10 Tips to Prevent Passport Problems

Your passport is your ticket to tour the world and return home, but it's also a valuable black market item. Without a doubt, what a passport lacks in size, it makes up for in stature. It serves as proof of citizenship. As a result, nothing is more terrifying than misplacing it, having it stolen, or having it damaged to the point where it is no longer effective when traveling. Consider the options above if you're far from a consulate that can help you return home without causing you any inconvenience.

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So, how can we keep our passports secure while traveling?

Although it may appear to be an easy thing to prevent, many tourists seem to have a habit of losing their passports while on the road. It occurs more frequently than you might think. Many things might ruin a trip, but a lost passport can ruin it in an instant. It's a minor oversight, yet it leaves the traveler helpless. However, there are a number of strategies to avoid losing your passport when abroad.

One of the greatest ways to reduce your chances of having passport issues, according to travel experts, is to practice a follow the following tips:

Check to determine if you require a passport and apply early.

Countries can amend their foreign admission rules at any time, and they do so frequently. You will be denied boarding rights if you arrive at the airport without the proper documents. And, of course, travel insurance does not cover this. Currently, you need a valid passport for entry into more than 80% of the world's countries. It's critical to double-check the international admission regulations for the place you're planning to visit as soon as feasible. Once you know you need a passport, you should apply for a new passport at least 90 days before your travel date. Start the procedure of renewing your passport eight to eleven months before it expires. Why is it so early in the morning? Before issuing a visa, several countries ask that your passport be valid for at least six to eight months.

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Fill out the form correctly and provide the required documents.

The requirements for each type of passport service are different. Check that you have the correct application form and that you have completed it correctly. It's also a good idea to double-check with a friend or relative. If you make a mistake on the application form, your passport request may be delayed or even denied. When applying for a new passport, you will need documents. These are usually a confirmed birth certificate for proof of citizenship and a valid driver's license for identification verification. You require two freshly taken identical passport photos. These passport photos must be 2"x2" in size and have a plain white or off-white background. When renewing your passport, your previous passport serves as proof of citizenship as well as identification. For it to be genuine, it cannot be mutilated, altered, or damaged in any way.

Request additional pages and fill out the emergency information.

Request a passport with 48 pages. It will allow you to travel for longer periods. When your passport comes, double-check that all of the information on it is accurate. If it is, sign it and include your current address as well as the name of someone to contact in the event of an emergency. Otherwise, send it back to the State Department for correction.

Keep your passport on you.

After obtaining your passport make sure to keep it secure. Money belts are a great way for travelers to conceal the majority of their cash, passports, and other important documents on their person. If you're carrying your passport in a purse, put it in one of the inside pockets and close it. Keep the bag in front of you at all times, and keep the zippers and snaps closed. Passports left on a counter, in a phone booth, or on a table are easily misplaced or stolen. Make it a practice to put your passport away right after you've used it. If you're traveling with a group or family, don't let one individual handle all of the passports. To reduce the consequences of a single theft, distribute the kids' passports among the adults.

Read More: Application for a Philippine Passport

Make two copies of your passport as well as your photographs.

Give a copy of your passport to a friend or relative who can be contacted quickly in the event of an emergency. Take the extra images and the other copy with you on your vacation. You can scan your passport and upload a copy if you utilize an online document storage service. As a result, you'll be able to access it from practically anywhere on the planet.

Be aware of who wants to take your passport.

Although it isn't very usual nowadays, certain foreign hotels will ask for and hold your passport. They may be obligated to report the information to local authorities in specific situations. If you're uncomfortable with this procedure as you should. Request that the establishment accepts a copy of your passport instead of the original.

Report the loss of your passport as soon as possible.

If you are attentive and follow the tips above, you should not have any problems losing your passport. If this occurs, immediately alert the local police and then proceed to the nearest Embassy or Consulate. Bring an extra set of photos and a copy of your passport. They will give you a temporary passport, which you will be able to replace when you return.

Know your coverage for a lost or stolen passport:

Many travel insurance policies also cover lost or stolen passports, as well as people who have had their identities stolen while traveling. Read over your plan carefully to see what assistance you'll receive if your passport is stolen while you're on vacation. Often, the coverage will cover a portion of the cost of replacing your passport in an emergency, as well as assisting you in finding a local passport office.

Remember your passport expiration date

Check your passport's expiration date and set a reminder to renew it on time. Remember to start the process 8 to 11 months before the expiration date. Place the remainder in a prominent location where you do not forget it.

Keep your passport in a secure location once you are at home:

Keep your passport in a home safe if you have one. If not, invest in a fireproof and waterproof case to store your passport and other critical documents. We do not advocate storing it in a safe deposit box because you won't be able to access it outside of business hours.

If you follow the practical advice above, you'll have no trouble avoiding passport issues and getting the most out of your international travels.

About This Author

Philip Diack is Founder and Managing Director of Passports and Visas.com, a national passport and travel visa service with offices in Atlanta, Miami, Washington, DC, NYC, Denver and San Francisco.

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