China Town in London

Travel Document Security Abroad

Posted by Phil Dougherty
September 26, 2023


Is there anything that can cause more travel anxiety than…where’s my passport?!

At OnlyHealthInsurance, we want your travels to be as safe and enjoyable as possible. Safety and Security abroad is an immense topic and one we believe to be a layered proposition. Travel medical insurance is one of those layers. Another layer is identification and travel document security. As my dad and I were discussing the latter, we realized we had different opinions about the basics of security and felt a blog on the subject was warranted.


To Pouch or not to Pouch…

In my dad’s travels – whether he was in Cambodia or downtown Paris – he wore a money pouch around his neck and hidden under his shirt containing his passport, maps, credit cards, cash, and travel documents. I, on the other hand, see that as flashy and a security risk—and a nagging reminder of all the valuables I’m carrying with me. Personally, I’m comfortable with the hotel safe with a strong code (not 1234). In our research, travel experts are split on which approach they recommend. Thankfully neither of us have had security issues while traveling. We recognized that our decisions about security were in many ways influenced by our personal attributes and “style” of travel.


Personal Attributes & Style

Gender, age, and habits influence our travel behavior and decisions about personal security. As a young woman, the idea of carrying all my valuables and “identity” around my neck is daunting… and actually terrifying. Less risky to me is trusting the hotel staff and room safe. That said, I’ve never left my passport and other identification behind in a hostel or tent. My dad (being middle-aged) pointed out that his need for an “all-in-one” solution for carrying valuables has less to do with trusting others and more to do with his need to “always be prepared” (courtesy of his Boy Scout training).  Perhaps knowing oneself is the most helpful in making the best decision for you and maintaining confidence and peace of mind.


Other factors that influence our behavior towards travel security:

  • Does our destination country encourage (or require) us to always carry identification?
  • *Do we know locals?
  • How often we will be taking public transportation?
  • What is the level of street crime?
  • Is this rural or urban travel?
  • Level of activities in destination country (ziplining, ocean activities, etc)

*Locals can tell you about tourist traps, schemes and provide recommendations.



In addition, we both agree (and many experts advise) there are some security tips that do make sense for every traveler. Almost universally it is encouraged to make and keep a passport copy in a carry-on or hidden in luggage. We also recommend bringing a copy of your travel insurance documents and giving a copy to a trusted someone at home and a fellow travel companion.

When planning your travels, consider the factors above (and your own self-awareness) to decide how best to travel with security and confidence.

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Our goal with QuestAssured is to encourage our clients to travel with a spirit of adventure and a sense of security. We are excited to deliver to our subscribers’ posts packed with tips and insight for traveling with peace of mind. Our articles will cover the ins and outs of travel insurance, health and safety tips, travel hacks, destination discoveries, sustainable travel, cultural awareness, and more!