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Passport Storage/Security
Old 06-10-2016, 11:31 PM   #1
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Passport Storage/Security

When traveling to a foreign country how does one usually secure their passport? Do you put it in a safe at the hotel, always keep it with you, or do something else? What advice do you have to make sure that I don't incur any passport related problems?


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Old 06-11-2016, 01:20 AM   #2
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If there is a safe in the room then I'll use it otherwise I'll leave it somewhere in my luggage rather than carry it around with me when out and about.

I always have a color copy of it available in case it is lost or stolen.
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Old 06-11-2016, 02:19 AM   #3
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If there is a safe in the room then I'll use it otherwise I'll leave it somewhere in my luggage rather than carry it around with me when out and about.

I always have a color copy of it available in case it is lost or stolen.
Same here. I have a picture of it in my email, too.

When staying at a hotel and traveling in strict countries, I have a picture of my main passport page and entry stamp on my smartphone. I carry a paper copy of my passport. And I will carry my USA Passport Card with me for ID and proof of citizenship. But I am only carrying my passport with me when I have all my stuff and am moving to a new city.

My neighbor works part time in China, and he said something about a new requirement to carry your passport with you at all times but what I wrote above suffices in practice.

In a strict country, if you are taking a day trip out of the city you might sometimes need a passport. When I was taking the bus in China (not just a day trip), there were checkpoints where everyone had to produce passports. Same in Colombia. I don't know what would happen if you only had a copy. But in each case, the checkpoints were in places like mountain passes or chokepoints where you would be on a long journey.
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Old 06-11-2016, 02:29 AM   #4
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If there is a safe in the room then I'll use it otherwise I'll leave it somewhere in my luggage rather than carry it around with me when out and about.

I always have a color copy of it available in case it is lost or stolen.
Me too. If there is no safe, I lock it in my suitcase. I have both a paper and an electronic copy with me. I only carry my passport with me when travelling to a new location, and in countries where pickpocketing is a risk, I carry my passport on my person in a money belt concealed under clothing, and maintain a high level of situational awareness.
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Old 06-11-2016, 02:57 AM   #5
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If there is a safe in the room then I'll use it otherwise I'll leave it somewhere in my luggage rather than carry it around with me when out and about.



I always have a color copy of it available in case it is lost or stolen.

So I guess the copy is always carried with you on your person? Btw, thanks everyone for your responses👍.


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Passport Storage/Security
Old 06-11-2016, 03:33 AM   #6
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Passport Storage/Security

I carry my passport with me in my purse at all times when I am abroad. I have always done this. I also have a photo copy of it on my cell. I would never leave it in a safe at a hotel room (That never even occurred to me.). My DH carries his passport in his fanny pack when abroad. I've never travelled to countries where pick pocketing is rampant however.


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Old 06-11-2016, 04:32 AM   #7
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If there is a safe in the room then I'll use it otherwise I'll leave it somewhere in my luggage rather than carry it around with me when out and about.

I always have a color copy of it available in case it is lost or stolen.
Same here. Kramer's suggestion to keep an image of the passport and entrance stamp in the smartphone is very good.

Losing your passport while abroad is a real PITA. The one place you don't want to spend your vacation time is at the nearby US Consular office getting temporary travel docs. That's why the safest place is the hotel safe.
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by PERSonalTime View Post
When traveling to a foreign country how does one usually secure their passport? Do you put it in a safe at the hotel, always keep it with you, or do something else? What advice do you have to make sure that I don't incur any passport related problems?


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Europe travel. We do travel in areas famous for pickpockets so we carry as little as possible when out and about. And anything sensitive is carried under our clothes. Just some cash and a credit/ATM card in a tethered pouch is available for quick access.

I tuck my passport away in my locked luggage in the hotel room unless we are using transportation somewhere that requires showing it. It that case I carry it under my clothes in a pouch.

We have full color printed scans of our passports in each piece of luggage in case we need to do something about a lost passport.

Rick Steves says he's never had anything stolen from a hotel room in Europe, and if someone did break in to steal stuff, I don't think passport would be high on their list. They'd swipe our computer and extra cash, I'd think.

We haven't bothered with the room safes.
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:02 AM   #9
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Same here. I have a picture of it in my email, too.

When staying at a hotel and traveling in strict countries, I have a picture of my main passport page and entry stamp on my smartphone. I carry a paper copy of my passport. And I will carry my USA Passport Card with me for ID and proof of citizenship. But I am only carrying my passport with me when I have all my stuff and am moving to a new city.

My neighbor works part time in China, and he said something about a new requirement to carry your passport with you at all times but what I wrote above suffices in practice.

