Travel tips: keeping an ‘important folder’ when travelling

I like to think that I am quite an organised traveller. I make lists, I pack long before I am travelling and I organise my ‘important folder’ to take with me.

Truth be told, despite all this. I can still be a panicky traveller and do a lot of last minute checks  (and double checks) before I go out the door (mental check of passport, money, phone, flight tickets).

What is an important folder, and why should you organise one for your travels?

An important folder was a name coined my lovely mum a long time ago. Possibly when I first started to travel on my own (to Philadelphia, USA) or when I moved out of home to study. Either way, the important folder is basically a folder full of all your important documents you need on your travels (pretty self-explanatory really)

My important folder for my next upcoming trip; a thin, lightweight plastic folder with plastic pockets (Polly pockets)

When I told a colleague at work about this recently, she pulled a face; but I personally think it is essential. Everything you need is together in one place, so when you need to pull out a piece of paper at the airport or hostel, you are not flustered looking for a folded piece of paper. It is all in one neat folder. It is also quite thin, and easy to pack, and weighs virtually nothing.

Thin and easy to pack

I realise some people may feel that this could be a security risk. What if the whole folder gets stolen?

I also keep electronic copies (scanned usually, or most confirmations these days are via email) on my computer (I email them to myself).

I keep a separate photocopy of my passport in another location when travelling, as well as leaving copies of everything in my important folder with someone. For my next trip I am leaving my copies with my flatmate.

What do I keep in my ‘important folder’?

  • Flight confirmations
  • A photocopy of my passport
  • Travel insurance certificate
  • A paper copy of any Visas I may need
  • Confirmations of other things including hostels, car hire, train/theatre tickets
  • Maps/walking directions to places
 I realise many people my keep a lot of this electronically – on a smartphone, tablet, laptop – but what if that breaks down, or gets stolen. I think the likelihood of a thin folder being stolen is pretty slim in comparison to a phone/laptop.
In short, I don’t think I will ever stop using this system when I travel, and I’d recommend you organise yourself in this way too.


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