4. Invest in some MacGyver-type gear.
The under-clothes storage belt isn't just for the visor-wearing bus tour travelers anymore; they've gone high-tech. Items like Flight 001's "Boarding Pak" and the steel RFID-blocking passport cover are as modern as they are functionaland that passport cover will even block people from stealing your identity virtually.
3. Keep your passport stored separately from cash and cards.
Time to prepare: 5 minutes
When we turned to Twitter for suggestions on avoiding pickpockets, the most popular tip was to keep the minimum amount of everything importantcash, cards, tech goodieson you, and be sure to store them on the front of your body. For example, @jonberrydesign leaves his passport hidden away in his luggage in his hotel room, and head out on the town using this minimal wallet, tucked into his front pants pocket.
Likewise, @brianepeters has felt the pain of loosing valuables to thieves, and yet has not given in to fanny packs. It's all about "everything in the front pockets NEVER back pockets or backpack."
2. Scan a copy of your passport, cards, and itinerary
Time to prepare: 15 minutes
While basically a technologically updated version of our number 5 tip to take carbon copies of your IDs, the power to email stuff to yourself should never be underestimated. @flyboyvancouver agrees, and keeps it consulate-ready in his Gmail. Since scanning produces a far better quality image than say, taking a picture of your passport, try to scan it and email the file to yourself.
This is also advisable for keeping your credit card information, itinerary, and other ID information easily accessible, so long as you've got a nice tricky password for your email account. Been pickpocketed at Oktoberfest in Munich? Head to a 24-hour easyinternetcafe, log on for cheap, and print your missing info.
1. Create a private Flickr photoset for storing scans of your documents
Time to prepare: 20 minutes
You know those scans of your passport, cards, and itinerary you just took to email to yourself? Well, if your inbox is too hectic or not exactly trustworthy, then follow our favorite way to backup information: upload and make it "private" on Flickr.
Create a photoset with all of your private scans or hi-res images of your passports, credit cards, and itinerary, and you'll then be able to access and print them even in internet situations where people might be finicky about allowing you to check your personal email (such as at a hotel reception desk). Even better, the files are available for download, to then be emailed if you want that additional safety. But because this is the internet, we don't recommend taking a trip and then leaving these sensitive files on your Flickr, even marked "private," during long periods of staycationing.
We know there are plenty other creative ways of practically fusing your passport to your body, but at all times remember to be aware and cautious or shady situations. There's no need to bring your passport out clubbing nor is your AMEX needed for afternoon shopping in the medina. Nonetheless, be extra-watchful within the Vatican; we've seen too many crazy petty crimes go down there to trust that the Pope is watching out for your passport.
Got any other passport tips we should know about? Put 'em in comments below.