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Where to keep passport once at destination

Hi fellow lovers of travel,
I am on the first day of my London and Paris trip and have not yet gone sight seeing. We are renting a flat from booking.com. I am wondering where people keep their passports once they reach their destination country? I do not want to carry it around with me on the street but I also don't feel comfortable leaving it in our rented flat. What do other Rick Steves' experienced travelers do? Thank you in advance for your suggestions. :)

Posted by
2393 posts

You will get several answers:

Lock it in your suit case

Carry it in your money belt

Carry it in a "safe" type bag - cross body type

Do what is most comfortable for you.

Posted by
7602 posts

I have never had a problem just leaving it in my hotel room, tucked into an obscure pocket in my suitcase. I really do not think that the chances that someone would break in, then even be interested in your passport would be great enough to worry much about.

I I carry my passport on me, it is usually in a neck pouch under my clothing.

My past strategy was to not carry my passport unless I was travelling out of town from my base. Anymore, with the threat of increased security checks, especially on public transport, and God forbid if some type of attack or emergency were to occur, I carry it if I am going to be out all day, or at least bring some type of ID. To be more correct in most countries, and as a condition of your entry visa or waiver, you should always have ID, usually your passport is the best, or only accepted form. Myself, I admit, just popping down to a restaurant or bar a block away, I usually don't worry about it.

Posted by
7926 posts

Neck pouch under shirt.
Or I leave it in the hotel room safe and take a copy with me and my driver's license state I'd

Posted by
368 posts

I generally leave my passport locked in my suitcase and carry a copy with me.

Posted by
327 posts

Depends on where we're travelling, but generally, my passport is always with me (neck pouch under shirt or in money belt) and we leave photocopies of the passports in the hotel safe (or in our luggage).

Posted by
2141 posts

Hi Egram, you have to do what's right for you. I carry my passport with me in my money belt. I don't want to lose 1 minute of my vacation worrying about it or waiting in line/filling out paperwork to get it replaced.

Posted by
919 posts

I'm another "on me in my moneybelt" person. You will hear a variety of answers. Do what's best for you!

Posted by
14580 posts

I keep the passport on me, in the neck pouch or the inside jacket breast pocket zippered. What I don't do is to leave it in a room safe if one is there.

Posted by
23370 posts

Always have it in the money belt. A copy is not very useful.

Posted by
490 posts

You may have thought of this before you left the country LOL :)

You must have a passport on you as your form of identification, in some countries this is a LAW. Would you walk around in the USA with out i.d.? It stays in my under body pouch when I am outside the hotel/apartment whatever. We don't like to think about it, but all sorts of incidents can happen and you will need i.d.

If you do stay in a hotel, never let them keep it to copy down the information...wait until they do their thing and hand it right back to you. This is prevelant in smaller hotels...

Posted by
2635 posts

I always carry mine with me. In the odd event that you have need for your passport, you don't want to be having to go back to your hotel to get it. It's pretty small and fits in my neck pouch.

Posted by
3521 posts

In a zipper top plastic bag inside my money belt which is underneath my clothes. I never leave it at the hotel, in a safe, or anywhere out of my reach. This has worked for me for over 50 trips to Europe and elsewhere in the world.

I keep it out of there if I will need it to pass security where it might be required (like at an airport) or when checking into a hotel and will remove it at the request of a police officer to prove my identity. If you are asked for it, a copy will not serve any purpose.

Posted by
1625 posts

Any choice you make is fine, but like one poster said, you can't be worried while your out and about about that choice, be it worried cause you have it on you or worried because you don't. I am a go with my gut kinda person, it has served me well. i ALWAYS have an ID on me (laying unconscious in the street comes to mind) which is usually my drivers license. I USUALLY leave my passport in the apartment we rent or at the hotel inside of my suitcase , but if something tells me to take it, I just put it in my purse. This happened to me in Paris in late October 2015, something told me to have it on me and I NEVER take it. Two weeks after I returned home from Pairs the bombings happened.

Posted by
2514 posts

I find it handy to use as a drink coaster on the dressing table or desk in the room, preferably closest to the open french doors or window. Since the cover is dark it also is useful for lining up and pulverizing any white pills or powders that you might have pocketed while out sightseeing in the mews or touring the underground stations of the northern line. /s

Posted by
14098 posts

I'm on the side of in the money belt, always with me. I also do what Mark does and have it in a small ziplock.

