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I’m Going To Europe: What About Papers, ID And Travel Insurance?

Updated on February 17, 2012
Don't forget your passport!
Don't forget your passport!

Papers & ID

Traveling is fun, but before you go there is a fair bit to organize. What papers and ID do you need to bring? What about travel insurance? These are all things you need to be thinking about BEFORE heading off on your adventure.

I’m Tom and I run ActiveBackpacker.com so I’m not a stranger to traveling and backpacking, so when I share these tips, I’m talking from personal experience.

Right, let’s get on with it. So what papers will you need to bring along with you? Apart from the obvious ‘Don’t forget your passport!’ you might also want to print out your flight confirmations, hotel or hostel confirmations and ensure you leave behind a copy of the important stuff behind with friends or parents. You never know when you may need those copies!

There’s another piece of ID that (if you have it) I almost consider a ‘must have’ item for any trip to Europe. This is a Student ID. In Europe, you can get discounts on SO MUCH stuff from museum entries to rail tickets if you have a valid student identification. So if you’ve got it, bring it and flaunt it.

I also bring along a small book that I put important numbers in, such as my passport number, international phone number for my bank for if I lose my bank card – and any other number I deem important.

Here’s another tip: Use your email account (I think Gmail works best) to store some of your documents. You’ve got a LOT of free space there that is essentially ‘on the cloud’ (meaning you can access it from anywhere) – so use it, you never know when you may need it. Note: Make sure your password is nice and strong if you’re going to do this. Don’t make it your dog’s name or middle name.

Travel Insurance

Let’s talk insurance. Do I recommend it? Yes, absolutely. The thing about travel is that literally anything could happen – and that’s what makes it so darn exciting. However, there are risks too, so some decent travel insurance is a real must.

Make sure you read the policy fine print and know exactly what you’re covered for. Make sure you know the answers to these questions:

How much will I need to pay in excess if I make a claim?

Am I completely covered for emergency transport and medical costs?

What is the maximum cover for personal items without listing it as a ‘special item’?

If you can answer these, that’s a great start.

Safe travels; use your head and trust your instincts!

Tom is a frequently nomadic traveler from Australia (currently living in Holland) - he talks about all sorts of things on his website through funky articles like the top places to visit in Europe and heaps of other hot backpacking tips

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