Passports... Where to keep them??

Old Mar 21st, 2010, 02:16 PM
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Always carry it in a money belt around my waist under my clothing. Have an additional copy left in room in locked
luggage and a another copy with me that I can easily reach
without going into money belt. I would be very uncomfortable
leaving my passport anywhere. However, we are often required to leave it for a small amount of time at check-in in some hotels.
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Old Mar 31st, 2010, 08:37 AM
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dutyfree have made good point to leave one of your shoes in safe too...hopefully you will not change your mind next day to wear something else due to change in weather or anything else
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 04:47 AM
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You might not have a choice: I have stayed at pensions that required me to leave my passport at the front desk.

A story about someone keeping a passport on her at all times (I find it funny, main character does not): a former exchange student came back to visit a few years later, and spent a couple days at my college with me. When we went canoeing with a group, her canoe got tipped. I was glad to see her included in the fun...until she came up steaming angry about what could've happened to her passport. She kept it on her at ALL times, even on a canoe trip.

My preference is usually to try to find a good place to leave it at the hotel. I don't usually look like a tourist (inviting pickpockets) but I can be forgetful.
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 04:49 AM
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oh, and as for ID--take a good photocopy of your passport if you're not carrying the original document. Driver's licenses are issued by individual states and thus not accepted as ID in countries where residents are expected to register with the police and citizens are issued national identity cards (i.e. most of Europe)
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 06:30 AM
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Note: if you're carrying a photocopy of your passport, it might be advisable to get it laminated so your copy won't be damaged.
I also leave my original in the hotel safe - room safe or front desk safe - after check-in. I carry a laminated copy with me - I have large pockets. I also keep a digital copy stored online in an easily accessible email account.
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 07:57 AM
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I was mugged in Paris and my passport and wallet were taken. I was mugged at the Pont Neuf bridge by 2 young Asian girls acting like lost Asian students needing help (joke was on me!). At the consulate office, to get a temporary passport, there were tons of people that had been mugged. I would strongly suggest that you do not bring your passport with you and only carry a photocopy as these thiefs are pro's - you can't even feel their little hands rifling through your purse. Would I go back to Paris - yes - in a New York minute! Just don't let your guard down.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 02:47 PM
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I carried mine with me at all times when i went to Paris last summer. I kept mine inside my purse in a zippered compartment and always kept my purse close to me.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 03:38 PM
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I keep money, passport, and credit cards in a two zippered
"safe" that goes around the waist with an elastic band. Since I hate to look pudgy in the front I wear it at the small of my back.

Ever since I was told that American passports bring big money in Europe, I never leave it in a hotel room or hotel safe -

nor do I leave it at the hotel desk overnight. Had an argument with a young man at the desk about it - told him no American is separated from their passport. I refused to leave my passport and told him he could take a photocopy - he gave me an argument...I see no reason to leave a passport with an unknown desk person - and there's no reason why the photocopy wouldn't be just as good. I won the argument.

Actually dont carry anything of value in my purse, which I always carry under my armpit with my elbow pressed against (large purse) when in Europe.

Incidents of pickpocketing are a common everyday, many times a day occurrence in many countries in Europe..whereas in the states it is more of a rarity.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 04:08 PM
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This is a very interesting conversation. Thanks. I wonder if I could add a question -- our children are young teens. I think they should carry ID in case they get lost. Should they carry a passport? Is there some sort of universal ID we should create for them? We are coming from the U.S., visiting London & Paris.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 04:17 PM
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I rarely carry my passport around -- usually keep it locked up in the hotel (not the safe, but locked up in my room). I do carry my driver's license with me.

