airport_tsaTraveling with kids is a production in and of itself, so what happens if your wallet or license is stolen on the road? How do you fly home without your photo id? This question was asked of me recently at BlogHer ’11 in San Diego, where unfortunately, there was a rash of purse thefts at the convention center. 
Sadly, this question has a much easier answer if you are prepared ahead of time. How can you best prepare yourself for a worst case scenario?

1. Have a backup copy of your license. As I travel frequently, and am slightly paranoid, I have multiple fallbacks. Make a color copy of your license. Laminate the full sheet of paper (if you cut it out & laminate it it can look sketchy), stick the laminate in your planner. Scan a copy of your license and save it as a file on your laptop. Leave a copy at home where it can be faxed if necessary. Email a copy of the scanned file to yourself on an email that you can access from any computer.

2. If your wallet is stolen while on the road immediately file a police report. Ask for a copy of the police report to bring to the airport with you.  

3. Arrive at the airport extremely early for the flight, especially if you are checking baggage. Show TSA agents your police report and a copy of your license if you have it with you. As long as you are flying domestically and can verify your identity through a secondary form of ID they should send you thru. However, you will be subject to additional screening which could take awhile. Be incredibly polite.


Hopefully, you will never need these tips but on the off chance that this happens to you prepare yourself and scan your license in now!

For other worst case scenario advice check out What to Do When Your Flight is Delayed, Running Late for Your Flight? What to Do! , and Preventing Lost Luggage .

Nasreen Stump is a freelance writer who lives in Vermont, when she isn’t on the road for work. Check her out on Twitter@ramblingstump!