Travel Documents To Get In Order Before Vacation

One of the most important parts of packing for any vacation is organizing your travel documents. These are the tickets, tools, and important papers that you and your family will need while away from home. I start pulling together my travel documents as soon as I book my Walt Disney World vacation and have confirmation. My travel document case is a working file for everything vacation related from the moment I book, to the moment I return home.

Travel Documents To Get In Order Before VacationTravel Documents To Get In Order Before Vacation

I am often asked what sort of documents people need for vacation, and while the answer to that question varies, I like to think I have all the bases covered. In recent years the act of getting everything together and in one place has changed due to people and companies moving from paper to digital documentation. I think both paper and digital documents have their place, and a smart traveler knows what works best for them. Let's take a look at the documents.

Passport and Identification - I always travel with physical identification, be it my Drivers License or Passport. In addition to carrying that with me, it's wise to have a digital back-up in case of emergency. Making a color copy of your US Passport is illegal so be sure to use black and white. If you will be leaving the country on the Disney Cruise Line this is especially important, as having your information at hand for embassies will save you a lot of trouble if you are in need.

Airline Tickets and Magical Express Luggage Tags - I'm still printing paper boarding passes at home. While I've used a digital pass in the past, and I always keep it backed up on my phone. I'm "old school" and prefer to carry a copy of my ticket. My Magical Express Luggage Tags are kept in the envelope right up until the moment they need to go on my bag.

Transportation and Hotel Reservations - If I am renting a car I print out a copy of the reservation and carry it in my case, I do the same with my hotel confirmation. However - Walt Disney World Resort Guests simply have to slip their MagicBand onto their wrist. This brightly colored Disney accessory will get you on Disney's Magical Express, as well as check you into the Resort and open your room door. A digital copy of your Resort reservations is kept in your MyDisneyExperience App

Disney Cruise Line Travel DocumentsDisney Cruise Line Travel Documents

Theme Park and Event Tickets - The easiest answer for this during a Walt Disney World Vacation is to make sure everything is connected to your MagicBand even before you leave home. However if it's not, be sure to take a picture of your tickets showing the number, and keep your receipts. This is easy enough to place in your document holder and you have proof of purchase should the need arise.

Maps and Directions - I've gone purely digital when it comes to maps, asking Siri for direction or using Google maps off property. However once I'm at Walt Disney World if I need to figure out how to get from place to place, the MyDisneyExperience App is always loaded onto my phone. Should that fail, Park maps are readily available to Guests.

Important phone numbers - In addition to keeping important contact numbers in my phone, I also print them on the bottom of the itinerary I keep in my luggage.

Vacation Insurance Documents - Take a copy of your vacation insurance policy with you. Keep it in the folder or envelope with your other paper documents. If you need it, the easiest way to access the services you have paid for is to have a copy on hand.

My Document Envelope Keeps Me OrganizedMy Document Envelope Keeps Me Organized

Itinerary - While on the road, I work mostly off of my digital information, using both the TripIt App and MyDisneyExperience to keep dates, times, and reservations. However, I like to print out a copy of my itinerary along with contact information and stick the sheet of paper inside each bag of my checked luggage. By doing this, if I am separated from my bags we can be more easily reunited. It's also a good idea to leave a copy of all this information with a close friend or family member at home.

Healthcare Documents - Carry medications in original containers with a digital back-up of prescription information. Be sure that your prescriptions are always in your carry-on bag, not checked luggage. In addition, it is wise to have a medic alert ID card with a list of prescriptions in your wallet if you have any conditions emergency personal would need to be alerted to.

Frequent Flier and Rewards Numbers - I have usually given this information before I arrive, however I keep a digital version on my phone. While at Walt Disney World the club card I reach for most is my Disney Vacation Club Membership, or my Disney Visa Card.

Don't Forget Your MagicBand and MyDisneyExperience AppDon't Forget Your MagicBand and MyDisneyExperience App

Back It Up

While I have never had to use my back-up documents, I always make sure that I have a back-up version of important papers with me: passport, driver's license, credit cards and traveler's checks, travel insurance, etc. Options for backing up hard copies include taking a snapshot of the documents and keeping it on your phone, and making a photo copy that you keep in a different location. While the phone trick seems like the simplest method, if your whole bag is stolen with your ID in it, chances are they will also get your phone.

Did you notice I mentioned the MyDisneyExperience App several times during this article? MyDisneyExperience is your key to an easy Walt Disney World vacation. Be sure to download your copy before you leave so that all your Disney specific travel information will be right at your fingertips. Happy traveling!

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