Travel Information So Important You Can’t Leave Home Without It

When you travel you not only step out of your comfort zone, but you also leave behind all of the important information about your life. You know, the stuff you’d need in case there were some kind of emergency–insurance numbers, the number to call if you lose your credit card, prescription information, etc.

We have all of this information available to us when we are home, but what would you do if your house sitter contacted you when you were halfway around the world to tell you that your house had caught fire? Could you contact your homeowner’s insurance agent and provide all the information he’d need no matter where you are?

This checklist is designed to help you to compile all the information you should need while away from home so that you can carry it in a portable file. I hope it provides you some peace of mind.

The list includes the items you need and, in parentheses, an explanation about why it is important.

Documents to Place in Your Important Papers File & Why You May Need Them

Make a list with the following information on it:

  • Homeowner’s or Renter’s Policy Number & Agent Contact Number (in case there is an emergency at your home so that you can notify your insurance company as soon as possible)
  • The name, address, contact information, and reservation confirmation numbers for your hotel, rental car and airline tickets (in case you need to contact any of them for any reason or you need the confirmation numbers for any reason)
  • The numbers of and contact information for any credit or debit cards you may use on your trip (in case they are lost or stolen)
  • A copy of your Driver’s License (and International Driver’s License, if necessary-in case either of these documents are lost or stolen)
  • Your frequent flyer number, your frequent guest number for hotel chains, and any other travel membership clubs’ numbers (in case you need them to claim rewards or discounts)
  • The numbers of your traveler’s checks (in case the originals are lost or stolen)
  • Names and contact information for friends and relatives you plan to visit while on your trip (so that it will be easier to contact them and also, in case of emergency, for someone else to be able to contact someone nearby)
  • Medical insurance provider name, contact information and policy number (in case your card is lost or stolen)
  • Name and contact information for your cell phone service provider & the serial number of the phone, your account number, and the SIM card number (in case your phone is lost or stolen or there is a problem with your phone and you are not able to get service)
  • If you will be using a laptop or cell phone with wireless internet access, the name and contact information for your internet service provider, and the serial number of your laptop and any other accessories (in case your computer is lost or stolen and also in case you need assistance with your internet coverage)
  • A copy of your itinerary (Each adult or older child should have a copy of this document in case you get separated from the others in your party. You should also leave a copy of your itinerary with someone at home in case you are lost or missing they can better work with the authorities to help them find you.)
  • Information concerning any medical conditions you may have including allergy information (Include information like blood type, height, weight, birth date, etc. for each member of your party.)
  • Names & contact information for your house sitter, pet sitter, etc. (in case of an emergency)

It could be disastrous if a list like this fell into the wrong hands, so for this reason, use some kind of code as you compile these account numbers.

One suggestion is to write the account numbers in a different sequence. For example, if your account number is 6389 7492 8852 4301 you could write it like this 2588 9836 1043 2947 or if it is 5529731 you could write it as 2551379.

Whatever code you use be sure to memorize it and make sure that anyone else in your traveling party knows how to use it also.

The secret is to have the information available to any one who may need it, but extremely difficult to use for any one who may try to steal it.

Another code to use is to leave the names and contact information in the right order or to further protect yourself and any one else whose contact information you may be carrying, mix up the order of the names and numbers. For example, you could put the info for the first item on the list in the second position, the info for the second item on the list in the third position, and the info for the third item on the list in the first position.

Then create a fake category, something like “Luggage Insurance Carrier” then list the account number as 122331 with the order of the numbers being the “pairs” of how you switched the information: 1,2=first in second position, 2,3=second in third position, 3,1=third in first position.

It may seem a little confusing and like it would be a lot of work to make your list in this way, but remember that the secret it to make the information hard to steal while still having it available just in case you need it.

These items are not sensitive information, but they would be valuable if you needed them:

Keep several various sized envelopes available to store these items safely.

