Please sign in to post.

Carrying passport

I'm not sure where to put this question, sorry if it seems silly. We will have waist wallets. I also have a neck pouch is I decided I'd rather use that sometime.

My question if about when we commence traveling. Where do you keep your passport? Do you just keep it in your personal item under your seat? Do you wear it under your clothing to be accessible while in the airport. Just curious the best way to do this.

I have to be honest, I don't know why I'm so anxious about this trip. We've never been to Europe before. We've been to Mexico, several places in South America and Caribbean islands and just kept our passports in DH's briefcase (which he won't be taking to Europe).

Posted by
524 posts

While at the airport, both arrival and departure, and while on the plane, I keep my passport in my purse. Or sometimes in a pant pocket, if I am wearing a pair that has cargo style pockets or a zip pocket.

Posted by
8642 posts

I've tried different ways to do it. Last time it was zipped in my purse which was in my tote bag in the underseat area. This time I'm planning to put it in this small wallet and wear it while on the plane and until I am thru Immigration at Heathrow, then I will duck into a bathroom and move it to my money belt.

I did do a travel trial with this wallet recently on a Road Trip. It was comfortable to wear in the car all the time and really not very noticeable. If you have an Eddie Bauer Outlet near you, I picked this up on sale for $4.50. Can't beat that.

Posted by
12773 posts

Everyone has their own ideas about how to handle these, and there have been many, many forum threads about what people do and don't do. For trips abroad, ours go into an anti-theft shoulder bag my husband carries, along with most of our valuables. We lock them in the hotel safe while we sightsee - and carry only copies plus our driver's licenses - and in the bag when transferring from city to city, or to/from airports.

I should mention that we empty the safe and put the valuables we don't carry for sightseeing back in the bag the night before a transfer.

Neither my husband or myself have been able to tolerate moneybelts or neck pouches so this method has been a good solution for us. Others do just fine with belts/pouches so it's a personal decision.

Posted by
1068 posts

When I am using the passport (showing it to gate crew, boarding crews etc.) I keep it in a zipped pocket in my travel shirt or travel jacket. The travel shirt has a slightly large zip pocket on the front and the travel jacket has a zipped pocket on the inside. As you may have to show your passport several times, I want it handy. When I arrive I generally keep it in my "Hidden Pocket" (sold in the RS store.) That way I have it with me, won't forget it in a hotel safe and don't have to worry about the document being taken when the room is cleaned or someone steals my bag. (Of course nothing is 100% I could be robbed and lose it.) Enjoy Europe, it is a blast.

Posted by
2773 posts

I find this period during transportation problematic as well. I have in the past worn a piece of clothing (quilted vest or boiled wool jacket) that had a zippered pocket and kept my passport in there. Sometimes I wore a passport size wallet. As most everything else is in my money belt, I was then able to go to the rest room on the plane without worry. Oddly, this last time when traveling alone, I kept my PP in my cross body purse as I also had an accessible credit card in the purse and I took the purse to the rest room. I also had it positioned in such a way under the seat so I would know if someone had gotten into my purse while my eyes were closed. Money belt on my leg with everything else. It is unlikely someone would rifle thru my belongings while I was in the toilet, but you never know for sure. I moved away from storing it on my body the whole time as I thought I was getting a little overly protective.

It's not unusual to be nervous, but it is so great to push one's boundaries and press on through. You will have a great time. Just have a system for the trip and stick to it so you always know where the important items are, in the same place, so you don't have to worry and can check quickly if you need to do so. I wear a leg belt, and as I was traveling alone this last time, I wore it whenever I was out and about (and sometimes didn't remember I still had it on until I was crawling into bed, it is so comfortable). Have a great trip. Wray

Posted by
26383 posts

Lulu, you would be very unusual to not be a bit nervous and confused for this particular trip.

You have just been through a whole lot of stress and worry, and I am 100% sure that you aren't over it all yet. I lost my Dad and Mom more than 5 years ago and I still think of them lots.

You are still raw, and anything the slightest bit out of the ordinary would confuse most people in that state.

This trip will likely be really therapeutic for you, and you have to give yourself permission to get a bit mixed up and sometimes upset.

There are no silly questions.

Regarding this particular question, a couple of points - a pocket or purse in the airport for the passport while in use, put into a secure but easy place for the flight, back handy for the immigration check, then into the toilet for placement into the moneybelt or pouch.

You do know that only you and your husband should know that you have that moneybelt or pouch and it should only be accessed in private.

Don't turn up at a counter or store cash register and start groping around the money belt or pouch. When you have put away the passport and the money, retain what you need for the next couple of hours and put it in your purse or wallet or where it is convenient but not easy for pickpockets and deal with everything with what you have retained.

Have a relaxing and happy trip.

Posted by
3645 posts

Lulu, I am happy to see you posting your questions and planning for your trip!

