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Carry your passport and get IDP

Questions about keeping your passport with you and obtaining an IDP often come up so I wanted to share our recent experience.

We have always kept our passports (not a copy) on our person, in our money belt, we feel that it is the most important item we carry on our trip. It is truly the only legit ID and along with a credit card- our ticket home.

We have also always obtained and carry an IDP if we are renting a car.
In a dozen trips over about 15 years, we have actually never been asked to show our passports other than at airport or at hotels.
Same with IDP.
Our most recent car rentals have been in Italy, France, Germany.

We just returned from 3 weeks in Italy.
We rented a car at FLR/Avis and the first thing the clerk asked for was our IDP. So that confirms that the rental agencies are requiring it.

As for having your passport on your person- for this trip I carried our passports deep in my cross body bag, expecting to have to show it and our CDC cards more frequently due to COVID protocol. Turns out we were never asked for CDC cards but we were unexpectedly asked for passports.

1 We were sitting at Orvieto train station, about 20 people on the platform when we noticed 3 police officers working their way down the platform asking for passports/ID. That was a first.
When they approached us they specifically said “Passport, please”
We pulled them out and showed and that was that.

There was a family of 4 a few benches past us, I think they were day tripping because they only had a small knapsack and quite sure they were American. Too far to hear what was being said but looked like the mom pulled out her phone. Police said something, she said something. Then what sounded like a bit of scolding til policemen moved on.

2 Sitting in the small piazza behind San Lorenzo Basilica in Florence. Two policemen going person to person asking for passports. Again I pulled ours out, showed them and then we moved on.

3 Having a gelato in SM Novella Piazza we saw 3 police officers going bench to bench. We finished our gelato and walked away before they got to us. Just didn’t feel like digging into my bag.

I’m glad we are in the practice of keeping our passports on our person. No idea what would have happened otherwise.

Posted by
4930 posts

I will continue not to carry my passport on my person while in Europe unless I'm going to be far from my hotel e.g. day tripping to another town. I'd rather be the family that got "scolded" by the police for not having the original on me than to risk losing my passport or having it stolen.

Can anyone give an example of any American tourist being punished in any way for failing to have their original passport available for inspection, at least in Europe?

Posted by
184 posts

I have been stopped three or four times while driving in Portugal, Spain and Italy. Each time it was a random road stop in rural areas, by a young policeman. Showed the. Our IDP and local driver’s license and we were on our way.

We always carry our passport with us, but have never needed to show them

Posted by
2745 posts

Asking for a new passport at your Embassy is a nuisance covered by the travel insurance, not a drama to be scared of.

Have you ever heard about American tourists forced to live abroad forever because they couldn't get a new passport? There is no undocumented US version of the Flying Dutchman wandering forever from Consulate to Embassy.

No thief has ever intentionally stolen a chipped passport and even before chipped passports, thieves who stole an US passport threw it away asap. It's only an evidence to them.

What ChristineH described at the train station is cops looking for somebody, you can either respect the law or run the risk of wasting a vacation day. They wouldn't just scold a guy with a pic of his passport in the phone if that same guy looked like the one they are looking for. Your choice, since it seems that abroad you choose which laws are to be respected and which are to be ignored.

Posted by
12884 posts

Thanks for this information.

A few years back ( 2017 ? ) I was doing a day trip from Munich to Salzburg. The train was just sitting there at Salzburg Hbf, hardly anyone was in my coach.

Two of the Bavarian police got on and proceeded to look at the few passengers already there as I was. When they got to me, I was asked for the passport not in English as I had expected (that had happened near Hamburg on a previous occasion ) but in German, "Haben Sie einen Reisepaß dabei?" I was a bit startled, first time being asked . As I was trying to get the ornery zipper in the inside jacket pocket to work, I asked why? Warum, denn? They wanted (one of them did the talking) to know where I had entered Schengen.

