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Important Travel Documents That You Must Replicate
Some of your travel documents are so vital you can remain stranded and sometimes the doctors will let you die if you have no proof of medical insurance.
Shockingly: most travelers don't replicate their vital travel documents.
Your documents are required to prove that you are "you" and also for being able to benefit from travel-, financial-, health- and other services... If you lose them, you can't prove that you are "you"!
You can potentially remain stranded in a foreign 3rd World country... how does that sound?
No money, no flight tickets, no passport, no credit cards... Terrible jive to go through...
Source: © iStock.com/richcano
Therefore, it's vital to make copies of important travel documents. You can achieve this either by creating photocopies or by scanning and printing. Personally, I even keep scanned images of my vital documents in my netbook, whenever I'm traveling.
To most of us, the passport, the national ID come to mind only... but there's more... let's see the complete list of what you must create copies of!
Needless to explain the importance of the passport.
A copy of it should include the vital pages - be careful: it's not just the main personal details' with photo that are important, but also the copies of visas, if you have received such. If you're entering a country that has granted you a visa, then make sure to create a copy of the page with the visa as well.
#2 National ID
Interestingly, within the EU, the citizens of member countries can travel from one country to another solely with their national ID card, whilst non-EU citizens can only do this by using their passport.
The national ID is the second most important document to have replicated. It might be required in various situations, for instance - when entering a new country to which you haven't been to.
#3 Driver's license
It's important for those of you who'd like to rent cars. Otherwise, if you're not driving, then having it in addition to the prior two might not be of use at all.
#4 Medical documents
Some countries require proof of having taken certain vaccines prior to entry. Make copies of these papers.
You should also bring a list of medication names with the concrete description of the contents (medication names may vary, but pharmacists can recognize what the product is for by knowing the chemical contents) - in case you are suffering from illness and need regular medication.
#5 Travel insurance
Don't just buy it, print out all details required. You need a voucher-like paper to show, if needed.
It's a good idea to print it out on a piece of paper, then write on it with large letters: "TRAVEL INSURANCE". Even the injured unconscious traveler can be easier helped, if the evidence of insurance can be easily found upon him/her. Always have it in your bag, wherever you go.
#6 Copy of your itinerary with map
This is one thing almost no-one ever brings!
In case you fall ill or whatever bad happens and, especially when you're traveling to a foreign country where verbal communication is difficult, you should have a map with the list of your destinations, perhaps the even the route marked on the map, details and addresses of the hotels you're staying at on each day, then also the country entry and exit points and dates, including the transportation means (airlines and flight numbers for getting in and out, cruise ship or bus or train company details etc.).
#7 Copies of your debit/credit cards
It's not advised to copy both sides, because the security code on the back side can compromise your money. Suppose someone finds the copy of your credit card... they will be able to use it on the internet without a PIN code, if the security code is there.
You should copy the front. Some airlines, hotels might ask you to show them the card you booked with before accepting you. Before boarding Singapore Airlines, I had to show them the card I booked the ticket with...
Of course - never leave your PIN code on a copy of your debit/credit card!
#8 Flight tickets, hotel vouchers and similar documents
Don't just leave with a single copy. Personally, what I do is keep saved printable documents of these on a USB stick and in addition to that, on my netbook's hard drive as well. Of course, these are digital copies.
It's essential to make copies (or even write down manually) at least the booking code for your flight. It's generally an alphanumerical code.
Similarly for trains, buses, cruise ships etc., copies of codes or entire paper copies of booking documents and vouchers are good to have.
Don't keep the copies in the same place with the originals. Perhaps it is better not to keep them in the same bag either. You are holding the copies to cope with potential risks or loss/deterioration, therefore it's evident that you should keep them separately.
Always bring the vital originals (not necessarily all travel documents, but certainly the passport, the travel insurance) with you and leave the copies at your hotel.
About the Author:
Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...
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