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Bought a RS Hidden Pocket

I have a small front pocket wallet I will keep in it while out doing our thing. Just plan on taking a little cash, credit and debit cards, drivers license and health pass. I wont need my passport or cdc card with me will I?

Posted by
6737 posts

It depends. If you haven't received your French health pass, you will have to show your CDC card to get in all restaurants, cafes, museums, etc.

Posted by
7 posts

Legally in France you must have a "pièce d'identité" with you, which would be your passport. In practice I think it is highly unlikely you would ever be checked unless you found yourself mixed up in a demonstration or a crime scene. I once saw a French guy get in trouble because he did not have a valid bus ticket (this was in Lyon). He also could not produce a pièce d'identité (he said he'd been out running and decided on the spur of the moment to take the bus home - this was totally plausible given location, clothing, etc.). At that point the police were called to haul him off. That experience rather scared me! (He was white and middle-class looking, in case anyone's wondering.) So I walk around with my passport, but my husband does not bother.

Posted by
5094 posts

That last part was scary. Wonder whether the guy with no I.D. was also cashless, just out for a run with nothing to weigh him down? Maybe no pockets? Certainly no RS Hidden Pocket! No water, either, which a runner would probably want.

But did the police actually just give him a ride home, I wonder? Maybe he was thrown in jail until he was able to produce his I.D., which would be … never, under the circumstances. Did think he could snag a free bus ride, rather than simply running (or walking) back to where he’d started? Wonder what the jail time is for skirting bus fare? And then with no I.D. - a multiple offender!

This isn’t France, but we’re in Italy right now, with CDC cards but not an Italian “Green Pass” QR code on a smartphone. Restaurants have been hit and miss - many in the previous 2 weeks were asking to see our proof of vaccination for inside dining, but not all. No restaurants in the Cinque Terre this past week. Every museum has asked to see our CDC card, and one wanted to see ID as well.

Posted by
135 posts

Can't my ID be my drivers license? I dont want to carry my passport with me. Its big in this hidden pocket and digs into my hip when I sit down. How bout a nice color copy of my passport? I'll have the health pass with my name on it also.

Posted by
21260 posts

Unfortunately your passport is the only thing that proves your are legally in the country. (We have not had the "carry or not to carry" discussion for a long time.) This is no absolute answer.

Most countries require you to carry some form of id. And, of course, the passport is your best form. The big question --- "better to have it and not need it as opposed to needing it and not having it." I don't want any hassle so we always have a passport -- even in the shower. In our 30 years of travel we have had two incidents where having our passport may have been critical. The "may have" simply means that I don't what would have happened if we didn't not have the passport. We had it and they let us go while others were being detained.

I personally don't think it is a big deal to carry the passport all the time but there are others who believe it is a restriction on personal freedom --- so it is strictly your personal preference.

Posted by
3492 posts

"better to have it and not need it as opposed to needing it and not having it."

Read Frank's post again. He is spot on.

Posted by
135 posts

I've made copies of all our travel documents. Would a nice color copy of my passport be alright? Along with drivers license and health pass?

Posted by
3318 posts

My take is similar to what Frank said. In the event of an emergency due to whatever (war, natural disaster, coup, etc.) and you had to be evacuated without being able to return to your hotel, the document you’d need to get out of the country and into another is your passport. I always carry mine.

A U.S. drivers license is pretty much useless outside the U.S. and copies of your passport are good if you lose yours and need to get a new one at a a U.S. embassy or consulate. A copy of your passport won’t get you out of and into another country since it isn’t an official document. It is your choice whether to carry it or not.

Posted by
21260 posts

Why would ---- a nice color copy of my passport be alright? --- be acceptable??? Could just as easy be a forgery if you substituted a different picture when making the copy. If it might be helpful to a US embassy if you are trying to replace a lost passport but hardy a legal document.

Posted by
135 posts

Well, thats why I ask questions, to learn. I'll keep my passport with me and the copies in the safe at hotel.

Posted by
10069 posts

I have been using a "Hidden Pocket" since 1991. (Not the same one, just the same model. Eagle Creek.). I have my passport, IDP, credit cards, id cards, cash, etc. in it and I hardly know it's there. And of course, my CDC card.

