The Travel Bible
History of the Travel Bible
The “Event Bible” is a part of every major entertainment production, something I learned a lot about while taking an events management class in college. This Bible can be found in physical and electronic form and is meant to aid and inform the event management team while every moving part of the production is in motion.
Borrowing from my events management class I decided we needed a sort of Event Bible for this too. And thus, the Travel Bible was born.
What is a Travel Bible?
Your Travel Bible should hold all the information that if stranded, and without aid of technology, you would be able to handle that situation.
What to Include in Your Travel Bible
- Passport Copy
- Visa Copy(ies)
- Driver’s License or ID Copy
- International Driver’s License (IDP)
- IDP Copy
- Printout of Travel Insurance
- List of Medications and Their Translations
- Living Will
- Power of Attorney (if applicable)
- Useful Country Information
- Important Phone Numbers
- Flight Information
- Accommodation Information
Photocopies of your passport are useful in case your physical passport is lost or stolen. In the event your passport is compromised, along with accompanying ID, you may be able to get a replacement from the U.S. Embassy a bit easier.
Sometimes businesses will ask to hold your passport in order for you to rent a vehicle, sometimes a passport copy can suffice. If they demand that you leave it with them or you can’t rent from them, move on. Your passport is your only way out of the country, they know that, and they could extort money from you with “damage” on your returned rental.
Visa(s) and Visa Copies
Most visas you obtain from countries you plan to visit, especially if they are holiday or short-term work visas, are digital or printable copies. Have your visa plus an extra copy ready to show at the airport, when applying for jobs, or to get discounts or even free entry to museums and cultural experiences.
Driver’s License or ID Copy
Having a secondary ID is beneficial if you need to prove your identity. If you happen to lose more than your passport, like your wallet or a bag, having a copy of your ID can assist in recovering your lost items or replacing your identity documents.
International Driver’s License (IDP) and Copy
Getting your IDP is optional but recommended if you plan to drive while traveling. You can get an IDP at any AAA agency office on a walk-in or appointment basis. Make a copy of this document as well to add to your Travel Bible.
To obtain a visa most countries will require some kind of travel insurance. We are using Hey Mondo, however many are offered. Have a copy of your policy printed out and added to the Travel Bible in case of a medical emergency.
Medications List and Prescriptions
Have a list of your prescribed medications and information from your doctor on hand. This is useful especially for when you need to declare medicines at customs.
A list of frequently used medicines and their translations/alternate names are good to have on hand as well in case your supply runs low. A lot of countries provide medications over the counter but are known by different names so it’s good to know them when at the pharmacy.
Living Will and Power of Attorney Details
This is not necessarily something that needs to be printed out and with you, but it is important to update your Living Will before extended traveling. Power of Attorney can also be necessary if traveling with a partner or friend.
If medical decisions must be made while out of the country and family can’t be reached in time a Power of Attorney can legally give a person, the ability to act and make decisions on behalf of another. Only get a Power of Attorney If you absolutely trust the person you are traveling with, and only allow them to make necessary medical decisions.
Useful Country Information
It’s important to have as much information on hand as possible when visiting a new country in case internet is unreliable. Having the countries emergency numbers, embassy phone numbers, and embassy addresses can be essential.
Don’t want to do the research? Steal ours! Here is a document with an alphabetized list of countries and their emergency information.
Important Phone Numbers
Emergency phone numbers are important to keep on you. Because who can memorize numbers anymore?
If your cell phone dies you’ll have a list of important and emergency contacts. Also keeping the phone numbers of any accommodations or transportation services is handy especially at the beginning of your travels.
Flight Information and First Accommodation
Even if you are only getting a visa on arrival the airline will usually ask where you will be staying when you get to your destination. Have at least your first location’s address to copy down.
Your flight information is important to have as well especially if you have a connecting flight or self-transfer, and customs will almost always ask about a return flight. Keep that in mind when booking flights into and out of a country.
How Should You Store Your Travel Bible?
Having both a hard copy and digital copy for each person in your travel party is recommended. A plastic 3-ring folder or binder, with plastic sleeves for the pages, and multi-colored tabs are all good ways to keep your Travel Bible in order. Keep a digital file on your computer, phone, email, and send it to a friend or relative as a backup.
Any Other Bits and Pieces
If you have any specific things you will need while on your travels, put them in your Bible as well! For example, we have copies of our Disney complimentary tickets to use at the parks around the world at the ready.