Spud and I cruised Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas Galveston to Barcelona last spring, and then spent three days taking in the sights and culture of that truly beautiful city.
Before leaving home we followed all the guidelines for traveling abroad – registering with the State Department – notifying credit card and ATM banks that we would be using same outside the country, and making two photocopy sets of cards (fronts/backs), passports, drivers licenses, and e-ticket info for return flight.
During our stay at a downtown hotel in Barcelona, the originals and sets were kept in 3 separate TSA-locked bags. When out and about in the city, we carried only Euros in our jeans front pockets, stashed the ATM card in a Velcro-clasped pocket of my jacket, and carried NOTHING (except maybe an ice cream cone from this decadent little shop we discovered.)
When departing that hotel to move to one closer to the airport (as we had an early-morning flight home the following day) I packed everything we would need for that evening and the original packet in our carry-on bag. We checked out, turned to retrieve our luggage, and discovered the carry-on bag was MISSING! CHIT – lifted from the lobby of a 4-star hotel!
Immediately – the photocopied packets were retrieved – the hotel manager placed calls to cancel our credit cards and notified the American Embassy that we were on our way. The saga of obtaining passport replacements in a foreign country is a whole ‘nother blog – but, thank the powers that be I still had the ATM card in my Velcro-clasped jacket pocket. We ran down the block – cleaned out the ATM at the corner bank and grabbed a cab to the Embassy – where we were greeted by 6 other American couples who had experienced different events with the same outcome.
Hours later we returned to the hotel – replacement passports in hand –and the hotel manager accompanied us to the police station (ironically located right across the street) and acted as translator while we filed a report (for insurance purposes only – like I have this life-sized vision of Barcelona Policia tracking down stolen luggage – LOL!)
The moral of the story: make copies of everything – and be sure to purchase trip insurance……..STUFF HAPPENS!
Anyway – it ain’t a pleasant experience (as you can read in a later blog) to lose one’s passport in a foreign country……………..but it can be resolved (if you make copies of everything.)