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Carrying cash/storing passports

Katy, Texas
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25 posts
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Carrying cash/storing passports

T-minus 2 days until our Puerto Viejo vacation!! A couple of last minute questions as I pack:

1. We are trying to figure out how much cash to bring with us. We want enough to be able to not worry about going to an ATM every day, but don't want to be stuck carrying a bunch of money around with us either. We are staying at Walaba and Mother Dear, does anyone know if they have safes in the rooms or somewhere to stash our extra cash and passports? I have emailed and called Walaba but haven't been able to get ahold of anyone yet...

2. The only backpack we have isn't the most inconspicuous thing you have ever seen (looks nicer than one you would have in high school). We will be carrying my boyfriends nice camera and copies of our passports in it, so we don't want it to stand out or draw unwanted attention and will be renting bikes all week, so we will be out in the "open". I know that I am going to get a lot of "use common sense" comments, and I understand all of that, but after reading tons of reviews I am paranoid and want to crawl into a dumpster to find a beat up bag to use so we don't become targets! Is it really an issue, or do people keep warning about things like this to keep the tourists from feeling too comfortable and possibly get taken advantage of?

Thanks in advance to any responses, they are very much appreciated...especially at this point when I am pacing around the room like a lunatic and trying to get everything together! :)

Mi Wuk Village...
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1. Re: Carrying cash/storing passports

Never carry cash or passport in a backpack. They can grow legs and walk off. The type of back pack doesn't make any difference. They all look the same to thieves. There are numerous travel pouches on the market. I use a neck pouch (inside my shirt), money belt and two pouches that hang down inside my pants. Those latter were some I made from a design in the People's Guide to Mexico. Thieves know all about pouches and such. The idea is that they want to grab valuables as quick as possible. Make it harder and they will go on to the next tourist. I never get robbed but then I take other precautions. Some other tips... carry a photo copy of your passport. Email a list of all numbers...passport, credit cards, traveler checks and whatever to you web based email... outlook, gmail, etc.

Puerto Viejo de...
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for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
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2. Re: Carrying cash/storing passports

I would not worry about your passports, Walaba states they have secure lockers and Mother Dear (nice choice) is a safe place anyway. Regarding the nice camera, I wouldn't constantly take it with me, depending on what you do that day and also keep it in the back pack until you see something you want to photograph. Since you are already planning on using the ATM, I would not bring much and visit the ATM a few times, you will find out quickly how much you would need and leave most of that at where you are staying. Things have been very quiet lately and as long as you don't do drugs are throw yourselves into late night partying you have not much to worry about, you seem to be prepared, which is good.

Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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3. Re: Carrying cash/storing passports

I have left extra money, credit card and passports at hotel safe. But I have always carried a nice DSLR in my backpack. When it was off my back, I have used one of the detachable shoulder strap to attach the backpack to a chair or a table. Of course, if out in the evening, also the camera stays in the safe.

While I am having a scan of my passport on my email, I would never trust an email account to store my credit card numbers.

Edited: 4:29 am, August 08, 2013
Cahuita, Costa Rica
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for Cahuita
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4. Re: Carrying cash/storing passports

Xelas' paranoia sounds very sensible to me! You can scan all documents and credit card information and emergency telephone numbers for quick cancellation of cards on a memory stick which you should keep well away from everything else.

Kansas City
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5. Re: Carrying cash/storing passports

Well, it's too late to order, but if you have a nearby travel supply store that carries the Pacsafe brand you might purchase a portable safe. We took ours to Costa Rica and used it in places that did not offer a safe. Left our original passports in it and carried copies.

Sometimes if the hotel rooms do not have a safe you can still leave passports in the office. Some properties offer lockable bags or containers that they keep locked in the office.

Costa Rica
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6. Re: Carrying cash/storing passports

If lodging does not have a safe, you can leave your valuables at the front desk. Bring a large envelope for this and have them sign a receipt for your stuff. You can also just seal the envelope and both you and the hotel staff person sign across the sealed flap.

New York City, New...
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7. Re: Carrying cash/storing passports

I was in Puerto Viejo in May 2012 & loved it. However, whether your backpack is new or old, the Ticos will know you're a tourist. I would think your hotel has a safe, maybe not in the room but in Reception. Lock up

everything daily. As for cash, you don't need very much. if you decide to take a tour, credit cards are taken

Other than food & drink & entrance fees to the Sloth Sanctuary or the Jaguar Rescue Center,

On the beach, there are signs that say do not take a camera or any other valuables while walking on the beach.

If you have the time, purchase some notebooks, pencils & sharpeners, coloring books for the BriBri indigenous tribe that lives near PV. Most of the hotels will take the goods & make sure it get to the children.

Have a wonderful time.

Katy, Texas
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25 posts
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8. Re: Carrying cash/storing passports

Thank you all for your input...it had really set my mind at ease! I am really looking forward for our vacation to start in 5 hours!!!

Cahuita, Costa Rica
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9. Re: Carrying cash/storing passports

Have a fantastic time! Do update us with any useful information you pick up on your travels.

10. Re: Carrying cash/storing passports

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