Nowadays, even though most absent-minded of traveller can just about get away with forgetting his travel documents at the point he’s going to need them. After all, with online booking tends to come e-tickets and the like, be that for flights, trains or almost any other type of transport you’re planning on using.
Airports, in particular, tend to have plenty of decent internet facilities, so if you forget, lose or damage a ticket, what’s the problem? Simply log-on, print off and check in. So, surely this makes the humble travel document holder virtually obsolete, right? Wrong.
The document holder, for at least one reason, has probably never been more important than right now. Security checks.
In the last decade or so, for obvious reasons, security checks such as passport control have become more stringent than ever. If there’s one thing you need to ensure all this runs smoothly, it’s a simple document holder.
If you managed to get away without one in the past and could simply shove your battered old passport in the back pocket of your jeans and happily saunter round the world barely giving that crease down the middle of your photo a second thought, you’re asking for trouble trying to do that nowadays.
Apart from the fact that many customs officials will now baulk at a creased passport (and even more so a photo) most newer passports are biometric in nature – in other words, they’re no longer just a few flimsy bits of paper with a poorly laminated mugshot of yourself glued onto one of them.
Nowadays passports tend to have electronic microchips embedded within them to authenticate the identity of the traveller.
So, if your passport’s spent the past couple of weeks in an old pair of trousers and been in a washing machine a couple of times, don’t be surprised if it’s not behaving as it should do when you get it to passport control.
For these reasons alone, a travel document holder is, frankly, one of the first things you should take on a trip.
They offer protection not just for your passport but for any of your travel documents. Make sure the holder you choose is robust, heard-wearing, offers decent value for money and is durable enough to hold an array of documents.
Maybe you’re travelling somewhere where you don’t need a passport. If that’s the case, I’d still recommend you invest in a good travel document holder. We’ve all experienced frenzied searches for our tickets on a train, or torn tickets, or spilled something on them. It’s not a pleasant experience, but with a decent holder, it’s not one you need to repeat.
Even if you can simply print an e-ticket off again should the worse happen, why bother with the hassle? Just stick all your important documents in a holder and be done with them. That way you can get on and enjoy your travels with that most calming of travel partners, peace of mind.
With a decent travel document holder you can head off on your travels safe in the knowledge that you have a something to look after the most important stuff you’ll need at any one point. Now, did you pack that toothbrush?
First-hand experience has taught me how overwhelming it can be to plan for a trip and often it’s the little things that can contribute to a stressful situation.