Travel paperwork sorted!

Paper Flow Solution

Current Travel Project Folder sitting in a Magazine Box

I’m a frequent traveller, some for business and some for pleasure! What to do with tickets, confirmations, itineraries and other documents is always a bit daunting for anyone who travels. I often see people fumbling in bags looking for information while holding up queues at airports, hotels and train stations.

To keep me organised and sane while travelling, I have created a “Current Travel” folder (Project Folder see Paper Flow p45) which holds everything I need for all upcoming travel. Some documents are permanent and stay in the “Current Travel” folder and accompany me on every trip I take, while other documents are ‘trip specific’, and therefore, temporary. The ‘trip specific’ information is either tossed or filed once the trip is completed.

My folder is a display book and I keep it on my desk in a magazine box until departure. You can see it pictured here. I love having it in full view mainly because I love travel and it serves as a motivator to book another trip or as a reminder that a trip is on the horizon!

I also keep a back-up copy of all documents in the cloud ( I use Dropbox) as well as emailing them to myself as attachments so I can access the information using my phone or internet from anywhere in the world in the event of an emergency.

The permanent documents are:

  • Emergency contact details of next of kin, family members and bank numbers (to cancel credit cards)
  • List of medications and supplements
  • List of all cards carried in purse, wallet or handbag
  • Summary of relevant medical information – like allergies or organ donor information
  • Copy of Passport, Entry Visas, Work Permits, Drivers Licence and other relevant Photo ID like Staff ID or Student ID
  • Packing Checklist

Trip specific documents are:

  • Itinerary showing flights, land travel,travel and health insurance and accommodation details
  • Copies of tickets and confirmations for travel and accommodation
  • Maps that may be required with directions to specific locations
  • Copy of prescriptions for medication and doctors’ letters if necessary
  • Names of business or local contacts for each of the destinations
  • Currency conversion spreadsheet with conversions for countries being visited
  • Packing list identifying expensive items and serial numbers
  • Photos of suitcases taken and contents packed

Why do I take the time to do this?

  • In my recent travel experience a friend’s  luggage was lost at the airport leaving him without access to items packed for 12 days.When the bag was located and returned to him, the contents were wet and moldy from sitting at Heathrow Ariport in the rain. This resulted in an insurance claim where documentation was needed.
  • While travelling in St Petersburg Russia two of our friends were struck by pickpockets.  They lost their wallets containing credit cards which needed to be cancelled.
  • A few years ago my handbag was stolen while on business in Sydney, resulting in around $3,000 loss. When you include purse, money, camera, phone, voice recorder, sunglasses, spectacles, makeup and the cost of the handbag what can appear as a small loss can amount to thousands of dollars!
  • Having a sense of control gives you confidence and frees you up to enjoy the travel instead of worrying about details.

Let me hear your ideas, I love learning different ways of doing things and sharing them.

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This article was written by MaryAnne Bennie BEd MBus is Australia’s organising guru, founder of in8 home office and life organising and creator of the Paper Flow® and in8®steps systems. She wrote Paper Flow your ultimate guide to making paperwork easy with Brigitte Hinneberg and her new book From Stuffed to Sorted will be released early in 2012.

MaryAnne is an engaging speaker and trainer and can be contacted at or +61 (0)418 597 297

Paper Flow® is the registered trademark of MaryAnne Bennie and in8® is the registered trademark of in8 Pty Ltd. Copyright© 2012

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  1. Katrina says:

    I just wanted to say what a fantastic idea….will be passing this along to my daughter, we put something like this together when she was planning her teaching trip to Sierra Leone but this was only a temporary thing and it was then discarded at the end of her trip. She is definately planning on travelling more (doing journalism at uni and wants to travel after) will take your info and let her see how you put things together and your idea for storing everything

    • maryanne says:

      Glad you like the idea Katrina and I am sure your daughter will appreciate having her travel information sorted! TIP for her journalism course, treat each piece of writing and each class assignment as a project and create a folder for each. How to handle projects in on page 45 of the Paper Flow book available at All the best and thanks for your comment, Lots more tips and blogs coming.
      All the Best MaryAnne

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