In days gone by, you could hide your identity by checking into a hotel under any name you liked, pay cash, and that was it. No longer, of course. All major (and most minor) hotels will not rent you a room without a valid credit card and government-issued ID. So can you still hide your identity in 2009? Yes, you can.
Since I am a privacy consultant, many readers of How to Be Invisible know that I often meet my clients at the Westin in Bellevue, the Encore in Vegas, or the Pan Pacific in Vancouver, BC. Does anyone ever try to call me there?
Perhaps, but I have no way of knowing because callers will be told, "Mr. Luna is not registered here." How can this be?
Like a magician who reveals a magic trick, when I reveal my secret, it will seem to be obvious. Nevertheless, only a few of my clients who've had personal consultations with me use this system. Here is how I hide my identity when staying at a hotel:
I have a single Visa credit card account, originally issued in my own name. However, I later applied for a second card on the same account. Reason: I needed to separate expenses when I traveled in my "professional" name. The second card was issued with no problem. You can do the same. Your reason can be that you use another name as an author, an actor, a musician, or whatever. No one will check.
Then, when you travel, you have a choice. Either travel under your real name but give out the professional name, or vice versa. When checking in, you will be asked for ID. Show your passport. Even when you've made your reservation under the assumed name, my experience has been that all the clerk wants to see is your picture. If a question should ever arise, just explain that the name in your passport identifies you, but the reservation was made in your professional name because your credit card is in that name.
And that, folks, is how you can hide your identity when you stay at a hotel.
(Note: I have not checked this out overseas. If any of you European readers have been able to hide your identity while staying at a hotel, please contact me via e-mail or with a post to Canary Islands Press.)