I had a travel shirt (Safari brand from REI) that was great. I simply slipped my passport and phone into the hidden pocket. It was easy to access and didn't "bulge." (The later being quite important because I already have enough bulges of my own :)
This shirt looked nice, washed and dried very well. It was actually my favorite purchase for my trip.

Posted by
518 posts

I always have my passport on my person at all points during my trip other than when I'm in bed sleeping. This includes during the plane ride. I used to used a money belt for many years and ultimately felt it both uncomfortable and made my waist look bulking in photos, so I switched to a neck wallet, which has been work ok so far. While either one of these solutions isn't for everyone from a comfort perspective, if you do keep it in a bag/purse, I'd keep said bag/purse also on your person at all times as well.

Posted by
524 posts

Thank you everyone about your kind support about my's really appreciated. Nigel, thanks, I did feel better after reading your post.

So, I did purchase a travelon purse, and I'll keep my passport in there (it's crossbody), while we are in the airport, waiting to board, etc. Then when on the plane I will either go to the restroom and put it in a neck wallet (blah) or maybe slip the purse into my veloce bag that will be under the seat all the time. I will be with my DH, so we will make sure one of us is awake and watching our belongings when the other needs to go to the restroom or move about.

I might check out those travel shirts fo him with the pocket, he may want to use one of those for himself.

Thanks for all of these suggestions!!! Lulu

Posted by
1893 posts

For arriving at our hometown airport, both passports are with our boarding passes in my purse.....and I usually check to make sure they are there about 5 times before leaving, about three times en route to the airport, etc........yes, way too many times....nervous energy, I guess.....LOL.

Then, they are either hand held or put in my husband's shirt pocket until we go thru security, then they typically go back into my purse with the reprinted boarding passes....sometimes his will stay in his shirt pocket under his sports coat, if we fear we will get separated (last-minute run to the restroom and they start loading the plane, etc.).

But, once we are in our seats on the plane, they go into our individual RS neck-style money belts to remain there until we land and go thru immigration. We do not worry about accessing the neck wallets in public in the airport....I'd much rather someone see me doing that than sticking passports in my purse.

My husband wears an additional different neck-style money belt that I have adapted (shorted the string permanently) for holster style under his arm.....deep storage of extra cash, important numbers, etc. A certain portion of more accessible cash goes in the neck wallet, along with most-likely-to-use credit card. Then in his pocket and in the outer zip portion of my travel purse (and that zip remains toward my body) is what we call the daily cash. If it is hot weather, such that I'm not wearing a jacket or a top that is conducive to wearing the neck-style wallet, I will wear the waist style one (but I hate even that tiny bit of bulk at my waist).

The key thing about carrying one's passport/boarding tickets in the airport is to put them in your pocket or purse if you go to use the restroom. When I used to travel a lot on business, there were countless times I found tickets/passports sitting on the toilet roll holder in restrooms. I would take them to the gate (for the departing flight) and the agent would page the person. Not everyone would take that initiative (or may not seriously have the time to do so).

Planning for your trip, even the small questions, is good to switch your mind to fun topics after all you have been thru in that last month or so.

Oh, we also each keep a photocopy of the other's passport in our neck money pouch.

Posted by
524 posts

Margaret, I think I might go ahead a purchase DH his own neck wallet just in case. You sound like me...always checking. It will give him the option of deciding to use it whenever he wants. They aren't that expensive, so why not?

I have really enjoyed reading how other people manage their PP en route.

Posted by
1816 posts

I bought an Eddie Bauer Travex jacket (and pants) last year which were perfect for travel. Extremely comfortable. The jacket has an inside zippered pocket big enough for 2 passports, the pants have a zippered pocket inside the front pocket, big enough for an ATM card & some cash. Here's a link.

On our trip to Belgium-Germany-Lux-Amsterdam last fall, we carried everything (passports, credit & ATM cards, excess cash) in my jacket pocket on travel days (airports, airplanes, trains, buses). We used this system without incident in lieu of using our moneybelts/pouches. It worked great.

This spring, we tried it again in Sicily. I got warm one day on a bus, and slipped the jacket off for a moment. The bus stopped unexpectedly and everyone had to get off. In the confusion, I unbelievably left the jacket on the bus! Then came two hours of panic and finally immense relief, as someone had turned the jacket in to the police with everything intact.

So, in my experience, putting passports & credit/ATM cards in an inside pocket is great as long as you don't ever take it off! That's our new rule. So for warm-weather trips, I'll still wear the jacket through airports (to keep passports, etc. accessible) and on planes (as it's much more comfortable than a money belt/pouch). But we'll use money belts/pouches to carry passports, cards & cash on warm travel days once we're at our destination.