In a strict country, if you are taking a day trip out of the city you might sometimes need a passport. When I was taking the bus in China (not just a day trip), there were checkpoints where everyone had to produce passports. Same in Colombia. I don't know what would happen if you only had a copy. But in each case, the checkpoints were in places like mountain passes or chokepoints where you would be on a long journey.
I have a US passport card, and I think I may carry it this Europe trip for that reason.

Good idea about taking an iPhone picture of the entry stamp.

Occasionally they want to to make a copy of our passports at hotel checkin in Europe.

Some trains check. But last year we mostly showed out tickets on our iPhones and they didn't ask for ID. That may change this year with heightened security, we'll see.
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:26 AM   #10
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Europe travel. We do travel in areas famous for pickpockets so we carry as little as possible when out and about. And anything sensitive is carried under our clothes. Just some cash and a credit/ATM card in a tethered pouch is available for quick access.

I tuck my passport away in my locked luggage in the hotel room unless we are using transportation somewhere that requires showing it. It that case I carry it under my clothes in a pouch.

We have full color printed scans of our passports in each piece of luggage in case we need to do something about a lost passport.

Rick Steves says he's never had anything stolen from a hotel room in Europe, and if someone did break in to steal stuff, I don't think passport would be high on their list. They'd swipe our computer and extra cash, I'd think.

We haven't bothered with the room safes.

Audreyh1, thanks for the info.😉


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Old 06-11-2016, 07:55 AM   #11
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I use the hotel safe to store my passport. I have traveled to some high pickpocket areas in Europe and this seems the safest to me. Good idea about the smartphone picture. I will do that the next time I travel internationally. I always keep a photocopy of my passport in my luggage.


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Old 06-11-2016, 08:31 AM   #12
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So I guess the copy is always carried with you on your person? Btw, thanks everyone for your responses👍.


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Yes plus I keep a picture of it on my iPhone these days.

I like Kramer's suggestion of taking a photo of any pages with needed visa stamps.
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:19 AM   #13
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Picture on my phone, actual passport in the room safe or in the middle between mattress / box spring. I've had luggage taken / rifled thru in a hotel in Venezuela & Turkey
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:31 AM   #14
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I wear shirts with two buttoned pockets, some cash, and one credit card are in those. Passport and more credit cards, more cash are in pouch under shirt. I never leave passport away from my person. As others said, I have a copy on my phone, emailed to me and DW and I email ours to each other, plus color copy in luggage. All that said, I have never lost a single thing in Europe, SA, Mexico or China.
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:02 AM   #15
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I wear shirts with two buttoned pockets, some cash, and one credit card are in those. Passport and more credit cards, more cash are in pouch under shirt. I never leave passport away from my person. As others said, I have a copy on my phone, emailed to me and DW and I email ours to each other, plus color copy in luggage. All that said, I have never lost a single thing in Europe, SA, Mexico or China.
I do the pouch thing also. And it gets bulky because I have my kids passports with mine...

I actually sewed a passport size pocket inside (skin side) of my waistband of a pair of pants I wore through Europe last year. If I didn't have those on I had the neck pouch under my clothes, across my body.

The only place we didn't carry our passports on our person was at the beach in Nice.... We put them in the fridge of the apartment, behind some food. (Obfuscation method of security).
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:12 AM   #16
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Always keep mine on me, in a security pouch under my clothes. Also a color copy in my backpack, and an emailed one on my phone.
Never used a safe in a hotel room for anything.
Have not ever been pickpocketed, though have been in some very dodgy places.
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Old 06-11-2016, 11:57 AM   #17
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It was 20 years ago, but in Cuba the hotel took all the passports and kept them in their safe.
Made me a bit nervous.
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Old 06-11-2016, 03:46 PM   #18
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When I was 18 and travelled in a large group with young people ranging from age 13-22, our chaperones kept tabs of our passports. They were locked in the hotel safe I believe. In 1978 color copiers were rare or non-existent.

When traveling on a Mediterranean cruise, we kept them locked in the room safe, carried a copy of the passport. Our boarding pass to the cruise ship was all the ID we needed. We kept extra money and back up credit card in the safe too.

I just got back from Italy. Our hotel room safes were non-functional. I carried my passport with me, in my travel purse or deep in my backpack. We were in a very safe small town though. We needed the passport for hotel check-in.

I will be traveling again to Iceland. I like the tip about taking a picture of the entry stamp.

Also, realize that since 2006 US passports have had RFID enabled chips embedded in them. Be sure to get an RFID blocking sleeve for your passport. They are available at AAA. And don't carry the blocked passport through the metal detector at the airport. The envelope will set off the alarm! (I found out the hard way...)
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Old 06-11-2016, 03:48 PM   #19
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I keep it hidden in a drawer in my apartment
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Old 06-13-2016, 12:57 PM   #20
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When traveling I keep my passport in a money belt stuffed in my pants. Otherwise either in a safe deposit box at the bank or a fireproof safe in my apartment with other inconvenient to replace items.


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