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Old 02-14-2009, 05:19 PM   #1
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Default getting around with no i.d.

staying in the u.s. just looking to go coast to coast with no i.d., no credit card, no nothing, just good old fashioned traveling with cash. Any tips on transportation and rooms where I won't get any flack? Thanks
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Old 02-14-2009, 07:14 PM   #2
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You gotta be kidding.
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Old 02-14-2009, 10:35 PM   #3
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^

sorry but in my experience you will be hard pressed to find anywhere that will accept cash only, let alone no ID! most hotels require a credit or debit card and don't let you pay in cash. In the very least, you have to hold the room reservation on the credit card then you can pay in cash instead when you check out to pay. and you're always going to have to present an ID at a hotel when getting a room, even a hostel. passport or something.

you can survive on cash alone/no id eating out, doing museums and activities (that don't include alcohol), taking cabs/mass transit, etc etc. you can't pa plane tix in cash and certainly having no ID is not going to get you far in an airport - same goes for long distance trains.

I'm mostly sure even the sketchiest no-tell motel is going to require a credit/debit card and an ID, sorry man.

cash-only and no form of identification in the US (and likely other countries) raises red flags with people, seems REALLY sketchy - not to say you are, just saying that's how it is, a cultural norm, so you're going to be hard pressed for safe and reliable transportation and places to sleep.
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:13 PM   #4
 
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In my experience, some hotels will ask for ID, some won't. I don't think I've been asked for ID or to leave an ID with any hostel I've stayed at in the US. With regard to paying in cash for hotels, however, I don't have many experiences. If they allow it, expect to have to leave a deposit for incidentals as well as paying the cost of the room upfront. Independent motels & hotels are more likely to accept your business than corporate chains.

It is possible to purchase airline tickets with cash and is possible to fly without ID. However, for the type of trip you are asking about, I would recommend Amtrak. Technically, on their website, they say that they may randomly ask for identification as a matter of security, but I've not been asked on any of the trips I've taken. As a matter of last resort, you can also do Greyhound bus. I stress the last resort idea, however.

In this country, we are supposed to have the right to freely travel about without an ID requirement ("Papieren, bitte!" anyone?). Of course, in the past 8 years (and even prior to that), that civil liberty has been consistently attacked. You might indeed get flack, but I hope you stand up for your rights.
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:36 PM   #5
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In this country, we are supposed to have the right to freely travel about without an ID requirement
it isn't a crime to be asked for your ID and personally I feel safer traveling when everyone's been ID'ed. That doesn't mean you aren't still shady even if you've shown your ID but I think it's fair. Everyone can get an ID, I don't see the big fucking problem. Other countries you can get stopped and asked for your ID, and it's never an issue so why would it be in the US? Has nothing to do with politics, has nothing to do with any of that, it's just the way things are and personally I am glad.
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:11 PM   #6
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Well asking for ID doesn't do a bit of good for security so I guess that's why some people object. Why should the government require you to do something when there's no benefit to anyone? And being stopped and asked for ID has occasionally been used by police states to abuse their citizens. Personally it doesn't much bother me either but I could care less either way.

Anyway, for the OP you could try couchsurfing if you have trouble finding hotels that will let you check in without ID. Matthew make a good suggestion for Amtrak, although that's somewhat limiting in where you could go. For flying you're allowed to get on a plane without showing ID as long as you're not refusing to show ID but can't because it was lost or stolen. I have no idea what category 'never had it in the first place' will put you but if you can't give a satisfactory explanation don't expect to get through security. If they're comfortable with your response you'll get a secondary screening (patdown etc) and then should be let through.
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:53 AM   #7
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I think the only way to do it is to camp out and take the greyhound at regular fare (last I checked they didn't ask for ID). It's possible... we've all seen that movie Into The Wild.

What part of the US do you want to see? Any specific trip plans?
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:08 PM   #8
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Greyhound checks IDs. They did recently here in Austin and Dallas.
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:14 PM   #9
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Default seems hit or miss then

didn't mean to sound sketchy, just have had horrible luck in the identity theft world (twice now). It seems we have used security as an excuse to keep tabs on people, and we haven't become any safer from it. It may be peace of mind, but in reality you're less safe given so much about you is just sitting out there in the hands of strangers.

It wasn't that long ago that there were no credit cards nor driver's licenses, but then given my ordeals I'm a little biased here.

