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Where to keep your passport when traveling in europe

passport

I think most of us in the U.S. take for granted that (barring some exceptions) we pretty much always have a valid form of ID on us – our drivers license. Moreover, our constitution actually protects us from having to carry any form of ID at all, if we don’t want to. Not all countries enjoy such freedoms, but when you travel, you are subject to the local law. So, do you need to carry your passport in Europe?

Italy, for example, requires everyone to have a valid form of ID at all times (including citizens) – and on the off chance you do get stopped, you’ll need to produce a passport. I’ve also needed to input my passport data when requesting an Uber in Barcelona.

In some countries, you need to input your passport data when requesting an Uber. Creative Caliph / Shutterstock.com

In some European countries, you need to input your passport data when requesting an Uber. Creative Caliph / Shutterstock.com

So, when my friend Jonathan messaged asked me “do I need to carry my passport in Europe?” I though it was a great question for this post. Does he?

As a luxury travel advisor, part of my job is to ensure my clients have every single detail they’ll need so they’re not stressing. Knowing passport rules and regulations is key. Do you have a burning travel question? Email it to me at [email protected] and keep an eye out for it! Questions may be edited for clarity or length.

Question: Do I Need to Carry My Passport With Me In Europe?

Thanks for the great tips on Portugal! I’m travelling to Europe this fall (Rome, Barcelona, and Lisbon). Do I need to carry my passport in Europe, or can I leave it in the hotel?

Answer: It Depends on What European Country You’re In

Hi Jonathan, thanks for the great question! There are so many different rules regarding passports, and its very country-dependent. Then, there are all the tips on how to keep your passport safe! And, finally, the debate rages on across the TripAdvisor and FlyerTalk forums! Who on earth do you listen to!?

Yes Or No – Carry Your Passport in Europe?

In general, across Europe, you should carry either your passport or a copy of it. You are required by law to have a valid form of identification.

If I had to estimate, I’d say I have my passport on my person about 95% of the time. It’s just simply in my travel wallet that goes where I go. If you aren’t going to carry it, carry a color copy.

You will always need to show your passport to immigration officials upon entering and leaving the European Union and/or Schengen Zone. EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

You will always need to show your passport to immigration officials upon entering and leaving the European Union and/or Schengen Zone. EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

There are some times you will need your passport in Europe, regardless. Checking into a hotel, for example, and flying between countries. You’ll also need to show your passport when renting a car, in addition to your drivers license. Because most Western European countries are Schengen zone members, you don’t need to show it when crossing the border. Exceptions include crossing into Switzerland or Croatia by land/sea, or flying into Ireland or the U.K.

  • Did you know that some countries in Europe don’t accept our drivers licenses for driving? In Italy, for example, you’ll need to get an international drivers permit!

Those are obvious, but what about the not so obvious?

You will need to show your passport if you want to receive the VAT refunds aftering a shopping spree in Paris! Rrrainbow / Shutterstock.com

You will need to show your passport if you want to receive the VAT refunds aftering a shopping spree in Paris! Rrrainbow / Shutterstock.com

You will need to show your passport to claim the VAT tax refund at a store. In some places, and at times, you can get away with showing a copy, or even just knowing your passport number by heart. To me, it’s not worth risking it if you get that one salesman who’s just a total stickler for the rules (and who wants to get stuck paying foreign sales tax?). A form of ID is also sometimes required to pick up tickets, as in show tickets or sporting event tickets.

While I never assume I

While I never assume I’ll need to show an ID at a bar, there are some places in Europe where bartenders and bouncers will request it.

The other five percent of the time I’m in Europe, I leave my passport at the hotel.

I’ll often leave my passport secured at my hotel if I’m going out for an evening; It’s extremely rare for bars in Europe to request ID, even for those who look young. However, I never assume I won’t be asked for an ID at a bar, either. In my experience, my U.S. license works fine for age verification purposes in Europe.

I also, as mentioned above, needed to input my passport number when I ordered my Uber one morning in Barcelona!

