How Should I Safeguard My Passport When I Travel Abroad?

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Traveling outside of the United States can be an amazing experience. However, any time a passport is involved, you can feel some anxiety.

Some airports are experimenting with biometrics making it possible to travel abroad without physically bringing your passport. But for now, the physical copy matters.

When you’re outside the country, you may start to feel the importance of protecting your passport. You don’t want to lose it or have it stolen. But what’s the best way to protect it when you’re on a trip?

That’s what a listener of the Clark Howard Podcast recently asked.

How Do I Protect My Passport When I’m Outside of the United States?

What do I do with my passport to keep it safe when I’m traveling outside of the United States?

That’s what a Clark listener asked.

Asked Patrick in Wisconsin: “I would like to know what Clark recommends we do with our passports when traveling abroad. We have a trip coming up and were wondering what the best ideas are.

“Should I carry it around? Should I leave it in the hotel (makes me nervous)? Zippered pockets? How about a passport holder?”

You don’t ever want to lose your passport or get it stolen while you’re out of the country. But there is something you can do even before you leave for your trip to protect yourself just in case the worst happens.

“Always take a picture of the key pages of your passport and store them in whatever photo storage app you use,” Clark says. “Because if your passport vanishes — you lose it, stolen, whatever — having that page makes it much easier to get an emergency-issued passport.

“I always use the hotel safe. We’ve had people who have said it was stolen out of the hotel safe. But I think the much greater danger that we’ve heard from years of experience is that you get pickpocketed or mugged. So I don’t like carrying it around.”

What if You Don’t Want To Leave Your Passport in Your Hotel?

If you feel uncomfortable leaving your passport in your hotel, consider a secure pouch that you can wear around your neck or waist.

That’s better than keeping it in a backpack or your pocket.

“If you feel more comfortable carrying it around, you can go to Target or go online to Amazon or Walmart+ or wherever,” Clark says.


“And you can get these various pouch kind of things that you either wear around your waist or you wear around your neck and you push it down in your clothing. And you can have your passport in there.”

Final Thoughts

Keep a photo of your passport, especially the important pages, in your favorite photo storage app. That way even if something happens to your passport, you can find a way to get an emergency replacement.

If you don’t want to leave it in your hotel in a safe, try to buy something secure with a zippered pouch that you can wear tight against your body.


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