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Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Year of past OR future Camino
"Portuguese Camino"
"Slow Camino"
"The First Pilgrim"
All on Amazon
On all three of my Caminos, I traveled with hidden money belt.
Took about 2,000 Euros Cash and both a credit card and a debit card.
Kept day's cash in my vest. So would not have to take off money belt frequently

Since I kept my passport in my Back pack with my Pigrim Credential Booklet.- I had both a photo copy of it and an expired
driver's liscense in the money belt - just in case the pack got lost or stolen.

Also the busines cards of my local banker - lawyer -Triple AAA lady who plannned the trip and
a medical summmary sheet from my Primary Care Physician.

Also extra copy of my flight itineraries.
Redundancy and back up many pilgrims neglect.
 
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Camino Passport
Original passport made by the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Shipped from Santiago all around the world with DHL.

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
On all three of my Caminos, I traveled with hidden money belt.
Took about 2,000 Euros Cash and both a credit card and a debit card.
Kept day's cash in my vest. So would not have to take off money belt frequently

Since I kept my passport in my Back pack with my Pigrim Credential Booklet.- I had both a photo copy of it and an expired
driver's liscense in the money belt - just in case the pack got lost or stolen.

Also the busines cards of my local banker - lawyer -Triple AAA lady who plannned the trip and
a medical summmary sheet from my Primary Care Physician.

Also extra copy of my flight itineraries.
Redundancy and back up many pilgrims neglect.
When I was much younger (1982) I was travelling in Europe for several months. I was keeping my passport in my money belt, but I also kept a separate photocopy of my passport and other documents separately in my day pack in case my passport was stolen and I had to apply for a new one overseas.

But what happened to me was that my day pack with the photocopies was stolen and someone used the photocopies to try and apply for a passport in my name. The fraudulent attempt was caught before the passport was issued, thankfully. But since then there are always extra checks whenever I apply for a passport and it takes me much longer to get one than anyone else I know.

Nowadays, instead of photocopying my passport and documents, I photograph/scan them and upload the images to my phone and Google Drive. Then they are always available to me through my phone or any other device connected to the Internet but are not at as much risk of theft.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Galicia!
Lost my passport and my credential on the day I arrived in SdC after completing the Camino Ingles. Only realised this at about 9:30pm and was due to fly out early the next morning. I did have a scan on my phone (plus Google Drive copies - but wasn't able to print it off).
The EasyJet staff at the airport weren't sure but told my to see what immigration said. The two officers on passport control couldn't have been nicer, looked at my driver's licence and waved me through with a "Eh, it happens!" shrug.
Passport control at London Gatwick, however, were not happy at all. Made to sit in a "sin bin" with a few other people in full view of the public until called back for more questioning. I was told I should have reported it, preferably in person (!) to the British Embassy in Madrid and waited in Spain until a replacement could be obtained.
I probably made things worse, being slightly stressed out by this point, when on being asked how had I got on the plane answered "Up the boarding stairs with everybody else." Oooh, if looks could kill.
They grudgingly accepted the driver's licence and scanned passport with a warning to do it properly the next time (the next time?) and let me enter my own country.
Just be warned: keep your enemies close and your passport closer still!

Edit: both documents were in the same plastic wallet - I'd keep them apart in future. Really miffed that I lost that credential!
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
I photo copy, passport, E111, prescriptions, and some other medical necessities then laminate them back to back. Have two of these. Originals in Money belt around waist under trouser waistband. One copy in rucksack where the water bladder fits and one in my bumbag with the credencial. I also gave copie in pdf format as attachments in my Gmail account. Especially more of my medical stuff. At Albergues etc I always produce the laminated copies from the bumbag, and to date no one has ever questioned it, in fact a few receptionists have thought it a great idea saving the passport from being over handled.

