
Table Of Contents
Every traveler’s nightmare is losing their passport or having it stolen. Wherever you travel, losing your passport can completely ruin your trip and make it difficult for you to get home.
Wherever you’re traveling, we’re sharing how to keep your passport safe in these scenarios:
- Going to and from airports
- Traveling by land on trains, cars, or buses
- Crossing the border by land
- When sightseeing
How to Keep Your Passport Safe at Airports
When going through airports, which are generally pretty secure, I keep my passport in my handbag or in an accessible, interior compartment of my daypack. Just to be safe, don’t keep it in the outermost pocket of your bag or in an easily accessible jacket or pant pocket, as convenient as it might be.
When going through security, I make sure my passport is securely zipped in my bag. When on board the flight, I keep my daypack stowed underneath the seat in front of me or hidden underneath my clothing (if necessary).
Check out our round up of the best anti-theft travel bags for women based on the top picks from TFG readers!
An anti-theft daypack is a great option for travel, but there are many kinds of anti-theft accessories to meet everyone’s needs. To ensure all your valuables (not just your passport) are secure, the best option is to use a combination of items.
Let’s take a look at the best day bag options for every type of trip!
Make sure to use a hidden bra wallet to store your credit cards and cash for everyday use, use another anti-theft accessory of your choosing to store your passport on transit days, and the rest of the time, use a lockable suitcase, safe, or locker to keep your belongings secure inside your accommodation.
How to Keep Your Passport Safe On Trains and Land Transportation
Aside from being at the airport, taking transportation to get from point A to B is the only time I carry my passport on me. And because I won’t need to show my passport, I make sure to have it safely hidden within my daypack.
Never, ever, ever store your passport, money, or credit cards in baggage that will be stowed underneath a bus, in the trunk of a shared car service, or in the luggage section of a train. It’s most common that your luggage will get stolen on land transportation, so always keep your valuables on you or hidden deep in your carry-on.
Here’s a roundup of the best money belts and travel accessories to theft-proof your gear!
If you’re wondering how to protect your passport when traveling in a part of the world where theft is common, I use underwear with hidden pockets. I like these cute boyshort-style travel undies.
If you don’t have underwear with pockets like the ones below, a good option is a secure passport money belt like this.
If you’re looking for clothing designed to protect your belongings, our readers share their recommendations for concealed pocket clothing!
How to Keep Your Passport Safe During Border Crossings By Land
If I’m crossing a border via land, I use EXTRA caution, as some crossings can be very shady. The best way to carry passport while traveling through borders is using travel underwear or a money belt! Just remove it when needed to show the border patrol officer as discreetly as possible.
Passports clothing is another option, and one popular piece that many readers have suggested is this SCOTTeVEST trench coach that has a whopping 20 hidden pockets! You can stroll along fashionably while keeping all of your most valuable items completely safe from pickpockets.
You could also opt for a scarf with a secret pocket. These anti-theft scarves are designed to fit a passport, as well as some other valuable items, and the infinity styles means there’s no risk of it falling off! This is another popular passport traveling scarf.
Read these four travel safety tips and how they could’ve helped me avoid having my bag stolen!
How to Keep Your Passport Safe When Sightseeing
My passport is ALWAYS locked in my bag at the hotel while I’m sightseeing. Thankfully, this strategy has worked for me during my six years of full-time travel through 36 countries.
I’ve heard countless stories of travelers losing their passports when they’re out at big festivals or street fairs. This is when you’d most want to leave your passport in your accommodation because you’re a prime target for pickpocketing at events with lots of people in close quarters.
I’ve also heard stories of passports getting stolen out of trouser pockets. If you insist on taking your passport out sightseeing with you, keep it hidden under your clothing by using a money belt or travel underwear with pockets. Some travelers prefer neck wallets to hide their passport, like this Neck Stash Hidden security Wallet, claiming that they’re the best way to carry passport and money when traveling!
Please Note: Money belts are to be used only for things you don’t need access to. Keep the cash you’ll need for the day in a wallet and don’t dig into your money belt in public–that defeats the purpose! I see travelers doing this all the time, making them an easy target.
Here are our readers top recommendations for scarves with pockets to help keep your valuables safe!
