Traveling is usually an exciting activity that we look forward to. Preparing for the adventure, however, is definitely not as glamorous. Packing leads many travelers to stress out. An easy fix to this is coming up with a check-list of common items that you need every time you travel. Although we aren’t sure how many sweaters and pairs of shoes you’ll need on your next get away, we’ve come up with a list of common travel documents you won’t want to forget on the kitchen table.

Copies, Copies, Copies!

Fun is the main priority on vacation, so keeping track of every document might fall by the wayside. Be sure to make duplicates of all original documents. Nothing is worse than losing something important and not having a copy to fall back on. Having a copy adds only a few minutes of preparation for this journey but could save hours of unnecessary stress.

A Valid Form of ID

You will need a valid form of ID in order to check-in to many of your travel arrangements, most notably the airport. The most common types of identification that are accepted by TSA are a driver’s license (with REAL ID certification), a passport, or a passport card. With regards to domestic travel most of the time a valid drivers license will be enough to get you on your way, but for international travel don’t leave your passport/passport card at home. Other forms of identification are acceptable though, such as a permanent residence card. For the complete list of acceptable identification please visit the TSA website.

Confirmation Documents

Planning a trip requires booking a lot more than just transportation to the destination. Print confirmation emails for both transportation and lodging reservations that you have made, along with any excursions or activities. Although you may have great service all over the world, even our beloved devices can fail us, or worse run out of battery! In fact, even though these emails might come with scannable content right from your mobile device, it might be easier for the scanner to read a piece of paper. Plus, having a paper version of these documents will provide ease of mind in case something happens to your wireless connection.

Visa Documents

A paper copy of your visa is also a safe bet when traveling internationally (that is, if your destination requires a visa). Although some countries have electronic visas nowadays, electronics have the ability to fail not only us, but also government officials. So, having a paper version makes going through customs a breeze.

Travel Insurance Documents

We all expect our travel plans to go off without a hitch. But this isn’t always the case. Hopefully you’ve purchased travel insurance for your trip and are already feeling at ease if something doesn’t go as planned. But let’s take it one step further and extend this precaution by bringing your travel insurance documents, including a list of covered benefits, with you. No matter what the situation, you’ll be prepared to review your plan documents for coverage details or contact information, should something go awry.


Every trip has different needs when it comes to documentation. Some other common travel documents/necessities include:

  • International driver’s license—if you plan on driving abroad
  • Foreign currency and extra U.S. cash
  • Maps—Because phones aren’t always the safest bet
  • Emergency contact information—i.e. U.S. embassy information & important numbers at home
  • A printed version of your itinerary

Regardless of what travel documents you need for your next trip, keep these documents in a safe place that is easily accessible. And if you took our advice on making many copies, put them in a few different places in the event one of your bags go missing.


Hopefully packing is the least stressful aspect about your upcoming trip. And if not, we hope this travel document checklist at least lightened the load. Help protect your travel plans not only with these tips, but also with travel insurance. Talk to your travel advisor today or visit


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