Luggage & packing

10 Necessary Documents to Take While Traveling

There are several necessary documents to take when traveling overseas. As soon as you know that you might be traveling, you need to start planning. Some of the documents like a passport and a visa might take weeks (or even months) to get. So start the process as you know that you might need to travel. Don’t wait.

Here is a list of all the necessary documents to take while traveling:

  1. Passport

You obviously need a passport. If you don’t have one, you need to get one. If you have one, you need to make sure that it is still valid and has lots of time remaining on it. Some country destinations require 6 months to 1 year of validity remaining. So do your homework and make sure you have a passport that meets the destination country requirements.

If you need to travel soon (under a month) and don’t have a passport, don’t worry. even if a passport is the necessary documents to take while traveling , the good news is the US and most other countries have expedited procedures that will allow you to get a passport quickly.

It will cost a bit extra to go through the expedited procedures, but it is well worth it for the peace of mind. Also, there are many passport service providers that can help you—for a fee.

Not all passports are equal. Some countries like the US, Canada, and most European countries allow you to travel with fewer requirements. They belong to the “Visa Waiver Program” and allow you to travel between certain countries as a tourist for limited periods of time without requiring a visa. Some passports are problematic – like North Korean or Syrian—and will cause you severe travel restrictions.

Be sure to research your country’s passport with respect to your destination. Be sure you know what the restrictions are. If you have any doubt, call your country’s local embassy or consulate. Finally, be aware that many countries require that you carry your passport on your person at all times.


  1. Visa

You may need a valid visa consistent with your purpose of traveling. A visa is a document (usually stamped in your passport) that allows you to travel to your destination country. You need to check if you need a visa to go there. You can check online on the destination country’s website. If you have any questions, you can call the destination country’s local embassy or consulate.

There are different types of visas that are available depending on the reason for your travel. A tourist visa is the most common and easiest to secure. Business visas are also common. You need to research the kind of visa you need and what the requirements are because Visa is necessary documents to take while traveling for a lot of countries.

Many countries belong to the “Visa Waiver Program.” These countries allow for tourist travel for the limited duration between its member countries without the necessity of securing a normal tourist visa.

Visas can take anywhere from one day to several months to secure. So you need to investigate the visa issue as soon as you know that you need to travel. Don’t worry. Most countries make a lot of money from tourism, so the process of getting a tourist visa is usually not too difficult.


  1. Copies of Passport and Visa

Before you travel, you should photocopy the front photo page of your passport and the relevant visa pages of your passport. You should do this because you may lose your passport or someone might steal it.

If this happens and you don’t have copies of your passport and visa, you may have a very difficult time because your passport and visa are your identification for that country. Many hotels require those documents at check-in.

And you may not be able to leave the country without them. If you don’t have, at least photocopies of the passport photo page and visa page, the consequences can be severe.


  1. Driver’s License and Student ID

If you are planning to drive in the destination country, you need a valid driver’s license. If you have a valid international, US or other country’s driver’s license, it often will allow you to rent a car in many countries. Don’t assume anything. Make sure that your valid license will allow you to legally drive in the destination country. You can check online or with your rental car provider.

In the rare case that you lose your passport or aren’t carrying your passport, having a valid government-issued driver’s license or photo ID can help. In many countries, you cannot visit a business office without surrendering a valid photo ID to the security officer.

In many cases, they will accept a valid driver’s license or student ID if it is valid and has a photo. And many museums and other attractions give discounts to students with ID—even movie tickets in some countries.


  1. Travel Tickets and Hotel Confirmation

Always have your return travel tickets (whether by air or rail) and hotel confirmation easily accessible and make copies of them in case you need to replace them. There are many countries that require that you have a return ticket before they let you into the country. Even some rental car companies in the US require you show them your return air tickets if you are paying with a debit card.


  1. Travel Insurance

If you are going to unusual places, expensive places or if you just want peace of mind, it might be good to purchase travel insurance. You never know what might happen and travel insurance can make sure that you can recover some funds if something goes wrong.


  1. Vaccinations

Before you travel, you need to check if there are particular vaccinations that are required for travel to your destination. Not only should you get these vaccinations but you should carry proof that you received these vaccinations.


  1. Airport “Exit Card”

Many passport control officers in many destination countries require that you provide an “exit card” before you can leave. These “exit cards” are usually found with the “entry card” that you need to fill to enter the country. Don’t worry if you lose it. Most countries have extras at the point of passport control for the exit of the country.


  1. Credit and Debit Cards

Make sure you either photocopy or write down all the relevant numbers including the date of expiration and the secret code just in case you lose them.


  1. Hotel Safe

Many people put photocopies of their credit or debit cards along with the photocopies of their passport photo and visa pages in a plastic bag along with their phone number and email address in the hotel safe.




So make sure you have all the necessary documents to take while traveling. And make sure you carry copies of at least the photo and visa page of your passport, travel tickets, credit cards, and any other essential travel documents.

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