There are really only two kinds travel stories. There are the travel stories that rave about how great everything was, how much fun everybody had, and what a wonderful experience it was. Then there are the other kinds of stories. The ones that detail disasters, mistakes, and tragedies (usually easily avoided with a little bit of forethought). Fortunately, there are things that you can do to stack the odds in your favor. Here are three simple tips that will help you navigate your next adventure.
Never lose your passport again
When traveling abroad your passport is your lifeline (or at least your way home). While losing your passport is not the end of the world, it certainly is a huge inconvenience that can leave you stranded for days while you try to arrange for a new one. Here is one simple way to keep your passport safe and sound. Leave it locked securely in your luggage. Before leaving home, make a color photocopy of your passport (you can do this at any copy shop) and then laminated the copy with a thick sturdy laminate (again available at any copy shop). Now instead of carrying your passport around which puts you at a much higher risk for losing it, you can just carry the laminated copy with you. For many purposes such as providing identification to officials a laminated copy will work just fine. If asked for your original you can always just reply that you've sent it off for a visa. This method also protects your passport against theft as well as loss.
Use a Travel Pouch from Time to Time
As dorky as it can sometimes feel, there many times when it just makes sense to use a travel pouch or money belt to keep valuable secure. Not only does a travel pouch help keep your valuables safe from prying hands, it also gives you peace of mind and allows you to stop checking your back pocket 25 times a minute on the subway. It may not be necessary to use a travel pouch day-to-day but if you know you will be carrying large sums of money, such as returning from an ATM run, you'll be glad you had it.
E-mail Your Important Documents To Yourself
You have enough to think about on your trip that you don't want to be concerned with managing your important papers. Itineraries for future travel, banking information, credit card numbers, travel documents, reservations, and other such paperwork will only weigh you down on a trip. Before you leave consider scanning your important documents and then e-mailing them to yourself. This way the paperwork you need will be will never be more than an e-mail away. For handling paperwork on the road you can use your smart phone to take pictures of the paperwork and then e-mail the pictures yourself. It's almost as good as having a scanner in your pocket.
These three simple tips will help you keep your important documents secure, your valuables safe, and your focus on enjoying yourself and your travel and not on untangling a sticky situation that might have very well been avoided. Enjoy your trip and travel safe!