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Passport in. Money belt all the time?

We will be in Portugal (Lisbon Porto, NAZARE ) in France (the Dordogne and Paris )and London do we need to carry our passports in our money belts all the time?

Posted by
419 posts

This is a question that comes up frequently and it seems to be the consensus that you do what feels right for you--carry it with you all the time or leave it in the room.

Posted by
8889 posts

Some countries require you to carry ID at all times, France does, so does Germany, I don't know about Portugal. For somebody from outside Europe, the only acceptable ID is your passport.
That said, the chances of a policeman asking for your ID in the street, and then bothering to fine you for not having it when you are obviously a tourist and not an illegal immigrant are about the same as having a road accident.

Some people carry it (women in their purses), some don't. It's up to you. It is less likely to get lost in your hotel room.
If you are worried about it getting lost, carry a photocopy somewhere else than where your passport is. Then if you do loose it you have all the data ready for the embassy to issue a new one.

Posted by
891 posts

Since our first trip to Italy when we were checking in to the first hotel, we carry the passport in our own moneybelts. The man checking into the hotel ahead of us had the hotel calling his last hotel to get them to take his passport out of the room safe and send it to him. I could see us forgetting to get something out of the room safe, also. The other thing we do is we each carry a photo copy of the other one's passport page in our moneybelt. I find the neck wallet comfy, Hubby finds the moneybelt comfy and we're good to go. I know not everyone carries moneybelts and that's fine, but they work for us.

Have a great trip!
Mimi

Posted by
5835 posts

Clearly the nature of your travel and the likelihood of theft will weigh on the decision of carrying your passport or storing it in a place in your room.

As an extreme example, one would probably not want to carry their passport while engaging in a water sport such as scuba diving/snorkeling. I don’t carry my passport on day ski outings (where we return to the same place of lodging) but would carry my passport on hut to hut tours. I also carry my passport on inn to inn bicycle or walking tours with luggage transfer support more out of concern for misplaced luggage than theft.

Posted by
7286 posts

I would do so in an authoritarian country, but I don't in regular Western Europe. When I have been asked to leave ID for an audioguide, they are often relieved that I'm not leaving an actual, valuable document. I have gotten a few age discounts with a photocopy of my passport, in Belgium.

Posted by
3580 posts

Because of the bulk it adds to a money belt, I usually carry mine in a secure travel vest pocket.

Posted by
1976 posts

When I travel by myself, I keep my passport in my money belt because that's what I'm most comfortable with. When I stay with friends, though, I tend to leave it in their apartment.

Posted by
2602 posts

I carry mine--I use a pouch that attaches to my belt loop and then flips inside my jeans, and I've found that wearing it at my hip seems to work best comfort-wise.

Posted by
8889 posts

@James: Why would you think the US State Department is authoritative on the law of other countries?
At a minimum Germany, France and Switzerland require everybody to carry official ID at all time (not just foreigners). UK definitely does not, other countries I can't comment.
"Official ID" means national ID cards for citizens of EU/EEA countries, or passport for citizens of other countries.

This law is only loosely enforced in most countries. It is only if you are stopped for something else (look like somebody they are searching for, or are caught on a train without a ticket) that they will ask for ID.

Posted by
987 posts

I usually prefer to have mine with me. When I do have it with me it is always in my money belt and never in a purse, backpack, etc. With me in my moneybelt I will have it if I need it and I know it won't be lost. That is just what makes me comfortable.

Posted by
7286 posts

James, perhaps you're a young man and you haven't been very many places. I went to Korea before it was a democracy and saw stupid Americans taking photos of the soldiers guarding the hotel, and the result. I spent ten days in East Berlin on business. Today, Singapore is an authoritarian country. Spain has been a democracy for some time. I've spent 600 days in Europe, and carried my passport for about 50 of them. Good luck with your travels.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks to everybody for your Informed, intelligent replies to my question. I think for us we will carry our passports on our person most of the time. I have bought little undershirts that have a pocket built into them so I think that I will use it for my passport and back-up credit card & debit card. The active credit card & day money(that's a whole other topic) in my money belt. Phew there is a lot to think about !

Posted by
4535 posts

James has long debunked the myth that carrying a passport was legally required in most of Western Europe.

Now whether some countries require an ID, and whether a passport is the only official ID for a non-resident is kind of beside the point. If someone found themselves in a situation with the police that they needed their passport for ID (and not a drivers license or a copy), then they probably have bigger problems to worry about.

Posted by
752 posts

You'd be surprised how WET pockets, money belts and neck wallets get from sweat. The bulk and weight of passports won't help that condition.

Better to make a photocopy of your passport page, fold it, and wrap it in a generic sandwich-size plastic baggie, and put that in your money belt or neck wallet.

Posted by
14507 posts

Quite right about France and Germany where "they" have to have their official ID, ie, carte d'identité and Personalausweis on them when out in public. On the most recent trips I carried the passport on me, whether in the city or on a day trip, basically didn't want to be bothered by any chance of a hassle.

Yes, East Berlin in 1980s was a "trip" both literally and figuratively, the show case of the regime. It still had that relative Stalinist feel to it. My first time was in 1984 on a tour just on East Berlin, buildings on Unter den Linden were black, went there alone in '87 on a day trip with the mandatory amount in currency exchange and Vopos ever present, esp the closer you got to the last allowed area near the Brandenburg Gate.