Why are you carrying a wallet in the hidden pocket? You do realize the hidden pocket is not to be taken out for every transaction? It is for deep storage. Keep a days worth of cash, perhaps one credit card in the front pocket wallet and keep it in your front pocket. Only access the Hidden Pocket in private.

I put the cash and the CDC card in a small ziploc type bag because it can get "humid" inside the hidden pocket.

I always have my passport with me.

Posted by
306 posts

“I’m in agreement with the 2 Franks”…maybe ‘cause my husband’s name is also Frank 😊.
He uses the EC hidden wallet which contains Passport, CDC card, extra $, debit card, and spare CC.
In his pocket, he has cash for the day + one CC.
Passport: we’ve been asked for it at unexpected times. Better to have it than not.
When traveling, we “wear/put on” the hidden wallet/neck wallet daily. It’s part of our daily apparel.

We have been on official tours where we have been told to have Passport with you always; and on tour when we’ve been told it’s not necessary. Doesn’t matter. Having essential documents with us is just part of our European routine.

Posted by
324 posts

We carried ours with us too. In Paris right now with the trial going on, you'll need it to walk into some of those spaces, i.e. Sainte Chapelle

Posted by
5094 posts

The Original Poster has already said they’ll take their passport with them. No need to drive home the point, or criticize, or accusations of skirting regulations.

Posted by
5094 posts

tralee, Rick Steves has said that his own passport is bent from being in his moneybelt, curved to the shape of his lower abdomen, worn trip after trip. It’s sometimes (maybe usually) inconvenient, but you know where your passport is, and have it when you need it.

The CDC card could be needed, though, even more than the passport, for getting into places, even on a whim. You’ll likely be asked for it in France, more than your passport.

Have a good trip. Thank you for considering everything you’ll need to have and do for an enjoyable trip.

Posted by
2095 posts

As an ex-pat living overseas for 18+ years. I only carry a passport when traveling outside my current country of residence. It's primarily used when checking into a hotel and then chunked into the hotel safe. The difference for us (and European citizens) is that we have a visa or a national ID card (both of which have photos). The US does not. So I suppose an American passport is that "substitute" national ID. What other "national" US ID would suffice? (Unfortunately, as mentioned, a US State driver's license is not a recognized national ID). And yes, by law in most countries, you must always have an ID.

That said... until we received our visas in each country, I simply carried a copy of my passport photo page knowing that I could retrieve my actual passport if needed (and it never was). Friends who have been stopped under unusual circumstances were allowed to go get their passports from home or were allowed the passport to be brought to them.

Losing a passport when living overseas is a huge pain. (Have had to help friends deal with that and NO FUN at all!). Today, because we have the EU QR Code on our phones, I am far more likely to carry my portable battery pack. The thought of a dead phone and not being able to access my QR code - for entry into many locations - is a day-to-day concern!

Posted by
135 posts

Yeah no worries. Today is the first time I've experimented with this. I'll play with it during the week and see what works best. I've already found that if I slide it around more towards my hip, the passport doesnt dig in.

Posted by
316 posts

I fly on Saturday to Paris and have been planning on doing with RnR did - a copy of my passport plus my actual DL. I'm only going to be in Paris, so I'm not at all worried about a mass evacuation happening, or being arrested, etc . If there's an issue, I'll deal with the consequences.

Posted by
6128 posts

I carry my phone with pass sanitaire and my driver's license and also have a copy of mine and my husband's passports in my tiny attached purse. Show the pass sanitaire every time I sit down at a cafe or enter a museum (even when the Christos wrap was up you had to show the pass to join the throngs at the Arc) but have never been asked for ID in literally a totally of months in France. We always carry it on trips outside Paris i.e. we are going to Lyon next week and will carry passports -- but around town we don't. I figure that if I am in so much trouble that my. DL and pass sanitaire don't suffice, the passport at the apartment will be the least of my worries.

FWIW. I have done detax transactions at stores with only the copy. For bank or telephone transactions you generally need the passport.