What Is A Valid Form of Identification?

If you plan to drive in Europe, you will need to show a passport, a drivers license, and an international driving permit in most places.

If you plan to drive in Europe, you will need to show a passport, a drivers license, and an international driving permit in most places.

As I already noted above, Italy’s law requires everyone to carry a valid form of ID on them. So does Spain, Portugal, Germany, the U.K., Ireland, … the list goes on. Unfortunately, European countries don’t consider our U.S. drivers licenses to be valid forms of ID, so therefore, non-E.U. citizens must carry a passport in Europe.

I’ll admit it’s unlikely, but legally, the police can come up and ask you for identification at any time.

Why Do European Hotels Ask For My Passport, and Is It Safe?

You will be asked to show your passport to the hotel upon check in.

This is because some European laws require that all guests are registered with the police. It’s totally normal. I’ve even left it with the front desk and had it returned later. This occurs often enough for me, so I don’t usually question it.

Read Post  How Much Cash Can You Travel With? (TSA & International Rules) 2022

John, editor of PMTTP, brought up that he’s had to leave his passport at the front desk. What do you do if they say they need to keep it? I did some digging, as I’ve always had my passport returned within an hour or so.

Do you need to let the hotel keep your passport in Europe? It happens regularly, but you are within your rights to ask for it back!

Do you need to let the hotel keep your passport in Europe? It happens regularly, but you are within your rights to ask for it back!

In late 2015, the U.K.’s Daily Mail asked this question. The truth is, you are within your rights to not hand the passport over for the duration of your stay. European laws require that hotels keep the names, nationalities, and details of all guests on file for 12 months. That is what the hotel takes from your passport when you show it on arrival. If they are busy, they may ask to keep it so they can record your details at a less busy time. It’s common practice, but it makes even the most savvy traveller a little wary at times.

However, once you’ve given them the details (or even handed them a copy of it to keep), you are quite within your rights to ask that they return your passport to you.

Various Laws in Europe Regarding Identification

Spanish police, as well as others in Europe, have the right to ask you to produce identification at any time.

Spanish police, as well as others in Europe, have the right to ask you to produce identification at any time.

Spain: Spanish law is similar to Italian, although Spanish police will accept a copy of your passport. (As an aside, I always have a photo of my passport on my phone. Sometimes this suffices.) I suggest also carrying your drivers license as a second form of ID. A TripAdvisor forum post (from 2016, now closed) states that if the Spanish police sense a problem, they will accompany you to your hotel to view the original passport. I suspect, though can’t confirm, that this sentiment applies across Europe.

France: According to Atout France, French police recommend carrying your passport and a copy of your passport separately. It is French law that you carry some form of identification with you at all times; this doesn’t need to be a passport.

Germany: According to German law, a foreigner is required to produce a valid form of identification when asked for it. Like the rest of the European countries listed here, unless you have an E.U. citizen card, your U.S. passport is your valid form of identification.

United Kingdom: You must produce a valid form of identification (your passport) in the U.K. when asked for it.

So… If No One Will Ask For It… Do I Still Need to Carry My Passport in Europe?

How Do I Keep My Passport Safe?

Use a travel wallet that hangs around your neck to keep money and your passport safe!

Use a travel wallet that hangs around your neck to keep money and your passport safe!

There are a few different ways to keep your passport safe. Plenty of travel and luggage brands make the under shirt wallets. These lay flat on your chest, under your shirt, and hide valuable contents from would-be pickpockets.

If you don’t want something like that (I don’t use them), then place your passport into a travel wallet and put that wallet in a hard-to-get-to-pocket of your bag. Ideally, a pocket that someone behind you can’t zip open.

If you do plan to leave your passport at the hotel, place it into the hotel safe. If you think you’ll forget your passport, write yourself a note. Other items I put in the safe include my computer, Nikon, and jewelry. I’ve yet to leave any of them in a hotel!