I have no problems always having the passport on my person. No concerns, no way will it be stolen, let alone lost. That won't happen. "They" want to see it, they see it , be sure to take a good look.

Posted by
82 posts

Dario- no need to be so dramatic about this. No one ever said we would get stuck abroad. But why risk having to go to the embassy to get a new passport when you could just safely carry it? Seems like having to go to the embassy and get a new passport is a waste of a vacation day as well. Christine was simply passing on what she has seen. I, for one, found it interesting.

Posted by
717 posts

With all the refugee movement going on in Europe right now, both legal and illegal, it's no surprise on the Passport checks at transportation hubs.

Avoid a situation AND just carry yours.

Posted by
2745 posts

I am trying to make Andrew, not Catherine, understand that the real drama would be being detained for hours, not having to ask for a new passport at your embassy.

Since you aren't an EU citizen, any cop could do just that.

Would the risk be worth it? When nobody steals chipped passports anymore and travel insurance would cover any expense? Again, it's Andrew's choice to ignore the law, but you and Andrew should decide based on what's actually upon the scales.

They have the right to D-E-T-A-I-N any undocumented foreigner up to the moment they discover who you are and when you entered the Schengen Area.

Posted by
190 posts

Thanks for sharing, Christine. This was a great reminder for me to apply on my husband's behalf for his IDP for our upcoming trip (he always drives).

We never carry our actual passports, unless we're crossing a border or changing cities. I carry a color photocopy of my passport, and a US driver's license. Although it sounds like that's not "correct", everyone has a different risk tolerance, and losing my passport ranks higher for me than needing to show it on a random check. I may re-evaluate this practice for our upcoming trip, however...

Posted by
19 posts

Curious to know where travelers are leaving their Passport when out and about.

Posted by
21717 posts

Personally I don't understand this reluctance to carry your passport. The only identity that you are legal in the country and in some countries a legal requirement to carry it. When I am home I carry my drive license 24, 7. The idea of presenting a color copy of my DL never crossed my mind. The carrying of a color copy of your passport may become mute as the new format does copy well. My guess that is part of the new security features so that it doesn't copy well.

In almost 50 years of European travel we have been stopped four times unexpectedly and had passport checked. Two stops were roundups when suddenly a large force of armed police, perhaps solders, showed up and surrounded the crowd blowing whistle, and shouting and forcing everyone into a tight circle. Once was in a piazza in Rome and another time in the airport in Paris. As soon as we showed our passports we were able to leave. They were not very friendly. Another time on a small tour bus (8 people) in Turkey and hit a road block on a back country road. The tour guide seemed surprised but asked for everyone to hand over their passports. After about 20 minutes or so she came back on bus, returned our passports, and we left. Another time we were on a bus in Germany when it was stopped, police came on board checking passports, and removed someone for the upper deck of the bus.

In all cases I was glad we had our passports and didn't have to have a discussion as why a color copy was just as good. Just carry it ---------

Posted by
717 posts

"Curious to know where travelers are leaving their Passport when out and about"

Likely duck taped to the bottom of the bathroom sink for utmost security.

Posted by
4930 posts

Dario:

I am trying to make Andrew, not Catherine, understand that the real drama would be being detained for hours, not having to ask for a new passport at your embassy.

Since you aren't an EU citizen, any cop could do just that.

And who here can tell a story of even being detained for hours in Europe for not having a passport available to show? Have you ever heard of this happening to any American tourist, in the last few decades? If I tell a cop where I'm staying and that my passport is there, are they really going to take me to a police station for a few hours instead of going back to my hotel with me to show them my physical passport?

There have been many times I have been out and about and not wanting to risk losing my passport. I don't know why I need to explain why this might be a risk or why it might be more than a minor inconvenience. What if I'm in a town nowhere near an American embassy or consulate?

Posted by
2911 posts

I carry my passport when traveling just like I always carry my license when at home. Should something bad happen, I want to be identified quickly. That is whether I walk down the street at home or travel abroad. Both IDs can easily be replaced. I am not going to lose them in either situation as I don’t set them down, and a thief doesn’t want my passport anyway. Now my credit cards are another story…divide and conquer.

