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information to carry on paper or electronically

What information do you copy/carry with you (credit card info, emergency phone numbers, etc) and what documents do you copy? Do you use paper copies or put everything on your phone/tablet or some combination of the two? If you make electronic copies, what apps do you use to copy or store the info? I'd love to compile a comprehensive list of these things, to review for an upcoming trip and future reference. Thanks!

Posted by
5835 posts

I E-mail critical information to myself and my son. This includes scanned copies of our passports and itinerary, air travel electronic ticketing and insurance information. No credit card/debit card numbers. No passwords but I do have password mnemonic aids.

Posted by
9110 posts

Make your first step deciding what you actually need, which isn't much.

You need nothing at the airport as long as you can remember your name. In an emergency brain failure, it's written in your passport.

You need nothing for credit cards except maybe the phone number to call if something screws up, which it often does. They can figure out who you are fast enough. Having the number saves having to look it up in the middle of the night.

For a car rental, you need a driver's license and a passport, copies are no good.

If you make hotel reservations, knowing the name, the reservation date, and maybe the address is helpful.

If you've made advance internal transportation arrangements, you'd need something, but I don't, so no guess.

Probably about the same thing for advance museum entrance deals, but I don't do that either.

You can replace a lost passport by showing up with no identification.

Emergency phone numbers are my normal business and family numbers - - they're already in the phone and I know them anyway.

Probably the easiest 'app' is a plain old screen shot or photo on your phone. In case I loose a phone, the really crucial crap fits on half of a three by five card in my wallet.

A couple of years ago I did a piece-by-piece, spur-of-the-moment trip around the world. It sort of started in France. All of my scribbling for the rest of the way fit on a sheet of small hotel note pad paper. It would have fit all on one side, but somebody in Bangkok used the back to draw a map of where I could get my wife's phone fixed.

If you want to get fancy, Drop Box would work. Always anticipate that you might loose your phone or have it die.

Posted by
2081 posts


I will carry some info on my credit card # (part of them) with the number to report stolen/lost cards.

i just got a note 3 so im trying to put everything on it. So most of it will be PDFed so i can access it w/o internet access. the copies are also on my gmail account so if my note gets lost, its on there too.

my prescription will be carried in my baggage. i will probably scan/PDF it too.

happy trails.

Posted by
1221 posts

While most airlines have smartphone apps that let you use your phone as a boarding pass, kill a tree and make a duplicate paper pass of boarding documents. Easy enough to shove it into a pocket or carry on, and then you've got a record of what your flights were supposed to be at a given moment rather than only having what your ticket currently is after an unannounced change, computer system hiccup, or other irregular operation and this can make it easier to get the airline to follow their own rules handling the problem.

Posted by
5835 posts

With eTicketing you may only need your name and passport here in the States but having your ticket number and booking code can be necessary to get past terminal checkpoints at some European airports.

My recollection is needing to get a paper ticket from a machine at VCE and PRG. If the machine had difficulty reading your passport you had to enter your ticket number to get pass a checkpoint. The agents are on the other side of the checkpoint.

Posted by
1194 posts

Another vote for TripIt. Not only is the information stored in your phone, it is also stored online. A good thing if you accidently fold your iPhone in half in your aunt's hide-a-bed. Not that I would know or anything... I was able to retrieve all my flight information from the TripIt website.

I use CutePDF to create PDF copies of everything too. I make copies of airline contracts of carriage, of confirmation emails, confirmation web pages, etc. I then store all the information online (email it to myself and put it in storage online). I also use GoodReader to store my information. This app is both password protected and encrypted. The "basic" verion of CutePDF is free, GoodReader costs around $5.

Here's an overview of GoodReader

I have a color paper copy of my passport to give to authorities if needed, and also have it scanned. A small index card of important phone numbers stays in my money belt.

But most of my info? Electronic, just like my books (on the Kindle app)