International Studies & Programs

Document Safety

Here are some tips for keeping your documents safe while abroad.

1. Leave all items not needed abroad at home.

2. Make photocopies or scan of your valuable documents and maintain an "emergency file" in the U.S. containing copies of your: airline ticket, passport, driver's license, blood type and Rh factor, eyeglass prescription, name of doctor and dentist, supplemental insurance policies, and the ATM and credit cards you take abroad.

  • Leave one set in the US (accessible to your emergency contact person(s)) and a second set with you in a separate place from the originals
  • Passport copies should include the information page with your picture AND any page with visa documentation/information stamped or attached to it
  • Credit card or ATM Cards should be copied front and back

3. Provide a copy of your itinerary and contact information with family or friend in the U.S.

4. NEVER pack your passport or any other important documents in your checked luggage.

5. Passports (including visa page), ATM and credit cards, and money should be worn in a pouch or money belt as close to your body as possible.

If documents are LOST or STOLEN:

  • Report to the correct authorities immediately (i.e. lost credit cards should be reported to the bank or credit card company).
  • For lost or stolen passports, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate (or other relevant Embassy/Consulate) for assistance.