If you are a the type of person who leaves their purse open in the shopping cart and walks away to study some products, yes, you best not carry anything, ever.

Posted by
2745 posts

Have you ever heard of this happening to any American tourist,

Yes, the cops refused to follow him and kept him locked inside their car till the American tourist's guide was back with his passport. 2 hours in a police car. And he was a white guy with a baseball cap, not a dark skinned young male with a turban.

Pick the rules to follow if you really can't behave, but don't complain when you stumble upon a cop following 'em all by the book.

What if I'm in a town nowhere near an American embassy or consulate?

You put the police report in your new wallet and take a train to the closest city.

Posted by
8767 posts

OP, thanks for sharing your experience. We always keep our passports with us. Why? As mentioned above, we can be asked for them at any time. Just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it never will. Also, no one can predict what might happen during your day that would prevent you from returning to your lodging to get your passport. Things can happen that are out of our control. Same for IDP’s. If I know I’m going to be driving, or even do a last minute car rental, I get one. Have I been asked for it? Not yet, but some day I might. Spending $20 or whatever it is will be a small price to pay to ensure that if I do need it I will have it.

Posted by
443 posts

ftr, not every US state requires the carrying of Identification, NY is one of them. DL while DRIVING is a different issue.

Posted by
4930 posts

Dario:

Yes, the cops refused to follow him and kept him locked inside their car till the American tourist's guide was back with his passport. 2 hours in a police car. And he was a white guy with a baseball cap, not a dark skinned young male with a turban.

You put the police report in your new wallet and take a train to the closest city.

That sounds like more of a hassle than being kept in a police car for two hours. I have heard many more stories of tourists losing or (more likely) having their passports stolen than I have of them being detained for having only a copy of their passport to show. I will continue to take my chances and leave my passport at the hotel.

Posted by
1817 posts

A few people on here in the past have also thought it was a good idea to carry your passport with you at all times in case of an emergency.
This could be a sudden illness , a fire at your accommodation, or (hopefully unlikely) civil unrest where you can’t get back to your accommodation.
As someone else here on this thread said: your passport and credit card with you at all times is all you need to get home in a hurry.

I’ve been stopped and asked for my passport a couple of times in Italy.
The last time was when police stopped our tour mini van on the way up to the Dolomites from Venice.
They asked for all the passports to be handed out of the van.
My friend did not have hers, and thankfully they didn’t count the number of people in the van, so didn’t notice that the numbers didn’t add up.
The other time was the Guardia Finanza asking to see a receipt from a restaurant we had just left, and they looked at our passports too.

Posted by
2911 posts

You put the police report in your new wallet and take a train to the closest city.

Thanks Dario, this gave me a nice chuckle.

It might be that those people who insist they are right about not carrying their passports are people who tend to lose things or are frightened of cities or……and if that is so and they know they can’t change or adapt, then they might be better off not carrying most things for their individual peace of mind. The wonderful, late Zoe actually had to get a replacement passport in Italy and said something to the point of how she couldn’t believe how easy and quickly it was to replace. For me, there is no good reason for not having it with me.

Andrew, I love your photographs!

Posted by
1464 posts

This started as a helpful post from someone based on their recent first-hand experience. Thank you ChristineH.

Why did it have to turn into a debate? Just say "Thanks for sharing" and move on. Do what you wish to do. Carry your passport. Or don't.

Posted by
6632 posts

@dpappe

Curious to know where travelers are leaving their Passport when out and about.

Many people leave them in their hotel safe, if they have access to one. Not saying thats right, just what people do.