Jonathan, I hope that answered your question about carrying your passport with you while in Europe. Have a great time!

Do you have a burning travel question? Email it to me, Sarah, at [email protected] and look for it in a future post! Questions may be edited for clarity or length.

Sarah is a luxury travel advisor and avid traveller. When she isn’t writing for Point Me To The Plane you can find her crafting custom itineraries for clients or exploring the far reaches of our wonderful planet. Read more about her adventures at The Girl With the Map Tattoo.

Best Way to Carry a Passport–Safety Tips

Best Way to Carry a Passport? - Safety Tips

In 2019, 44 million Americans traveled overseas and, after dropping to 9.84 million in 2020, the number started trending up again in 2021 with 18 million travelers. Looking for some passport safety tips? We are here for you. This is not a standard travel checklist, but take a look at what we are about to tell you.

Every travel checklist should include safety tips to help you safeguard your passport and most important documents. A passport is a document that gives you the chance to leave your country and safely get back – you should take really good care of it.

Do you want to know the best way to carry your passport while traveling? Take some time to read our guide, prevention is always the key! Hop on board!

Click to see more about:

Why should you know how to keep your passport safe?

A passport is the most important official document when traveling internationally. Security standards are increasing everywhere and traveling abroad without a passport is getting almost impossible. Losing your passport while traveling abroad might cause a sudden change of plans and cost you money and time trying to get a new one.

Fortunately, there are 10 (ten) simple measures that every traveler can take to avoid the most common problems and be ready for any emergency.

Do you want to learn more about passports? Check these out:

Passport safety tips– before leaving home

A safe and pleasant journey starts from home. Planning in advance is the best way to enjoy your travel with little concern.

Tip#1: check your passport expiration date

This tip does not precisely concern safety, but you should verify your passport’s expiration date prior to departure. Having a passport expire during a trip can cause as many problems as losing it. You can’t travel back to your country with an expired passport.

In case the expiration date is close to the departure date, passengers might even be prevented from boarding a flight. Check our website for more information about passport requirements and how to renew your passport.

Tip#2: scan it

Scan all important documents and especially the pages showing documents’ essential information and the signature.

After scanning, save the file on your cloud memory or email it to yourself. It’s also possible to save it on a USB stick and keep it in a safe place so that the copy will be accessible even without an internet connection.

A digital copy of the passport will always be at hand to provide personal information. In the event the original gets lost, it will speed up the replacement process.

Tip#3: make copies of the passport

It can be accessed anytime and anywhere, with no need for an internet connection or a computer.

Make multiple photocopies and put them in different places: in your bag, in your wallet, give one to a friend traveling with you and leave another to someone at home. In the event, the passport gets lost or stolen, the copy will provide essential information, which will help in getting a new one faster.

While traveling, you could be asked for your identity and personal data on several occasions, but it’s not necessary to show your passport every time. In some cases, showing a copy of the passport or providing another document, such as your driver’s license, is enough. In doing so, you will keep the passport in a safe place and the chances to lose it will decrease.

If the passport gets lost while traveling, it should be replaced as fast as possible by getting an emergency passport. In order to do that, you need to know exactly where to go and who to contact. Before leaving home check the embassies and consulates of your country in the nations you are visiting and note their address and telephone number.

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Passport gadgets and accessories

To keep a passport safe, travelers should look into investing in some little gadgets.

Tip#1: buy a money belt

Consider buying a money belt. Yes, it is a belt, but it is supposed to be worn underneath a shirt and it has a concealed pouch for storing important documents and, of course, money while on the road. While not fashionable at all, it is really useful to keep your passport out of sight and always safe with you.

different images of small bags to store passport, smartphone and other things

Tip# 2: get a passport cover

Another gadget you might take into consideration is a passport cover. You might still have your passport, but if it is seriously damaged, it will be completely useless. A passport pouch or a waterproof cover will prevent the passport pages from becoming unreadable.

the image shows many passport covers with different colors and materials and even floral designs.

