Preparing to travel abroad without the necessary documents is like a farmer preparing to go to the farm without his farm implements. You see how important your travel documents are? When you are traveling, especially internationally, you need to pay attention to every detail.
So many variables need to fall into place for your trip to go smoothly. When it comes to what to bring and what to leave at home, you’ll be weighing a lot of options. Without any exception, you’ll want to remember these important travel documents:
NECESSARIES LIKE DRIVER’S LICENSE, PASSPORT AND TRAVEL VISA
Whether you are traveling within your home country or overseas, you’ll need proper identification. You can leave your voter registration card at home, but other than that – consider bringing many copies of identification documentation.
For instance, if you are old enough to have a driver’s license, you probably will deem it silly to bring a copy of your birth certificate. But if you lose your passport along the way, you may be glad you have proof of U.S. citizenship in the safe at your hotel.
As of October 2021, domestic travelers are required to have a Real ID, which is an identification card that meets the standards laid out by the U.S. government in the Real ID Act of 2005. The Real ID driver’s license looks very similar to your current driver’s license, except it includes a new star icon on the top right corner. For travelers without a Real ID, a valid passport or TSA-approved ID is an acceptable alternative for domestic travel.
COPIES OF ALL IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS
As mentioned above, you need to carry along copies of documents. While doing this, don’t keep your originals are home. You want a copy of all your identification – one for each checked bag. Keep a hard copy of your documents in your carry-on and each checked bag of luggage with which you are traveling, in case any of them go missing during the trip.
Many have fallen victim into this, that’s why you need to take this serious. I can’t imagine documents as indispensable as this to get missing.
So you see, these copies can help you in multiple situations. Lose the original identification? You’ve got copies to get you new ones – or home. Lose a bag? The airline or tour group has extra identification that it is indeed your luggage.
It is also recommended that you make digital or soft copies and leave them at home with a trusted friend or loved one that can help if you need access to them while abroad.
It could be a lifesaver if you misplace your passport during your trip.
TRAVEL INSURANCE PLAN DETAILS
Yes, a hard copy of your travel insurance certificate can often be very long (30-60 pages depending on the plan). If you should need to read the fine print of your travel insurance plan due to a burdensome circumstance, you will be happy you have a copy.
Fortunately, most travel insurance companies have a mobile app that can hold your travel insurance plan information, as well as all the information you need to call them and start the claims process. If you purchased your plan with InsureMyTrip, your certificate will be emailed to you. You can keep this file handy in your email inbox or download the PDF to your smartphone. If you download the information prior to leaving on your trip, when you are traveling, you won’t need a data plan or wireless internet to access it!
TRAVEL ITINERARY DETAILS
Whether you have only one reservation or several, you’ll want to keep copies of your itinerary in your travel luggage. This can help you in many ways. You should also keep digital and hard copy proof that you already paid for a flight or a hotel, to avoid any questions if you arrive and they are questioning your reservation.
Furthermore, if you should need to call your travel insurance company for any reason, you’ll have all the details on hand to elucidate the problem without delay. Not to mention, sometimes we just forget things! It’s great to have a reminder available whenever you need it.
TICKETS FOR EVENTS WHEN TRAVELING
While some travelers prefer to have the tickets in their hand before they depart on their trip, others wait until the last minute to pick up their tickets from will call. Either way, you’ll want some form of documentation showing that you have already paid for the event. It could be the actual ticket, but you can also bring proof of purchase with you.
This way, if you arrive at the box office and they can’t find your ticket, you have proof you did prepay for the event.
COVID-19 TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
This is a fundamental aspect of travels and tours nowadays, particularly since coronavirus pandemic has changed domestic and international travel alike. While we may not yet know exactly what travel will be like when the pandemic is completely behind us, we are already seeing some common trends.
One common prerequisite for entry into a new destination is proof of a negative COVID-19 test within a certain timeframe. Many are also requiring travel insurance, with coverage requirements varying by destination. You should confirm this information before purchasing your policy.
When traveling, be sure to keep your proof of insurance and COVID-19 test results in an easily available location as they may be required at different times.
As availability of vaccines is increasing, some travel suppliers are requiring proof of vaccination. For example, there are already a number of cruise companies who require both their crew and guests to be vaccinated before sailing. Vaccinated travelers are not only encouraged to travel with their vaccination card as proo, but keeping this item safe in a plastic laminate is proposed.
Some travel suppliers are testing programs that would serve as a standard format for health information or verification documents. These digital health documents, often referred to as “health passports,” may include proof of a negative COVID-19 test and some may be able to provide proof of vaccination. This technology is expected to link with health care systems and hospitals to ensure accurate information.