• Make photocopies of your passport before you go. Bring one with you and keep it in a place different from the passport itself. Leave another with a contact back home.

• Bring extra passport-size photos of yourself in case you need to replace the passport while overseas.

• When traveling abroad, bring a list of the locations and phone numbers of embassies and consulates in the countries you'll be visiting.

• En route and at your destination, protect your passport in a pocket or pouch that can be closed securely and that is carried in front of your body and hidden to discourage pickpockets.

• Keep your passport in a room safe or hotel safe, or sleep with it nearby.

• Be aware that the fee for replacing a lost or stolen passport during a trip is $135. That payment, however, can be applied to the cost of a new permanent passport. Extra costs can include travel to the nearest consulate or embassy, photo fees — plus the time it takes to reach those places.

• Check your passport expiration date. Many countries require that it contain six months of validity at the time of entry.

• For more information and for application forms, go to travel.state.gov.

Dan Wascoe