I used to fumble around airports and immigration offices looking through our stack of passports to find the one they needed at the moment. Not as fun as it looks with crying babies, disgruntled customs employees, and a line of people whispering about your obvious disorganization.
Then I learned of the trick to make things easier: using color paperclips on each passport. So simple. Whenever we need a specific passport, we just look at the paperclips. Now my kids don’t cry, customs employees smile and suggest the best local restaurants, and the line behind me breaks out in applause when they see my paperclips. Ok, maybe not, but that’s what I like to think they’re doing.
If you can’t find or don’t want to spend money on color paperclips, just tie a different color string or ribbon on each paperclip. Or attach a cute piece of washi tape to a paperclip. You can also attach nice washi tape directly to the passport, but my husband likes to keep things simple.
Other ways we organize our physical documents for travel:
- We have a travel wallet for all things travel related. One travel wallet for the family. We keep our passports, membership cards, and local currency to our 2 most travelled areas (in our case we have USD and EUR). If we have tickets that we printed online and need to show, we store it in the travel wallet so we don’t have to look for it later. TIP: Buy a travel wallet in a bright color so it’s easy to spot and zips all the way around so nothing falls out.
- Most travel wallets I see don’t seem like they can hold more than 4 passports. If your family has more than 4 passports, I hate to tell you, you just might need to buy two wallets.
- We email copies of our passports and other important documents to ourselves so we know where to go to find them.
- If, for some reason, we have more documents than what will fit in our travel wallet, we use a folder or binder. We put each document in their own page protector. It’s easier to find things when we flip through the pages.
So, this is how I handle paper documents, do you have any tips? Also, I know it’s becoming easier to use apps to organize digital information. Which apps do you recommend?