(Medical stuff being heart valve numbers and pacemaker details due to not wanting the electronic paddles used to scan for forbidden objects that they often use at airports and I have to prove that I can't personally go through the Xray machine. I frequently get a soothing massage instead as they do a body search, oh what fun eh? )
 

Aidan21

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP to SDC 2013/14
SJPP to SDC 2016
Porto to SDC 2017
VdlP Sevilla/Salamanca 2018
I also email the scanned pdfs to myself, so they are out there somewhere in a place that I can find them.

I never have a money belt with me. I never have more than a €150 with me in cash. I just top up if I need to whenever I see a cash machine. I would be a most unhappy person with €2000 on my person.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Everything’s scanned and emailed to me, also saved on a tiny USB memory stick which is on a light chain around my neck.
Day purse with enough euros and a contactless credit card with a £500 limit - hard to get a provider to drop the limit so low.

Cash split in two, the bulk lives with my passport and credit card where only my wife would ever find it. (On a good day.)

I leave a ‘how to send cash via western union’ note at home also.

Most people give these things a good deal of thought. Some over-think it also.
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Year of past OR future Camino
CF x 3
I remember a great suggestion of having your name, medical insurance provider, email address and phone number on the screen of your photo so in the event you lost your phone it could be returned or if you had a medical emergency rendering you unable to communicate, all important details could be seen on even a locked phone. Wise advise.

EDIT: Thanks to @linkster for helping me remember that it was @trecile who shared this idea some time ago. Credit due.
 
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linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (17) Sarria - Portomarín
CF (17) SJPdP - SdC
CF (18) SJPdP - Fisterra
CP (19) Porto - Muxia
I did change my iPhone lock screen as suggested by @trecile. I used a red background with yellow text ... it provides enough light at night to see in the albergue without affecting my night vision.
 

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Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Year of past OR future Camino
"Portuguese Camino"
"Slow Camino"
"The First Pilgrim"
All on Amazon
I did change my iPhone lock screen as suggested by @trecile. I used a red background with yellow text ... it provides enough light at night to see in the albergue without affecting my night vision.
Do not carry a smart phone either on off the Camino - so must have paper douments.
Just the guide book and one writing journal and and old fashion pen - imagine that!

Kept the one map page I needed for that day in a ziplock in vest pocket for easy access - rest of Brieley book in deep down in the pack somewhen. Hate coins jiggling in pants pock- so keep them in vest.

Kept folding Buck Knife in the waist buckle of my Osprey pack./Did not take a sleeping bag.

Always kept Frogg Toggs ultra light rain jacket at top of pack.

Never said most pilgrims do not do this kind of document preparation ----SabinP----- but "many" do not go into the detailed prep I have tried to convey in the spirit of helpfullness.

I met some younger pilgrims who seemed absolutely cluless about travel preparation.

I took an Ipad ---but it did not work where there was no Wifi.

My Dad was a city kid from Brooklyn New York and always caried lots of Cash - so I guess I followed suit.
Always carried between one and two thousand Euros in big bills -
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
Do not carry a smart phone either on off the Camino - so must have paper douments.
Just the guide book and one writing journal and and old fashion pen - imagine that!

Kept the one map page I needed for that day in a ziplock in vest pocket for easy access - rest of Brieley book in deep down in the pack somewhen. Hate coins jiggling in pants pock- so keep them in vest.

Kept folding Buck Knife in the waist buckle of my Osprey pack./Did not take a sleeping bag.

Always kept Frogg Toggs ultra light rain jacket at top of pack.

Never said most pilgrims do not do this kind of document preparation ----SabinP----- but "many" do not go into the detailed prep I have tried to convey in the spirit of helpfullness.

I met some younger pilgrims who seemed absolutely cluless about travel preparation.

I took an Ipad ---but it did not work where there was no Wifi.

My Dad was a city kid from Brooklyn New York and always caried lots of Cash - so I guess I followed suit.
Always carried between one and two thousand Euros in big bills -
Ha ha, had to think twice about keeping stuff in vest. Here a vest is the garment worn directly next to the skin. Of course you from across the pond use the word to mean what we call waistcoats or sometimes Hikers use the French word gilets.

