When preparing for your trip out of the country: Make sure you have a passport. Also be sure that it is up to date because some countries require that you have at least 6 months remaining before it expires.
When packing to go away take 2 copies of the passport leave one at home with some family members or a friend with your travel plans.
Also keep a copy with you in one of your bags just in case you loose your passport and you can have quick access to a copy of it and take it to a US Embassy for replacement help.
Most of all DO NOT PACK YOUR PASSPORT IN YOUR CHECKED BAGGAGE!!!!
Do not pack your passport in your suitcase