Anyways, sightseeing the old fashioned way was what I was after here. No planes, just trains, busses, city trans, and by foot. May just turn this into an experiement to see just how possible one can travel and lodge the old fashioned way in modern society. Trans. by cash seems easy enough, it's the lodging that will be hit and miss it appears.
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:20 PM   #10
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no I hear ya, identity theft is scary - happened to my best friend and I run my credit report religiously because of it.

but not having an ID is considered sketchy, unfortunately, this day and age, with the status quo of our nation. sucks for everyone, but that's the way it is and hopefully it will get better over time.

your real issues will be transportation. you could couch surf without ID (cuts costs of lodging too) but as for airfare/long distance travel, you might be SOL. good luck!
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:17 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinknic38 View Post
it isn't a crime to be asked for your ID and personally I feel safer traveling when everyone's been ID'ed. That doesn't mean you aren't still shady even if you've shown your ID but I think it's fair. Everyone can get an ID, I don't see the big fucking problem.
...
Has nothing to do with politics, has nothing to do with any of that, it's just the way things are and personally I am glad.
I'm not saying it is a crime to ASK for ID. I could ask YOU for your driver's license or passport on the street if I wanted and I wouldn't be breaking any laws. However, it is a violation of Constitutional rights to REQUIRE ID to travel within the United States. We don't have access controls from one state to another. A person should not be required to show ID to travel between them, provided they are traveling domestically only. When you get into international travel, that's another set of laws and conventions which apply. It's not about politics, it's about civil liberties and Constitutional law...which unfortunately, neither party is adhering to very well. Granted, air travel has become a different monster...based moreso on fear-mongering, security theater, and perceived risk than actual risk...but if I want to walk over the Ohio-Indiana border, I don't need to show anyone identification nor should I ever have to. The idea of showing identification documents for air travel is a very complex one, and even then, the idea of security has to be weighed against the burden it presents for a citizen.

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Other countries you can get stopped and asked for your ID, and it's never an issue so why would it be in the US?
Therein lies the point. The United States is not supposed to be one of those countries.

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Originally Posted by maracle View Post
Well asking for ID doesn't do a bit of good for security so I guess that's why some people object. Why should the government require you to do something when there's no benefit to anyone? And being stopped and asked for ID has occasionally been used by police states to abuse their citizens.
Pretty much my thoughts exactly. I'd be FOR checking IDs for air travel if it actually helped security and wasn't security theater.
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Old 02-18-2009, 02:40 PM   #12
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It's a little much to argue that checking ID does nothing to help security and that it doesn't at least increase the probability that criminals or terrorists are caught.
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Old 02-18-2009, 03:29 PM   #13
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It's a little much to argue that checking ID does nothing to help security and that it doesn't at least increase the probability that criminals or terrorists are caught.
agreed.
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:08 PM   #14
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"However, it is a violation of Constitutional rights to REQUIRE ID to travel within the United States."

This point does not apply. Checking IDs does not occur along state lines (except for coincedences i.e. traffic ticket). Plus private carriers make their own rule that require legal IDs, outside of state or federal restrictions. Hitch-hiking is the only way I would know how to do it.
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Old 02-19-2009, 06:02 PM   #15
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You can get into a hotel without a cc... I stayed at the Sahara in Vegas and bartered to leave a cash deposit to cover my room til i left. But the ID I am not so sure of...

Renting a car will definitely be right out.

But it is always possible... worse comes to worse, couchsurfing and hitchhiking may be the most viable options. A lot of people here still speak 'cash' very fluently. Esp with people out of work you can probably find someone that would even give you a ride across a state for some cash. But overall it will be a bit more expensive probably
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Old 02-21-2009, 11:26 AM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian Bacon View Post
It's a little much to argue that checking ID does nothing to help security and that it doesn't at least increase the probability that criminals or terrorists are caught.
How? The ID is matched with the boarding pass. It is not checked against any lists or databases. When the ticket is booked, the passenger name is, but there are plenty of ways to get around it even if you ARE on the "No Fly" list (which is unconstitutional in my opinion - if those people are a threat to aviation, charge them with a crime).

So if you disagree with me and think checking ID DOES help security, can you care to explain how you think it accomplishes that?
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:41 AM   #17
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okay this is not some kind of place for a political rant, whether or not we believe that ID checks help security or whatever, it still happens and it's unlikely to change, whether you like it or not. if you don't like the way things are, run for public office or go somewhere else.

the point of this thread was to help a traveler get from point A to points B, C, D and so on.
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Old 02-22-2009, 03:51 PM   #18
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^ Seriously. Forget the airports, if cops couldn't check someone's ID how would they even catch criminals? I'm not for a fascist state where a gestapo runs rampant, but in our day and age, IDs are just reality that you have to deal with.
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Vincent: "So what you gonna do?"
Jules: "Well, basically, I'm just gonna walk the earth."
Vincent: "What you mean 'walk the earth'?"
Jules: "You know, like Kane in 'Kung Fu'...go places...meet people...get in adventures."

Trips (only counting recreational travel):
FIRST TRIP (2005): FIRST EUROTRIP EVER! UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland
SECOND TRIP (2007): First Solo Trip! Greece, Turkey, Syria, Spain
2008: China (Beijing, Shanghai, Yangshuo) ...right before the Olympics!
2009: Japan & HK, Southern Spain
[size=1]2010: All over Lebanon, Ibiza (Spain), Oktoberfest (Germany), Thailand.
2011: India (Goa), Jordan, Jerusalem, San Sebastian (Spain), Amsterdam (again), London, Driving from Vancouver to L.A. (stopping in Portland, Seattle, San Fran and all the little stops), Montpellier (France), Geneva and Lausanne (Switzerland)

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