Confirmations, ticket stubs, ID cards – traveling can be a document-heavy ordeal. But when it gets to the point where you feel overwhelmed and unorganized, juggling all of these items loses its usefulness. On the flipside, there are certain documents containing personal information that you have no point holding on to.
So, for the sake of sanity and your protection, here’s what you should do with all of those travel documents before, during and after your travels.
Guest Reservation Confirmation
For a Global Discovery Vacations member, this is one of your most necessary documents. You need it to check in, so you have to have this on hand. You should keep your Guest Reservation Confirmation during your stay as well, as it tells you all the Special Conditions for your resort and the Emergency Number for after-hours assistance. After your stay, you can shred the parts containing your personal information.
NOTE: Some resorts require extra documents that have to be mailed such as lockbox information or parking passes. Keep these for the length of your stay and feel free to discard after they’ve expired.
Hold on to your car rental and airline confirmations as well, though you can access your reservation in other ways, such as by name or credit card.
We’re in an age where you can use your phone to board a plane, but tickets are still the most reliable method. Obviously, you need them to get to where you are going. But once your trip is over, you can safely shred your tickets to protect your information. Unless you’re one of those people who likes to keep your travel keepsakes for the memories.
This goes for almost every item on this, but having a solid copy in addition to a digital copy is ideal just in case a situation would arise. You might not have access to them otherwise, so play it safe.
Global Discovery Vacations Membership ID Card
The membership card that you received when you joined the travel club is merely for reference and includes important contact information as well as your membership ID number. You won’t need to show it to anyone to gain any sort of access but is handy to carry with you when you travel.
It should go without saying that you will want to keep your passport, as you would with any other state or federal documents (birth certificate, social security card, vehicle titles, etc.). But when it comes to old passports, it actually serves as a useful identity tool as discussed on PassportInfo.com. Just keep it in a safe place.
You’ll want to keep receipts on big-ticket purchases and ATM receipts, but everything else is up to you. Vacations are prime for racking up a number of receipts, from parking garages to attractions to gift shops you’ll never visit again. If you collect receipts for your records, you can use apps on your smart phone to scan them while traveling (Evernote, Genius Scan, Tiny Scanner).
When you know what to keep and what to discard, you can organize your documents much better to free up your vacation clutter. It’s a good idea to make a vacation folder with all the papers you’ll need for your trip and take the stress out of keeping track of all of them.
Do you have a system for your travel documents? Let us know in the comments.