Passport safety tips—staying abroad

Finally abroad! But, please, do not lose focus. You already did most of the work by preventing most of the risks, but still, a little precaution is needed while traveling.

Tip#1: leave your passport in the hotel

As mentioned before, travelers won’t need to present a passport every time and sometimes a copy is enough. For this reason, you could leave it in the hotel room — in the safe or in your luggage.

Tip#2: keep it by your side

If it’s necessary to carry a passport, here the money belt is the perfect solution! We suggest not leaving your passport in your handbag.

It should always be by your side and in a safe place. In case you are asked to leave the bag unattended in a storeroom before a trip, your most important belongings will always be safe.

Nonetheless, the money belt is not the only solution, even inner jacket pockets will do (but keep your jacket with you)!

Tip#3: carry the passport yourself

Never leave your passport to somebody else. Anyone should be responsible for their own passport and this will also lessen the chances that all passports get lost at once.

Tip#4: check you still have it

Every now and then, check if you still have the passport. Never do it in public, but find a private place where to safely check that all your most essential personal belongings are still in place.

Tip#5: be aware of what is happening around you

During your travels, you could find yourself in different situations, but do not lose focus. Be aware of the environment and decide accordingly if you should use extra care in managing important documents.

Tip#6: keep it covered

Using your passport in plain sight, in the middle of the crowd, might attract too much attention and increase the chance that it gets stolen.

If you use a cover for your passport, as we suggested earlier, you will achieve two things at the same time: you will protect it from any damage and keep it covered, so strangers will not see it while you use it.

Instructions for the best way to carry a passport while traveling.

Passport Photo Online—passport pictures anywhere

Need to apply for an emergency or replacement passport? Passport Photo Online, an app used by over a million people worldwide, has got you covered.

Just snap a picture with a smartphone — we can fix it for you:

  • The app can adapt the image to the required size and remove the background. Any place can be just as a photo studio 24/7.
  • Our AI system checks the picture in every detail. We can even enhance the quality and remove excess elements. Our approval comes with a 100% guarantee of meeting government requirements. Users can get passport photos no matter which country they are in.
  • Passport Photo Online offers unlimited tries without additional costs. You can relax and focus on getting a photo that perfectly follows the requirements.

We can send you the printed passport photos within 3 (three) days — the digital copy will be immediately available for download and to be used at your earliest convenience.

Keeping a passport safe while traveling: FAQ

In the next section, we’ll address a few common questions about passport safety.

Where to keep a passport while traveling?

The safest way to keep a passport abroad is to store it in a hotel room safe or in locked luggage. To carry the document around it’s best to use a money belt with a dedicated pouch. Alternatively, it’s also possible to keep it in the inner pockets of a jacket.

How to protect a passport when traveling?

To begin with, travelers should carry a passport around only when needed and keep it in a money belt or inner pocket. In addition, it’s a good idea to get a waterproof cover to avoid any damage to the document.

Passport safety tips—sum up

As you have seen, if you want to avoid unpleasant incidents and enjoy your travel, be aware of the risks and follow our passport safety tips. In the unfortunate event that you will need a new one, check our website. Alongside some useful information on how to make the renewal process faster and easier, you can also find a dedicated passport photo tool there to get a perfect ID shot right away.

Where to keep your passport when traveling in europe

passport

I think most of us in the U.S. take for granted that (barring some exceptions) we pretty much always have a valid form of ID on us – our drivers license. Moreover, our constitution actually protects us from having to carry any form of ID at all, if we don’t want to. Not all countries enjoy such freedoms, but when you travel, you are subject to the local law. So, do you need to carry your passport in Europe?

Italy, for example, requires everyone to have a valid form of ID at all times (including citizens) – and on the off chance you do get stopped, you’ll need to produce a passport. I’ve also needed to input my passport data when requesting an Uber in Barcelona.

