Rule No 1. Never part with your passport because you are completely helpless without it. I admit that I breached that rule last year in Thailand. I gave a woman my passport just to hire a motorbike for the day! Crazy! She said I damaged the bike which I definitely hadn't. I basically had to buy back my passport. Lesson learned though. Today in Indonesia my hotel also wanted my passport for a motorbike!People really need to tell them to get lost! That would put a stop to it. I hired a driver instead!
In Egypt you find yourself handing your passport over a lot...and you know you shouldnt but they think its the norm and that how it happens so what can you do?
Never part with your Visa/ATM cards.
Always keep cards, most cash and passport copy (I leave the real one in the hotel safe) deeply underneath clothing (i.e. inside skirt or trousers). If instincts say something isn't quite right, believe instincts and act upon them.
In Italy handing over your passport is pretty standard and I've never had an issue. My rule is: Never carry more money on you than you can afford to lose.
Italian hotels, as in lots of countries, take a copy of your passport so that local police can be notified. No problems with that whatsoever.
Have a copy of your pasport on your Gmail. Spilt up your money so you dont loss all at ones.
My favorite one is what I call the Yogi Berra Rule. He once said, "You can see a lot by observing." Think about it. Another one of mine is that you can never have too many maps.
I actually negotiated with the bike rental guys so that i wont have to hand them my passport as `deposit', instead of that i passed to them my driving lisence.
A good reason to have an International Drivers Permit with you on vacation even if you don't have to drive. It's another form of ID recognised by lots of nations. Couple of photo copies of passport main page to give to hotel receptionist who are going to copy it anyway will save the often found situation "Give me your passport!Go to your room and come back later to pick up the passport".
The passport as deposit for motorbikes is pretty standard in SE Asia. If you think about it from their perspective they are effectively trusting you with a sizeable investment so what is to stop you just riding off with it? A good idea is to go over the bike with the renter and agree on any damage already there before you start. I know that in some countries it is a legal requirmeent for accomodations to take your passport. Rule #1 for me would be to inform your bank of your travels. Having your card(s) cancelled overseas when the bank suspects fraudulentt use is a real pain.
I would be a little happier giving my passport to a hotel in Italy than to a motorbike rental outfit in Thailand. My hotel here was probably ok but I had just made a promise to myself never to part with my passport again. I remember strongly how helpless I felt when the woman in Thailand wouldn't give it back. My flight home was the next day. I had to have it. I can see the perspective of the renter but I just don't think it is worth it.
Cruise ships also take your passport and issue you with an ID card with your photo on it. When stopping at a foreign port, the local authorities accept your ship's ID card as your "passport" to enter their country for a couple of hours. (If those little ports don't want to accept the ship's ID, then the shipping company takes their passengers somewhere else)
I never give my passport. Except one time in Sicily at the hotel the clerk ask for it but I was hesitant and he notice it and said "you don't have confidence in me, why you treat me like this? I'll make you an offer you can't refuse..." I hand him my passport.
A Sicilain actually used that line on you? I think he is watching too many films. I would have told him I was from Northern Ireland and would that I would make him an offer he couldn't understand!
My travel rule is: before leaving a hotel room I always open all the drawers and cabinets, even the ones I am sure I have not used. More than once I found I had put some of my things in places I had forgotten.
Whenever in a foreign bathroom, I always keep the toilet lid closed because I tend to drop more things there than at home.
I'd give a copy of my passport or a copy of my drivers licence, never the real thing, you don't know these people from Adam. I take pictures of the car I am hiring BEFORE I leave the car park of any damage and to prove it was on the day I hired it I take a pic of me holding the agreement or a newspaper of that day. I put money in various places and keep the credit cards on me at all times. I understand that you are effectively driving their vehicle away with no guarantee you are going to bring it back. However do NOT do what my hubby did and give Kenya Budget Car Hire a signed credit card slip with the deposit guarantee money on it, as Mr Njogre will cash that slip and try not to give you your deposit back. He's a con man.
>always keep the toilet lid closed because I tend to drop more things there than at home. That's hilarious. Most of our must-do's have already been mentioned but I'll add not putting anything into the room safe without a test run first, and either unloading it the night before departure or putting a shoe or something you'd definitely miss inside so you don't forget to unload it. The husband and I hugely disagree on carrying anything of value in a front pocket no matter HOW tight it is. I've thrown up my hands and just told him that if I have to spend a day of vacation messing around with a stolen credit card mess, I might have to kill him.
Trouble is, killing him will be even more of a mess. Just let him learn from experience (and then do a bit of wifely 'I told-you-so'). Room safe...excellent tip. I try it 3 times, for luck.
Ok, no violence. Besides, he cleans a mean bathroom - always a plus. He knows I'm mad enough that he might compromise to pocketing only what he feels he can afford to have snatched, and what won't waste perfectly good hours of sightseeing time to replace. Or else.