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Important documents

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usa
posts: 8
Important documents

I will be going to Budapest in mid Jan 07 and will be staying at a hostel. I wonder if you should leave your passport on the front desk or carry with you?

Appreciate all the inputs. Thanks.

Bristol, United...
posts: 857
1. Re: Important documents

i think you should take it with you. i dont know, but wherever i travel i always keep my documents with me. thats the only thing which proves who you are. at least thats what i usually do. but if u are staying at a hostel, not even a hotel or anything, if i were you, i would keep it. on the other hand there are a lot of people who always lose their personal items or things, keys, etc.... so it depends on you

usa
posts: 8
2. Re: Important documents

I'm thinking to carry a copy of my passport with me and leave the original at the hostel's locker. Things are not that easy when traveling solo :)

Bristol, United...
posts: 857
3. Re: Important documents

well, yeah, thats right. but still, i wouldnt left the original home. when we were at some concerts in austria and germany, we held onto our passports, even inside the stadium during the concerts. maybe its the european way, or i dont know, but my parents always say that just in case whatever happens, 3 things must be with you, your passport, your insurance paper and some hundred euro cash for emergencies. and nowadays of course additionally a mobile phone as well. :)

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 2,109
reviews: 25
4. Re: Important documents

I never take my passport with me....I'm not sure what the going rate is for a stolen US passport, but I know it's high enough to make it worth stealing. You really don't even need to carry a copy with you, but if you want to be safe, then go ahead. There's really no need for your passport anywhere. It's really not worth the headache of losing your passport or having it stolen....I promise you'll need to rearrange all of your travel plans if it disappears.

Budapest, Hungary
posts: 292
reviews: 67
5. Re: Important documents

The days of having to turn over passports (yes it was very common in decades past) are fast coming to an end. Some places still do have you leave it while they do their filing for check-in and you pick it up 20-30 minutes later.

You will need it for check-in in most places but will not have to leave it in 90% of these. As you run just as great a risk of losing it while carrying, KEEP IT IN A SAFE INNER POCKET. People generally make several copies and carry one of those. In a hostel, where there is probably no safe for the original, just make sure you have a copy since the embassy can re-issue fast with a presented copy.

usa
posts: 8
6. Re: Important documents

Thank you all for the inputs!!

Bath, UK
Destination Expert
for Budapest, Hungary
posts: 6,403
reviews: 36
7. Re: Important documents

Hungarians have to carry their ID with them at all times, and I believe that theoretically foreigners should do so as well.

However, in 30 years of visiting I have never been asked for ID BUT I have been asked for vehicle documents when driving. Unlike the UK, you must have your driving documents with you when driving, especially insuance and driving licence.

A photocopy of your passport should sufffice for ID purposes.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 2,109
reviews: 25
8. Re: Important documents

Frank was right, many hotels and hostels ask for a passport, but usually they just make a quick photocopy and give it back to you. I have stayed in one place in Budapest where they hold your passport for your entire stay. Otherwise, you won't need it.

If you lose it, my experience witht he embassy in Budapest was a pain in the butt...luckily I didn't need them for time sensitive reasons because they were impossible to get a hold of. They don't answer calls from cell phones or pay phones...and for that matter they don't really even answer calls from land lines.

I always carry my driver's license with me but that's it...I figure if that's not good enough then they'll figure something out--I may not like it, but they'll figure it out.

The reason for my comments is because my wife lost her passport here in the states and I saw what a headache it would have been to get it replaced. For her it would mean going through three months of paperwork in the US then another three months of paperwork with Romania. That would have been 6 months without a passport and the whole while she would be "undocumented" Luckily for both of us she found it. Even for the 2 years she's lived here and the year she was here when we met, she never carried her passport and still does not carry her green card. She even lived in Hungary for a few years as a foreign resident and didn't carry her passport.

Edinburgh
posts: 115
reviews: 33
9. Re: Important documents

I read that you need to carry ID with you, we carried our passports and kept them in the inside pocket of my handbag, we did this as we were staying in a budget hotel and there was always lots of people hanging around reception and I didn't feel comfortable leaving them there.

Word of warning, one pick pocket scam is someone coming up to you and asking for directions, while you are trying to communicate with them another person will join you and during they will then try and take your bag or pinch something from it. We had no experience of this but it is good practice to stay wary.

I'd like to apologise now to the 3 lads from Ireland who asked for directions from us - I forgot about this scam and went straight to help them, my husband though became this over protective person who placed himself between my bag and them! He is never normaly this unfriendly!

Bath, UK
Destination Expert
for Budapest, Hungary
posts: 6,403
reviews: 36
10. Re: Important documents

Alison, had to laugh at your description, but your words of warning are spot on: friends of ours from Scotland had his wallet stolen in exactly this way at Keleti railway station.