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michelle Jul 8th, 1999 06:23 PM

Where should we pack our passports?
We're going to Italy in September on a bus tour. Do we have to keep our passports on us? I'm worried about pickpockets. I'd like to know what people think about packing our passports in our checked luggage on the bus and only keeping a copy with us during the day. Is this safe? Michelle

Maggie Jul 8th, 1999 06:49 PM

Michelle, <BR>I would NOT put my passport in luggage which would be out of my sight----I wouldn't put it in luggage, period. we have traveled throughout Italy and have not had a problem with pickpockets, although I know others may disagree. It may be wise to invest in a money belt or pocket to wear under your clothing (although we have never done this) but I would not leave your passport in luggage. Checking them in a hotel safe I think is okay. You, of course, should always have copies of your passport since it is supposed to expedite replacement (luckily haven't had to do that) Be alert and be aware ---just as you would be in any large city. <BR> <BR>Last comment on leaving passport in your luggage----would you leave your cash and/or credit cards there????? <BR> <BR>PS__Have a great time--Italy is WONDERFUL

Ed Jul 8th, 1999 07:08 PM

I wouldn't check them. I have a 'shoulder holster' 'wallet' where I keep CCs, passport, larger amounts of money. You could also use a money belt or one of the kind that hang around the neck or from your bra. <BR> <BR>Most hotels have safes and you can keep it there if you prefer when you'll be staging in the same hotel for a while. <BR> <BR>A copy is a good idea to keep around plus two passport photos ... if you lose the passport this should enable pretty speedy reissue from the nearest US consulate. <BR> <BR>You'll find some extensive and useful info on visiting Rome at <BR> <BR>Ed

Donna Jul 8th, 1999 07:28 PM

On a bus tour, I would also strongly advise keeping your passports in an under your clothing security pouch at all times. Not that you have to worry about the locked bus, but with all that coming and going, you'd want to have it on you at all times.

Anna Jul 8th, 1999 07:47 PM

I like using a moneybelt that is worn under my clothes. I have been to Italy two times without a problem. After a day you get used to wearing it and when it's off you feel like you are naked.

Bill Fleites Jul 8th, 1999 10:46 PM

Anna is right on the money, always carry your passport in your money belt. I always place mine in a plastic bag to protect it from the humidity generated by your body heat.

lai yee Jul 9th, 1999 12:21 AM

Hi, Michelle. Lucky U going to one of our most favourite countries - ITALY.. Please, please keep your passports in the hotel's safe & simply carry photocopies of the passport with U in your moneybelts or whatever 'safety gadgets' that are available today. <BR>Laiyee <BR> <BR> <BR>

Mike Miller Jul 9th, 1999 04:01 AM

We always carry our passports in our money belts and put a copy in each item of luggage.

Bob Brown Jul 9th, 1999 09:16 AM

Great advice. Look at is this way: When you are overseas, your most valuable possessions are your passport, your means of finance (checks, ATM & credit cards, currency), and your transportation tickets. (And perhaps key drugs, e.g. a diabetic better hang on to his or her insulin.) Lose any of those items and you have a major interruption facing you. So carry your passport where it is the most protected. <BR>I carry mine in a pouch under my clothes like several others who have posted. <BR> <BR>

elvira Jul 9th, 1999 09:42 AM

In most countries, you must carry ID on you at all times. In the U.S., we don't have we tend to be cavalier about it. Eventhough you can leave your passport in a hotel safe, and just carry a copy of the passport with you, I would recommend you carry your passport with you at all times, and guard it as you would your ATM card or cash. If you lose your driver's license at home, it's a big pain in the neck. If you lose your passport overseas...your trip will be severely interrupted or ruined altogether. For both reasons (i.d. on your person; horror of having to replace it overseas), I carry it with me (suggestions for money belt, pouch, whatever are excellent). Leave a copy in your luggage; if you're leaving a copy of your itinerary with someone at home, leave a copy of the passport with them, too.

Cheryl Z. Jul 9th, 1999 11:51 AM

<BR>Michelle - never, ever put your passport/airline tickets/travelers checks etc in your luggage whether it's checked in on your same bus, OR in your own car with you. As everyone has said, ALL that stuff should be on your body in whatever way you're most comfortable (pouch, money belt, fanny pack, whatever) when you're in transit. I don't even leave it in hand baggage that's with me on buses, or in our car if we park someplace. We've never had a problem but it's better to be safe than sorry. When at the hotels, we make use of the security boxes even if it costs. You'll have a wonderful time, and tell us all about it.

Ben Haines Jul 9th, 1999 05:37 PM

An advanage of a forum is that you can ollect a range of replies, not all of which agree with one another. I travel about a month a year in Europe, chiefly in central Europe. I neither use nor own a money belt, fanny belt, bum bag, or other thing for carrying money. All of them seem to me to be inconvenient, lumpy, and actually to invite thieves to take out and use a sharp knife. <BR>Rather, in hotels my passport, tickets, credit cards (all but one), and spare money are wherever the hotelier advises, either the hotel safe or a drawer in my bedoom (I can hear your cries of horror). Then if I'm travelling but won't cross a controlled frontier -- many now are uncontrolled -- these things are in a used bown envlope wrapped in a dirty shirt in the middle of my biggest piece of luggage. And if I'm to cross a frontier or book into a new hotel that day then most are thus placed in the suitcase, but tickets and passport are in my inside jacket pocket (further cries of horror). <BR> <BR>In all my travels I am never asked for identification, which means a passport, except at controlled frontiers and at hotel reception desks. And even that's changing: within the European Union hotels are giving up the wish to see a passport, or indeed any ID. I think the law there is changing, or has changed. Certainly, in forty years's travel on the Continent I've never been asked to show ID by police or others, except at frontiers, and by crooks in Romania. Maybe I look especially honest ? I used to need a passport to cash travellers cheques, but for the last decade have used only cash and credit cards, and have memorised the PIN code. <BR> <BR>I go chiefy by train, with a little by bus. On night teains I use the fitted chain that the company fits to doors to lock and chain my cabin. By day in west Europe I leave luggage (wth passport, cards and money in it) in its rack when I go off to restaurant cars, but in central and east Europe put it in the care of a fellow passenger while I go to a restaurant or a bathroom. Over the decades I've had my passport picked from my pocket in Edirne bus station in Turkey (I forgot my own rules, and failed to replace it in its dirty shirt when I'd passed the frontier), and I've woken to find a thief examining my suitcase (again I'd forgotten my rules, and left it on the floor of my sleeping compartnment and that conmpartment unlocked: the case should have been on the rack by my head, my valiuables in it, and the door locked and chained). <BR> <BR>I'm not saying everybody else is wrong. Just that I do it differently. <BR> <BR>Please write if I can help further. Welcome to Europe. <BR> <BR>Ben Haines, London <BR> <BR>

Zwi Schnabel Jul 10th, 1999 12:02 AM

After the hand bag of my wife was stolen in Napoli from a mooving car (they came on a motobyke and broke the window...) we are careful. I have inside pockets in all my trowsers and keep there the passports and big money. It is not very nice, to open the trowsers, when needing passport or mone, but it is safe.

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