You shouldn’t have to worry about losing your important travel documents while on holiday. Here are some keys steps to take to protect your documents:
1. Decide What Documents to Bring With You
There’s no reason to have to manage and protect more documents that are strictly necessary. You’ll definitely need your passport, as well as your own country’s main form of identification, whether a driver’s license or identification card.
You’ll also want printouts of travel documents that confirm critical services you’ve purchased. This includes transportation, hotel, proof of health insurance, and traveler check purchase receipts. Lastly, you’ll certainly have at least one credit card.
Don’t bring anything you don’t need. Clear out your wallet of credit cards you won’t use abroad, as well as any other cards or documents that if lost, could be used by someone else to take your identity.
2. Create Copies
You want at least two sets of copies of every document you’ve identified under as a critical document. The first set of copies should be left with a trusted family member of friend back at home. The second set of copies you’ll carry along with you as you travel.
If you’re especially conscientious, you may leave a copy of your documents with more than one person in your home country. However, do make certain these are people you trust as you are literally handing them your most important information.
3. Write Down Critical Information
In addition to having the actual documents and copies, it is also handy to have a cheat sheet with relevant information. Most people travel with some sort of journal. You can write down important numbers, like e-tickets, passport numbers, or credit card numbers, in shorthand so you have them all in one place.
This cheat sheet will be very helpful in an emergency if you’ve lost your wallet. However, do note that it will make your journal an important document that needs protecting as well. You’ll have to decide if the trade-off is worth it.
4. Use A Travel Wallet to Transport Your Documents
Ideally, you’ll have two document organizers. One you use to carry your original documents with you as you walk around each day. The other document organizer is the one holding your copies that you leave back in your hotel safe. If you’re really nice, you’ll put your document copies in an organizer for those holding copies back home.
5. Store Your Documents Safely At The Hotel
Your document copies should be locked up in your hotel room’s safe when you leave your room each day. Use a code for the safe that you don’t need to write down. Your ATM bank code can be a good choice since it’s a number you know by memory.
If your hotel room doesn’t have a safe, the hotel should offer a secure way to store your documents at reception. This might mean a safety box to which you’ll be the only one with key. In some cases, reception will put your documents into an envelope and store it in a general safe. If this the case, sign the sealed envelope along its seal. This way, you’ll know when you get it back that the envelope hasn’t been opened.
6. Carrying Your Original Documents While Touring
Any document you don’t need to carry with you, such as hotel reservations or airline tickets, leave safely back at your hotel.
The documents you do need to carry around should be in a zipped pocket or wallet that’s in the interior of your clothes or bag. Then, it’s just a matter of being aware of your surroundings and your documents.
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