Everything of major importance gets a designated case or holder of some sort, especially when we’re heading out on a trip, right? Your sunglasses go inside their protective case, cash and bank cards go in your wallet, your toothbrush and other bathroom accessories go in a toiletries bag, and your passport?
For a lot of travelers, that question is often unanswered. Passports are left unprotected, exposed to the elements, and fairly disorganized amidst a growing pile of miscellaneous travel items. I believe that’s part of the reason why over a million are lost or stolen around the world every year.
So here’s 10 reasons you should use a passport holder whenever you travel abroad:
1. Wear and tear
Despite its diminutive size, your passport is fairly durable and well-constructed. It’s got that tough outer layer that can handle a few drops of moisture or even a some scratches. But travel can be brutal, and chances are your passport has a lifespan of around 10 years. It’s important to keep it in decent enough shape during that time or risk it being rejected somewhere.
Travel puts even the best organizers among us to the test. There seems to be a million things you need to bring with you for a successful trip, and forgetting or misplacing just one can make for tough times ahead. But misplacing your passport, even for a few moments, can be utterly terrifying. A passport holder helps keep those travel credentials organized.
I’m not sure exactly what becomes of stolen passports. I’m not even sure I’d know what to do with a stolen passport if I were forced to be a thief for a day. But apparently there’s quite an extensive black market that exists, so it’s important to be mindful that bad guys have their eyes on yours. Keep it close whenever possible.
If you haven’t heard of RFID scanning thieves, you might be surprised to learn about this one. Your bank cards and even some modern passports come embedded with tiny microchips that store sensitive data about you. That’s pretty neat, except that the bad guys found a way to scan for those microchips and mine the data. Fortunately, some passport holders come with RFID protection to block these scanners.
Your passport is quite unique on the inside with your ID photograph, personal details, and your many entry and exit stamps. But on the outside, it looks just like everyone else’s. In fact, virtually every passport in the world is made to look, feel, and function just like all the others out there. Keeping yours in a unique holder is a great way to make sure it’s not mixed up with a fellow traveler’s or taken by an opportunistic thief.
If you’re traveling abroad, chances are you’re going to be asked for your passport by the relevant authorities on multiple occasions. In most countries, even hotels will ask to see them before allowing you to check in. It’s best to have yours in a designated holder where it’s always quickly and easily accessible.
7. Memory preservation
Passports aren’t just great because they allow us to gain access to foreign countries, they’re also like mini journals in which we unwittingly document details of our travels abroad. The stamps, visas, and other markings on its inner pages are like a road map showing where you’ve gone in the world. Everybody should keep their old passports if only to preserve those memories.
8. Awkward size
Travel documents of all kinds tend to come in awkward sizes. Think about it. Everything from your boarding pass to baggage claim slips and yes, your passport is made to be all sorts of shapes and sizes. Most of it simply won’t fit in an ordinary wallet or even your trusty front pocket. Which is probably why you need a passport holder.
Usually when you’re asked to show your passport, you’re also asked to show something with it such as your boarding pass, hotel reservation, or train ticket. A quality passport holder can keep everything you’ll need for identification in one convenient place.
10. It’s the one thing that can end a trip
It’s terrible to lose or have stolen just about anything we own. But even something as devastating as losing a laptop isn’t as detrimental to a trip as losing a passport is. Losing your passport can be expensive and require a lengthy detour to the local embassy or consulate. It’s something you’ll definitely want to avoid.