Everyone needtravel documentfor a long trip. Though passportare not required to travel within the UK, some documentmay come in handy when planning and preparing for a holiday or foreign travel.
Check that your passport ivalid and will be for the duration of the holiday. Check that there ienough space inside for any visa stampthat you will need. Immigration control may refuse entry if the passport expireduring the planned stay, or if there ino space for visa stamps. Take a couple of spare passport photographin case you need them.
Your passport imore than an official document. Your passport and what iwritten in it could get you killed. In a hostage situation terroristoften collect passportfrom their hostages, to see who they are holding. What information could a terrorist get from looking at your passport?
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While you are abroad, dozenof people will see your passport. For example, airport, bank and hotel employeewill all know your job, your title and the countrieyou have visited. These people almost certainly don’t have any criminal or terrorist links, but it would only take one with those linkto threaten your health, safety and security if your passport containsomething of interest to terrorists.
• Stampand visas. Apparently, the mere presence of an Israeli entry stamp or visa in a passport could be enough for a terrorist to pick out a passenger. They may feel that they have to kill a passenger just to prove to the authoritiethat they are seriouand will carry out their threats. They need to pick on somebody, and they may base their selection on a tenuoulink to their declared enemies, such aan innocent visa stamp in your passport. A new passport won’t have any such stamp or visa in it, so there should be nothing to offend a terrorist or pick you out of the crowd.
• Name and title. Some people use titlein their passports, hoping for preferential treatment from airlines, or attempting to prove to the world that they are superior beings. Unfortunately, if a terrorist seethat he iholding ‘Major General Wilfred Biggins’ or ‘Lord Bigginof Buglington’ he could use a VIP passenger aleverage to make hidemands. Being known to the world aplain old Bill Bigginmay not get you into the VIP departure lounge, but it won’t get you killed either.
• Job. What doeyour passport say about your occupation? Once again, ‘senior civil servant’ or ‘nuclear physicist’ may make you feel superior to the average airline passenger, but I would rather that my passport said ‘office worker’. Anything that makeme ‘one of the crowd’ seemquite a good option to me.
• Ransom. The information above could make you a target for ransom demandin countriewhere kidnap and ransom ialmost an accepted business. In some countrieyou have to surrender your passport to officialor to hotel management so that your presence can be registered. It ilikely that at some stage employeecould read your passport and tip off criminal gangwho would be quite pleased to take a major general, a lord and a nuclear physicist hostage. Not many people will be interested in Bill Biggins, office worker.
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