Least said about bumbags, the better it will be.

Language can be fun.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Do not carry a smart phone either on off the Camino - so must have paper douments.
Just the guide book and one writing journal and and old fashion pen - imagine that!

Kept the one map page I needed for that day in a ziplock in vest pocket for easy access - rest of Brieley book in deep down in the pack somewhen. Hate coins jiggling in pants pock- so keep them in vest.

Kept folding Buck Knife in the waist buckle of my Osprey pack./Did not take a sleeping bag.

Always kept Frogg Toggs ultra light rain jacket at top of pack.

Never said most pilgrims do not do this kind of document preparation ----SabinP----- but "many" do not go into the detailed prep I have tried to convey in the spirit of helpfullness.

I met some younger pilgrims who seemed absolutely cluless about travel preparation.

I took an Ipad ---but it did not work where there was no Wifi.

My Dad was a city kid from Brooklyn New York and always caried lots of Cash - so I guess I followed suit.
Always carried between one and two thousand Euros in big bills -

We use a small Ipad air and a linked Iphone and take photos of everything...Tickets, PP, Drivers license, emergency telephone numbers, Insurance policy, as well as maps I may need. This way I am not dependent on WIFI. I bring 2 credit cards and two bankcards. (No pictures of these) ....but I keep the Credit card and bank phone numbers on a picture as well should I need to call them. The card numbers I have memorized. One, bank card I let my sister hold with whom I walk. We still make two copies as back up photocopies of our Passports which we both keep in our backpacks. We walk with no more than 300 euros at any time. Most visa and master cards can be used in restaurants, hotels, private albergues, supermarkets, so I only use cash for small purchases such coffee or a price of fruit.
 
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Roland49

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Held photos of all important documents on phone and made laminated copies of them for backpack.
All flight-passes were online, no need to take care of. Up to 500€ in moneybelt and daily money in bumpack.

Nothing was stolen nor did I loose any item. I only forgot my soapbar in Triascastela. Bought a small shower-gel in Sarria instead.

BC
Roland
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Ha ha, had to think twice about keeping stuff in vest. Here a vest is the garment worn directly next to the skin. Of course you from across the pond use the word to mean what we call waistcoats or sometimes Hikers use the French word gilets.

Least said about bumbags, the better it will be.

Language can be fun.
At least you don’t call a bumbag a fanny pack.
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
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A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Do not carry a smart phone either on off the Camino - so must have paper douments.
Just the guide book and one writing journal and and old fashion pen - imagine that!
I took an Ipad ---but it did not work where there was no Wifi.
Surely you can have copies of these documents on your iPad rather than needing to have paper documents?
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
Everything’s scanned and emailed to me, also saved on a tiny USB memory stick which is on a light chain around my neck.
This is the way to go IMO and even if you loose the USB stick you only need access to your email. I also carry a credit card sized ICE card in my wallet that has all my medical info plus copies of passport, driving licence etc.
 

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2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.
Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendent that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Year of past OR future Camino
"Portuguese Camino"
"Slow Camino"
"The First Pilgrim"
All on Amazon
Surely you can have copies of these documents on your iPad rather than needing to have paper documents?
Point was that the ipad mini and the official passport and pilgrim credentials are all in the Backpack.
Which could be lost or stolen. Then everything is gone.

What do you do when the ipad losses its charge and you are in the woods
--- or you have no Wifi -
what happens if you keep the pack but leave the ipad at a cafe?????

Then you have zero.

To get my hidden money belt (with my duplicate paper documents)- someone would have to assult me and take off my clothes - not likely since I am 230 and played college football. Plus they would have to know I was wearing the hidden belt in the first place.

"The Fanny" pack is worn outside -it would be the first thing I would steal if I were a thief.

