How many times have you fumbled around at the check-in counter looking for the tickets you put in the ‘place you knew you would find them’?
It’s time to find a better way to organize your travel documents and prepare for your next travel adventure.
Tips for Organizing Your Travel Documents
In one spreadsheet document, type every single detail you need to know for your entire vacation.
This will include dates, flight numbers, flight schedules, and airlines. It will also include hotel and car rental reservation numbers, addresses, and phone numbers. If you’re staying with family or friends, include their phone number and/or email address, and address. This one-stop document can save you a lot of time and frustration when it comes to checking in at the airport or picking up your rental car. It can also be the perfect document to leave with family members who may need to contact you in case of an emergency while you are away.
FYI: If you didn’t book your hotels or reserve your car ahead of time, you are probably spending more money than you ought to be. Try Hotwire or Priceline to guarantee the lowest price on hotel and car rentals. Check out this step-by-step guide if you need help booking cheap air travel. If you know that you’re visiting a certain theme park or other tourist attraction, research and print those coupons BEFORE you go!
Prepare a document with the whole family’s passport information.
When it’s time to fill out those dreaded entry cards if you’re traveling internationally, it’s much easier to pull out one sheet of paper that includes every member’s passport information than to open each passport to the correct page. Take the time to print up a document that includes each traveler’s name, date of birth, passport expiry date, passport number, and place of issue. Keep this paper with all of your other important documents in your travel notebook in your easy-to-access place.
Make a copy of all relevant travel documents.
Unfortunately, sometimes things get lost or stolen. Make your life easier in these stressful situations by having copies of important documents. Be sure to have a photocopy of your driver’s license and the photo page of your passport. These copies can be packed away in case they are needed. Leaving a copy of these documents at home with a trusted friend or relative is also a good idea.
Put all important travel documents in one easy-to-access place in your carry-on.
Especially if you have children, you have enough people and things to keep track of. Keep the entire family’s tickets, passports, flight itinerary, and other travel documents together. We keep our papers in a notebook that has pockets so they can’t fall out. Our passports are carried together in a passport case that velcros shut. Every member of the family should not have to dig through their carry-on to present a photo ID at check-in time. Have one person (preferably an adult!) be in charge of the important documents. We prefer to keep our notebook for documents in the front pocket of a backpack or in a safe (easy-to-access) briefcase pocket. Wherever it is, it must be easy to access – more than once.
Get organized before you go, and you’re sure to have an amazing family vacation.
How do you organize your travel documents?