Tip For A TEFL Day Trip…

Don’t forget your passport!

It sounds like a joke, or at the very least somewhat insulting advice to give as it is so basic…but in fact forgetting your passport on a trip or day trip, it can cause quite a hassle.

Of course many of us abroad carry our passports with us, pretty much at all times; while we may not need to produce it regularly, people in most countries are just supposed to carry ID and without other identification, the passport is it.

If you are teaching abroad, your are in somewhat of a more unique situation, because at home, you probably wouldn’t think of carrying your passport around for a day trip. But, especially if you come from a large country, you’re much more likely to need it for this purpose abroad. I have my passport on me pretty much always, and I’ve had a couple of close calls where I would have been in a pinch without it so 1) don’t tell the pickpockets please, and 2) note that the following story is NOT about me. But I did hear it from a reliable source.

A woman was making a day trip to a neighboring country and had forgotten her passport. She exited one country without anyone checking her passport, but of course when entering the second one she was asked to produce it. She realized then that she didn’t have it, and so of course could not show it…but as she had already technically exited the first country, they would not let her back in without a passport…nor would they let her in the other one. She was stuck in a “no man’s land”, and had to wait for someone to bring her the passport.

I found the story quite amusing, and as I think it would be more of an inconvenience than anything else, I will admit I had a laugh at the expense of this woman (who is in fact unknown to me).

But if you are traveling on your own, and have to, say, call your boss or landlord to root around your apartment and find your passport, and then come out and deliver it, it is an even bigger inconvenience. I personally think the chances of needing your passport and not having it are greater than those of having it stolen, so my opinion is that it’s not a bad idea to have it on you.

It’s also often possible to register with you country’s embassy abroad, which often facilitates getting a new passport if you lose it, so make an effort to do that if you’re concerned. But otherwise…just don’t forget your passport!