Useful precautionary tips for Travel document's safety
Just recently a friend of mine with his family was on an entertainment trip to Barcelona when they lost their passport and other important document. It is very disturbing incident to be happened with anyone. By the grace of Allah they have found it after much hassle. However it makes me think to share some safety tips with others, which I have gained through experience of my friend. As prevention is always better than cure, it is good to practice safety measures beforehand to avoid any inconvenience later. Here are some tips to practice when you are travelling, especially in a foreign country.
Precautions to do before Journey
- Always have all pages of all documents scanned and make sure that those soft copies are easily accessible to you. You can do it by saving them Google Docs, MSN’s Sky Drive or any other online storage service. Even more easily, compose a new email message, just attach all documents and email yourself.
- Have at least two photocopies of all travel and other important documents with you and keep them on separate places.
- Until unless it is highly required by authorities of the country you are visiting, avoid to keep original documents with you. Use safety locker of hotel you are staying or any other safe place to keep the originals. However always keep the photocopy of your documents. This to identify you in case of emergencies or some other unfortunate events.
- Write your name, email, phone no. and any other contact information on a piece of paper and always place it in your wallet and inside your mobile casing. This will help a lot in case you forget them somewhere. Remember that in most cases people who found your things want to positively return the things, however due to not readily available contact information, they simply cannot do it.
- Always try to memorize the emergency phone nos. address or no of nearest embassy of your country and nearest police station.
- Have numbers of your cards written on a safe place along with the phone number of your bank (the card issuer).
Steps if the things are already lost
If unluckily you have already lost your documents, you can do following steps to maximize the chances of finding them finding them and minimize the chances of someone misusing your things.
- Stay calm and do not be hyper over yourself or anyone with you. This is the first and most sought thing you should practice. Whatever is happened has happened, and you cannot bring it back by just tensioning yourself. Yes it is extremely disturbing, but, just face this courageously. If you are with others, help others also to become normal after first shock.
- Try to remember the last time when the documents were surely with you, or last time you have seen them. And then figure out the places you visited after that time and now, if possible visit them again and do not hesitate to ask others around about your things.
- If there is a local security at the place where you suspect you lost the things, 1st contact them. Some time people who would have found your documents would prefer to hand them local security personal or local administration. They usually have their own lost and found cells.
- If you have failed to find out your things in first 3 – 6 hours, call your bank to de activate your credit cards. And ask them detail of last payment made by your card. This is to ensure that it has not been used by someone else unfairly.
- If you have lost something in bus or train contact their emergency centers as they also have their own lost and found cell.
- Sometime post office receives the passport, it is also better to contact them.
- Place some notices with your contact information and general detail of lost things, on prominent places, where you lost the things.
- Contact local police and ask for their help. If necessary lodge an official report of the event. You must get a copy of this report. As in most cases it will required to get new official documents, if you will not be able to find them.
- Contact your nearest embassy, inform them about the event and ask for their guidance and help.
I wish that you may not be in trouble due to such incident; however it is always good to practice precautionary measures instead of reactionary.
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