If you travel regularly you’ll keep being asked for the same travel documents over and over again. Having to scan your passport or other key travel documents each and every time somebody requests a copy is a pain. It’s easier to maintain a “virtual vault” of key documents. While some of the travel organisation services like Tripit and even some of the airlines will offer you the option to store copies of your passport and other docs, it’s probably best to keep your own copies too.
There are lots of different cloud storage services out there that you can use. Some are very secure, others not so much. Pricing also will vary, so it’s up to you to make a choice based on your own level of comfort.
So what kind of things would you want to keep there?
Based on my own experiences with managing my own travel and applying for entry visas etc., here’s a few possible things to include:
- a full colour scan of your passport
- a scan of a recent passport photo (not key, but some places do ask for it)
- copies of any visa applications you’ve made
- copies of any supporting documents related to the visa applications
Keeping all the documents related to a specific visa in a single folder saves time when you invariably have to check something or resend a document that gets misplaced.
I also keep a few key things somewhere “accessible” including:
- Passport number
- Passport issue date
- Passport expiry date
If you travel to the US from time to time keep a copy of your ESTA details – you’ll need them to update your ESTA prior to any trip via the United States. Even if you’re only in transit through the US you’ll need to make sure your ESTA is current and having its details to hand can get you out of a jam. On a trip back from Colombia a couple of years ago I got held up at the airport as there were issues connecting to the US servers to verify my details!