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Travel Documents

Whether you travel for pleasure or business, the best starting point is with a good travel plan. A key part of such a plan is a file of specific documents, and below is a list of the ones you need. You should take them with you as well as leave them at home with a relative, close friend, or business associate.

  • Copy of your itinerary
  • Copy of your airline tickets
  • Copy of your passport* (with visas included)
  • Record of your blood type and RH factor
  • Notation of special health conditions**
  • Copy of your International Vaccination Certificate with a record of vaccinations
  • Copy of any needed medications you are taking with you
  • Copy of your eyeglass prescription (be sure to take an extra pair of glasses with you)
  • Copy of your traveler’s checks’ numbers
  • Copy of both sides of your credit cards, ATM, and telephone calling cards
  • Your medical emergency assistance insurance information

*Often, the most valuable target for a thief is your passport. If you are not in a place that requires you to carry it on your person, carry the photocopy in its place and, if you have one, use an International Drivers Permit as your identity document. Leave your passport in a secure place such as the hotel safe. If you carry the original, put it in a security or flip-away wallet hidden under your clothes or in an internal pocket, which can be buttoned or zipped shut. If you are going to have passport pictures taken, get four so you can carry the extra two for use in replacing a lost or stolen passport.

**If you have an ongoing health condition such as a heart problem that might be important for an airline or hotel to know about, carry a notification card written in English and in the language of the country(ies) you plan to visit.

As you put these documents together, you should also be thinking about who will be able (both practically and legally) to care for your dependants and handle your affairs if you become incapacitated. Also, who will take care of you and any unexpected medical expenses if you or your fellow travelers face an emergency? Plan your trip and organize your documents with these issues in mind.

For more safety and advisory information for traveling in the U.S. and/or abroad, download Personal Security While Traveling in the U.S. (clickhere to preview and download) and Advanced Planning - A Key To A Safe Trip Abroad (click here to preview and download).

The information in this brochure is provided by Peter V. Savage, author of The Safe Travel Book, (available at 800-462-6420 or 888-499-7277.) Savage has over 20 years experience as an international security consultant. His articles appear regularly in Bottom Line: Personal, and he has written for Travel Executive, The Business Traveler, Travel One, and various other travel and security publications. He has appeared on both the Oprah Winfrey and Geraldo shows, and regularly appears on CNN when travel security is affected. Savage is currently active as a security counselor and principal in Passport Health, Inc., a travel medicine clinic with offices nationwide.

The information provided is purely advisory in nature. While the information is valuable, it is not comprehensive. We can point you in the right direction, but we highly recommend that you take the time to make the calls and conduct research carefully to make your trip a safe and smooth one.

 
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