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Passport Policies

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by Patt!, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. Patt!

    Patt! Member

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    Just checking in while the Wi-Fi is working...is it ok for a hostel receptionist to photograph your passport? It just happened for the first time so I didn’t know if it was weird or not. I’d love to know.
    Other than that question, can I just say I love the Camino!
     
    Gerry Vandermaat likes this.
  2. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Hi Patt. Yes, they do that most of the time. Some, if not all, localities give their information to the local police that evening. I don't know exactly why other than concern about crime and illegal immigration. Other places in the world do this as well. When I was in Thailand they did it at hotels and the banks did it also just to exchange money. They asked to see them and for a form to be filled out in London recently also. Portugal same at the albergues.

    Just be sure they give it back promptly. I read about a guy who gave his to a hospitalero to be copied and didn't get it back until the next a.m. (I would have been frantic by then).
     
  3. Patt!

    Patt! Member

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    Thank you! I feel better about it now. I just wanted to make sure before I moved on. Your quick response was really appreciated because I’m not sure how I would have felt about leaving this morning without being certain.
    Patti
     
  4. Galloglaigh

    Galloglaigh Member

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    Italy is the same - Florence. If using a internet cafe (if you can find one now), they would photograph your passport or identity card before you could use it.
     
  5. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Patt! - It's not at all uncommon to be asked to copy your passport. Along my Caminos, it seemed that simply writing down the passport number on their form was most common. However, some places did want to photocopy the passport. When changing dollars in banks and money exchanges, showing my passport was almost always required and banks typically photocopied it (one reason why it's quicker and easier to use ATMs if you can). But, C4S offers the best piece of advice on this issue. There is no reason to surrender your passport other than for a photocopy. Do NOT let anyone tell you they need to keep it until you leave. Glad your Camino is going well. How's the tooth? Buen Camino.
     
  6. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Totally understandable, and I found it concerning also at first. It's also a little worrisome when the hospitalero is handling a number of passports at once to take to a back room and copy. I was handed back someone else's passport once.

    Buen Camino, Patt, and let us know how things are going for you. Many of us like to follow others' Caminos.
     
    Gerry Vandermaat likes this.
  7. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Patti

    Each place providing accommodation in Spain and many other European countries are required to take details of those staying overnight on their premises. In many hotels you provide your passport number and sign a registration card. As I understand it in Spain the manager/proprietor is required to give a list of people staying to their local police. I imagine that for some of them taking a photocopy of your passport is simpler than having to prepare long lists.

    Someone also suggested it allows the police to check who may be on a particular stretch of the Camino at any given time (this may possibly be related to the unfortunate case of the lady who went missing a couple of years ago). I imagine it would be helpful to the police to be able to narrow down their search if such a terrible thing were to happen again or even if someone had just gotten lost.

    Hope the Camino is all you hoped for.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
  8. Patt!

    Patt! Member

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    Thankfully, my tooth is completely better. I also fell and tore something above my knee...and that’s also doing great now. I am getting over a cold (I know...enough! Enough!), but honestly...my spirits are high. I can tell I’m stronger. I love this whole experience! Walking in the dark in the morning and capturing the sun’s first peak over the trees, meeting the best people in the world (and Camino angels), experiencing a municipal hostel as well as a suite in Burgos, watching the silhouettes of pilgrims under the villages yellow lights, becoming one with my backpack (I named her Toda), becoming friends with the lady at the farmacy, and having my reward beer after a particularly long day...all so wonderful!
     
  9. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Keep up the posting! Sounds like you are earning a GREAT set of memories.
     
  10. BenL

    BenL The Burghers of Calais

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    On this topic of passports, I take the following precautions in case of passport thefts/damage - 1). I take a picture of my passport on my smartphone. 2). I upload similar to the Cloud (e.g. One Drive or Google Drive), in case the smartphone is also stolen. Net, if you ever need your passport info, you either have it on your phone, or you can access it from the Cloud.
     
  11. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Ben - Seems like such a simple idea for the traveler, but it hadn't occurred to me. As I head to Mexico City in a couple of weeks, I'm going to be sure to follow your suggestions here to create a digital copy of my passport and store it in the Cloud just in case. Thanks. Buen Camino!
     
  12. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    I use my cell phone and take pictures of everything. Google then saves copies of those picture "somewhere" for me. When I got separated from my pack, twice, I used the pictures to help in getting my pack back. I also used my cell to take pictures of any pieces of paper that I wanted to have with me. That is how I got copies of the various maps that I posted. Once I had the cell, and it's charger, getting additional documents did not increase my pack weight.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  13. BenL

    BenL The Burghers of Calais

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    UnkleHammy, do packs normally develop their own legs? If so, looks like having one of those Bluetooth tracking devices might be essential. Key dependency is whether the majority of the pilgrims on the trail have the same app on the phone, and whether their bluetooth is turned on. Anyone knows what the dominant bluetooth tracking device/app is in Spain/Portugal?
     
    Gerry Vandermaat likes this.
  14. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    I believe that using a tracking app is unusual. I never noticed anyone using one. There appear to be some that are available in the app stores, however I have never used one.

    After trying several GPS logging programs, I found a very simple one that I used. In general I don't care where I am going, but I do want to know where I have been. The app I found makes a log file that, at the end of the day may be loaded into Google Earth and fom there sent out to my family via Facebook. Almost every where on the Camino they have WiFi so sending stuff out is easy.
     
    Martin (Ozzy) Osborne likes this.
  15. BenL

    BenL The Burghers of Calais

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    Here is one of the early Bluetooth tracking devices in USA, with significant market share. https://www.thetileapp.com/ Other bluetooth tags have since appeared on the market at cheaper prices. It's good for tracking checked baggage too. So, the tile is left in the baggage, and the app on the phone will show where the tile is currently (or its last known location). For the tile to report it's latest position, it relies on other people's phones with said app and switched on Bluetooth to self report its location.
     
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  16. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Oh that us what you mean. Bluetooth has a limited range. Both times I had checked pack problems the pack was on a different plane "somewhare" in the sky. Once over a different country and once over a different state.
     
  17. BenL

    BenL The Burghers of Calais

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    Yup, Bluetooth range is about 100m. That's why it's important to use a brand that has significant market share, with its app installed on enough phones with switched-on Bluetooth. Enough testimonials of how it tracked lost items. It doesn't matter if tile/tag in a different country/state. Tag/tile will self report and show up on a map on one's phone. (if there are nearby phones with said app/switched-on Bluetooth).
     
    Gerry Vandermaat likes this.
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