There is nothing more thrilling than the lead up to an exciting overseas trip. All you want to do is read blog posts, watch YouTube videos and plan your adventures. But every overseas trip should involve some administration, in the form of preparing all your important documents.
For example, you need to organise your passport, flights, hotel reservations, itineraries, travel insurance policy, ID, medical information and vaccination records.
Having all your documents organised and safe for the entirety of your trip is essential. A lost passport can destroy your plans and leave you stuck at the embassy when you should be out exploring.
So what is the best way to travel with important documents?
Digital VS paper?
You have the option to print your documents, store everything digitally or do a combination of both.
The benefit of printing your documents is that you may not always have access to the internet, and there is always a risk that your electronic device may die, so having a printout can be very helpful.
The benefit of storing documents electronically is that you access them off any device. So if you did lose your luggage, you could log into the hotel computer and find your documents.
I recommend a combination of both. In addition, here is my advice on how to keep your documents safe while travelling
Always keep duplicates
For peace of mind, it is best to store your documents digitally and in hard copy.
Email yourself a copy
If you email all your important documents to yourself, you will be able to access them from any device, which is very handy if your device dies or gets lost or stolen.
Save a copy to your devices
In the case that you don’t have access to Wi-Fi, having your documents saved in your phone or laptop will be the best way to access them while travelling.
Ensure your devices are password protected
Having a password on all your devices is essential. This way if it is lost or stolen, it will prevent people from accessing your personal information. Travelling or not, a password on all devices is essential.
Save your documents to a USB
A USB is another simple and effective way to store documents. You can keep your USB with you in your wallet, which should be with you at all times.
Keep your printed documents in a file, in your hand bag
The last option is to keep all your documents in a folder, with you at all times when travelling. I personally prefer storing them online, but it never hurts to have a print out with you in case you can’t access your emails or devices.
Keep your documents and passport with you at all times
When moving between destinations, keep your important documents in your hand bag, with you.
My sister travelled to Europe. When moving between destinations, she put all her belongings in the back of the taxi. As she exited the taxi, it sped off, leaving her without any of her documentation, a very stressful situation that could have been avoided if she kept her documents in her hand-held bag while transiting.
Losing anything while travelling can be a massive pain. But losing your passport can ruin your entire trip as you can’t leave that country and will have to spend the next day / days at your embassy trying to get identification.
Doing everything you can to ensure your passports safety is crucial.
Keep a copy of your personal ID
It is also a good idea to make a copy or take a photo of your identification, such as your license, passport and bank cards.
Lock your passport in the hotel safe
If you are going for a day trip or night out and don’t need your passport, locking it in the hotel safe is the best way to ensure its safety. If it can be left in the hotel safe, this will be the safest place for it.
Send your documents to a trusted person
For even more document security, email your documents to a trusted person, such as your mum, dad, other family member or friend. That way if you do lose your belongings and get completely stranded, someone else will have all your important documents and will be able to get them to you.
Not only does this add an extra layer of security, it also ensures that someone you trust is aware of your travel plans and itinerary, in the case that something does go wrong while you are away.
If you follow these tips, you will have the best chance of protecting your personal documents, ID and information while travelling.
In the case that something does go wrong, travel insurance will give you total peace of mind. To arrange travel insurance, click here. If you are still unsure if you will purchase a travel insurance policy, read these 5 reasons why you need it.
Overseas Travel Checklist
Organising your travel documents is just one part of preparing for an overseas trip. For more information on what you need to do before a trip, download my Overseas Travel Checklist.