Your passport is like a golden ticket to the world, it allows you to travel, gain entry, and obtain a visa for almost anywhere in the world. However, according to recent research issued by the Foreign Commonwealth Office, many of us are facing travel disasters and hefty bills for not looking after this precious document.
Each year British travellers, backpackers and holidaymakers are spending millions trying to obtain emergency travel documents and replacement passports after losing or damaging their passport whilst abroad.
Following these shocking statistics, the FCO have launched a campaign to educate travellers on the dangers of not protecting your passport. The most common issues range from passports which have been stolen or lost whilst out and about, to instances where passports have been irreversibly damaged after being thrown in the washing machine or used as a drinks coaster.
Not only will losing your passport potentially cost you hundreds of pounds, you must also take into account the cost of travelling to and from your nearest British Embassy. Furthermore, obtaining emergency documents can take several days – which could mean changing your travel plans, not to mention the potential issues of obtaining a police report, or new visas.
To make sure your passport is as safe as possible during your trip, follow these tips;
·Invest in quality travel insurance which includes cover for passports and travel documents. This should contain a benefit to help towards the cost of getting a new passport.
·Treat your passport with the respect it deserves to avoid a mishap, and perhaps think about buying a cover for your passport as a little extra protection.
·Always photocopy your passport and keep the copy in a separate place to the original. It may also be useful to keep a note of your passport number in a secure location.
·In some countries you are required to carry your passport at all times, but if this is not necessary, leave your passport in a locked safe. Try to use other forms of ID (such as drivers licence) if you can.