How To Keep Your Travel Documents Safe

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When traveling, especially when traveling internationally, having your travel documents is essential. Luckily, it’s easy to keep them safe if you follow some simple guidelines.

Despite the proclivity of humans to lose the one thing they need at the worst time imaginable, it is possible to keep your documents safe.  Currently vaccine information is becoming more and more important for travel. You’ll need to find ways to keep those documents safe, too.

How To Keep Your Travel Documents Safe




Make copies, plain and simple. Make black and white copies and make color copies. And, of course, keep these copies in different places.

Depending on the security of your hotel/hostel, you’ll want to either bring the photocopies with you. If you have a safe, you might consider leaving copies in your room and bring with you the originals. When you carry your photocopies with you, keep them in a separate spot. For example, keep you id in your neck wallet and your photocopy pinned to the inside of your front pocket.

Hold ’em tight

If you’re not leaving your documents in your hotel room, keep them close to your body. This means not in a backpack, not in a fanny pack, and not in a dangling purse.

A front pocket can be OK (depending on what you’re doing), but a back pocket is foolish. An under the arm bag (that you aren’t going to put down somewhere) that does not dangle below your waist is a good bet.

Some people choose to put on waist strap document holders. If you don’t have a lot of documents, this is ideal. As soon as that holder starts to bulge, though, while your documents may be safe, everyone will know you’re a tourist and you may be swindled in other ways.

Waterproof bags

So simple, so important. Keep your documents in a wet-bag if you have one. If not, a Zip-Loc will do. Why governments continue to print their documents on non-waterproof paper is beyond me, but they do, and if you get caught in a rainstorm, spill a pint, or jump into a river without thinking, you’ll be sorry unless you’ve bagged your stuff.

Keep it together

Especially in the era of electronic hotel bookings, airline confirmation numbers, and MapQuest directions, it’s important to keep your many documents in order. If you know you’ll be using certain documents only at specific times, you may want to clip them together.

If you’ll be crossing lots of borders, it might make sense to have your passport clipped to immigration documents and to vaccination reports. This will prevent messiness and thus reduce the risk of papers flying away in the wind or getting misplaced.

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Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an the author of "Getting Laid" and "Getting Baked". A sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky, wen she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s writing about country living and artisan culture.
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