Posted by
391 posts

I know this isn't popular among people on this forum, but this is why my husband wears a Scottevest. (Keenly aware of the risks of melanoma he also wears his Tilley hat while outside. Health before fashion.)
Neither of us is comfortable with money belts or neck pouches. During travel he has our passports/documents safely zipped in an inside vest pocket. Once on the trip, he carries copies of those documents in his travel vest. We leave the actual passports in the hotel safe. We both have PacSafe wallets on chains. His is safe inside a vest pocket, mine is in my crossbody Civita bag.
Hope you have a wonderful (and healing) time on your trip Lulu.

Posted by
31319 posts


Be very careful with your Passports, as losing them during a trip will be a major headache!!! Note that you'll often need to have it accessible when checking into hotels.

I normally carry my Passport in a secure shirt pocket during air travel, so that it's always with me. After arrival in Europe, if I won't be checking into a hotel I store it in my Money Belt.

Could you clarify if the "waist wallets" you're referring to are the so-called "Fanny Packs"? If so, I would NOT recommend storing anything of value there.

Posted by
18056 posts

I find the money belt to be very uncomfortable, but a neck pouch works well for me. It's the most secure place I have for valuable things, and I keep my extra money and credit cards there. Why would I not keep my passport there, too?

I've heard too many horror stories of people keeping money, credit cards, and passports in secure inside pockets and having them taken by pickpockets. Pickpockets are more skillful than you can imagine.

Posted by
5697 posts

Guess that my husband and I would not pass the Princess-and-the-pea test for royal sensitivity, because we both find money belts easy to wear and keep everything (passport, cards, serious cash) in them all the time. Except that at the airport the passport is in an around-the-neck holder, with boarding pass, while it is needed for checking in. Back into the money belt for the flight, then out again at the end of the flight for entry stamp and back to the money belt for transit to the hotel/apartment.

Posted by
2005 posts

Is there a RS Forum Hall of Fame for most asked question? If not, I nominate this one.

Posted by
2788 posts

In 13 trips to Europe over the last 14 years, I put my passport in a zippered shirt pocket until I get onto the plane so that it is readily available at the air port. I keep my passport there until I land in Europe incase I am asked for it upon arrival. I go into a bathroom stall as soon as I clear entry and transfer my passport to my neck wallet where it stays for the whole time I am in Europe. When departing Europe, I do the reverse of what I do when starting my trip.. Often, our hotels or B&Bs ask for our passports to make copies, a common occurrence. I dig it out or my neck wallet for their use then return it to my neck wallet as soon as possible. I have never left my passport in my sleeping room in all the years I have been traveling. If it is with me, I know where it is.

Posted by
524 posts

I don't think my question was how to carry your passport around on your was how to carry it en route. Personally, I've not run across that one at all here or on TA.

Posted by
12773 posts

Lulu, we've never worried much about our stuff when on the plane. Our Pacsafe bag (similar to your Travelon) is under the seat when it would be very obvious to nearby passengers if someone tried to nab it - unless from an aisle seat - and one or both of us is always awake anyway as neither of us can sleep much at all enflight. If you're really worried, just tuck your bag beside you if you're dozing. Tuck it beside your DH when using the restroom, or take it with you. Ladies take purses to the loo all the time so why any different on a plane?

And you haven't worried about items in your DH's briefcase being stolen or the case itself being lifted from a plane on previous trips, have you? This is no different than a trip to S.A. or Mexico.

So I really wouldn't worry. The only time it would even cross my mind to be even the littlest bit concerned would be if a carryon big enough to require overhead storage was placed some distance in the cabin away from my seat - which sometimes can happen depending on boarding order.

Posted by
433 posts

It never occurred to me to worry about passport theft while on the plane. I put it in my carryon under the seat along with my wallet. I put it in my money belt while walking around in Europe but in transit I keep it handy.

Enjoy the trip!

Posted by
8642 posts

Lulu, I thought it was a good question and I agree, not one that I've seen discussed much. I've liked reading how others handle their passport storage en route and as a solo traveler it is of concern to me.

Posted by
941 posts

Lulu - your question isn't silly at all. My husband and I both have small Travelon bags for our BOE and we plan to keep our passports in those while in transit. After that we plan to just carry copies on our person while day to day touring. Just in case we feel like going without bags sometimes I ordered the hidden pocket and a neck wallet. I haven't paid for our tour yet so haven't received our money belts.

Posted by
12400 posts


Where do I keep my passport once I clear the TSA security? Inside a light jacket pocket zipped up where the zipper is a snug secure zipper, not easily opened. I had this done by a tailor. I keep this jacket on during the flight since I'm flying from SFO to FRA or CDG., all 10+ hrs. Once over the passport stays in that jacket pocket if it's still cool enough to wear. If the weather is too warm, broiling, then the passport goes into the neck pouch. The passport never goes into a day pack (I don't use one anyway), briefcase (don't use that either), or a cross over pouch large enough for a lap top (I don't use one), it stays on my person. Credit cards and cash are separated into three different places if I have the jacket on. The pickpocket won't get everything, if anything.