Do You Carry Your Passport or a Copy?

Old Nov 29th, 2007, 05:30 PM
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I agree 50/50...however, I picked up two tips last spring from this board that I really liked: In addition to making copies...

Upload a color copy of the passport to a secure but internationally accessible email account
Upload a color copy of any airline tickets (I had two sets this past summer--the rest were e-tickets)to the account too

I decided to upload a color copy of my credit cards, too. We never had to access this info, but my daughter in Cairo did a few months later.
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 05:35 PM
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Of course, sweetie darling, the linens don't have to be changed. I pour Mitsouko into my bathwater.

Italinan war bonds? You must be joking? Members of the Everglades Club to not have Italian war bonds.

How dreadful of you.

See you in Berlin on December 20.

The Great and Powerful Thingorjus
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 06:07 PM
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On my person, in a legstash, not noticeable not accessable by anyone without my knowing it.
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Old Nov 30th, 2007, 05:11 AM
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On my person, in my money belt. I don't see how carrying it on you could &quot;have issues&quot;. For the only <i>important</i> things I'd need it for (getting out in case of emergency or proving my identity/nationality) I don't think a photocopy would suffice.
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Old Dec 20th, 2007, 01:47 PM
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The only crime my friends have ever encountered in Europe is purse-stealing and pickpockets (followed by the theft-out-of-car-trunk bandits). Therefore, when I'm out from my hotel, I always feel my passport is safer in the hotel rather than on my person.
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Old Dec 20th, 2007, 04:30 PM
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I would never carry my passport around with me. The chances of being pickpocketed or (more likely) just accidentally leaving behind my bag/jacket containing my passport is far more probable than a hotel fire or safecracker.

And let's have a reality check here - who has ever decided to up and leave a country on the spot, without returning to the hotel or picking up their luggage first. I have never known anyone to do that, even in the event of a family death.



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Old Dec 20th, 2007, 05:04 PM
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• If you leave your passport in your room, whether in your luggage or a safe, or if you leave it in the front desk safe, you are assigning the care of your most important travel document to someone else. And the honesty of everyone having access to it cannot be measured.

• If you carry it, you and you alone are responsible for its safety.
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Old Dec 20th, 2007, 07:40 PM
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I usually lock it in a safe. And I almost always forget to bring a copy. It just isn't something I worry about.
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Old Dec 20th, 2007, 09:04 PM
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Less than 50% of the hotels we've stayed at have had safes. I carry them, stashed away. She holds the copies.
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Old Dec 20th, 2007, 10:05 PM
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&quot;Best&quot;? Depends on what you are doing.

In Barcelona, when I wanted to use my CC for a large purchase, the sales person will NOT accept my cc without my real passport. The copy of passport was absolutely USELESS. I had to go back to my hotel to get my passport to complete my purchase.
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Old Dec 21st, 2007, 02:06 AM
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For heaven's sake.
What do you think that a hotel desk clerk is going to do with your silly passport?
Losing it would be a hassle because you'd have to get a replacement.
A pickpocket is after your money or possibly your camera or mobile phone if it is an expensive one.
He'd probably throw your passport away.
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Old Dec 21st, 2007, 03:20 AM
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Well, I'm in the camp of those who figure that even though I have responsibility for my own passport, it's much more likely that I will put my bag down, drop something, have it stolen, or countless other options, than that someone else will take it from my room.

I always leave it behind and would only take it if I were staying in a really horrible cheap hotel, which luckily I don't do. Staying in a flat or gite I would certainly leave it (and do)
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Old Dec 21st, 2007, 06:23 AM
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Are you kidding? A thief would throw your passport away? US passports are worth thousands on the black market, and I imagine other nationalities, also.
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Old Dec 21st, 2007, 07:14 AM
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I'm interested in this idea that US passports are worth thousands on the black market, and wonder what evidence there is for this. There are various ways of getting a U.S. passport such as forgery and identity theft, and the option of getting someone else's passport and altering it seems a poor method, and one fraught with danger.

I always understood that most thieves were basically after cash, or goods that could easily be converted to cash. They would not want to be caught with anything on them which would identify that they were a thief. Possessing someone else's passport would be very incriminating.

Does anyone know the facts about this?
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Old Dec 21st, 2007, 08:11 AM
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About 5 years ago we were travelling with friends in the south of France, we were staying in Beaulieu sur Mer, they were around the corner on the Cap. Theives broke into their room at night and while they were sleeping, took their wallets off the bedside tables. They never woke up.

The next morning they discovered their wallets on the terrace outside the window with the credit cards still in them, only minus the cash and their passports. The embassy staff told them that passport theft was a MAJOR issue in that area.
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Old Dec 21st, 2007, 08:27 AM
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Sniff test: why would they leave the credit cards? Wouldn't they have considerable street value?
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Old Dec 21st, 2007, 08:36 AM
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They left the credit cards because they are easily traced back to the victim, and it would be obvious that a crime has been committed. Same with passports. It is cash which cannot be traced back to the victim, and it cannot be proved that the holder has gained it wrongly.

A thief broke into our house. He took money from my wallet, but left the credit cards. &pound;40 would not incriminate him if he was stopped, but credit cards would lead to immediate arrest.

I am not surprised that the embassy said that passport theft was a problem. That is the theft of which they would be most aware. They would not be involved with the theft of cash, or cameras, or umbrellas.
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Old Dec 21st, 2007, 08:48 AM
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Ask yourself this, then...

An event similar to 9/11 happens, only it happens in the country you are visiting. You are out wandering the city and you hear the news and either need to get into your Embassy or get on a plane home. For whatever reason, you cannot get back to your hotel to get your passport out of the safe or wherever you've stashed it, or it's such an urgent situation that you don't have that kind of time. What good is not having it, or only have a photocopy, going to do you???

On a much smaller scale, I was in Paris several years ago and came up out of the Metro into a demonstration near the Rodin Museum. Arrests were being made. A police officer in riot gear approached me and I showed my passport and he hurried me out of the melee to a safe area. No questions asked.

Don't carry it in a bag if you are liable to leave it somewhere or are afraid of having it picked. Moneybelts are made for this reason. I just don't understand why you wouldn't want to have the one document that offers you the immediate support of your government on your person. But, different strokes, I guess.
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Old Dec 21st, 2007, 08:54 AM
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My passport is a lot safer back at the hotel than we me carrying it round - I'm so absent-minded I'd probably lose it somewhere.

But in any case, I think most hotels are pretty safe. I wonder if anyone's ever done a comparison between number of passports nicked from hotel rooms, and number of passports stolen off the carrier or just plain lost?
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Old Dec 21st, 2007, 08:56 AM
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If there's another 9/11 type incident and for some bizarre reason you want to leave in a great hurry rather than return to the safety of your hotel, what do you think are the chances of normal scheduled flights being available?

As to US passports being worth thousands on the black market...at the moment, I think if I were looking for fake documents, I might prefer another nationality! 8-)
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