I take a lot of tech with me when I travel for work or pleasure. It's a perk of the job, but also a bit of a pain sometimes. Usually at the very least a couple of phones, a laptop, a camera. I usually take a different gadget each trip, so I'm used to things going wrong with the technology I carry when I'm on the road. But one thing I've learned not to muck around with is my passport.
Quick story: In 2013, I road-tripped around the US with my brother. I just carried my passport in my pocket unprotected; I'd lost or thrown away the janky little plastic sleeve that the government gives you when you get one. Big mistake. Long story short, I drowned my passport in a Washington DC hotel room, where it was sitting underneath a leaky paper cup of water on the nightstand overnight.
The 48 hours that followed was a mad rush to the Australian embassy on the Queen's Birthday public holiday, to one-hour photo stores and the occasional teary phone call back to Australia. It was a headache when I was meant to be
stealing the Declaration of Independence exploring the United States' capital. I'd rather avoid that headache in the future.
In the years since, I've always carried my passport in a wallet of some kind. I will never travel without one again.
On my most recent trip to the US, I took a Kyza Travel Wallet, a double wallet — one for your daily travels when you're on the road, and one for your airport essentials. Both can carry your cash and cards, but the larger one fits a passport and boarding documents (including Australia's departure cards, which are being phased out at the moment) and any especially large bills you have. It also has a pen for all those pesky documents and slips that seem to pop up whenever you're in transit.
It's a slightly bulky wallet when you're carrying both together, but the idea is straightforward: do your actual travelling with both wallets — through airports and on planes, into your taxi or Uber to wherever you're going — then put your passport and travel essentials into your hotel room safe or stash it away in your bag and use the smaller wallet day-to-day. It's a really good idea, and it's convinced me of its utility even as someone who's travelled with a single combined passport wallet in the past.
There's only one real caveat apart from the bulk, and that's the fact that this particular wallet won't fit a frequent flyer's double-thickness passport. But if you're a sometimes traveller like me, rather than a constant jetsetter, it's a great idea and a product I'm going to continue to use. You can buy Kyza's travel wallets online — they're pricy at $129.95 — but the peace of mind of knowing your passport's safe, and locked away with everything else you need to flee the country at short notice, is real. [Kyza Travel Co]