Where Do You Keep Yours?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

UK passportThis is the name of a campaign by the Foreign Office to remind us of the importance of our passports and where we keep them.

Why launch such a campaign?

Because last year tens of thousands of people still lost their passports, had them stolen, did daft things with them all requiring embassies and consulates to issue emergency travel document.

In 2014, 20,612 UK passports were reported as lost or stolen around the world last year and 39,053 emergency travel documents were also issued overseas.

Some of the issues that people did with their passports make you just wonder what they were doing. Why should you microwave a passport? I can understand you leaving it in a shirt pocket and it winding up in a washing machine but why would you use it as a notebook? Instant invalidation. Some people even used them as beer mats and you can guess what happened next.

The Foreign Office says that certain countries require a UK passport holder to have six months of validity left on their passport from the date of entry, and even up to two blank pages in your passport. We strongly advise people to look after their passport, keep it safe and check its validity well in advance of travel.

The five top tips they suggest for looking after your passport are:

  • Value your passport and look after it carefully. A damaged passport cannot be used for travel
  • Your passport is not always safer on you (e.g. lock your passport in a safe if you have access to one), unless the local law requires you to keep it with you.
  • Make two photocopies of your passport – leave one with friends or family and take the second with you, or store it online using a secure data storage site
  • Use this photocopy as alternative ID, for example when going out at night
  • Make sure your passport is valid. For certain countries your passport must be valid for 6 months after the date you travel – check the entry requirements before you go
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