European, US, Canadian and Australian passports are highly valued in some countries and they are the prime target after money for pickpockets and thieves. For that reason it is important to keep your passport secure at all times but unfortunately, stolen and lost passports are not uncommon in both the first-time and experienced travelers. Most travelers are aware of the importance of their passports and the hassle a lost or stolen passport can get them into but many of them tend to underestimate the importance of carrying along a copy of the front page of their passports. Let's see why making a copy of your passport before leaving is a good idea.
First of all, let's be honest. Lost or stolen passport can happen to anyone and you do not need to be a careless traveler to end up with a lost or stolen passport. All it takes is a second and your passport is gone. Sure, the very first thing to do when missing passport is to check your luggage and pockets in case if it shows up but if it does not, you cannot count on anyone finding and returning it to you. Once it is gone, it is gone for good. Having a copy of the front page of your passport cannot replace lost or stolen passport but it can significantly shorten the period of receiving a replacement or temporary passport. Why? Because you need to prove your identity at the nearest embassy which can be very time consuming since you probably do not have your passport number in your head. With a copy, the embassy can easily check whether you are really “you” which means that you will get the replacement much faster than if showing up at the embassy without anything.
Since the copy of passport is highly useful if your passport is lost or stolen while being abroad, you should never leave your home without a copy of your passport. After all, you will need less than a minute to make that copy considering that you most likely have a printer at home or know at least one person who does. Always carry the copy separately from your passport which means that they should never be carried around in the same bag. You are also recommended to make two copies and leave one with your family or a friend in case you find yourself without both passport and the copy.
Always use a money belt to secure your valuables, including money, credit cards, passports, important and expensive tickets. I always put a copy of my passport in my wife's money belt and she keeps a copy of her passport in mine for safe keeping.
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