Americans are used to using their state-issued drivers license as ID for everything. Thats an American thing, and not recognized everywhere else as valid proof of who you are and if you're there legally. The photo on it proves nothing. Yes, some people get away with lots of things.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you for this post, Christine. I am currently in Italy and have gone back and forth about whether to carry mine or not these past 4 weeks. I think it's safer with me hidden in my security belt, but I've occasionally left it a hotel safe to get a break from having to wear that. But I had never considered that I might be asked to show it to police. I'm not worried about losing it so I'll carry it from now on.

Posted by
9702 posts

Thank you so much Christine for posting your experience. I'm traveling to Italy in the Fall and probably would have been shocked to be asked for my passport. Because of your timely post I'll have in the back of my mind the possibility that I could randomly be asked for it.

And yes, I agree with Andrea. I want my passport, extra cards, money in deep storage on my body in case I can't for some reason return to my hotel. A passport and a CC can get me nearly anywhere I'd need to get to.

Posted by
3363 posts

The purpose of my post was to share what we recently experienced, so I am glad it was been helpful. We were actually very surprised as we have never been asked for passports or maybe it was just coincidental and we happened to be in the right place/right time. Does it happen often but we were just never aware? Who knows. The police officers seemed pretty casual, and the checks were definitely random.

There will always be those of us who know the safest smartest place to keep your passport is buried deep on your person. This is what we’ve always done and will continue to do for all the reasons I and others have mentioned.
There will always be those who think leaving it in a hotel safe is just fine.

Just because we don’t hear stories of Americans getting into trouble because they are caught without a passport certainly doesn’t mean it never happens. I don’t intend to find out.

As I recall Rick Steves himself used to recommend leaving it in hotel safe and carrying a copy. I see he has updated/changed his advice and I am curious as to why. I suppose because your passport is really the only accepted legal ID you have while traveling abroad and if it is not on your person you certainly are not guarding it.

Traveling with Your Passport

Guard your passport carefully. Keep it
in your money belt, and if you're asked to show it, put it back in
your money belt right away.

https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/trip-planning/travel-documents

Posted by
12884 posts

My being asked for the passport has happened to me once (above) in Germany, never in England, France , but that does not mean I did not see it happen to others, seeing a pair of German policemen/women stop people out and about ask for their ID and also on trains, besides the ticket.

One such incident took place on a recent trip (2018) on a train going from Schleswig (day trip) to Kiel (I happen to sit in front of these two guys, a couple of rows up. ) They were Polish. The Germans asked for the ID which one of them, the belligerent and defiant one, said he didn't have on him and argued.

This conversation went back and forth in German, the German police were very patient and subdued in making their point with this non-compliant guy, basically told him patiently what the consequences he would be facing if he chose not to comply. The guy had asked this too, the non-complying option.

Well, after the police made their point and walked away, this guy was fuming, yelling profanity in English. I was wondering whether at that moment if the police would return...that would been interesting.

On this day trip to Schleswig, I, of course, had the passport on me to show had I been asked . .....this time I wasn't. When I was younger traveling in Europe, it did concern me about losing the passport or getting it picked/stolen. No way now, not concerned about having the passport stolen, let alone picked, since it will not happened.

Posted by
7 posts

If you choose not to carry your passport while walking about, suggest you carry a photocopy of the passport ID page and, if you have one....carry your US Global Entry ID card.

Posted by
77 posts

Has anyone carried their US Passport Card as an alternative to your passport and used it if questioned? If I’ve read the US govt definition correctly, the card is considered an identity card for citizenship purposes even though it isn’t an ID for international travel, so it should suffice. Not saying I won’t carry my passport, but my card will be more accessible.

Posted by
140 posts

My husband and I were asked by officers for our passports at the… Bologna train station in early May. Of course, mine was in my moneybelt low on my hips, and I was wearing a heavy backpack. Took a bit to get it out, made one officer laugh, and was a pain in the…., but was glad I had it it with me. Hadn’t realized that Italy requires you to have it on your person. I’m also glad my day was not significantly disrupted by being detained for it.

Posted by
8767 posts

I don’t understand why a global entry card would be of any use in a situation like that. It’s not a substitute for a passport.

