Identity and travel paperwork

When organizing a world tour, the list of preparations can be really long. Each stage is certainly evident but the main question concerning papers takes a long time.

You can easily buy a sweater, safety pins or a net, but ask for a new passport or credit card, unfortunately can be a real ordeal.


Sécurité papier en voyage

To be sure not to forget anything, we list, we enter procedures, copying, etc.

Here is my summary of what I did before leaving, and a few precautions that I apply to each trip. You then choose what suits you.


Which papers / Administrative

Here at first, the papers I have with me: Passport, driving license (national and international), vaccination record; and important documents: airline tickets and world tour prescription.

Permis, passeport, tous les papiers utiles en voyage

Some tips

  • Ensure that your passport does not contain too many used pages because some countries sometimes require two blank pages that follow or that kind of nonsense. It is believed to India for example.
  • Check the dates of the passport bearing in mind that it must have at least six months validity to return. Most countries where a visa is required pose this condition.
  • National and international driving Licence (one not working without the other). See my article International driving licence.
  • Credit card in two copy. As a precaution, it is best to do to make a second. If the first is lost, stolen, pirated, or whatnot, you’ll still have the second one to save you the rest of the trip. Remember the pin!
  • Be sure to check also the date of validity of bank cards. Know that these are renewed one month before the end date. For a scientist calculation, we must have a valid card a month longer than the date of return (minimum). If nt, call your bank to know how they can ordr, activate and send it to you in the country where you are.
  • When traveling, if you have a stopover in the USA or have planned to go there, you will need to apply ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization).

Precautions before leaving

  • Make some passport photos. You can do almost anywhere and even in some border posts but sometimes it’s more expensive than in France because customs benefit. For the amount expected, it will depend on the number of countries you cross.
  • Make copies of all your papers in multiple copies. When I travel, I always have on me, and easily accessible, copy of my passport that I present on request. If the person wants to see my real passport and I don’t feel it, I say that I can’t, and that the copy is enough. Therefore, I have several copies in order to change them when they are weak.
  • Scan and email all its papers, prescription, flight tickets, pins, etc. If possible, send also a few trusted people who can help you if needed.
  • Consider sending you email useful numbers and those of your friends and family.
  • For very organized, or very anxious: you can take the list of doctors and hospitals in the capital cities that you will visit, the list of embassies and consulates in the country or even the list of all banks and ATMs in every country!

Safety during travel

  • I keep for my passport all the time.
  • I always have a bigger note in my wallet to give if someone pick my pockets. I have with me a liquidity reserve in case a distributor, or bank card could not be used. For example in Burma, only cash in perfect condition are accepted and distributors are rare.
  • Finally, I use every day (or so so), a secret pocket that I wear under my clothes. It gives a little warm, but eventually you get used to.
  • Provide your own padlock for your bedroom doors, door chests, etc. It is better to have a lock code, no need to lug around the key!

pochette achée pour son argent en voyage

Good to know

  • Some banks such as HSBC, are international and allow free withdrawal abroad provided they use their distributors.

If you leave a country with your bank ATM to travel to a country that has none, then we think to remove a useful amount of money before leaving the country. This prevents withdrawals and fees of other banks. A good currency exchange will be a good solution afterwards.

  • For those who like me going without phone and thus no phone number, you may encounter some difficulties paying on some online sites that request a verification code sent precisely to your phone number. Long live the slave connected farewell and your little shopping!

And you, what tips do you have for traveling without administrative concern?


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