Being prepared makes travel much more enjoyable by saving time and avoiding unnecessary stress. Below is a list of travel documents you should not forget while traveling. Please note that some items are not required for every travel destination.
- For obvious reasons, like driving, and checking into a hotel, you will need your driver’s license. When traveling internationally, it’s good to have more than one form of ID (the other being your passport). Canada and Mexico recognize the United States issued driver’s licenses. Many countries require an International Driving Permit (IDP), contact AAA for more information, aaa.com.
- A driver’s license may be necessary to prove your age at clubs, bars, etc. And you may be asked by law enforcement for proof of identity while traveling. It will save a lot of time and hassle if you are able to provide law enforcement with the requested identification. If you are traveling with other adults, even if they don’t plan on driving, they also should carry a picture ID with them.
- If your destination requires a passport, remember to always carry it on your person. I remember when vacationing in Cancun, Mexico, I left my passport in the hotel. I realized it a while later. I felt uneasy, knowing that if I got asked for it by the police, I could and probably would be in big trouble. For more info on passports, see our post https://vivacitytravel.com/2019/02/21/u-s-passport-basics/
- Some international travel requires U.S. passport holders to purchase a tourist visa before entering the country. Make sure your destination doesn’t require one. The time required to obtain a visa can exceed 30 days, plan ahead. To see if your destination requires a visa, visit https://cibtvisas.com/visas
- Don’t forget that trip itinerary you spent hours creating. Without one I would be lost. It’s necessary to make the most of your time, allowing you to see and experience more things.
- Have printed receipts of hotel, car rental, and tours you have purchased. Some businesses lose information, it’s hard for them to argue if you have proof.
International Certificate of Vaccination
- Also known as a “Yellow Card”, is required in eleven different countries. Check the CDC vaccination page at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel, to see if your destination requires one. The cards can be bought at Amazon and require your doctor to sign and date it. The card must be carried with your passport during your trip.
Correct Currency for Destination
- Don’t overlook getting the correct currency for your destination, as well as knowing the exchange rate. You can exchange money at most banks and credit unions. Airports have money exchange kiosks, but their fees are usually high.
- Many people get travel insurance to protect themselves financially if something unforeseen happens. The insurance is available for domestic and international travel. It covers things such as, illness, missed flights, lost baggage, cancelled tours, accidents, and getting your body home if you die. Like any insurance, it may be a good idea for some but not for others. It depends on your personal financial situation.
Make a copy, or two, of everything and keep it in a safe place. Keep a copy in your luggage, keep one in your jacket or another clothing item. Make sure you don’t keep copies together with originals. For example, having a copy in your purse/bag which also has your passport inside won’t do you any good if you lose your purse/bag. Have a copy of important phone numbers, therefore, if you lose your cell phone, your contacts are still available.
Most of all, enjoy your vacation, and making lifelong memories.