The money belt is hidden inside your sweat pants - nobody knows its there.
PS Put the paper and cash in a Ziplock plastic baggie as the sweat on your pack will make the nylon adjustable pack moist. Best to wear it against the small of your back - very comfortable there.
money.jpg
As long as I had the hidden money belt, I could prove identify - have important phone uumbers - have two credit cards and all or most of my cash.

Good Article on this Rick Steves


Those who travel with nothing worth stealing except for what's in their money belt are virtually invulnerable. But money belts don't work if they're anywhere but under your clothes. I once met an American woman whose purse was stolen, and in her purse was her money belt (that juicy little anecdote was featured in every street-thief newsletter). If you pull out your money belt to retrieve something, always remember to tuck it back in. And don't use a fanny pack as a money belt — thieves assume this is where you keep your goodies.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Gosh
Am amazed at the level of organisation...puts us to shame
I remember when we walked the Caminos without even a phone let alone all the latest gizmos!
How did we ever manage but there was always the phone boxes

We do carry a fair amount of cash and I hide it in different parts of the rucksack..envelopes,toilet bag medical kit
Sometimes even I can't remember where I've put it!
Ditto for the credit and debit card ...cue almost a heart attack when I can't find them!!
Just one medical problem written on our travel insurance papers
Passports in a pouch around Charlie's neck ...never off apart from showering when it's around my neck!
The one medical emergency we had, the daughters booked the next plane home so we were lucky there and so far, so good

Don't even ask us to start scanning this and that, it wouldn't work...the smart phone is smarter than us and we probably couldn't find it anyway ...that's why it's handy to keep the daughters on speed dial, although I do realise this may not be the case for many people

In case of mugging I keep two old obsolete credit cards handy to hand over!!
However I think we'll be taking photocopies of the passports from now on...that's a good tip...thanks
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
What do you do when the ipad losses its charge and you are in the woods
If you're in the woods you're certainly not going to need your passport information. 🙃
And pretty much anywhere you would need it would have access to a working computer.

Point was that the ipad mini and the official passport and pilgrim credentials are all in the Backpack.
Which could be lost or stolen. Then everything is gone.
Not if you put your passport in your money belt and also have a memory stick with the information in case something happens —
saved on a tiny USB memory stick which is on a light chain around my neck.
This is the way to go IMO and even if you loose the USB stick you only need access to your email. I also carry a credit card sized ICE card in my wallet that has all my medical info plus copies of passport, driving licence etc.

Everyone has their own system for managing passport copies and information. There have been lots of good alternatives offered in the replies here, so folks who haven't figured out their own system can cherry pick create a strategy that suits them best.
One size does not fit all. ;)
 

Anhalter

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 CF
My aproach was slighty different.

1. Carry Wallet in Pants with some cards, money, ID, DL
2. Carry Phone either on the shoulder strap of the backpack or in the pants
3. One Debit Card is stored in the backpack in case 1. and/or 2. get lost.
4. Some Cash is in Backpack in case there is a shortage of ATMs
5. Copies of ID and password-database (keepass) is stored on a cloud storage

Personally, i have never been in a situation where i was thinking to running into the risk of beeing the victim of theft. But of course, you prepare. Since i do run a business, i might be required to have access to certain accounts. Hence point 5.
Everything else was just the minimum that i thought neccessary to get to the next Western Union.
In hindsight, even that was overkill. Living in modern times, i could just as well have someone from home paypal some money to a fellow pilgrim.
So even in the (extremely) unlikely case of being robbed down to my underwear, i would always have a way to go on. But thats propably beeing easier said for me being a citizen of a Schengen State. Give me some clothes and 100€ and i'll get home from Spain to Germany without anyone asking me for a passport.
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Camino Passport
Original passport made by the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Shipped from Santiago all around the world with DHL.