Posted by
6632 posts

don’t understand why a global entry card would be of any use in a situation like that. It’s not a substitute for a passport.

Agreed. And a US Passport Card is only an acceptable substitute for land/sea entry in North America and some Carribean countries, per State Dept website. Whether you'll get away with showing this to foreign police is a different matter.

Its not your photo they want to look at, its proof you are there legally, given that many countries have problems with illegal immigration and visa overstays.

Posted by
2125 posts

would an American copper accept a photocopy of a Mexican, Russian, or Canadian passport?

Posted by
3363 posts

would an American copper accept a photocopy of a Mexican, Russian, or
Canadian passport?

Of course not.
Why some Americans think the Italian police should accept a photocopy or whatever they think is sufficient is a mystery.

Posted by
12884 posts

"...it's proof you are there legally." How true !

If I had been carrying a mere photo copy of my passport and shown that to the Bavarian police (above), that means nothing to them (why should it?) , and they would have asked for the passport itself, thinking I had something to hide. That was their original question, "einen Reisepaß dabei?" As he was flipping through Passport pages, his partner asked me specifically what my point of entry into Schengen was, not where I had landed from the SFO flight.

The operating concept here is "legally": This brings to mind what I saw , experienced in 2015 on the train from Austria to Germany, once it crossed the border.

The Border staff immediately announced in English (not German to make sure everyone got the message) ) for everyone to have their tickets, passport and visas ready. That particular part startled the two 20 somethings sitting behind me, who had been talking Mandarin, when the guy asked , "visas?" Obviously, he knew that visa part applied to the both of them. Surprising, yes, since this sort of occurrence I had only seen in Holland.

Posted by
1216 posts

I think it's up to the traveler. I have traveled in Europe for 20 years and never have been stopped on the street for a passport check. Idk, maybe I look innocent enough or maybe they just don't bother. That said, I do bring it along when I have a notion that I will need it for a museum/etc.

Different strokes for different folks. There is no "wrong" answer here.

Posted by
12884 posts

Very true too. In all my years of traveling in Europe since 1971, neither have I, never was stopped on the streets to show ID, ie the passport, especially not even in commie East Berlin or Prague in 1973 walking around solo in the so-called sites / "tourist" area.

Posted by
7 posts

Interesting thread. Reminds me that we lived and worked for 14 years in Europe and Asia and never got stopped for a passport or an ID check. And, in several of those countries internal security and border control were big issues.

Posted by
3363 posts

I think it's up to the traveler.

It is required by law in Italy- to carry your original passport, not a photocopy.
Do you always pick and choose which laws you follow or don't follow? Or just in foreign countries?

Really none of my business but I have yet to see anyone state a valid rational reason for not carrying your passport as required.

Posted by
4458 posts

We have been asked for our passports on a train near Annecy, France by some armed police. When I handed mine to them, they were only interested in the passports of males on the train. Obviously looking for someone specific, and we were glad to have our passports handy in that situation.

We always have our passports in our money belts. Our RS first tour back in 2003 stressed that with your passport and a credit card, you could recover from almost any situation except health. When I travel solo, it’s even more critical.

Posted by
15 posts

I am one of those people that loses things... fit the saying if my head wasn't attached to my body.....

Oddly enough... my things to come back to me. I have been paiged 4 times in an airport..... "Name Name.. please pick up your phone in Gate A..
One time, cop rang my doorbell to return my wallet. I left it on top of my car at the gas station. LOL

I carry my passport and you know the European plastic water bottles that don't close tightly... yeah.. spilled on my passport. Half a day to Milan... to make sure the chip works. Now I carry my passport in a ziplock bag in my purse.

Posted by
861 posts

We traveled with our 2 adult sons who seem to have the youthful attitude of “it won’t ever happen to me”. They were wearing their passports most of the time, but I think a few times not. When we were standing in a train station, one was approached and asked for his. GREAT life lesson and maybe perhaps Mom and Dad DO know what they are talking about. They never left the hotels without them from then on out.

