You’re on vacation and you just lost your driver’s license and/or other important papers. You no longer have the federal or state issued photo ID to expedite getting through security. What do you do?
In today’s world, you can save copies of important documents on the Internet. Whether it be from your smartphone, iPad or another computer, you have the ability to get copies of important papers should a travel emergency occur. Note that should a situation arise at home, having this information on the Internet can make life easier for you as well.
Evernote is one good place to put this information. You can store pictures as well as writing notes about important information. Need to keep a copy of your driver’s license and passport? Evernote is a good option.
Before I got my smartphone, I found it to be a good idea to scan all except the credit cards and then save it to a Microsoft Word file. As for credit cards, I make a list of that using MS Excel. I have the name of the card in one column, the card number in another column and a contact number in a third column. You can also do a list in MS Word.
As a personal preference, I find it easier to work with this information using MS Excel. I would take a picture with my smartphone and upload it before saving it as an MS Word file.
When saving these files, I make sure to password protect them. I then email the file to myself. What I am doing here is adding an extra layer of security to information that if it fell into the wrong hands would make me more susceptible to identity theft. One would need to know both my email password as well as the password I am using to protect the respective files that contain this sensitive data. I would suggest making the passwords for your email and files different.
One does not have to limit this to just credit cards, passport and driver's license. Scanning current drug prescriptions you are using and saving them to MS Word is another good idea where you have a copy of the prescription. If you were to lose the prescription drugs you had packed, you should have an easier time refilling it.
You can also put the numbers of your traveler's checks in a file as well. My contacts list in my email account is my phone book. Should I need a number I can get it wherever I have an Internet connection, which includes my smartphone. While we are on the subject of prescription drugs, it is a good idea to have a picture of the case and box with the drug information on your phone. If you are seeing a doctor who is not familiar with you and asks for a list of the drugs you take, this will come in handy.
Doing all of these is not a magic bullet should you have a loss. It will, however, make it easier to travel and in the case of losing a passport, being able to get a replacement more easily. I would also suggest that you avoid using an unsecured public wireless network to obtain any of this.
Hopefully you will never need to access these files in an emergency. However, having them should the need arise will make your life easier.
There is no one correct way to be proactive here. I have just given two ways. Please feel free to mention how you store this information online and if you would put any additional information out there.
If you have additional questions about storing information on the internet, I can be reached at (917) 572-3468 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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