|Jesse / Hitchhiking / Passport Replacement|
Passport and Credit Card Replacement
The Overview: It's tough to get your stuff stolen.
Getting your stuff stolen sucks: Correction, getting your vital stuff stolen sucks, everything else is just a pain in the ass and is unfortunate. Then again, if you're from the United States, it doesn't matter what happens - you're fine. Sure your stuff's gone, but be realistic, you're not fucked.
Traveler's checks suck. They nail you for between 1 and three percent when you buy them and again, 1 or three percent commission when you change them into local currency and you have to wait in long bank lines to do anything with them - most stores don't bother with them. You're best to travel with a bit of US currencuy, and a debit card or, this is a half shitty option, a credit card which you can get cash advances on. This is half shitty cause you get nailed for the withdrawling of cash in foreigh countries - about five bucks at a cshot and you get charged an astromomical rate on the cash you take out.
It's best to change money from a bank within the country you're in - don't use the money exchange places in airports or especially in train or bus stations [cambio or weschel]. They give shitty rates and are monitered in the latter venues by crooks who'd are watching for idiots changing lots of money at lousy rates.
You get a better rate from a bank anyway - buy you'll get the best rate and most nominal transaction fee from a debit card.
Keeping two days worth of cash in a safe place, on your person, in your sock is nice, is a sure fire way to awiod any tragic "Christ, I went on vacation, you know, backpacking, right?, and I got all my shit stolen, everything buy this fucking 'how to travel like a poor fox' travel book and I starved for like 4 days! Until I figured out how to call the US collect and get my uncle to wire me some cash and he only sent me 40 bucks cause his salary's been cut and I, so I couldn't afford a new passport so - in the end I got a desperate and then deported and now I can never visit borneo or any of it's territories until, like, ever again." Stories.
Make a photo copy of your current passport an dput it someplace where, once they've stolen your passport and whatever bag it was
in, the photo copy'll still be with you. I suggest, with this and with anything you don't want to lost - scan it, and then e.mail a copy to yourself and after
it gets stolen you need simply
Stolen Credit Cards - Recovery
If your credit card gets stolen, it's no major big deal. It's an inconvience and a bit of a pain to resolve but it's timple and you'll have a new card in two or three days.
Call the credit card company collect, they all have numbers which you can call collect to, even from foreign countries (call your credit card company before you leace the country to avoid them turning your card off. They sometimes figure the card's stolen if an American's card is being used in a foreign country, as Americans don't often leave the country) getting the number can be a hassle though - it's wise to get the number before you leave. Call them up, tell them you're leaving the country for three months and ask em not to turn your card off and ask for the foreign country collect number.
· Call credit card company
That's it. Depending on the circumstance you may be responsible for the first $50 charged to your card after the time you say it was stolen, but no more. Unless you blow off calling the c.c. company within three days of the time it was stolen in which case you're responsible for all charges.
If all your stuff gets ripped off make straight for either a good friend's house or your embassy and ask for fifty bucks. Or, if you're feeling spry-you can try pushing the effort required to resolve your situation, to get you back on your feet, to someone else. I've never tried this one, but try a ritzy four star hotel. Explain, using as much pathos as possible, crying, "all my shit's been, stolen.sob for your country, sob. My credit card's been stolen and I don't know how to contact them to cancel and I don't even know how to use the pnones here, or how to get an internation operator even. Can you help me?"
The Resolve: Anyway, Thoreau said, "Material possessions are like stones tied round the neck." The key to avoiding the worry associated with your stuff and it's getting ripped off is to underpack You don't need much stuff.