Like most men I have a wallet. I’ve had a wallet since I was a teenager. These days it holds some cash (bills), credit cards, frequent flier cards and a variety of other bits of paper that I pick up along the way.
If I’m not careful it can easily end up becoming a bulging mess that looks a lot like this:
And that, of course, leads to you having a rather large bulge in your pocket.
Apart from the aesthetic shortcomings of a bulging wallet it’s also a bad idea for other reasons.
- With an overfilled wallet you’re more likely to break your credit cards (I learnt that one the hard way!).
- It’s also really hard to find the card you need when you need it.
- You’re also more likely to end up dropping cards or simply losing them if you’re not careful.
- A bulging pocket is probably a more attractive target for a pickpocket
So what can you do?
These days I use a “slim” wallet by Bellroy. They’ve got a nice range of wallets that are designed to force you to trim yours down to size.
Instead of constantly stuffing receipts into my wallet while I’m on the road I try to do two things:
- Photograph the receipts and add them to Expensify every day – they’ve got a very nice mobile app, though you’d probably want to wait until you’re on wifi to use it if you’re overseas
- Trim the crud from the wallet every day or so. I usually shove all the receipts and business cards I pick up into an envelope so I can find them later.
So what do you actually need to carry in your wallet when you’re on the road?
I usually find that I have two sets of needs:
- En route to my destination
- Once I’m at my destination
While I’m en route I’ll need things like frequent flier cards and my local currency, as well as a few other cards that I might use in airports etc., I’ll also need my passport, boarding pass(es) and other travel documents.
Once I’m at my destination I transfer a lot of the extra cards to my room’s safe. Losing your wallet or getting pick-pocketed would be a major inconvenience, but if you’ve split out your cards etc., then it’s not the “end of the world”. And I’ll also end up with the hotel room key (though some hotels are now moving to using smartphones for theirs)
By being a little bit better organised you can reduce some of the headaches 🙂