Posted by
13541 posts

A1 The concept that there is no sense in following the laws of a country you are a guest in unless you will be punished for not doing so baffles me..

B2 I have heard from a tour guide once, and once from the manager of the apartment I was staying in (two different countries) that guest were detained for a short period of time because they did not have their passport on them, and I have been advised by tour guides in two other countries that they think its best to do so in their particular country.

B3 Do I do it? In some countries, yes, always and in at least one rarely but I will not complain if a problem arises and I loose time or money dealing with it; cause, bottom line, I am wrong.

Posted by
230 posts

I always carry mine in a neck wallet, but the motivation has always been because I did not have anywhere else to leave it that I trusted, like a locked suitcase or a room safe that every maid has a physical key to open (at least this was true in a Paris hotel where I witnessed it). After reading this thread, I guess I have an additional reason to carry it, as ID for the authorities should I be asked for it.

Posted by
1767 posts

Your experience is surprising because we just returned from 2 weeks in Italy (Rome/Tuscany/Amalfi Coast) and never once other checking into our hotel were asked for our passports nor did we travel with them during the days we were not moving and when renting a car from Hertz in Rome no one asked for a IDP ; just Driver's License.
Same experience as all previous times in Italy as well ; never been asked for a passport walking around and no rental company has asked us for an IDP ; have used Avis, Hertz, Europcar previously.

Posted by
2580 posts

since everyone on the forum loves to argue about the IDP, here is a very lengthy and heated discussion of same:

https://liveandletsfly.com/avis-germany-problems/

Speaking of passports, in December I was dealing with an unpleasant DB train conductor on a day trip to Strausbourg who just didn't want to accept that I bought my ticket using a carte advantage. He not only wanted my ticket and my carte but also my passport. When I was able to present all three, he silently admitted defeat and huffed away.

Posted by
13541 posts

B1 I travel to relax and enjoy and the last thing i need as a walk to a police station because the officer decided to exercise his right to detain you because you could not present a document required to be on your person; even if it never happens.
B2 I imagine one of the first questions might be, "do you know you are required to have it at all times" to which I can say yes and become a smart-alec or I can say no and lie.
B3 Yes, they "may" accept a copy, but "may" means they are doing you a favor and doesn't mean you were obeying the law.
B4 From time to time I have found myself on the fringe of a protest of one sort or another, a few times I didnt have my passport (I never claimed to be good about this, just that I realized what I was doing was wrong) so when the robocops showed up to rope in the crowd I ran; shame too because I missed a cultural experience.

Posted by
12884 posts

The incidents (above) when i was asked to present the passport and that of the recalcitrant Polish guy dealing with the DB staff both prove that you had better be in possession of the passport when it is asked for, not a mere copy, since that is exactly not what they want to see.

Although super rare, I have been asked by the DB not only to show rail pass but the passport as well, even though the Eurail rules state that both have to be presented.. In practice that has not been my experience in Germany; overwhelmingly, the controller just wants to see the rail pass...that's it, rather perfunctorily. There have been times I even ask the DB , don't you want to see the passport too?

This other example is admittedly dated because it took place in 2001, unlike the two mentioned above. In 2001 crossing into the Czech Rep, I saw the German Border staff first make the announcement only in German, this time no English, saying "Paßkontrolle, Grenzkontrolle." Obviously, we all got out the passport to show. Then it was the Czechs' turn to check.

Posted by
12884 posts

@ James...I would feel the same way too, having missed a cultural experience. The three times i was in BP doing a day trip I made sure the passport was on me. Only in 2010 was it checked on the train. On the 2015 trip only Hungarians were checked on the train. Since I have tourist written all over me, I wasn't asked to show the passport, which naturally I had on me anyway.

Getting caught by the police without the passport in light of Central European officialdom, not an enviable position to find oneself.