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
Everyone has their own system for managing passport copies and information. There have been lots of good alternatives offered in the replies here, so folks who haven't figured out their own system can cherry pick create a strategy that suits them best.
One size does not fit all. ;)
That is why I added the IMO in my post VN, it is only my opinion. 😊
As far as photocopies go, they are not for me, I learned the hard way in 2012 when after a day of torrential rain, and even with a pack cover, everything in the pack was soaked, all the paper docs turned to mush and had to be thrown out, luckily they were only lists of accommodations I got in SJPDP.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
At least you don’t call a bumbag a fanny pack.
I say fanny pack or hip sack! I keep all valuables and cash in it. It never comes off my person all day long, comes in the shower with me end of day, and goes in the bottom of my sleeping bag at night. My phone holds the info as well.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Galicia!
I say waist bag/pack - not only is it a more accurate description of how it's worn, it's not likely to offend anyone!

I'll stay neutral (like Switzerland) - lumbar packs in my house.

As a digression a lot of people in the UK think that the expression "sweet Fanny Adams" or "sweet FA" is a euphemism for something offensive. In fact it goes back to Victorian times when a young girl called Fanny Adams was murdered over a public holiday weekend (Bank Holiday over here).

The murdered was caught and executed but it came at a time when the Royal Navy was introducing rations of canned meat to the crews. As it the way it tended to be cheaper cuts and quite gristly. When asked what the tins contained the response was often "Sweet Fanny Adams".
 
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Create your own ad
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Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendent that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
As far as photocopies go, they are not for me, I learned the hard way in 2012 when after a day of torrential rain, and even with a pack cover, everything in the pack was soaked, all the paper docs turned to mush and had to be thrown out,
I keep my folded copy of printed backups in a ziplock sandwich bag, carried by my walking partner, whoever he or she may be.
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Year of past OR future Camino
"Portuguese Camino"
"Slow Camino"
"The First Pilgrim"
All on Amazon
There have been lots of good alternatives offered in the replies here, so folks who haven't figured out their own system can cherry pick create a strategy that suits them best.
One size does not fit all. ;)
I totally agree - I am a digital "bonehead" The digital stuff you and other pilgrims use - is probably the best-

Just doesn't work for me.

The most important thing is to have any system of back up - not what the details of the particular strategies are.

We all have refrigerations - but they are all stocked with different items.


When took calculus and physics in 1968 - we didn't have any electronic devices - we used slide rules to do our math. Then used pencils (pieces of wood with a lead center ---to record the answers on something ancient called "paper". (Formerly velllum or papyrus-- before it was refered to as paper) It is all actually in the history books.

I was born in the wrong century - anyone want to sell me an abacus?
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I was born in the wrong century - anyone want to sell me an abacus?
I have an attractive wood abacus, but it serves nothing more than a curious piece of decoration and ocassional conversation piece to a visitor.
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Year of past OR future Camino
"Portuguese Camino"
"Slow Camino"
"The First Pilgrim"
All on Amazon
I'll stay neutral (like Switzerland) - lumbar packs in my house.

As a digression a lot of people in the UK think that the expression "sweet Fanny Adams" or "sweet FA" is a euphemism for something offensive. In fact it goes back to Victorian times when a young girl called Fanny Adams was murdered over a public holiday weekend (Bank Holiday over here).

The murdered was caught and executed but it came at a time when the Royal Navy was introducing rations of canned meat to the crews. As it the way it tended to be cheaper cuts and quite gristly. When asked what the tins contained the response was often "Sweet Fanny Adams".
They are universally marketed using the offensive version - even on Amazon.

Of couse we Americans--- have no idea of what a "Flat" is - or what you do in the "loo"
or how to "queue up" in line in a proper fashion.

Fanny Pack, BuyAgain Quick Release Buckle Travel Sport Waist Fanny Pack Bag


Will endeavor to act more English in the future -
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
There’s really no need. Several nations divided by a common language is interesting and amusing in equal measure. It may be anecdotal, but I seem to recall that a well known brand of adhesive tape in Australia is (or was) durex.

