Travel Tip: How to Organize Your Travel Documents

I would say that I’m a fairly organized person in my daily living and while I’m traveling it’s no different. So how do I organize my travel documents?  I carry a travel folder (personally I like the Smead Travel Organizer) with paper copies of important travel documents and I also use the Trip It app for my iPhone to keep a digital copy.

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What information or documents do I include in my travel folder?

–       Confirmations – Take your printed resort/hotel confirmation or travel documents, flight, car rental, dinner reservations, and trip excursion or activities.

–       Passports, Visa, & Other Legal Forms – For travel outside of the US you’ll need a valid passport, and some destinations may require a travel visa or other legal documents. Haven’t applied for a passport just yet? This could take some time, so the sooner you start, the better!

–       Boarding Passes – Save time and take advantage of online check-in, print a copy of your boarding passes and/or some airlines know allow you to send them directly to your smartphone.

You’ll want to be sure that this folder is easily accessible, so definitely don’t pack this within your checked luggage.

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A few more tips to stay organized during your travels….

–       Organize your documents into chronological order or use tabs or both. To make check-ins and check points easier, I use the Smead Travel Organizer, with 3 tabbed sections labeled (Flight, Hotel, Other). The documents and confirmations in each section are then put into chronological order. I especially love this organizer because of the front pocket… perfect spot for drivers license, pen, and keeping up with receipts.

–       Keep a black pen handy. It seems like I always need to quickly jot something down or fill out a form while I’m traveling, especially handy when completing the Customs Form. See my other tips for clearing customs faster.

–       Make copies of your passport & legal documents. Nobody ever plans to loose his or her Passport but it does happen, and often! Make a copy of your passport and stash inside your checked bags.

– While having paper copies of your documents is a given, having electronic copies may also be a good idea. Saving any important documents as PDF and sending it your tablet or phone via email, Dropbox, or Evernote ensures that you will be able to access anything you might need as long as you have internet access.

Hopefully, with this simple tips you can keep your travel documents organized and make your honeymoon or destination wedding trip a little less stressful.

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