rbtraveler18 -- My son, since he was little, always had id on him when we were traveling, but more importantly, I always included a card with information regarding the hotel we were staying in, in case he got lost. This works well with teens (and even adults) who get lost -- at least they have a card with the name, address & phone no. of a hotel so someone could help them find their way back. California provides CA I.D.s to under 18's. Presumably id cards are also available to minors in other states.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 05:38 PM
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rbtraveler, I wouldn't have your kids carry their passports, but you could very easily create an ID for them if you wanted. Get a passport'ish size photo (a school photo or simply print a photo) and attach it to a business card size piece of paper with their name, any critical medical information, your name and contact info. Go to Walmart and get a pouch to laminate the card and photo. You don't need a laminator or anything special, it's just a simply peel apart pouch in the office aisle. Have them carry their ID card and the hotel business card. If you're not staying in a hotel, simply write out your own business cards for the apartment or B&B you're staying at.

Your kids are young teens, they should be fine with a basic ID (school ID, non-driver ID from the your state, or a homemade one) and a card with the lodging address on it. Simply set up a plan that if something happens and someone gets lost they are to go to a designated spot each day (front gate at the Tower of London for example while you're there, ground floor cashier at any large stores) or if they really get lost out and about they can take a MARKED taxi and meet back to the apartment.

Don't worry too much about your young teens getting lost. If they don't wander off at home they won't do it on vacation. If you're truly worried, there's always the threat of a large dog harness and leash to keep them close if they can't stay close on their own.
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Old May 19th, 2010, 04:40 AM
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Hotel rooms and suitcases are about as insecure as you can get for keeping anything of value! Not only do underpaid staff members have almost unlimited access to your room, but during the room cleaning process doors are often left propped open even when cleaning staff go on break or to lunch.

We had a small amount of cash and air tickets stolen from a hotel safe some years ago. It was a bit of a pain to straighten out the tickets. Of course now with electronic tickets that's not a problem.

Not that it matters for my passport as I would never go anywhere without my passport in another country anyway.
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Old May 19th, 2010, 09:58 AM
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"Incidents of pickpocketing are a common everyday, many times a day occurrence in many countries in Europe..whereas in the states it is more of a rarity."

Strange that I can have lived in Europe for 65 years and have travelled to London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Barcelona and many other places and have yet to be pickpocketed.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 08:20 AM
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I guess you dont look like a victim..or pickpocketable..

In Madrid I was meeting up at a hotel with several other gals, and they unfortunately took the train from the airport when we had been warned not to - one girl, and she was from London, so likely should have known, had the bottom of her pocketbook cut out - passport, money, credit cards - everything gone.

In Lisbon, fellow travelers on a guided tour yet, had their cameras taken, in Barcelona I watched as an obvious gypsy man walked up and down the "cue" ( how do you spell that?)
looking for a good victim...and he was very obvious about it..

In Barcelona, fellow travelers had cameras taken, and an acquaintance who lived in Barcelona was kicking himself because he knew better, but had his wallet pickpocketed.

In Paris at a museum, I had my big pocketbook on my shoulder but open and overflowing with newspaper and pamphlets - the museum guard warned me about my open pocketbook, kindly, and I assured him there was nothing of value in it....

The worst was in Rome. When I arrived at the hotel the concierge warned me to be very careful of pickpockets - that a gypsy pickpocket had tried to pickpocket another girl on the train platform - the girl was also from Rome and fought back - the gypsy girl took her umbrella and stuck it in the eye of the other girl and killed her.

So "spit" does happen

there are so many stories and posted on this site also - one just has to be aware and not have anything in your pocket or pocketbook that your not willing to lose. That's why I use a waist safe.

And I have heard of employees pilfering hotel safes also. After all they have access to the safe and have to in order to give you back whatever you have put in the safe. Just because they work behind the desk does not mean they're honest. And then you have no receipt for what you put in the safe, so if you call the police what do you have to prove it ?
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 06:15 PM
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 02:55 AM
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I always carry my passport. I wear a t-shirt/undershirt with a breast pocket. It is perfect for my passport, credit cards, and large bills.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 03:25 PM
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>>>>>>29FEB on May 22, 10 at 10:15pm

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