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The passport cover is something that seems to make it into just about every travel gear shop on the planet, but its 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 each 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?
Are Passport Covers Worth it?
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.
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.
Alternatives to a passport cover
If you want to keep your passport protected and remain organized, here are some alternatives you can check out.
Fossil Passport Wallet
This is a good compromise between keeping your passport in good condition while making it easy for you to slip it in and out of the cover when going through immigration.
RFID Blocking Passport Holder
This travel wallet can keep everything organized for you. You can have your passport secured in its own sleeve while keeping your cards, currencies, and other documents in one place.
It also has an RFID blocker, so your data is secured.
Travelon Travel Essentials Set
This set is great if you are traveling multiple countries and dealing with several currencies. It is slim and does not add too much bulk inside your bag. It is also water-resistant.
Valante Premium Family Travel Document Organizer
Traveling with kids can be stressful. Here’s a way to make it easier: keep all your important documents within easy reach with this travel document organizer.
- slots for 6 passports
- 2 pockets for boarding passes
- 2 zippered pockets for cash
- 2 letter-sized slots for documents
- a zippered pocket for your mobile phone
- slots for your cards
- a key ring holder
- pen holder
- sim and memory card slots
- removable wristlet and cross-body strap
It is also water-resistant and RFID blocking and comes with a 1-year warranty and 60-day money-back guarantee.
Zoppen Multi-purpose Travel Passport Wallet
Here’s a cute travel wallet that sure to fit your style and budget. This multi-purpose travel organizer comes in a multitude of colors and can hold your passport, a pen, cards, currency, and even your mobile phone.