What is safer: carrying your passport with you or leaving it at the hotel?

2019-11-12 04:45
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Always carry a photocopy of your passport. That's what they always say. Better yet, send one to the Cloud, email it to yourself.

But what about the safekeeping of your actual passport? Where is it safest during your overseas travels? Many would say on their person.

However, when you consider all the moving part of travel: from the bus to the curb, to the park, to the busy shopping streets where pickpockets roam - keeping your passport in a constant spot like a hotel, might just be safest.

Even without a room safe.  

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We asked you what you do. And most of you said you keep it with you, instead of at the hotel: 

In my humble opinion, very seldom will you find that a robber wants your passport. The passport is just a casualty in the whole thing. An innocent bystander that just so happens to be snatched as the robber reaches for your wallet to get to your cash and credit cards.

Pickpockets don't go to hotels and Airbnbs. They work on the streets. Thieves on the other hand, might break into your hotel or holiday apartment to steal some cash and valuables, but unless your identity is worth stealing, you can bet on your passport being there even post-heist. 

READ: Having your passport information stolen is as bad as credit card fraud 

Yourmileagemayvary.net makes a good point that hotel safes are notoriously easy to crack. You can either get a portable safe or choose to leave the passport somewhere obscure like in your shoe. Chances are robbers will more likely go for the suitcase, stealing the entire thing - so to be safe, keep your passport out of it. 

I'm sure most of us have heard more stories of someone losing or getting their passport stolen when carrying this document outside their hotel than inside it.

There are countless online threads dedicated to this passport question. And there is no clear-cut answer as to what is safest.

One of the best comments I've seen, and where I rest my case, is found on Lonely Planet:

"Why in the world would you take your passport to the beach?"

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