In some countries, you need to input your passport data when requesting an Uber. Creative Caliph / Shutterstock.com

In some European countries, you need to input your passport data when requesting an Uber. Creative Caliph / Shutterstock.com

So, when my friend Jonathan messaged asked me “do I need to carry my passport in Europe?” I though it was a great question for this post. Does he?

As a luxury travel advisor, part of my job is to ensure my clients have every single detail they’ll need so they’re not stressing. Knowing passport rules and regulations is key. Do you have a burning travel question? Email it to me at [email protected] and keep an eye out for it! Questions may be edited for clarity or length.

Question: Do I Need to Carry My Passport With Me In Europe?

Thanks for the great tips on Portugal! I’m travelling to Europe this fall (Rome, Barcelona, and Lisbon). Do I need to carry my passport in Europe, or can I leave it in the hotel?

Answer: It Depends on What European Country You’re In

Hi Jonathan, thanks for the great question! There are so many different rules regarding passports, and its very country-dependent. Then, there are all the tips on how to keep your passport safe! And, finally, the debate rages on across the TripAdvisor and FlyerTalk forums! Who on earth do you listen to!?

Yes Or No – Carry Your Passport in Europe?

In general, across Europe, you should carry either your passport or a copy of it. You are required by law to have a valid form of identification.

If I had to estimate, I’d say I have my passport on my person about 95% of the time. It’s just simply in my travel wallet that goes where I go. If you aren’t going to carry it, carry a color copy.

Read Post  Should you fly or take the train around Europe? It depends…

You will always need to show your passport to immigration officials upon entering and leaving the European Union and/or Schengen Zone. EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

You will always need to show your passport to immigration officials upon entering and leaving the European Union and/or Schengen Zone. EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

There are some times you will need your passport in Europe, regardless. Checking into a hotel, for example, and flying between countries. You’ll also need to show your passport when renting a car, in addition to your drivers license. Because most Western European countries are Schengen zone members, you don’t need to show it when crossing the border. Exceptions include crossing into Switzerland or Croatia by land/sea, or flying into Ireland or the U.K.

  • Did you know that some countries in Europe don’t accept our drivers licenses for driving? In Italy, for example, you’ll need to get an international drivers permit!

Those are obvious, but what about the not so obvious?

You will need to show your passport if you want to receive the VAT refunds aftering a shopping spree in Paris! Rrrainbow / Shutterstock.com

You will need to show your passport if you want to receive the VAT refunds aftering a shopping spree in Paris! Rrrainbow / Shutterstock.com

You will need to show your passport to claim the VAT tax refund at a store. In some places, and at times, you can get away with showing a copy, or even just knowing your passport number by heart. To me, it’s not worth risking it if you get that one salesman who’s just a total stickler for the rules (and who wants to get stuck paying foreign sales tax?). A form of ID is also sometimes required to pick up tickets, as in show tickets or sporting event tickets.

While I never assume I

While I never assume I’ll need to show an ID at a bar, there are some places in Europe where bartenders and bouncers will request it.

The other five percent of the time I’m in Europe, I leave my passport at the hotel.

I’ll often leave my passport secured at my hotel if I’m going out for an evening; It’s extremely rare for bars in Europe to request ID, even for those who look young. However, I never assume I won’t be asked for an ID at a bar, either. In my experience, my U.S. license works fine for age verification purposes in Europe.

I also, as mentioned above, needed to input my passport number when I ordered my Uber one morning in Barcelona!

What Is A Valid Form of Identification?

If you plan to drive in Europe, you will need to show a passport, a drivers license, and an international driving permit in most places.

If you plan to drive in Europe, you will need to show a passport, a drivers license, and an international driving permit in most places.

As I already noted above, Italy’s law requires everyone to carry a valid form of ID on them. So does Spain, Portugal, Germany, the U.K., Ireland, … the list goes on. Unfortunately, European countries don’t consider our U.S. drivers licenses to be valid forms of ID, so therefore, non-E.U. citizens must carry a passport in Europe.

