Travel Tips

7 passport hacks for stress-free travel

Your passport is your golden ticket to the world. Here's how to keep it that way

20 October 2019 - 00:00
It's a good idea to take a certified copy of the title page of your passport as well as the relevant visa pages with you when travelling. Leave another copy at home with a friend.
It's a good idea to take a certified copy of the title page of your passport as well as the relevant visa pages with you when travelling. Leave another copy at home with a friend.
Image: Supplied

1. VALIDITY

Make sure your passport is valid for six months after the date you'll get home before you apply for visas - most embassies and consulates will say "no" if your passport is about to expire.

2. HAVE ENOUGH PAGES

A single visa will usually fill a page of your passport. Make sure you have enough blank pages for your visas and immigration stamps. A good rule is to have at least two blank pages left once your visa run is complete.

3. HAVE A BACK-UP PLAN

Make two certified copies of your passport title page and the relevant visa pages - you can do it at the post office. Leave one at home with a friend and take the other with you. Always keep the copy and the original separate in case you lose one.

4. STAY SAFE

When going out, leave your passport at the hotel - in a sealed envelope at reception is best if you think the room safe is dodgy. If you must, carry it in a shoulder bag strapped across your body or in a zipped pocket.

5. BE AN ARMY OF ONE

When travelling in groups, carry your own. Letting one person keep all the documents is a recipe for lost friendships.

6. BE DISCREET

Don't flash your passport in public. If you need it, find somewhere safe and quiet and retrieve it there. Or, at least get someone to watch your back while you rummage in your daypack.

7. FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES

If you lose your passport, or it gets stolen, report it to the cops. Then contact the South African embassy or high commission in the country in which you're travelling. They will issue you an emergency travel permit. Make sure you know before you go where the SA embassies or consulates are. There's a list at dirco.gov.za.


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