Your wallet gets stolen on vacation. How do you get home?

Assume you’ve flown across the country for a vacation. At some point during your trip, your wallet gets lost/stolen. Credit cards can be deactivated, and your spouse still has his/her credit/debit cards and can obtain cash, so you can enjoy the rest of your time in Vacation-Town. But without ID, you won’t be allowed to board the flight home.

What do you do?

Suppose an even worse situation, i.e. you’re alone, or your spouse also has his/her wallet stolen. Now you have no cash, cards, or ID at all. How will you get home?

My daughter lost her wallet on a trip. Explain to the airline, and expect a little more time at TSA. You’ll make it home.

I always travel with my passport, so I’d use that.

Incorrect. You can board a flight without id.

My wife lost her drivers license a few vacations ago. It took us maybe an extra 15 minutes at security. It probably helped that I had my license and vouched for her identity, and she was a woman traveling with an infant (not a likely threat in any model of anything). But it’s generally only a minor hassle.

Also, a tip: take photographs of your ids and keep them on your phone. A photograph is not a legal id, but it sure helps.

I always travel alone so I’ve done some thinking about this. I have encrypted pdfs in my google drive with a copy of my id and other info I need to get money and prove who I am.

I once stupidly left my ID at home before leaving for the airport. I started asking about later flights, thinking I was going to have to go back home and get it. The agent just said, “show me something else with your name on it.” I produced a credit card, she scribbled something on the boarding pass, and I got searched a bit more thoroughly at security. That was it. Same thing on the way home.

Not sure what you might do if you had absolutely nothing bearing your name, but I’m guessing there’d be a solution.

Mother always said to hide a bit of money somewhere it is safe. Not everything should be in your wallet or purse. Good advise. Have a backup cc some place else. ID is a bit trickier.

You could use your cellphone to show pictures of yourself tagged with your name.

Heck, I flew home from Germany without a passport.

Redundancy and guard one’s passport is what I use as well as keep things separate. During a trip abroad I had to have one of my CC’s deactivated, I still had my bank card, so all OK. But generally used her CC till we got home. Losing a passport is a major hassle to say the least, so it is the most safeguarded.

I found someone’s Driver’s License while skiing a couple seasons ago. I mailed it to them, and in an email to thank me, they told me a horror story of going through TSA on the way home. :eek:

Full Cavity Search! Make it DEEP! :slight_smile:

They said it was difficult, but they made it home.

As it happens, we were just entertaining folks from out of state. One of them forgot her ID at home and went through what others have described here. A little explaining and a little more time with TSA and they were able to board just fine.

As I’m typing this, they are probably on their way to the airport for the trip home. As Sea-Tac has just been rated as one of the worst airports in the country, it might be a tad more arduous than it was at their airport at home but I’m sure they’ll catch their flight in the end.

Even traveling domestically, I almost always have my passport with me in my backpack, so I’d be fine there. I often have my passport card in a different spot in my backpack as backup, so there’s that, too.

When I travel internationally, I tend to only carry only what I really need on my person, and split it up into a few pockets - a bit of cash and a credit card in one pocket, some more cash and ID (usually passport card) in another. If I’m wearing a jacket I’ll stash a little more cash and another credit card in there. Passport stays locked in the hotel room safe unless I am certain I will need it for something. I figure that even in someplace like Rome, I’m not likely to get all my pockets picked.

I also print out (or e-mail to myself) the address of the nearest embassies and consulates so I’ve got those in the unlikely event I need legal help, or to replace a passport in a hurry. If I remember to, before i leave home I take digital copies of all critical documents (passport, birth certificate, air itinerary, etc.) and put them on a thumb drive that I put in the hotel safe as well. Not “official” ID, but I figure it can’t hurt in helping to establish who I am.

No one here wears a money belt?

Ignorance fought, thanks. It’s such an automatic thing for the TSA agents to ask for ID along with your boarding pass, I always assumed that was the only way you were getting past them.

Link:
https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification
See bottom of page, “Forgot Your ID?”

Not for domestic travel (which in my case is the only sort I’ve ever done).

But if I were travelling somewhere where it might be especially tricky to get home, yeah - I’d do a money belt or more likely a neck pouch.

Folks have suggested storing scans on your Google drive or the equivalent. A variant: get a gmail account that does NOT require 2-factor authentication, and store it there. If your phone’s been stolen, you won’t be able to get to your regular account if you have 2FA turned on. Make sure it’s got a password that you can remember, and also password-protect the scans in case someone hacks the account.

To reduce the risk of having something stolen, I’ve taken to using a smallish wallet, with a keyring fastener, and I attach that to my belt loop with a stretchy cord fastener. That at least reduces the risk of someone nabbing the wallet unbeknownst to me. If I’m carrying a purse, I wear it crossbody and the wallet is fastened to the inside.

No, it’s not 1977. Besides, who carries large amounts of cash on them anymore, except guys at the country clubs, who light their cigars with flaming $1 bills?

I generally send a tearful email to my friends, telling them that I am stuck in a foreign land, have lost my wallet, and need them to wire some money to me so I can get home. I tell them to send their bank # and social security # just in case, so as to facilitate the transfer of funds. Usually about $10,000 will do it.

Works every time!

Several years ago, my wallet was stolen shortly after my arrival at the Madrid airport. I had planned a 3-week trip to Spain. I had my wallet in a front pocket that had a zipper on it, and that didn’t stop the thieve(s). I was traveling alone, since my husband was somewhere else, on business.

I had 14 cents in my pocket, but luckily I still had my passport and a printout of my flights home. I went to the airline office, and an extremely helpful employee made reservations to get me back home. She said, amazed, “You just GOT HERE?!?” I had to sleep overnight in Madrid, then fly to Casablanca. I stayed in the Casablanca airport overnight, then flew to Caracas, then to JFK. I stayed overnight in JFK, then transferred to LaGuardia, then flew home.

I alway stash away some cash in my luggage, but my luggage didn’t catch up with me until JFK.

Makes me look fat.