I really am not a paranoid person but these days I want to have my important stuff on me.

Posted by
167 posts

Passport is somewhere secure in my room.
I carry a copy of my passport with me. In my experience a copy IS very useful and has worked perfectly for me. For example a few days ago in Florence the copy worked just fine for me to buy a SIM car for my phone. Spain, othe trips to Italy, Austria etc. worked just fine when requested to for credit card purchases, verify pre bought tickets for museums, high speed trains,general proving my ID. Never had an issue using the copy and have been doing this for years.

Posted by
35 posts

Thank you so much for the many thoughtful and helpful replies. I have decided to take my passport with me in my neck pouch. I actually fell on a garden tour in my own state and broke both my arms, my nose and my foot. I had left my purse in the trunk of our car. I had no information on me and my husband could not remember anything due to his panic!! I now carry many things with me, even when driving close to home. I will be more comfortable carrying my passport with me (in a tough to access location.)
I would like to say to the few people who gave sort of snarky or rude replies: I come from a teaching background and have always felt that NO question is a stupid question. I assume this forum is for people who would appreciate some help. If you feel you have to say something rude why do you even read these posts anyway? To the 99.9 % of the respondents who chose to be kind and who truly tried to be helpful: Thank you so much for taking time to answer my question. You have been very helpful and have made my journey less stressful. London is pretty awesome BTW. :)

Posted by
2514 posts

Hi Egram,

My needling was not aimed at you -- apologies for any offense!
I was aiming at some of the replies, the ones that seem to harbor underlying implications about the dangers of strangers.

In that vein, now that we've heard from you about the awful things that can happen on a garden tour in the northwest, I'm wondering if we'll see anxious inquiries about whether it is safe to travel there, too. :-)

Posted by
35 posts

This is not about passports but about cell-phones. We are on our second day in London. My husband went to the store a couple of hours ago. On his way home he saw a scooter with two men on it drive onto the side walk in front of him. One of the men grabbed what my husband thought was a cell phone from a man walking down the street. Apparently this is a new crime in London being done by teens. One man had his leg broken when he was run into and knocked over by a scooter. For your safety use your phone indoors if possible. Video and an article on what the teens are doing: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/09/police-in-london-consider-tougher-tactics-against-moped-gangs

Posted by
23370 posts

.... Apparently this is a new crime in London being done by teens....... Na, just copying us. Every time we visit our son in Chicago he warns us about not using our cell phone on the L platforms. New York son doesn't give the same warning but assume the same caution is a good idea.

Posted by
50 posts

I'm a leave in room person. I travel solo a fair amount for work (S. Africa, India 2x, Ghana, San Francisco, Colorado Springs in the past 6 months) . I'm female and try to book a room with 2 features (safe in room and deadbolt on the door). When the safe is not in the room, I zip it up in an obscure place in my luggage and then zip up my luggage. When the deadbolt is not on the door I just assess how the place feels and move hotels if I have any doubts.

Posted by
9733 posts

I usually leave mine in the hotel room on the desk.

Posted by
380 posts

I always carry mine when traveling. It's the only way to prove my identity and citizenship. If there is an incident of any kind, they are not going to accept my NY state driver's license or my NYC resident ID card.

In fact, even living in NYC I always carry my passport.

Posted by
420 posts

I really am not a paranoid person but these days I want to have my important stuff on me.

Same here. I carry all of my families passports in a Pacsafe sling. It stays close to my body and I don't have to worry about it.

Posted by
4009 posts

"I always carry mine when traveling. It's the only way to prove my identity and citizenship. If there is an incident of any kind, they are not going to accept my NY state driver's license or my NYC resident ID card.

In fact, even living in NYC I always carry my passport."

I love your nickname...Astorienne! If you're from Astoria, you must have the patience of a saint given the issues with the N & W.

Posted by
380 posts

Continental, one needs the patience of a saint to use the MTA at all these days! (I don't usually complain; it's still a fantastic value for $121 or whatever it is now per month!)

The thing that bugs me is that they say the work will make the train quieter. I'm two short blocks from the train, and I can hear it faintly from my apartment when the windows are open (which is always). I'll be sad if I actually can't hear it anymore.

Posted by
9733 posts

It's true, I guess I don't think about the fact that part of the reason I leave my passport is that I have my French i.d. card, so if something happened to me, I could be identified. But if I needed to make a dash for home, I'd be passport-less!!