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One simple way to avoid disaster while travelling

Updated on February 15, 2016

Stay organized when travelling

There I was - at Dublin Airport, with a handful of other students and our lecturer, about to board the plane to go back home to Norway after a week's study trip to Ireland. It had been a long week, and we were all exhausted and very ready to go home.

As everybody jumped up and pulled out their boarding passes and passports, I reached into my purse for mine and froze.

There was my boarding pass, but no passport...

Photo: Amazon.

I'm usually very organized

Well, in my own way...

My world is one of organized chaos. You know how it is: your desk looks like a big mess, but you know exactly where to find everything.

However, for someone who usually knows where everything is, I tend to get flustered at airports. There are so many people, so much information, and just so much going on at once! Someone wants to see your boarding pass, someone else your passport, suddenly you have to take your iPad out of your bag - and don't forget to remove your belt before walking through the metal detectors. I get nervous and feel like I lose control over my belongings.

That is, until I bought myself a travel wallet. Passport, boarding passes, itinerary, and a credit card - all in one place. It is such a relief!

Simple and functional travel wallets to consider

Not everyone likes to attract much attention to themselves. They may want their travel wallet to be plain and serve its purpose. For you, I have chosen this collection of very functional travel wallets.

U2U Green Multi Purpose Travel Passport Holder Organizer
U2U Green Multi Purpose Travel Passport Holder Organizer

Sturdy and waterproof, and with enough room for everything you could possibly need while travelling. And all this for a pretty good price!


Meanwhile, back in Dublin...

I started cold sweating and felt a chill down my spine. There really was no passport in my purse, and no matter how many times I looked it would not magically reappear either. Nervously I stammered to my lecturer: "I seem to have lost my passport..."

While the plane was boarding I ran back to all the tax-free shops I had been to, asking if the staff had found a passport. I was presented with three boarding passes and a passport that wasn't mine - but in my panic I was not able to find comfort in knowing that I was not the only one losing important papers.

On my way back to the gate - still empty-handed - my phone rang, and my lecturer told me they had found my passport at the check-in counter. But I would soon discover my problems did not end there...

Travel wallets that scream "Vacation with my girlfriends!"

Keep your travel papers and frequent flyer cards in one place with these fun and girly travel accessories.

Santa Barbara Design Studio Bombay Duck Travel Wallet, Bon Voyage Lime Spots With Palm Tree
Santa Barbara Design Studio Bombay Duck Travel Wallet, Bon Voyage Lime Spots With Palm Tree

Ahh, just looking at your travel wallet you are reminded of the week in the Bahamas with the girls. With three compartments and a zipped pocket you will have all the room you need.


Do you use a travel wallet?

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Valid ID

It turned out that without a valid ID, they could not give my passport back to me! As I showed them my VISA card with an up-to-date photo, date of birth and my signature on it, I was told that valid ID was limited to a driver's licence and a passport.

A passport I obviously did not have in my possession, and I didn't even have a driver's license at the time.

While all this was going on, they were holding the plane for me, and I was getting more and more anxious. I was first told I would have to spend the night at the airport and catch another flight in the morning - and of course pay for the new ticket. As a student on a limited budget, I panicked.

Eventually the nice woman at the gate called the pilot and asked if he was okay with flying a person without a passport, and he was. I was finally allowed on the plane with the parting words "Don't do this again!", quickly followed by "Oh, and I can't guaranteed that you will be allowed back into Norway without a passport!"


"It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression, 'As pretty as an airport'."

~ Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

Subtle elegance

I get easily bored with plain functionality, yet I am not one for loud patterns on clothes or accessories.

Look as organised as you feel with these elegant accessories. You may have booked economy class tickets, but there is nothing wrong with pretending to travel on first class!

Pierre Belvedere Executive Travel Wallet, Plum (071490)
Pierre Belvedere Executive Travel Wallet, Plum (071490)

Nine slots for credit cards, pen holder and two pockets to keep passport and tickets. You can also get luggage tags, passport holders, portfolios and reading glass cases to match.

Oh, and it's purple!


The end of the story

Red-faced and exhausted I boarded the plane with everybody’s eyes on me. I slumped back in my seat and pretended to sleep for the whole flight, completely humiliated by my own stupidity.

As it turned out, I had no problem getting into Norway, and the man at the passport control gave me the number to the Norwegian embassy in Dublin, where my passport would hopefully be delivered. Six months (!) later it arrived at the local sheriff’s office and was returned to me.

Still, seven years later, I have nightmares about turning up at the airport without my passport!

A few things to think about when choosing a travel wallet

Make sure it really does have enough room for everything you may need on the journey - passport, boarding passes and a credit card. Being organized is hard when you suddenly don't have what you need with the rest of the items, just because it didn't fit.

With a wallet that can be closed with a zipper, you can relax knowing that nothing will fall out. Just remember to close the zipper each time you use it...

It is also great when they have a zipped pocket inside the wallet for coins.

Bon voyage!

Okay, so my story ended well. What about you? - What is your worst airport experience?

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    • Aibrean82 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      @ThreeQuarters2Day: That is exactly how you need to see these things - as a learning experience. It sounds like a very uncomfortable experience, though. Poor 18 year old you!

      Thank you for sharing!

    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile image

      Dawn Romine 

      4 years ago from Nebraska

      Maybe not my worst, but in some minds it could be. Taking a Greyhound bus cross country from OK to CT by myself at age 18. Had to wait in Grand Central Station in New York City at 5 am in the morning. No benches or seats, the homeless and bums had them all (granted this was the early 80's different now) about 6 am a police officer rounded them up and ushered them to breakfast at the local mission. I sat on the floor in the corner with my legs over my suitcases and arms wrapped around my backpack. Learning experience.

    • Aibrean82 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @Snakesmum: That sounds incredibly stressful!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Going from one end of Dubai airport three times, because they put up the wrong gate number. If youve ever been to Dubai, you'll know just how big it is. Thought I would be late for the plane.

    • silla lm profile image

      silla lm 

      5 years ago

      My worst experience was when I was travelling to London without my parents for the first time, and when it was time for the gates to close I was still stuck in the slow moving queue waiting to get my bags x-rayed! Luckily it turned out the plane was late too, so I didn't miss my flight.

    • Aibrean82 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @DANCING COWGIRL: It was pretty crazy. I hope I will never lose my passport ever again!

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 

      5 years ago from Texas

      Wow, you had a pretty wild experience with the passport. You are certainly correct about getting something to keep all of your important travel documents secure and handy.

    • Aibrean82 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @lgOlson: Oh no! How terrible! I am always afraid of that when I have to leave my phone and computer in a bin before the scan. Thanks for sharing!

    • lgOlson profile image

      L Olson 

      5 years ago from Northern Arizona

      At LA airport, I had to remove my cell phone and put it in a bin to go through a scan, with a few other personal items they did not allow at the time. I went through the body scanner about 10 ft, to pick up my things and my cell phone was gone, taken out of the bin. The security people all claimed they never saw it, though they were standing right over it as it passed beneath them. Good thing it was a cheap one!


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