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Document organization

Hello. can anyone share how they sorted or organized the growing number of documents to take tour?
I'll be taking 2 England tours in may. thank you

Posted by
7024 posts

I'm not sure what documents you are talking about but I can tell you how I sort documents I need. Anything that can be converted to a digital image, I convert by scanning the document and saving it to the Notes app on my iPhone. That includes photos of my passport, driver's license, ticket confirmations, and so on. Everything is saved to the cloud, so I don't need to worry about losing it. I am bring an iPad mini along with my phone, so I have 2 resources available.

There are some documents that I need paper copies of, like ferry tickets for my upcoming Scotland trip. Those I print out before I leave and put them in a safe place in my carry-on. But they are also stored in my email - in case I lose them for some reason, I could ask a hotel to print them out.

Posted by
2250 posts

I take screen shots and save them in an album on my phone and name it appropriately so I can find it asap. I do take paper copies of some things as well, and for those I keep in a plastic sleeve like what you would put into a 3 ring binder. I use the ones that are partially open in the front so it is easy to sift through without having to remove all the paperwork to find what I am looking for.

Posted by
4595 posts

I am as paperless as I can be, but when I did keep more paper, I got a plastic school slim 6 pocket folder similar to this https://www.staples.com/JAM-Paper-Heavy-Duty-Plastic-Multi-Pocket-Folders-10-Pocket-Red-Sold-Individually-389MP10re/product_24052426 and would label it for location, or date, depending on need. You can either discard as you go along, or add ticket stubs, notes or collectibles for later organizing. If planning to add, consider some sort of elastic or tie to keep it closed. If you are taking two trips, you could keep all of the second trip documents in an envelope and then slot them into the pockets when the first trip is done...or take 2 folders, of course. I used this method for about 10 years, I think.
I was recently in India for 6 weeks and though onerous, I entered every address and hotel into my calendar. As I was on several tours, some included meals, some did not, do listed all meals and included activity in the notes part of the entry. Whst I forgot to do, however, was enter it to India's time zone..so it looked weird for a while. But, particularly when I was sick, I loved just picking up the phone to see everything I had to consider for that day.
Otherwise, I keep all relevant details in a folder in my email. I only needed to print my Covid vaccination schedule and one other document for the entire trip.
I don't use TripIt app much because it doesn't fit my travel style, but that may allow you to keep tour details together...ideally they were sent to you electronically.

Posted by
14269 posts

I also organize mine into both a photo album of screen shots for tickets and add them to the Notes section on my phone. I did not print out anything for this trip although I did accept the paper boarding passes when they checked my passport at my first airport.

Passport, vax card, drivers license (in case I need to leave ID somewhere) I have in a wallet tethered inside my purse.

What else were you thinking you needed?

Posted by
2856 posts
Posted by
2250 posts

These are what I use

https://www.staples.com/Avery-Three-Ring-Poly-Binder-Pockets-5-Pack-Multiple-Colors-75254/product_721455

I like these that are in different colors because I also use them when I travel to my moms. I always need to take copies of the POA/Trust and all her medical stuff, so I use a different folder for each sort of thing. This way when I travel, I only take what I need vs my huge notebook of "mom care stuff". I realize this is not what you were asking about, but it may help others that are in a similar situation as me.

Posted by
2395 posts

I’m not sure what document you need for a tour, but for my independent travel I use one of these for paper copies: JPSOR 16pcs 8 Size Mesh Zipper Pouch for Organization, Waterproof Zipper Pouches Colored PVC Travel Zipper Bags Clear Multipurpose Document Bags for School Office Home Cosmetics Storage Toys Puzzle https://a.co/d/c84rZ8M

I have my confirmations for airfare, car rental, hotels, prepaid Vaporetto tickets, prepaid parking, prepaid tickets, copies of passports, etc. I put them in order of use with a little post it note tab on the side that says “air, “car”, etc.

I also keep screenshots of all of these items in my phone in a separate album. This is backed up to the cloud and saved as a shared album with my travel companions.

