Going somewhere? Planning on going somewhere? Save yourself a ton of time and aggravation by keeping important travel things saved in the cloud.
By cloud, I mean stored with an online service that you can access from any computer or mobile device. I use Google Drive but you can also use Evernote, Dropbox, or Microsoft OneDrive.
Storing these things online means you can access them from any device no matter where you are as long as you have an internet connection:
Important ID numbers. Mr. P and I have a shared Google spreadsheet that contains all important travel ID numbers. This includes: passport numbers and expiration dates, Known Traveler Numbers (for Global Entry / TSA PreCheck), and every single airline or hotel loyalty number. The amount of times we have to copy/paste these numbers into online reservations is absurd. Keeping them shared in the cloud means we can make, check, or edit reservations from anywhere.
Scan of passport photo page. This will become so freaking useful you’ll wonder why you didn’t have it saved before. While most of the time you’ll just need your passport number and expiration date, sometimes you will need an actual copy of the photo page. Sometimes you’ll need info that you won’t have saved with your ID numbers, like when a visa application asks you for the “issuing agency” for your passport.
Event or attraction tickets. Save copies of any event or attraction tickets just in case you lose or forget to pack your copies. For my current trip, we are going to two sporting events and I have printed copies as well as PDFs on Google Drive.
Recent passport photo. These are frequently needed for online visa applications and the like. If you aren’t a kid who’s growing like a weed, a good digital passport photo can last a while. Mr. P was getting his international driving permit the other day and assumed I could just print a photo for it. I didn’t remember to save the last one. Grrr. I had to whip out the camera and take, size, and print two copies in under 10 minutes. Lesson learned.
Here are the State Department’s rules for taking a passport photo, which generally should work for other visa photo needs.
Visas or visa information. True story: I didn’t realize until we landed in Istanbul that I forgot to print our Turkish visas. I got them months before the trip and freaking forgot to print them. While we were taxiing, I pulled up PDFs of the visas on my phone. After deplaning, I was able to punch the visa numbers into a machine and print copies before immigration. Boo-yah!
Start this before your next trip and you will thank yourself!