My Trusty Travel Binder

Let me preface this story:  this trip happened before the widespread adoption of smartphones.

My first big adventure trip was to Peru to hike the Inca Trail. I went with two girlfriends and as you can see in the itinerary, it was about a two week trip.

We had to leave some of our stuff at the hostel while we were hiking the trail. As we were organizing our things, we pulled out all of our documents (flight confirmations, hostel reservations, etc) to get our Inca Trail permits. One friend had a neatly organized binder with her documents in separators. I had a semi-rigid folder that had all of my documents in chronological order.  My other friend had….well, she had a wad of papers that she kept in her cargo pants pocket. It took her a bit longer than us to find her proper documents, but she did.

I copied my more organized friend and stepped up my travel binder game for my big trips.

I use 1/2 inch binders (you don’t want it to be too big) and I put my documents in various separators according to theme.  Here’s what my trusty travel binder contains (each bullet point has its own separator):

  • Printed out travel itinerary with dates, locations, flight numbers, hotels, tour information
  • Printed versions of all of my confirmations in the order in which I’ll need them (hotels, tours, flights, visas, travel insurance, etc)
  • Copies of my various credit and debit cards
  • Additional paperwork

The travel binder takes a lot of stress from my travel.  I know where I need to be and I know I have the proper documents in case something goes awry. It’s also handy to have if you receive certificates or departure cards–it’ll keep them in good shape and you won’t lose/forget them.

Does anyone else still travel with paper?  Share your experiences below:




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