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Documentions Format

I'm traveling to Europe in September and am curious what format, xerox hardcopy or smartphone pics, travelers are using to make and bring copies of their passports, credit cards, medication labels, etc. It almost seems easier to bring pics of everything, thoughts welcome thank you.

Posted by
851 posts

Both. Or three. Or more. Lose your phone? Lose your notebook? All massive inconveniences and possibly dangerous bummers. So you need them all.

Posted by
7733 posts

I download them to a Dropbox file that I had encrypted. I also give copies to our adult kids.

Posted by
4264 posts

I take a pic of credit cards and ID and email it to myself and print a copy. I also email a copy to my kids.

Posted by
2654 posts

Like above, I put copies off everything in DropBox, including a photocopy of my passport. I could print them from anywhere. I bring my current phone, along with an older one for backup that gets a European SIM. I only print the documents I view as the most critical.

And I download the apps to display all train, hotel and any event reservations.

Posted by
435 posts

I keep copies on Dropbox, and print a couple of hard copies of my passport.

Posted by
6644 posts

one thing that is not usually on the cards that you need is a non-800 number to call if you need help with a problem. I put that number (gotten from my bank) in my phone's contact list.

Posted by
5697 posts

Good catch, Stan. We tried using the "call collect outside the U.S." number on the back of the cards but that didn't work with a cellphone -- better to have a non-collect, non-800 number that has actual people on the other end.
Yes, we do carry paper copies as well as digital tickets ... and the original passports and cards strapped to our bodies.

Posted by
2717 posts

No need for photos of credit cards if you know the web login (where you pay your bill). You can get the customer service number and your info on there, there will be security questions to verify you when you call. Or just write down the international customer service number somewhere. You don’t need the card number to report the card stolen - that’s the whole point, the card company will WANT to help you cancel because they are liable for fraudulent charges before you cancel. Photos of credit cards just seems like begging for trouble!

Passport - I take photos and keep in my kindle account (accessible if I loose my phone and kindle). Also paper color copies- I hear this can be handy if you loose your passport.

Medications - photos, and info written in a document in kindle. If your meds are life saving immediate needs then I’d also carry a paper translated explaining this. For me, the only reason I’d need medicine labels is to explain to a local pharmacy or doctor so just looking at an electronic doc is fine.

In short - find a cloud storage option that you can access from multiple places (in case you loose your phone). Google could work. Dropbox. Whatever you like. Smartphone pics that are only on your phone are convenient but make sure they are also accessible elsewhere.

Also simply email it to yourself (you can log into your email from anywhere).

Posted by
4264 posts

Mira makes excellent points. The only thing I would point out is that not all of us pay bills online (not my department!) The suggestion of dropbox is good, but the idea behind email is that family members would have needed info if assistance is needed. Phones are also fairly secure. I think like pick pocketing this can all be over analyzed and stressed over.

Posted by
12898 posts

A few years back I had my flip cell phone stolen on the ICE train in Germany, basically negligence on my part.

Aside from going to the police station to make a report and all that, then signing the agreed upon summary (in German) as to what had transpired, I wanted to call as soon as possible, ie before going to the police station to block the cell phone number.

One big problem...I didn't have or know AT&T's tel # So, I called the customer service tel # of one of my credit cards, lucked out by getting through to a human voice pretty easily and quickly, told him of my predicament and asked him for the needed AT&T number to block.

Only the cell phone was stolen/missing, etc. None of the 3 credit cards on me was gone. The credit cards are separated, not all in the same place.

Posted by
4264 posts

Fred, my daughter had the same happen with iphone (stupid pickpocketers got an old model with very little storage and a cracked screen, haha) in Barcelona. Before my trips I usually email my kids copies of cc, and related info. Even though I'm pretty tech savvy, my kids are pretty unbelievable in that regard. I messaged my son from a hotel that was in close proximity to the theft and by the time we got to the police station, he had pended service on the phone. I think it was also easier for him to accomplish the task because he was in the U.S.

Posted by
99 posts

Thank you everybody for your helpful comments. Turns out I had an old Dropbox account from a RS trip in 2017 so i will put pics of docs there, plus I have a locking pouch I can latch to the bed frame with hardcopies, so will have both formats available.