Three Tips for Making Your Passport Last All Ten Years
Hopefully the winter holidays included some travel to wipe the dust off your passport, but you should think about keeping your passport nice whether your traveling or not. These things are valid for ten years. Ten years. That means that at no point in ten years can you spill coffee or especially Kool-Aid all over it.
Our three tips for passport care:
· Don't underestimate the power of a passport cover
Maybe this is common sense, but you'd be surprised how often we see travelers carrying their passports willy-nilly while walking through the airport. Get a passport cover...for several reasons. The "duh" reason is that it helps prolong the life of your passport, saving it from minor spills and whatnot. Other reasons for getting a cover include easy spotting it in your bag, keeping entry documents together, and not being obvious about your nationality. Just do know that you will have to remove your passport from the cover for inspection at immigration, customs, etc.
We have several passport cases, from basic and clear to leather and filled with pockets. Still, we've never found anything more easy to use than a larger wallet, where we stick the passport in the slot once used for a checkbook.
· Silica Gel, for reals.
There's a whole story around our discovering the usefulness of silica gel with passportsread it here. The short of it is that adding a silica gel/desiccant packet to your passport case (or baggie with passport inside) helps keep your passport from feeling the effects of overly humid environments, such as you find in Southeast Asia or out on a diveboat. Now go to a Foot Locker and raid the shoeboxes for silica gel.
· Stay with it.
While traveling there's a lot of handing over your passport. At borders, at hotels during registration, for booking tickets of all sorts...the important little book does leave your person every so often. By no means should you be free with it, thinking perhaps "oh, I'll just let [whoever] take down the information as I go for a snack/nap/ATM withdrawal/etc." Stay near your passport while it's being handled by othersnot only because you're keeping your eye on your identity, but because the pressure is then on the other person to not misplace it, spill on it, etc.