Welcome to the inaugural Travel Hack Tuesday! We absolutely adore travelling. We also enjoy making it as easy on ourselves as possible. In this series, we’ll be sharing practical tips, hacks, and advice for all travellers – not matter how long you’re going for!
Why not start with one of the worst things that can happen to a traveller? You’re riding the underground and haven’t time to put your back on your front. It’s a momentary lapse, but it happens. Within moments your wallet and passport are gone! Or perhaps you have been careful. Taken every precaution. Yet somehow, inexplicably, your documents are missing from that zipped pocket you’d thought impenetrable.
One of the first things I do before we leave on any trip is make sure all our important documents have been backed up. Here are the best ways we can think of to ensure we always have access to them – even in the worst case scenario.
#1 | Upload them to Cloud Storage
Storing your documents digitally is becoming easier and more secure. Services like Dropbox, iCloud, or Google Drive allow you to save documents to an account and access them from anywhere in the world. Even better – they’re free to use. Create your own personal, password-protected account. To create a second level of security, you should consider avoiding document names that may hint to their contents. So no ‘passport.pdf’ or ‘bankcard.jpeg’!
We use Dropbox which is easy to use and accessible by computer or mobile – so our documents are at our fingertips even when we leave the laptop behind.
Hint: Use the ‘favourite’ feature on Dropbox to allow you to view your important documents offline when cellular and wi-fi networks are unavailable!
#2 | Use a purpose built travel app
In the age of smart phones, apps are like an additional limb. They’re what web pages used to be like: easy to navigate and containing only the most pertinent information.
I’ve been using TripIt for years! Link it up to your email and it will search for new booking information, adding it effortlessly to your app-side itinerary. Brilliantly there is also a feature to add your passport, drivers licence, and other important information to the Travel Documents tab. Mostly, I love how it tells you your cumulative miles travelled. Since downloading the app I have done 500,000 km!
#3 | Email them to yourself
A perfectly reasonable alternative to the above options. Wherever you can access the Internet, you are sure to be able to access your emails. Remember your second level of security and name your files something obscure!
#4 | Leave copies with trusted family or friends
It’s normal practice to have someone keep an eye on your house: say a neighbour or family member. You should also consider leaving copies of important documents with someone you trust. No one likes to think about the worst-case scenario, but it will save your family a world of extra heartache if they know where to find everything!
One downside to this backup method is you have to get in contact with them should you need to access the information (time zones may make this difficult). So it is a good idea for this to be one of several ways you back-up your documents.
You could also consider carrying something physical with you – check out the last two options.
#5 | Carry a mobile storage device like a USB stick
Tucked safely inside a money belt or secret compartment, a USB stick is an inconspicuous way of storing your copied docs while you’re on the road, on the seas or in the air.
Hint: Convert your files into encrypted PDFs and password protect them for added piece of mind!
#6 | Carry paper copies
There is definitely value in keeping physical copies of certain documents. It’s certainly easier to replace key documents such as passports or visas with a hard copy. However, losing the luggage containing these copies can provide just as much of a fraud risk as losing the originals themselves.
Do you have any tips for backing up your travel documents? Use the hashtag #travelhacktuesday on social media to share your travel hacks with us!
See you soon,