Posted by
773 posts

You should always carry proper photo identification when traveling (or even when jogging outside near your home). In Italy (actually in any country that recognizes United States passports; in a country that requires a visa, carry your visa with you), you should carry your passport with you every time you leave your hotel, even if you think it is unlikely you will be asked for it.

I would think that if I am going to be asked for identification, it will be when presenting an advanced purchased ticket when entering a museum or sight. I had to show my passport, in addition to my advance ticket, to enter Alhambra in Granada, Spain. I had my passport. I got in with no difficulty. This question belongs under "General Europe".

Posted by
4458 posts

“ You should always carry proper photo identification when traveling (or even when jogging outside near your home).”

Mike, I actually just purchased one of those rubber wristbands that has a small engraved nameplate on it. It has my name and my husband’s name & his phone number. So if I’m out biking, etc. in our city, at least I have some emergency contact ID.

Posted by
84 posts

This is such a great thread! I'm going to Italy in September after about 6 years of no international travel. Very excited. I have travelled to many European countries for business for many years.

I was wondering whether storing passport in my safe in the hotel, and keeping a photocopy on my person would be a good idea, especially in these current crazy travel times (Covid). Thanks for all of the ideas here.

I had the unfortunate experience of having my purse snatched while in Vienna while on vacation some time ago. Passport in the purse- GONE. It was difficult for me, as a solo traveller, with "tourist" german language skills, to navigate the Viennese police headquarters to fill out a report. And then to locate and go to US embassy. It was NOT an easy-breezy experience at all, it was honestly quite terrifying. The Viennese police DID not communicate with me in English (of COURSE not- I was in Vienna) and I felt like I was in an episode of "scared straight" even though I had had my purse stolen. I'm certain that my experience is not indicative of all experiences- however it left me with a deep fear of carrying my passport around with me when there was a nice safe waiting to hold it back at my hotel. After the fact, as a positive, it honestly made me believe that I can do ANYTHING after navigating that experience! Haha, with that said, I NEVER want to go thru that again!

Still on the fence about carrying my passport on my person while touring Italy this September! Safe travels, all! Thanks for all the thoughts and tips! Lisa

Posted by
9702 posts

@Lisa....consider deep storing your passport, extra CC/DC, extra money, in a money belt which is unlikely to be picked or stolen if it's under your shirt/pants or skirt.

Posted by
84 posts

Thanks so much Pam!
Great idea- we are going on a Rick Steves tour and as part of the package they sent money belts to be worn under garments. Thanks for the tips.
When I was younger I travelled to Europe for business quite often and probably had the stupid bravado “this won’t happen to me.” Once it did, was a real eye opener! Not so simple to lose the passport- but I agree- take the extra steps to ensure your important docs are stored close to your body, hidden and secure. Thanks so much for your response- very helpful!

Posted by
84 posts

Thank you Christine! I will read this. Thanks for the tips!
Lisa

Posted by
2580 posts

Yes, really. As soon as you turn the corner you're effectively a stranger, if someone comes upon you and you can't communicate, how do you think they will be able to ID and help you?

"You should always carry proper photo identification when traveling (or even when jogging outside near your home)."

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks for the info, OP!

We were also asked for the international driving permit on our trip to Italy in the early spring (rental car office). They wanted to see both of ours since we were both going to be driving.

Posted by
7694 posts

We had to go the US Embassy in Santiago, Chile to get new passports after we were robbed while checking into a 5* hotel. We followed the written directions on the Embassy website and arrived there with US acceptable photos( website lists photographers) and our stolen passport numbers around 9:00 am. We picked up our new passports up at 3:00pm. Very easy and the staff couldn’t have been any nicer to us.
We never wear money belts and never will so I put our passports in an interior zippered compartment in my purse while traveling. Once we arrive, we put passports in the hotel safe or in our locked luggage . Honestly, we and our friends and family travel internationally often and all of us do this.
Perhaps I need to carry passports when leaving the hotel if they are asking for them more often.