  • The name and contact information of your travel agent (if you used one)
  • Any coupons or discount codes you plan to use
  • The contact information for the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Board for the areas you will be visiting
  • Contact information for the embassy where you will be visiting
  • A copy of your packing list with space to add any purchases you make while on your trip
  • Emergency phone numbers for the areas where you will be traveling including poison control
  • A phrase book for any foreign languages you may encounter
  • Directions to any places or events you plan to visit
  • A tipping chart
  • A foreign currency exchange rate chart
  • If traveling with pets, name & contact information for their veterinarian and also their immunizations history
  • Names and addresses for anyone you plan to send a post card to
  • A journal to keep track of your expenditures and also to keep a record of what you do each day
  • A recent map of the city and surrounding areas where you are visiting
  • Copies of any contracts you signed for vacation packages, travel insurances, etc.
  • Copies of any prescriptions for medications, eye glasses or contact lenses (for each person in your party, if necessary)
  • If traveling with children and only one parent, a notarized letter of consent from the other parent (a separate letter for each child, if necessary; this is good to have even for domestic travel)
  • Immunization records (for each person in your party, if necessary; this is good to have even for domestic travel)
  • The receipts for any merchandise you purchase while on your trip (in case you need to return them for any reason; also, if you are returning from a foreign country you will need these when you pass through customs)
  • A list of all electronic equipment, including serial numbers, that you are traveling with and copies of receipts for them, if possible (in case they are lost or stolen you will have this information available for the authorities; also, if you are passing through customs you will be able to prove prior ownership and avoid paying duty fees on these items)
  • The name and contact information for the hotel(s) where you will be staying (Each person in your party should carry a business card with this information on it in case they are lost or need to give directions to a cab driver.)
  • A copy of your auto insurance information (in case you are involved in an automobile accident)
  • Your luggage claim tickets (to enable you to claim your luggage)
  • The number/aisle of the parking spot where you leave your vehicle in long-term parking at the airport (in case you can’t remember where to find it when you return)
  • Insurance claims forms (for all traveler’s insurance that you purchased; these insurances often have a short claim period so you may need to file the claim before you return home)
  • Birth Certificates (in case you need to prove identity or prove that a child is yours)
  • Extra passport photos (this will save you a lot of time, trouble and expense if your passport is lost or stolen)

Items to carry on your person (You will need these actual documents):

  • Your passport, visa, or any other necessary documents (adults should carry these for the children)
  • Any travel visas or entry documents you need for the areas where you will be traveling (for each person in your party, if necessary)
  • Medical insurance card & any other insurance cards
  • A card with information on any medical conditions and the names and contact information of any other adults in your party or that you may be visiting

Special note about children:

  • Children should carry an identification card stating their full name, your name and the names of any other adults in your party, the phone numbers and addresses where you can be reached, and emergency contact numbers back home.
  • This card should also include any other important information such as medical conditions, insurance information, and health care provider’s name and contact information.
  • Place the ID card inside the child’s shirt in a pocket that you have sewn in beforehand.
  • This will require a little bit of work and preparation, but if it is ever needed it will be worth it.
  • Your child probably already knows about “stranger danger,” but right before a trip is a good time to review this information and to teach them not to show this card to anyone unless they are lost.

Gather all these lists and documents and put then in an accordion style file folder with an elastic band to hold it shut. If you leave your hotel room, place this folder in your room safe and make sure that every one who would need this information knows the combination and knows how to operate the safe.

Hopefully you will never need any of this information for an emergency, but this Important Papers File will be there if you do.

International Travel Information

It is not until you travel internationally you really appreciate the different cultures around the world. You no longer need to be rich to travel, even the world has become a possibility of a greater number of people, especially if traveling off season. Places like Spain, Italy, southern France and Greece are the best destinations, they have mild winters. If you are planning a long trip, then you should consider renting apartments and houses that should be cheaper and easier to find online.

Rent often includes cooking equipment, bedding, telephone, Internet access and a laundry service for not losing any comfort of home. There is nothing like breakfast when you’re on vacation, especially when you prepare and gives you the option of using fresh ingredients from a foreign country. The idea is that you can save time and money by using the facilities for you to wash your clothes and greeting cards sent by email will save you time looking at the shops and buy stamps, leaving more time to explore. It is always interesting to visit a new country for a chance to explore and absorb new cultures and see how people live their daily lives, which generally are not so different from people everywhere.

In the United States, for example, meals can speed, even fast food is not substantiated, while in Europe are much longer meal casual affair that can last several hours when friends and family gather, and is much safer to walk at night. Why not avoid the usual tourist routes to explore a local area where you can find some wonderful shops, cafes and local businesses where they can get an idea of how local people to continue their daily lives. International travelers have the opportunity to try new foods, so if you’re in France, you can try French Pistou Kleftiko paella in Spain or Greece, for example. Part of the experience of international travel is to move, so that companies such as large cities like Paris, are inexpensive and ultra-efficient transport systems that is easy to go wherever you want.

If you are considering this kind of trip you may want to reduce the amount of luggage you take and the Voyage of light using only a remnant of what probably will save a huge amount of time and there is less chance of missing anything. However, if you love travel and limit the amount you take with you is of utmost importance and be able to adapt everything you need in hand luggage can save much time at the airport. You may not think that this is possible, but it is, remember that many of the essential elements of travel, such as toiletries will be available almost anywhere you travel too. The trip should not be huge suitcases on the baggage and passengers filled adventure really know.

Faro Portugal Travel Information

Faro Travel Advice and Information for the best use of your rental car.

Faro, the sleepy and tranquil gateway to the Algarve is located on the southern tip of Portugal next to the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. It is a great place to visit to wind down, or more popularly used as a base for those looking to travel to the many fine resort towns along the Algarve. Those even more adventurous or with a thirst to travel can even drive into Spain to make the Costa del Sol part of their holiday, enjoying your car hire and heading to Gibraltar, Marbella, Malaga and beyond..

