One of the worst things you can ever experience when you’re abroad is having some kind of passport hiccup. Even when it’s a minor issue, compared to other things it can be a big issue. For example, losing your plane tickets is bad but you’re still allowed to fly. Doesn’t matter if you have your ticket when your passport is out of date you cannot use it to board your flight. You still have your passport but it’s simple invalid and there you are, stuck. So it’s incredibly important that you treat your passport as if it were a bar of gold. Keep it hidden, keep it safe, keep it close to your body at all times. It should go without saying but too many people need a reminder to not put their passport in their suitcase or backpack. Keep it on your person in the form of a small bag that wraps around your body. If you have a hiccup of some kind here’s what to do.
Do not give it away
Even if someone in uniform comes up to you and wants to see your passport, do not let it out of your sight. Don’t get distracted by anything else. Say, for example, two policemen come up to you and want to know who you are so you show them your passport. While one is flipping through and taking a look at your details, don’t get distracted by the second policemen who may try to talk to you. The international protocol is very simple. When an authority figure takes your passport, they are to either give it back to you after looking at it or take you and the passport with them if they detect something suspicious. It’s a very quick procedure, they check it out right in front of you without turning their back to you or blocking your vision. Then give it back to you within a few seconds. Do not give your passport away for too long as it could be a scam where the criminals are wearing disguises.
In need of support
If there is something wrong with your passport and you’re perhaps not allowed to enter or leave a country you will need to speak to your nation’s embassy. Usually, they will allow you to come and plead your case and give you the support they can. However, it takes time and sometimes you may be waiting for a week or more. In the meantime, you have to continue on with whatever travels you might have in the country you’re in as you only have a certain amount of time booked off from work before you need to go back. Waiting in the embassy is going to waste your time, so using a virtual mailbox such as https://physicaladdress.com allows you to have your mail scanned and sent to you. Anything of importance can be shredded later to not have sensitive information leaked or stolen.
Passport hiccups are quite nerve-wracking and they often take a lot of time to resolve. However, it’s crucial you never let your passport out of sight even when dealing with an authority figure.
Brooke has been a connoisseur of back roads and obscure places since she was a girl. Growing up in a small working farm, she knew at a young age that there was so much to see and understand about the world. Since she left home at 17, she’s been gallivanting around the world. She’s a go-to resource for fearless Euro travel and extreme budget adventures. Her colorful experiences moving from one country to another with only time to spare will surely inspire you to leave the rat race and chase your backpacking dreams.