Passports on a map of the world to illustrate the keys to world travel

3 Travel safety tips for documentation

What do you do if you are travelling abroad and ‘life happens’? Such as:

  • wifi not working
  • unexpected rain storm
  • documents are lost to theft or forgotten in the transport that’s already left?
  • promised pick-up is nowhere in sight
  • Communication failure

Here are … ways you could maintain a secure backup and peace of mind for ‘just in case’:

1.Keep a digital copy of your key documents; i.e. email and photo on your phone. e.g.

  • Passport
  • National ID
  • Accommodation/residence address and contact
  • Password protected file with a few emergency numbers that you may not have memorised, including your bank, in case your credit/debit cards need to be cancelled
  • Front side only of credit cards (or save the 16 digit number in the password protected file)

2.Print a hard copy and keep safely near you of:

  • Passport
  • Accommodation/residence details

3.Always have some small bills of universal currency (dollars, euro) or of local currency on you

  • comes in very handy when you need to make an emergency call (e.g. borrow a phone from a taxi guy), or need to use a cyber to access digital documents stored on email (as a last resort, since use of public wifi is discouraged due to hackers)
  • for use in public or alternative transport if necessary
  • to give as tips to locals who might help you out of a tight spot

These have helped immensely in my extensive travels, especially having hardcopy of hotel address to show to immigration officers or taxi guys or if I’m lost (to avoid using my phone and possibly misplacing or losing it as well);

While I avoid changing money at airports (exchange rate are usually terrible), I will have a few small dollar bills (1$, 5$, 10$) to give a cabbie or good Samaritan willing to lend their phone. Many a time the pick-up has been delayed, and it’s reassuring to call the friend or hotel to confirm that they’re still ‘on the way’.

Note: These tips may be helpful even at home, as getting lost or robbed can happen there too!

Do you have digital or physical back up of your docs? If you don’t, consider taking time to catch up this over the coming weekend. You never know when these will come in handy in your travels, local or otherwise.

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