On a recent trip overseas, my friend had a harrowing experience. She had checked into a reputed hotel and left her valuables and travel documents in her baggage when she ventured out for sightseeing. Everything seemed to be in place when she returned. However after two days, when she was packing up to leave, she realized that her passport was nowhere to be found! The hotel denied any involvement, and since it was a foreign country, she decided not to argue further. She did not even have her passport number and other details written down with her. She had to contact the local consulate and after a lot of hassles and umpteen calls back home, and an extended wait of over a week (not to mention skyrocketing unplanned financial expenses), she was finally issued a temporary passport to go home.
However, this hassle could have been avoided…..
For an overseas traveler, carrying a photocopy of travel-related documents could be a saving grace in such situations. Luggage theft, sneak thieves, misplacing your own documents – these are not a phenomena that can happen to “anyone else, not me”!
For your own safety, always make two copies of your passport, and all travel related documents. Leave one set at home with a family member or friend to be used in case of an emergency. Carry the other set with you, but carefully packed in a separate location/luggage item from the originals.
If your originals are misplaced, these copies will prove to be quite handy and save you a lot of hassle, (and money!).
Better planning for such contingencies ensures a tension-free holiday.