If You’re Going Up The Creek, Take a Paddle

securing your travel documents

Imagine that you’re traveling in a foreign country.

Like any smart traveler, you’ve stored your most important and valuable items, such as your passport, airline tickets, credit cards, and extra cash or travelers checks, in your hotel room safe.

You arrive back at your room after a day of sight-seeing or lounging by the pool to find that that your room’s been ransacked…..the safe is wide open and all of your valuable items are gone, along with your luggage.

If you’re really smart, you may have made photocopies of your passport, and like many travelers, you may have kept those also in the safe, or perhaps stashed in your luggage.

Having a backup of your passport can mean the difference between getting home on time, or not.

Which means your copies are gone too. What do you do?

The solution is simple. Store your copies in a secure, protected location – online.

After reading a review of AccessMyID at SoloTravelerBlog.com, I was intrigued and impressed, so I promptly emailed them for more information. Stanley Cooper, from AccessMyID.com, graciously agreed to answer my questions, so without further ado, here you go!

Q. Why should travelers consider this as an alternative to just carrying photocopies of their documents with them when they travel?

The photocopies would, in all likelihood be B/W and grainy and not reflect a positive image for the purpose of ID should original documents be lost, damaged or stolen. AS well, just how many photocopies is it practical to carry on one’s person while traveling? Further, it has been suggested that that storing copies of documents online is the “green” thing to do!

Q. What support options are there for someone who has trouble accessing their documents?

We have on the home page an 800 number (North America) that a subscriber can call (during business hours Eastern Time) or an email address that a subscriber can use that is monitored some 20 hours a day / 7 days a week. All inquiries are promptly responded to, be it a general inquiry or Help.

Q. What happens to the stored documents if someone accidentally lets their membership lapse?

A subscriber is emailed 30 and 15 days prior to their account ending and reminded to renew. It is their option and in fact responsibility to either renew their account – or not. We do not “Auto Renew” for technical and legal reasons. What will occur is that the day after an account expires all documents in the account will be “destroyed” and eliminated. The account information (Name / Email / Username / Password) will be kept for thirty days to 1) prove that the documents have been eliminated and “destroyed” and 2) allow the account holder to renew their account and re-load documents.

Q. Any plans for an iPhone or other smartphone app that will let members have secured access to their documents from their iPhone/ smartphone?

Yes, but this is proving to be a challenge but we are working towards a solution. However, a subscriber can currently access their account from an iPhone or Blackberry by using its web browser.

Also, if it has not been brought to your attention as yet … When a subscriber logs into their account they are immediately sent an email advising that they have in fact logged in to their account and if it “is not the account subscriber” there is a link to security@accessmyid.com which will enable us to immediately deactivate the account.

We all know that it’s smart to take extra precautions when traveling abroad, and having a backup of your passport and tickets can mean the difference between getting home safely and on time, or spending days (or weeks) trying to get a replacement passport.

Our thanks to Stanley for answering our questions!


What precautions do you take with your travel documents? Share your advice!

About Trisha Miller 116 Articles
Trisha Miller Editor-in-Chief, TravelWritersExchange.com - Trisha joined the Travel Industry in 1996 with a background in telecommunications and helped to build (and later sell) one of the industry's top inbound call centers specializing in air travel. Her career in Travel Writing began with creating destination-specific content for a corporate travel intranet, and continued as she contributed content to a large number of travel-related companies that were establishing an online presence throughout the late '90's and early '00's. Currently she is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, and a former Board Member of the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association (2009-2015).  Still a frequent world traveler, and occasional guest-blogger on a number of other Travel Blogs, Trisha writes about travel and technology, sometimes both at the same time. You can follow Trisha on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/TravelWriting


  1. This is the best tip, that I have been implementing for some time already…before leaving I store all important personal docs on my e-mail account and also copy them on a extra memory key, which I carry with me for immediate access..

    • Hi Michela – thanks for stopping by!

      The extra memory key is a great idea, as long as you always have it with you, and don’t leave it in your hotel room. The idea with AccessMyID is that you don’t need to carry anything with you, freeing you from the worry of losing it or having it stolen.

      I would also caution you about using your email account to store anything really confidential, like copies of your passport or credit cards or travelers checks – email is actually not hard to hack into, if you’re even an average hacker.

      But at least you’re thinking about the issue, which is way more than many travelers do, so brava!

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