Probably best to leave that well alone.
 
Camino Passport
Original passport made by the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Shipped from Santiago all around the world with DHL.
Camino Masks
12 different designs, shipped world wide from Santiago.

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Of couse we Americans--- have no idea of what a "Flat" is - or what you do in the "loo"
or how to "queue up" in line in a proper fashion.
So true, Terry, but being on this forum for 4+ years, I have noticed and learned different words that mean the same things on both sides of the Atlantic.
 

RRat

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
On all three of my Caminos, I traveled with hidden money belt.
Took about 2,000 Euros Cash and both a credit card and a debit card.
Kept day's cash in my vest. So would not have to take off money belt frequently

Since I kept my passport in my Back pack with my Pigrim Credential Booklet.- I had both a photo copy of it and an expired
driver's liscense in the money belt - just in case the pack got lost or stolen.

Also the busines cards of my local banker - lawyer -Triple AAA lady who plannned the trip and
a medical summmary sheet from my Primary Care Physician.

Also extra copy of my flight itineraries.
Redundancy and back up many pilgrims neglect.
Never used a money belt. Fat rubber band securing documents, makes it difficult to slide out of pocket. Small safety pins securing pocket.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I've used two types of money belts. My first was a leather belt that had a narrow zippered compartment along its length that could hold folded bills, some travelers checks (!!!) and important information written on paper. Excellent for hiding things but not as versatile as the pouch I use for holding cards and passports. For my caminos I didn't use the leather belt as my nylon walking trousers have no belt loops.

When in Barcelona prior to my last camino the things I normally keep handy in my wallet were dispersed across pockets, some zipped. This left little evidence to pickpockets where things were. I used my soapbox as a distraction in my normal wallet pocket so that area would be attacked instead of the other pockets. The things that didn't need to be kept so handy were in the pouch strapped around my waist and tucked inside my clothing.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I have a sacrificial wallet that I bought for $1 that I keep in my front hip pocket. I put a very small amount of Euros in it and then pad it out a bit with old, single use debit cards (already used up) and other people's business cards. I use this for small purchases (coffee, beer and strawberries) and top it up out of sight.

I have a couple of "travel" debit cards that I use to get cash from ATMs that I keep a float of around €200 in and top up using Internet banking on my phone, as needed. I carry between €100-€200 in small bills on me and choose the amount of top up from the ATM to ensure I get mostly small bills.

I take a photo of my passports, travel insurance policy number/contacts, flight tickets and major credit card and leave that in NZ with my computer literate son. I print a copy for my wife.

I have two passports so I always keep those separate (although this once resulted in a Swiss Immigration Officer quickly pointing his machine gun at me). I distribute various items in various places. I have access to the photos that I leave for my son over the Internet.

My two most closely guarded items are my phone (with strong pin code and always locked) and my major credit card. I carry a medium sized USB powerbank with me and recharge that in Alburgues so that my phone is always on me and recharge my phone from the powerbank as I walk.

Humorous (now) aside:
A couple of years ago I attended a conference in Greece then visited a friend in Portugal before returning home. I entered the Schengen zone at Athens airport and presented my UK passport and was waved through without a stamp. Flew from Athens to Oporto after the conference then after visiting my friend presented myself at check-in at Oporto for the flight home and conscious of matching inbound and outbound passports presented my UK passport. Emirates check-in person took some time looking through my passport several times then announced that I could not board the plane!

I realised that they had been looking for my re-entry Visa in my UK passport (which doesn't exist) I reached into my coat pocket, pulled out my NZ passport and gave them that.

The annoyed Emirates check-in person scowled and said that I should have used this passport and that I should use it if asked again on my journey home.

That day I was slightly over weight with my luggage and so I was wearing more clothes than usual, with a large raincoat over everything (the forecast was for rain in NZ) and I have a long beard and slightly olive skin.