Faro has much to offer, great weather and beautiful beaches with superb waterfront restaurants and bars. All year round sunshine means the average winter day is between 15-20 Celsius, while summer averages 25-30 Celsius.

After flying into Faro Airport it is then a 4.5 mile trip into town.
We recommend booking car hire to be collected from Faro Airport, as you will find the use of a rental car will take a lot of pressure off having to rely on public transport during your trip.

Hotels and Museums
The town has many great hotels on offer for those looking for a luxury stay, through to more humble self-catering arrangements. Once settled in, Faro boasts three museums in a range of areas; The Maritime Museum, along with the Archeological and Ethnographic (or Human Culture) Museums show some great history of the local area, more of which can also be seen by taking a casual walk around the town. The city walls, of Roman origin, will lead you to the old Roman square, once site to the Roman forum, a cathedral and palace. One place that is a must see is the Cappella dos Ossos, a chapel with a chilling choice in decor. Cappella dos Ossos translates to the Chapel of Bones, and that’s just what you’ll see. Over 1,000 monks became part of this spectacle with the entire interior being covered with bones and skulls, something that has to be seen to believed.

Nature
Lovers of the great outdoors, nature and ornithology must visit the 170,000km sq nature reserve based around the Ria Formosa Lagoon. With hundreds of types of bird alone this is a great spot to see such wealth of life, especially during the spring and autumn migrational season.

Super Beaches
Beaches are essential for the majority of holiday makers, and Faro has some great beaches to offer. Again we recommend the use of car hire in Faro to get about as the beach is located around 4 miles from the town. Along the Algarve most of the beaches are found on sandbanks and require a short ferry journey to visit. Faro is one of the rare places where the beach can be reached on foot. On a sandbank itself, Faro’s beach can be accessed via a small rope bridge, which once crossed gives you fine gold sand, clear waters and plenty of space and solitude to relax with a cold drink and a book whilst working on your tan.

Water Park
Those with families looking for a fun day out should take a trip to ‘The Big One’ water park. A perfect way to have a good time and cool down on a hot day, and highly likely to be a highlight for children.

Other Towns nearby
With Faro being the gateway to the Algarve, we do recommend you visit some of the many other resort towns on offer especially if you have taken advantage and booked car hire in Faro. With each town offering something a little different in both culture and entertainment. Vilamoure is closest, being less then half an hour’s journey from Faro. Albuferia will take less then an hour to travel to, with Portimao and Praia da Rocha both taking around an hour and a quarter. Lagos is the longest journey but at under two hours it is still close enough to make a comfortable day trip without having to spend too much time traveling.

As the days do inevitably get hot, if you are traveling, especially with children, it is recommended that you get an air conditioned hire car.

CDC Travel Information

The CDC is a government controlled organization known as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is based in Atlanta and the major function of this organization is to diagnose and investigate causes of new diseases and also tries to control them from turning into an epidemic. It regularly publishes a journal called the CDC Health Information for International Travel. This journal basically guides travelers into taking certain precautions before he or she leaves for their excursion. The CDC travel book explains the most common diseases and information on how to prevent it.

This travel book has various features, some of which are listed below. Some of the essential points are:

It features content ranging from safety guidelines to specific treatments for diseases which are useful to both, doctors and the patients
It provides references in each chapter, so that the reader can cross-check the facts given in the book
The book also covers treatments for patients with specific needs while traveling, such as patients preparing for long-term travel, travelers with chronic medical conditions, young children, humanitarian aid workers and so on.
Talks about the new emerging diseases and ways to deal with them, straight from the experts

CDC travel guidelines are an off-shoot of the guidelines put together by CDC. These pointers are generally meant for tourists who are traveling to the developing countries like Thailand, Africa, India and so on. There is a section in the CDC Health Information for International Trvel 2010, also known as, “The Yellow Book” pertaining to information.

CDC health information guidelines include tips on how to plan for healthy travel. Some of the points are:

Travelers should gather information regarding the place they are visiting. Make a note of the precautions that can be taken, if any mentioned.
The CDC is a great platform of information. It covers a number of diseases, countries, vccinations to the diseases and the location where they are administered and so on
It is important to see a health-care worker and get the latest guidelines on the diseases and ways to avoid them and vaccinate themselves accordingly. The destination does not matter; be it a developed nation or a developing one.

CDC travel also includes travel health kits which is an important component of a person’s health-kit. Medications are very crucial but so are the points that are listed below:
Original containers: Medicines need to be carried in their original containers. Though many travelers do pack in their medicines in air-tight containers, officials do check the containers and the medicine.

Physician notes: For substances and injectable medication, travelers need to carry a note from the physician attesting to the same

Prescription: Travelers must carry the prescriptions of all their medicines, including the generic names

These are some of the basic precautions and tips, one is recommended to follow to have a disease or an injury free trip. It does seem like a lot of work, but the attention to detail mindset, will help the traveler in the end.