Have you ever done an assignment with all your might, only to find it destroyed or lost the day of submission? The pain you feel is very similar to when you lose or misplace documents during travel. They might be business files, personal projects (for artists and other creatives) or even travel essentials such as passports. Losing your documents amid travel can cause you a lot of turmoil and distress. Here are some ways to secure documents while on the road.
1. Make Copies
Before leaving home, secure documents by making multiple physical copies of the most important ones you are going to need. Leave some at home for safekeeping. When packing, make sure you store the rest in separate places. If you have more than one bag, ensure each bag gets a set. That way, even if one luggage, God forbid, got lost or stolen, you will still have a set left in the other.
2. Backup Digitally
Thanks to the ever-evolving technology, you do not have to make hard copies of documents all the time. Now, you can easily store digital versions of your documents in different forms in your computer and the cloud. If you do not have a computer, do not fret. You can still retrieve documents from cloud storage using your smartphone. The cloud gives you the advantage of infinity storage without the burden of bulk. You can access documents in the cloud at any time and from any place as long as you have a computerized device. Alternatively, you can use flash drives and memory cards. The downside with these is the extra burden of keeping them in your person all the time.
3. Keep Hard Copies in Sturdy Folders
When packing, avoid at all costs, to place your documents bare among your other belongings. Unless they have tight bindings as with books, always try to put documents in sturdy folders. The folders keep the papers from damage arising from friction, spillage and wrinkling. Ensure you place folders at either the very bottom or top of your clothes but never in between to reduce chances of friction damage.
4. Keep Sensitive Documents on your Carry-on Luggage
Whether you are flying, going by train or matatu, there is always the bag that goes in the trunk or cargo space, and the one you carry with you to your seating place. The latter is the carry-on luggage. If you are travelling with original copies of sensitive documents such as passports, driving license, and identification cards, keep them in your carry-on luggage. If you can wear a fanny pack or sling bag that would be the most ideal. These two are efficient because they are on your person at all times and difficult to misplace.
5. Use Copies Unless Required Otherwise
If you are at a hotel, travel site, or even at a travel office, always use copies unless you are asked for originals. Certified copies can work in the stead of original ones in many institutions. The advantage for you is you will have the originals kept safe for most of the time. You should also be careful of the people asking to see your documents. Unless they are at a designated office or institution or they are a police officer, never show your documents to anyone. Some malicious people prey on tourists and steal their papers with the hope of making money. Do not be too forthcoming with everyone asking for your documents.
6. Avoid Potential Accidents
To secure documents during travel, avoid using them while eating, drinking, bathing, swimming, or using electrical devices. I know you might be tempted to do some final edits to your report/assignment as you enjoy your meal. However, that is always a recipe for disaster. You might end up spilling a drink over your computer, rendering it dead. You might also drop oily food that leaves a permanent smudge over the papers. Either way, you will suffer a loss that you could have avoided by not multitasking around your documents.
Travelling with documents is a sensitive task. Losing some documents amid travel can cause you havoc and frustration, which can end up ruining your whole trip. That is why you have to devise ways of keeping them safe at all times. I hope that the tips outlined above are sufficient help for the same.