The passport cover is something that seems to make it into just about every travel gear shop on the planet, but it’s real benefit has been something I’ve questioned over the years. In this post, I take a look at the pros and cons of passport covers and whether they are something we’d recommend to our HPL readers.
What is a passport cover?
A passport cover is sort of like a book cover for your passport. Typically, both ends of your passport cover will slide into pockets on either side, and just like a book jacket, you have a fancy new look to your passport. It’s protected better from normal wear and tear. Passport covers can be made of plastic, leather, fabric, and so on.
Pros of Using Passport Covers
They protect your passport from normal wear and tear, and getting liquids spilled on them. If you use your passport a lot, then this can be a very good thing.
They help you quickly identify the passport in your luggage or bag. A dark blue cover doesn’t always make itself known in a dark bag.
They can look super fashionable or sleek if that’s what you’re going for.
They can add extra organization. Some covers contain extra pockets inside for money, ID’s, vaccination proof, or other random ticket slips.
Some protect your digital information. Since most passports worldwide include an RFID chip in them, the passport covers that include RFID blockers can keep your personal information from getting into the wrong hands.
Cons of Using Passport Covers
They add an extra step. At passport control, the officer will usually have to remove the cover from the passport, or you will have to do the same.
Some add extra bulk. Not much, mind you, but the fewer extras you include in your packing, the better, right?
My Personal Opinion
Personally, I find the cover to be a bit useless. I used one on a 6 week trip a couple of years ago, and while it was super cute, I was annoyed at having to remove the cover at every airport stop. Instead of putting the passport back in the cover properly, I tended to just slip it back loosely (inside the cover, but not actually connected to it). Not only that, but for RFID protection, I have other gear that offers the capability, like a pocket in my Pacsafe Slingsafe 300 GII.
And who doesn’t want their passport to show a little wear and tear? The only good passport, in my opinion, is a used passport!
But then again, that’s just me. I love the feeling of being organized when I travel, but I also hate extra steps at those busy times, like trying to get through security.
The need to keep my passport looking nice and neat is not super important to me; it might be for you. In that case, a passport cover can add a bit of pizzazz to your travel style while keeping your passport, and possibly your passport’s information, safe.
Verdict: The passport cover is not an essential piece of travel gear, but for some it may be useful if looking for the following perks: keeping the passport looking sharper longer, protecting the digital data on the passport, or classing up your travel ensemble.