We had an absolutely unforgettable trip. Naturally, when you have a two-week adventure, you are bound to pick up some keepsakes. How do I keep track of everything and not lose an important ticket stub along the way? I’m still traumatized that I lost my Price is Right pricetag name badge in college.
Yup, you guessed it: I have a system. I came up with this idea after the husband and I took our very first trip together.
Meet the Master Envelope
The Master Envelope has three very important functions.
One: Itineraries and Confirmations
Before the trip, I print out all of our transportation and lodging confirmations and put them in the envelope.
Yes, most of these things can be accessed online these days but you never know when you’ll need to produce a hard copy. I was thankful I did this when I found out that airports in the Middle East require a printed itinerary before they even let you inside to the ticket counter!
From hotels to lunches and shopping, we generate a surprising amount of receipts during our trips. We never know when we will need to refer to something. At the end of each day, all receipts get deposited into the envelope.
Most importantly, the envelope is the master repository for all of our keepsakes. At the end of the day, we both empty our pockets and I empty my purse. Every ticket stub, map, boarding pass or similar item is put in the envelope. This way we don’t drop something or let something get crumpled up in my purse.
I err on the side of over-inclusiveness and save purging for when I get home.
Organizing and Purging
Within a couple of days of getting home, I empty the envelope and organize it.
First, we take all the receipts and check them against our online accounts (for ATM and credit card transactions). This is especially important if you are traveling internationally.
Next, I take “big receipts” and file them away. These are things such as hotel our travel agency bills. Other receipts that I checked against our accounts online or were for cash purchases get shredded along with our confirmation pages that I printed at the beginning of the trip.
Finally, I go through our keepsakes and do some light purging. For example, I don’t need two copies of the Air France dinner menu. I’ll keep one and give my niece the other one. Maybe I won’t end up using it in my scrapbook, but I’ll keep it until I actually work on the layouts.
I end up with a “keep” and “shred” pile. The “keep” pile goes back into the envelope and is labeled and saved for when it’s time to scrapbook.
Speaking of scrapbooking, what am I going to do with all of these ticket stubs? We quickly found out on our trip that all tourist sites in Egypt are centrally regulated and you get a neat ticket stub/keepsake from each site. I have two of each, it’s a HUGE stack!
I bet by now you want to see pictures. At least, I hope you want to see pictures. Stay tuned Thursday!