International Travel Documents: What You Need To Know

Planning for your dream vacation can be so exciting!

  • Where you’re going to stay
  • What you’ll see
  • What shows you’ll take in
  • What amazing food you’ll try

But, what about all your travel documents?

Are they all in order? How to you safeguard your documents?

Presenting – International travel documents: what you need to know

international travel documents - Photo by Raychan on Unsplash
international travel documents – Photo by Raychan on Unsplash

Here’s a list of everything you need. Plus practical tips on how to keep International Travel Documents organized, safe, and accessible.

  • Your passport. This is the big one.
    • Make sure it is NOT expired, and
    • Also make sure it is MORE than six months to expiration. And don’t forget passports for your children!
  • Any visas that can acquire in advance, including those for countries you’ll only be traveling through. If you can’t get a visa in advance, bring a letter from the consulate stating that you can get your visa upon your arrival. (Example, UAE and Oman are two countries that don’t issue visas outside their countries.)
  • A copy of the picture page of your passport, and extra passport photos.   Please do email the picture page to yourselves and a family member and/or a trusted adviser.
  • Your airline miles card
  • A copy of your itinerary. If you plan your trips with me, they include my downloadable smartphone app with your itinerary and travel vouchers.
  • Originals and paper copies of your tickets (plane, train, bus, etc.)
  • Confirmation numbers (hotel reservations, car rental, etc.) and all contact info for these companies.
  • Travel insurance policy with policy number and emergency contact numbers (include a local US telephone number)
  • Guidebook for the countries you are visiting and maps of your driving route
  • Your international driver’s license if you plan to drive
  • Your US based debit card.  Ask your bank if you can use your US debit card at cash machines in the country you are visiting.  In some cases, withdrawing cash may be easier and less expensive than visiting currency exchange providers.)
  • Contact info for all the people you would want/need to contact in case of an emergency (including me!). Don’t forget the numbers of the consulates where you’ll be staying. Store all these numbers in your phone. Designate a consistent label for them (like “France 2017”) for easy access, and then you can delete them upon your return home.
  • Copies — front and back — of any credit cards you’ll be taking with you.
  • Your Yellow (Immunization) Card

When you’ve assembled all the essential documents/copies, ensure your name appears the same on all documents. This may seem like a small thing, but it can be a big hassle during travel if your names don’t match.

Next step to protect Your International Travel Documents

international travel documents - Photo by Francesca Tirico on Unsplash
international travel documents – Photo by Francesca Tirico on Unsplash

Scan the papers and send them in an email to yourself and to your emergency contact(s).

Also, you can carry a USB drive with encrypted copies of all these images. If the drive is stolen, no one can access the documents without the master password. You can stash this USB drive, along with some extra cash.

Next, choose a family member or close friend who can have access to major accounts if needed. This way, you have a trustworthy contact available any time. Also, there is someone who always knows where you are.

Store copies of your major travel documents (passports, tickets, reservations, etc.) in a waterproof plastic zip bag. Keep the bag in a separate piece of luggage from the originals. It’s stressful enough to have your passport stolen — but having it stolen from the same bag where all the copies are is even worse. When you’re out sightseeing, always carry the essential documents on your person, ideally in a wearable waterproof carrier.

Now that you have your International Travel Documents in order, you can travel with confidence. And — bonus! — you’ll have laid the groundwork for future trips.

To start planning your trip today, contact me by clicking here. I look forward to hearing from you!   And, don’t leave until you read about how we can plan a multi-city trip together!