Travel documents are essential in today’s travel world. Whether it’s across the country, or across the world, there will come a time when you must prove who you are to gain access, retrieve reservation details to check in, or contact someone for the next day’s activities. Copies of essential travel documents are also a key component to include in your travel bags. Why? Because things happen, and those copies might just save your day in unexpected situations like lost passports or missing medications.
Traveling with paper copies of essential documents is one way to ensure you have the backup you need in an emergency. Another option is to copy and store them in a secure cloud storage service or mobile app. Not sure which service or app to use? Here’s my round-up of six favorite digital services to securely store copies of your essential travel documents.
With 15 GB of free data storage, Google Drive provides plenty of safe and secure storage space for essential documents as well as all those photos you take on the road! Google Drive’s ability to sync across most devices, from smartphones to tablets, laptops to desktops, ensures you have access to the documents you need, whether at home or on the road.
Do you use Microsoft Windows or Office? Microsoft OneDrive may be your secure document storage option of choice. OneDrive comes already installed with Windows 10 and includes 5GB of free data storage. OneDrive’s ability to sync across most devices, including PC, Mac, Android, and iOS, makes it a powerful, secure storing option.
Apple iCloud Drive
Apple’s iCloud Drive securely stores essential documents and so much more! Once your documents are saved to iCloud, you can access them from multiple devices, even on Windows PC! Enable 2-step verification for an added layer of protection. iCloud offers 5 GB of free data storage, which should be sufficient for all your essential document storage.
Dropbox is both a secure cloud storage service and a very handy mobile device app. With multiple security layers, including 2-step verification, Dropbox provides the vehicle you need to keep your essential documents safe. Dropbox is simple, reliable, and very portable, though it only offers 2GB of free storage space.
TripIt‘s secure Traveler Profile feature makes it easy to go paperless. The app includes 20 built-in preset documents and contact information suggestions to get you started. Simply upload snapshots of essential documents from your phone right into TripIt! The information is stored offline so it is accessible even when no data connection is available.
MustBin ensures copies of essential travel documents remain safely locked within its mobile vault, yet accessible when needed. The apps’s integrated encryption technology securely uploads photos of passports, travel itineraries, even credit cards! And with 8GB of free encrypted cloud storage, there’s plenty of room for all the essentials.
Tips for Digital Document Storage
Whether you utilize one of these six secure storage methods, or another secure method, there are several basic tips to keeping your essential documents safe and secure. Whichever digital storage method you chose, consider the following:
- Set up 2-step verification security.
- Use a strong password including characters, numbers, lower and upper case letters.
- Use a secure service for all documents that contain vital personal information.
- Do not store vital personal information on a non-secure service, app or device.
Don’t like the idea of your documents hanging out in cyberspace, yet don’t want to drag along paper copies? Perhaps the middle ground is to store the essentials on a USB or Thumb Drive. Small and compact, it can easily be kept in your hand bag. Just don’t lose it, or your personal information might become not so personal anymore!
Another alternative is to store photos of documents that don’t contain sensitive information on your mobile device’s Photos app or via an email to yourself. Travel itineraries, contact information, prescriptions, and health insurance cards are examples that can be placed here.
One last thought. As tempting as it may be, don’t post photos of boarding passes or other documents with personal information to social media! This is completely non-secure.
How Do You Travel with Essential Documents?
I admit it. On previous vacations, I have gone completely “old school” with paper copies of all my essential travel documents. But times are changing! I still prefer to travel with paper copies of passports, drivers licenses, and travel itineraries. However, I too am moving towards secure cloud and app storage for other essential documents. What secure service will I be using on my next vacation? TripIt and Mustbin!
How about you? Have you gone paperless with copies of your essential documents? Do you store all your essential documents in a secure service or app? Or, like me, do you split between a secure service and paper copies? Or do you prefer to have all the essentials in paper? What’s your preferred secure service? Do share!
Read more about my other travel essentials posts at:
- 11 Essential Travel Documents You Shouldn’t Leave Home Without
- 15 Essential Travel Apps I Won’t Leave Home Without
Phone photo via Mustbin.