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When travelling, it’s pretty much an accepted fact that you’re going to be panicking about your passport’s location at all times. You may place it in a certain pocket of your purse or backpack, and feel that’s secure enough. Up until now, it certainly felt like enough. But after a Canadian woman was denied travel because of water damage to her passport (yes, it fell in the snow prior to her trip – how Canadian can you get?), we’re re-thinking how we travel with the sensitive document.

Air Canada says that your passport has to be in near-perfect condition, or you could possibly be denied when you go to check in at the airport. Here are the deal-breakers:

It’s gotten wet

Sure, you may think you’ve protected your passport from water, but that H2O can sneak in when you least expect it. Like you may leave it on the kitchen counter when you get back from a trip, or place it near the bathroom sink at the airport. Accidents happen, especially while you’re on vacation.

Our solution: Our intrepid video editor here at The Loop places her passport in a sealed, air-tight plastic bag while travelling. A stroke of genius, if we do say so ourselves.

Pages are torn or missing

This one’s tough, but it’s totally possible. While the pages of your passport are pretty thick, the little booklets are tossed around a lot while travelling – in your bag, shoved under the seat on the plane or crammed into pockets. It’s not hard to imagine pages getting caught in something, or ripping if they get pulled the wrong way.

Our solution: Once you’re checked in (and whenever you store your passport), make sure to put your passport in a container or holder that’ll keep it sealed shut, so no pages are exposed or even have the possibility of being bent.

There are unauthorized markings, or info has been altered

Obviously, no one (including yourself) is going to use your passport as a doodling pad, but your children might. It’s probably best you don’t leave your passport unsupervised with your young kids — they don’t know any better.

Our solution: Put your passport away in a safe, secure drawer once you return from your trip. Don’t delay. Make it a part of your unpacking routine, or do it before you unpack. Feeling lazy? Just think about the personal and financial cost of being denied your next trip. Yeah, we thought so.

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