I’ll admit it’s unlikely, but legally, the police can come up and ask you for identification at any time.

Why Do European Hotels Ask For My Passport, and Is It Safe?

You will be asked to show your passport to the hotel upon check in.

This is because some European laws require that all guests are registered with the police. It’s totally normal. I’ve even left it with the front desk and had it returned later. This occurs often enough for me, so I don’t usually question it.

John, editor of PMTTP, brought up that he’s had to leave his passport at the front desk. What do you do if they say they need to keep it? I did some digging, as I’ve always had my passport returned within an hour or so.

Do you need to let the hotel keep your passport in Europe? It happens regularly, but you are within your rights to ask for it back!

Do you need to let the hotel keep your passport in Europe? It happens regularly, but you are within your rights to ask for it back!

In late 2015, the U.K.’s Daily Mail asked this question. The truth is, you are within your rights to not hand the passport over for the duration of your stay. European laws require that hotels keep the names, nationalities, and details of all guests on file for 12 months. That is what the hotel takes from your passport when you show it on arrival. If they are busy, they may ask to keep it so they can record your details at a less busy time. It’s common practice, but it makes even the most savvy traveller a little wary at times.

However, once you’ve given them the details (or even handed them a copy of it to keep), you are quite within your rights to ask that they return your passport to you.

Various Laws in Europe Regarding Identification

Spanish police, as well as others in Europe, have the right to ask you to produce identification at any time.

Spanish police, as well as others in Europe, have the right to ask you to produce identification at any time.

Spain: Spanish law is similar to Italian, although Spanish police will accept a copy of your passport. (As an aside, I always have a photo of my passport on my phone. Sometimes this suffices.) I suggest also carrying your drivers license as a second form of ID. A TripAdvisor forum post (from 2016, now closed) states that if the Spanish police sense a problem, they will accompany you to your hotel to view the original passport. I suspect, though can’t confirm, that this sentiment applies across Europe.

France: According to Atout France, French police recommend carrying your passport and a copy of your passport separately. It is French law that you carry some form of identification with you at all times; this doesn’t need to be a passport.

Germany: According to German law, a foreigner is required to produce a valid form of identification when asked for it. Like the rest of the European countries listed here, unless you have an E.U. citizen card, your U.S. passport is your valid form of identification.

United Kingdom: You must produce a valid form of identification (your passport) in the U.K. when asked for it.

So… If No One Will Ask For It… Do I Still Need to Carry My Passport in Europe?

How Do I Keep My Passport Safe?

Use a travel wallet that hangs around your neck to keep money and your passport safe!

Use a travel wallet that hangs around your neck to keep money and your passport safe!

There are a few different ways to keep your passport safe. Plenty of travel and luggage brands make the under shirt wallets. These lay flat on your chest, under your shirt, and hide valuable contents from would-be pickpockets.

If you don’t want something like that (I don’t use them), then place your passport into a travel wallet and put that wallet in a hard-to-get-to-pocket of your bag. Ideally, a pocket that someone behind you can’t zip open.

If you do plan to leave your passport at the hotel, place it into the hotel safe. If you think you’ll forget your passport, write yourself a note. Other items I put in the safe include my computer, Nikon, and jewelry. I’ve yet to leave any of them in a hotel!

Jonathan, I hope that answered your question about carrying your passport with you while in Europe. Have a great time!

Do you have a burning travel question? Email it to me, Sarah, at [email protected] and look for it in a future post! Questions may be edited for clarity or length.

Sarah is a luxury travel advisor and avid traveller. When she isn’t writing for Point Me To The Plane you can find her crafting custom itineraries for clients or exploring the far reaches of our wonderful planet. Read more about her adventures at The Girl With the Map Tattoo.

Source https://insideflyer.com/2019/06/08/should-i-always-have-my-passport-in-europe/

Source https://passport-photo.online/blog/best-way-to-carry-passport/

Source https://insideflyer.com/2019/06/08/should-i-always-have-my-passport-in-europe/

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