Keep your passport safe by showing authorities a copy

Keep Your Passport Safe: Show Authorities A Copy

We don't like handing over our passports to many people. Many of you will have heard of the scam carried out in some countries where people dressed in official uniform ask to see your passport. Of course they are not really officials and ask for money upon your passports return.

We keep a colour laminated copy of our passport page in our handlebar bag for quick access, which says all of the information that anybody should need to know about us on the road. We also have a black and white copy of our visas if applicable.

Be insistent (even for 30 minutes or one hour if you need) that you cannot show your real passport. Make clear to the 'official' that all of your passport and visa information is there if they want to use it, and STRESS that you are a 100% legal tourist.

After a while it will get to the point that the 'official' will give up, and if not, flag down a passing car or pedestrian for help.

For more on keeping your passport safe, click HERE.


  1. Good article on the passport copy. My question is how to secure a bike especially when camping at night, can you direct me to an article or make a new recommendations? I am going to be on a solo self supported trip in the Peloponnese, then Albania and up to Budapest. Any stories or advice?

  2. We store all of our bags under the vestibules, or inside our tent. We have a 100cm long Abus Bordo lock which can sometimes secure our bike against a tree, signpost or barrier, but if we can’t do that we have a small and lightweight cable which we connect between a wheel and our tent pole.

  3. Thanks for the tip! Quick clarification: this doesn’t apply at border crossings where you do need to show your actual passport, right?

  4. You shouldn’t have problems with this kind of scam at borders, but you may find the border guards playing other tricks to get a few dollars out of you!

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