As far as bad things that can happen abroad go, losing or having your passport stolen is worse than landing in the wrong country but somewhere below a “Taken” situation. In short, it’s bad. The only way to deal with a lost passport is to go to the nearest US embassy or consulate, which may not even be in the city you’re visiting. They’ll help you, but it’s hardly a painless process. Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, making sure you protect your passport is the best way to avoid headaches. While having it stolen is a big concern, simply misplacing your passport is actually more common. Everyone thinks that they’re careful, but it can be hard to be careful all the time when you’re visiting a foreign place.
Another thing to consider is that passports are kind of awkwardly shaped; they’re a bit wide for a pocket but still small enough to easily misplace. Plus, they’re something that you’re required to use at multiple points, so just stashing them in a hidden location isn’t an ideal approach. A passport holder, however, makes it easy to store a multitude of things, including cash, credit cards, IDs, and even the most important travel essential of all: earbuds.
Passport pouches have convenient zips and pockets so you just grab what you need when you need it, but securely stash it when you don’t. They’re designed to be worn close to the body, making pickpocketing more difficult. The best ones have RFID blockers to prevent wireless identity theft. And yes, a lot of them are pretty dorky looking. But what could be less cool than being stranded in a foreign country because you decided to keep your passport in your t-shirt pocket? These options will make sure you get to and from your destination, without any finger-wagging from the consular officer.
1. Venture 4th Travel Neck Pouch
“Neck pouch” might seem like something a doctor should take a look at, but it’s simply a wallet that you wear around your neck. This option has enough storage for a smartphone and most travel essentials. There is an ID window on the front, a top velcro pouch, and two side-zip pockets, making for easy organization.
Pros: Made from durable rip-stop nylon, available in numerous colors.
Cons: Some found it bulky.
2. Shacke Hidden Travel Belt Wallet
This travel wallet is designed to be worn on the belt and under the pants for discretion and security. There are two zip compartments on the front and one side compartment specifically for a passport. Plus, the zippers are high-quality YKK zippers, which is good if you’ll be opening and closing the compartments often.
Pros: Lightweight construction, high-quality zippers, can be worn on the belt or around the neck.
Cons: Can be hard to reach if worn on the belt.
3. Lewis N. Clark RFID Blocking Stash Neck Wallet
If you’re looking for a travel wallet with lots of storage, this is a good option. It has two side compartments, a front ID pocket, and the main compartment has two internal pockets. Plus, it’s designed to wick away moisture to keep you comfortable and your documents dry.
Pros: Ample pockets, moisture-wicking material, comes in several colors.
Cons: Can be bulky if worn under clothing.