I’m back with another edition of frequently asked travel questions I have received recently–then I promise I’ll get back to the luxury over here! I still have so many fabulous South Africa hotels to share with you! So up today? How to keep your passport safe and avoid passport robbers. This is one of my biggest fears when I’m traveling–especially when I’m traveling alone. So before any trip, I always make sure to scan and email a copy of my passport to myself–that’s in addition to the hard copies I keep. This way even if I lose everything, my passport is only an internet click away.
Many people think that there is a direct correlation between how nice your hotel is and the likelihood that you may get your passport stolen–but unfortunately that’s not always the case–especially not in some truly exotic destinations and third world countries where security isn’t exactly on par with technologies available. Theft can happen anywhere–whether you’re in a Five Star hotel or a shared room of a hostel so here are some tips for how to keep your passport safe in a hotel room.
Image Credit: Baigal Byamba on Flickr
The best place to store your belongings is in a safe. If you have an in-room safe, use it. The next best thing is a safe down at the hotel or a private locker. In developing cities though, hotels “safes” may simply be an unlocked drawer at the front desk. If that’s the case then you don’t want to leave it behind. Trust your gut, if something doesn’t feel right–hold onto your belongings.
However, sometimes people have the instinct to want to keep valuables with them but this isn’t always smart–especially if you’re going to be drinking or if you’re in a city with a notorious amount of pickpocketers.
If you must take it with you or feel that it won’t be safe back at the hotel, keep a close eye on it at all times–this means staying alert so don’t drink too much.
- Many opt to wear a money belt that fits under your clothes but I personally don’t love this option as it can be uncomfortable and often doesn’t go with my outfit!
- If you’re carrying your passport, you won’t want to stick out–put your giant maps and cameras away and try and be inconspicuous and avoid anything that makes you a target.
If you don’t want to carry it with you though, say if you’re going to be drinking or if you’re in a particularly unsafe destination, then you’re going to need to store it in your room. Here are a few recommendations:
- Try and lock your suitcase with either a combination lock or a key. It’s a lot harder to walk away with an entire suitcase.
- Another trick seasoned travelers use is to bring a roll of tape and tape your passport underneath a sink or drawer where robbers won’t necessarily think to look.
- You can also put in middle of mattress after bed has been made. Out of sight from a simple mattress lift.
- Finally, you can try to Hide it in plain sight, in your toiletries or in a pile of clothes or papers.
BUT Don’t hide from self too well that you forget where you put it. And finally–the most important advice is don’t forget to take your passport with you when you leave! I’ve seen people miss flights because of this.