How to Keep Your Passport Safe In Your Hotel Room
When figuring out where to keep passport when traveling, remember that most thefts occur from convenience. It’s less likely that a thief will take your entire suitcase out of your room than any cash or credit cards that are sitting out. Hotels don’t want to have a bad reputation, either, so a less obvious theft is easier to deny versus an entire suitcase that suddenly disappears.
Avoid theft by using a suitcase with lockable zippers that can’t easily be pried open. Yes, there are ways to break zippers and sneak into bags, but again, if you don’t have a hotel safe or don’t feel comfortable leaving your passport with reception (if that’s an option), then all you can do is make it more difficult for a thief to break into your bag.
It’s more likely a thief will try to open an unlocked bag than risk getting caught taking time to break into a locked suitcase.
If I hadn’t left my Osprey backpack locked in my hostel in Borneo, my valuables would have been gone when I returned from a scuba diving trip. The Osprey Transporter and the Samsonite Omni PC are both terrific suitcases that have built-in lockable zippers.
If you travel enough, small mishaps may happen while on the road. It’s almost unavoidable. Here are my five best safe travel tips!
Another great option for where to put passport when traveling is to bring your own portable safe, like this PacSafe option that can be locked down to a stationary object in your room. A lot of readers opt for a portable safe, as it ensures that no matter where they’re headed, they’ll always have a super secure place to keep their passports and other valuables. They can also be secured to the inside of your bag in many of the other scenarios listed above!
Please read my top ten tried and tested anti-theft travel tips for more information on how to properly use these items!
What About General Photo Identification?
While I’ve hardly ever needed to show photo identification in my six years of travel, I do carry my California State ID on me at all times in case of an emergency.
Get a no-fail flawless look with these awesome beauty tips!
WATCH THIS VIDEO (starting at the -17:20 minute) FOR MORE TIPS ON HOW TO KEEP PASSPORT SAFE WHILE TRAVELING. FIND OUT HOW I’VE AVOIDED BECOMING A VICTIM OF THEFT DURING 9 YEARS OF FULL-TIME TRAVEL:
You can also watch the video on Facebook here.
Product Comparison Chart
Let’s take a quick look of the travel accessories that can help you keep your passport safe when traveling:
|BRAND | MODEL||FEATURES | REVIEWS||RATING | PRICE|
|Travelon Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bag||When going through security, I make sure my passport is securely zipped in my bag. When on board the flight, I keep my daypack stowed underneath the seat in front of me or hidden underneath my clothing (if necessary).||Check Price|
|Travelon Anti-theft Signature Slim Multipurpose Backpack||An anti-theft daypack is a great option for travel, but there are many kinds of anti-theft accessories to meet everyone’s needs.||Check Price|
|Compass Rose RFID Secret Bra Wallet (similar)||Make sure to use a hidden bra wallet to store your credit cards and cash for everyday use.||Check Price|
|Travel Money Belt RFID Blocking Hidden Waist Stash||Because I won’t need to show my passport, I make sure to have it safely hidden within my daypack.||Check Price|
|Underwear with Secret Pocket||If you’re wondering how to protect your passport when traveling in a part of the world where theft is common, I use underwear with hidden pockets.||Check Price|
|Trench Coat with 20 Secret Pockets||SCOTTeVEST trench coach that has a whopping 20 hidden pockets!||Check Price|
|Venture 4th Travel Neck Pouch with RFID Blocking||Some travelers prefer neck wallets to hide their passport, like this Neck Stash Hidden security Wallet, claiming that they’re the best way to carry passport and money when traveling!||Check Price|
|Samsonite Omni PC International Carry On||Avoid theft by using a suitcase with lockable zippers that can’t easily be pried open.||Check Price|
|Pacsafe Travelsafe Portable Safe||Another great option for where to put passport when traveling is to bring your own portable safe, like this PacSafe option that can be locked down to a stationary object in your room.||Check Price|
These tips aren’t 100% fool-proof and neither is an anti-theft device. However, you can do your best to prevent a theft by exercising caution and following these tips.
What are your tips for how to keep your passport safe while traveling? Share and comment below!
For more travel safety tips, please read:
- Best Money Belts and Anti-theft Travel Accessories
- The Best Anti-theft Travel Bags for Women
- I Had My Bag Stolen and 4 Ways I Could’ve Avoided It
- How I Keep My Valuables Safe Abroad
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