I will keep one of these plastic envelopes in my day bag for paper items I accumulate (receipts, maps, etc). I’ll keep a little post it notepad and a pen in here, too. I’ve found these various envelopes so useful. I use a small one for a little emergency first air kit for my day bag. Another will hold my items I want access to on the plane (earbuds, chapstick, eye mask, etc) and I can just slide the envelope into the seat pocket. No need to rummage through my carryon item in flight.

Posted by
11368 posts

Any paper documents go into a large envelope folder the poster Carrie shows above.

Posted by
865 posts

Most documents arrive as PDFs these days, yes? I organize all trip documents at home on my PC [scanning if necessary] in a dedicated trip folder, which syncs with OneDrive. Then I can access them via tablet or phone when on the road. If you're saving directly on your phone, please be sure that it syncs to a resource in the cloud.

I usually create a summary document with key information for each hotel reservation and other reserved events and print that out - I find at times it's easier to work off the organized hard copy.

Posted by
676 posts

My favorite was a zipped passport holder, a little bigger (length/height) than my passport. It had 2 pockets, one for the passport and one for everything else. It could really keep a lot of stuff, and I liked that it zipped. It was also small enough that I could keep it on my body if I wanted.

Posted by
5137 posts

I use a clear plastic envelope similar to Carrie's for paper docs, organized by date needed.

Posted by
237 posts

I scan everything in or save them as a PDF. I put copies on my phone, iPad and in the cloud. Anything sensitive I password protect. I even pull apart the RS Books that are given and scan those as a searchable PDF.

Posted by
907 posts

As many have said, I take photos of various documents and save to my phone.

If it's an email I want quick access to I use the gmail Star flag option. Then on my phone I select "Starred" emails and can find it much faster. Saves scrolling thru weeks or months worth of emails to find what I need.

I also recently learned a nice feature in Adobe (the free version) for printing PDFs. You can print a multi-page document in "Booklet" format. Basically 2 document pages per sheet of paper or 4 if your printer can handle two sided printing. I've used it to print the tour documents from the company we travel with, Word files converted to PDFs, airline downloaded PDF itineraries, prescriptions from MyChart, etc. You can select what page range or combination of ranges you want. It figures out the right order to print it all then you just fold the stack in half and have a booklet. You can staple or use a sewing machine along the fold to keep together if you want. The fonts might end up very small. The paid version of Adobe has more options.

Posted by
496 posts

My tripit app tracks all my reservations automatically by scanning my inbox.

I use booking dot com a fair bit and they have record in their app too.

Last year I took some paper to proove my vaccine status - but this year I'll be back to totally paperless.

Posted by
18819 posts

Finally I am getting away from paper. Not that I dont carry paper copies, but they are stashed in the liner of my spinner. Including the following.

I have scanned about everything I would need and I combined them into two pdf files.

One file is all the tickets, boarding passes and hotel reservations. But it also has my passport, global entry card, vaccine cards, insurance cards, drivers license, some medical records and prescriptions and doctors and emergency contacts.

The other pdf is password protected and has my credit cards.

The two pdfs are on my phone and in a folder in the cloud. I carry with me a paper card with the QR code printed on it (and says what it is) and on my phone a copy of the QR code to access them. So they find me dead, they might check my wallet, find the QR Code on a card scan it to know where to ship the body.

I found a company that makes dog tags that they can print QR codes on. Someday I get one to make identifying the body easier.

Posted by
674 posts

Just about everything that is needed is organized as PDFs or other appropriate files on my mini iPad or cell phone. Tour, trip, travel or tickets emailed are relocated into an inbox labeled just for that specific occasion. Associated apps are tremendous. Unless an establishment indicates a paper cover requirement (which I’ll print beforehand) everything is easily found on my electronic devices.

Posted by
35 posts

Hi. thank you. Thinking RS said to print and take documents with me. But i must have misunderstood. I can put all the documents and photo copies in my 'files' on iphone. But Is there anything that i should have in print? Outside of tix etc. thank you!

Posted by
35 posts

Hello.., Forgive me for previously replying before i read all your answers. Indeed i am overwhelmed. You all are definitely elite travelers. Where I'm pretty green. I will take in what you'll said and hopefully feel a bit more confident. Thank you so much.