I didn't really notice that I didn't go through passport control in Oporto. My flight required a change in Zurich for the leg to Dubai.

I now realise that Zurich was my exit from the Schengen zone and so I had to go through passport control there. I duly presented my NZ passport there to the heavily armed Official. Us Kiwis are not used to officials with guns and so that was disconcerting in itself.

The Swiss officer looked through my NZ passport several times, carefully reading every page. Then looked up and asked me where and when I had entered Europe? I told him Athens and two weeks ago and he re-read my passport several times.

I then clicked (duh) that he had been looking for my entry stamp and so I went to put my hand into my (bulky) raincoat pocket to pull out my UK passport to show him.

Before my hand had moved more than a couple of centimeters he dropped to an attack stance and pointed his machine gun at me with his finger on the trigger (gulp).

The barrel of those guns sure looks huge when they are decimeters away and pointed right at you!

I stopped absolutely still, hand part way to my pocket although I did clench my anus to stop myself from shitting myself 🥴

After what seemed like ages but was probably seconds I said "I have dual UK/NZ nationality, in my left coat pocket is my UK passport. I used that to enter Greece. May I take it out and show it to you?"

He considered that for a moment and then still aiming his gun at me, nodded his head. By this time the people in lines around me had all scattered. Then, very slowly, with finger and thumb I reached into my pocket and carefully pulled out my UK passport and presented it to him.

With this he slowly relaxed, took one hand off his gun and opened my passport to the photo page, looked at it and me and then relaxed and put his gun away. This, then, allowed me to relax.

After reading through my passport a couple of times he waved me through and said "Please use this passport in Europe in future".

I now laugh 😂 when I remember this incident but it was somewhat scary at the time.
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
The perils of two passports!

When I was working I had two UK passports - I had to travel constantly and couldn’t wait for a visa, or (at one time) mix Saudi, Israeli or Saffer visas or stamps in one passport. I often brought the wrong one and even on one memorable occasion entered and left Belgium (unknowingly) using my wife’s passport.

The closest I came to your Swiss incident was on an early visit to the US when I fell down an escalator and landed on the drug-dog, who in the ensuing confusion bit both me and his handler. Enough weaponry to take over a small African nation appeared in seconds.

neither of the above seemed funny at the time.

In addition to a sacrificial mugger-wallet i routinely carry a long-expired driving licence card. It’s a useful deposit in museums and galleries etc for audio guides and similar.

I’m always pleased when checking in to accommodation in Spain that my passport is noted or photocopied, never retained as it can be elsewhere. I would always refuse, and will pay the bill in advance to ensure I retain my passport at all times.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
None
I think most of the suggestions are sound ones except for carrying a lot of cash. I once crossed the U.S.‘Mexico border at Tijuana with three Navy Recruiters riding in a car with American plates...a sure tip off for the cops to stop us...our back up plan was to stuff our cash into our underwear as fast as possible. It was no drill...I could not believe how fast I could transfer my cash when the cops stopped us for a bribe. So you see, back up plans are necessary. As a parting thought, my buddy’s best advice was...”keep your wits about you”...and that has always served me well no matter how well I’d prepare for any trip. Buen Camino
 

witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
I think most of the suggestions are sound ones except for carrying a lot of cash. I once crossed the U.S.‘Mexico border at Tijuana with three Navy Recruiters riding in a car with American plates...a sure tip off for the cops to stop us...our back up plan was to stuff our cash into our underwear as fast as possible. It was no drill...I could not believe how fast I could transfer my cash when the cops stopped us for a bribe. So you see, back up plans are necessary. As a parting thought, my buddy’s best advice was...”keep your wits about you”...and that has always served me well no matter how well I’d prepare for any trip. Buen Camino
My husband and I carry a fair amount of cash with us as I don't like to use an ATM too often because of the transaction fees. As I said before, I sew security pockets in all our hiking pants. In addition, we both wear ankle wallets that can only be removed if our boots are removed. Also, he wears "pickpocket proof" pants. At least that is how they are advertised on the website. ;) There is a zippered pocket inside a pocket that is closed with a button, they have served us well so far. He also does not wear tee shirts, only button down shirts that have a zippered pocket behind the chest pocket. A bit of overkill as sometimes it is hard to remember what is in each secret place. 🤣 I just took those pants out of the clothes dryer, the outside pocket is also zippered before the tab is buttoned down. I would think that he would notice someone "fishing" into the inside pocket.
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
My husband and I carry a fair amount of cash with us as I don't like to use an ATM too often because of the transaction fees. As I said before, I sew security pockets in all our hiking pants. In addition, we both wear ankle wallets that can only be removed if our boots are removed. Also, he wears "pickpocket proof" pants. At least that is how they are advertised on the website. ;) There is a zippered pocket inside a pocket that is closed with a button, they have served us well so far. He also does not wear tee shirts, only button down shirts that have a zippered pocket behind the chest pocket. A bit of overkill as sometimes it is hard to remember what is in each secret place. 🤣 I just took those pants out of the clothes dryer, the outside pocket is also zippered before the tab is buttoned down. I would think that he would notice someone "fishing" into the inside pocket.
Quite possibly he may not feel anything, a skilled pick-pocket will make their own opening often with a super sharp knife or razor.

Many years ago while traveling through Thailand with my wife we caught a crowded bus out to a local market. My wife was clutching her (thick) leather handbag tightly across her very large, pregnant belly.

During the trip I spotted a guy carrying a rolled up newspaper trying to get between us while we stood shoulder to shoulder in the crowd. I moved to block him and he moved away. I thought that I had prevented a theft.

A little later when we got off the bus at the market we sat down to give Lynn a rest and to get a drink. Lynn opened her handbag and found her purse missing (only small change) and a cut up the side of her handbag between where she held it and her stomach. She had not felt anything.

We marveled at the skill of the guy and gave thanks that his hand hadn't been jolted on the bumpy road as our son was inside.
 

witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
Quite possibly he may not feel anything, a skilled pick-pocket will make their own opening often with a super sharp knife or razor.

Many years ago while traveling through Thailand with my wife we caught a crowded bus out to a local market. My wife was clutching her (thick) leather handbag tightly across her very large, pregnant belly.

During the trip I spotted a guy carrying a rolled up newspaper trying to get between us while we stood shoulder to shoulder in the crowd. I moved to block him and he moved away. I thought that I had prevented a theft.

A little later when we got off the bus at the market we sat down to give Lynn a rest and to get a drink. Lynn opened her handbag and found her purse missing (only small change) and a cut up the side of her handbag between where she held it and her stomach. She had not felt anything.

We marveled at the skill of the guy and gave thanks that his hand hadn't been jolted on the bumpy road as our son was inside.
Which is why we distribute our valuables among secret areas and put a few euros in a side pocket, but if someone could find that inner pocket with a razor or knife I think we would be looking for an emergency room. :)
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I think most of the suggestions are sound ones except for carrying a lot of cash. I once crossed the U.S.‘Mexico border at Tijuana with three Navy Recruiters riding in a car with American plates...a sure tip off for the cops to stop us...our back up plan was to stuff our cash into our underwear as fast as possible. It was no drill...I could not believe how fast I could transfer my cash when the cops stopped us for a bribe. So you see, back up plans are necessary. As a parting thought, my buddy’s best advice was...”keep your wits about you”...and that has always served me well no matter how well I’d prepare for any trip. Buen Camino
My experiences in Spain have been a bit different from your experience in Tijuana. Different places, different customs. That said, there is always some risk in carrying large quantities of cash. However, I never had a problem in carrying enough cash to get me to the ATM after the next one (in case the next one was down).
 

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