Do you have a travel wallet? With lots of people heading off on summer vacations, I thought this was a great opportunity to explore the best travel wallets out there. Having a travel wallet can really help you stay organized when you travel. Traveling, especially by air, can be stressful even in the best of times. I like to be prepared but no matter how prepared I am, there’s always a level of anxiety around getting on a plane. Now that Summer is here and lots of families are planning their summer vacations, having a travel wallet could really come in handy.
I’ve never had an actual travel wallet, per se. While my home may be in Ireland, I’m originally from the U.S. so I usually travel to see my family there once a year. I consider myself a pretty organized person when it comes to traveling but I still have anxiety around getting to the airport, checking in, and boarding. Once I’m on the plane, I’m ok. Afterall, there’s nothing that can be done once I’m on the plane.
Remember how I told you that I get a little anxiety around air travel? Well, there’s a good reason for that. A few years ago, my nightmare came true. My nightmare has been that I would forget something REALLY important before I travel.
Being that I live in Ireland, I have a European driver’s license that I can use both here and in the U.S. when I rent a car. A few years ago, my mother became ill and I needed to go back and help out. I did the usual: booked the plane tickets, booked the car rental, organized finances, packed my laptop bag and suitcase. Then I packed and put all my necessary travel documents within easy reach so that when I got to the airport, all I had to do was check in and show my passport.
While I was waiting to board, I double checked my documents to make sure I had everything. My documents were loosely stuffed into my big oversized purse. That’s when I discovered that I didn’t pack my drivers’ license! Panic set in as I realized this because I knew that I couldn’t rent a car without it. I called the car rental company and asked if they would accept a photocopy to which they said no. Needless to say, I didn’t do any driving on that trip and it seriously hampered my ability to help my mother out.
Why Would You Need a Travel Wallet?
I traveled on my own for that particular trip but for those of you who travel with children–especially more than one child–you are pretty distracted just trying to keep everyone together, right? Compound that with keeping travel documents organized as well and that’s pretty stressful! That’s why a travel wallet–even a family travel wallet–could lower your stress level considerably!
My Top Picks For Travel Wallets
My Top Tips On Organizing Your Air Travel
Some of these tips I got from my father. I remember watching him preparing for travel and laughing at him because his methods seemed a little ridiculous but I now see how helpful early preparation is.
Tip #1: My father didn’t fly much but he did travel around the U.S. by car–actually his R.V. Once a year he’d attend a Navy reunion with all his old Navy buddies. They would meet at a designated spot and have fun for a few days. It was usually a tourist place of some sort like Las Vegas or something. Anyway, before his trip he would pull out his suitcase and lay it on the floor in his bedroom. Over the next week or two before his trip I’d see him throw something in his suitcase every now and then. It seemed pretty silly at the time, and I do remember chuckling, but he was always prepared for his trips! I must confess that I started doing that myself and have found it helpful.
Tip #2: Create a spreadsheet. I’ve been doing this for years, especially since the drivers’ license incident! I created my spreadsheet in Google Drive. That way, I have access to it anywhere as long as I can log into my email account. I use the same list over and over again. The list is broken out into categories such as: electronics, travel documents, etc. I also have 3 columns: Item, Departure, Return. This way I make sure I come back with all the stuff I went over with. Do you think this is OTT? Over the top?
Tip #3: Make sure you have all the adapters you need for your electronics you will be carrying such as laptop, cell phone, iPad, etc. Check the voltage on the device to see if it’s 110 and 220. 110 is the voltage for the U.S. and 220 is for Ireland. I’m not sure what it is for other European countries.
Tip #4: Don’t bring any electronics that will require any kind of electrical conversion such as mini-transformers. Excessive use of mini-electrical converters actually hurt your device in the long run. It’s not worth it.
Tip #5: If you want to use your phone abroad, make sure it’s unlocked to your network before you go so you can get a local sim card to use in your phone. You can even get a dual sim phone. That way you don’t miss anything important while you are away, if that’s indeed necessary. If you have upgraded your GSM phone recently,
Tip #6: When buying souveniers or anything you want to bring back with you, put it in your suitcase right away so you can make sure it will fit along with everything else you want to bring back.
Tip #7: Pack a weighing scale so you can ensure you are not over the weight limit for your baggage. When I go over to the U.S., I like to have a 10 lb. buffer so I won’t have a weight problem coming back.
What To Look For In A Travel Wallet
There are a lot of factors to consider when you decide to buy a travel wallet. You should think about what you want/need to carry in your travel wallet. That alone will determine how big you need it to be as well as how you would like to wear it and store it when you don’t need it. Another consideration is the weight–not only how much your travel wallet may weigh but the actual weight after you put all your important documents into it.
No matter what time of year it is, if you have to travel long distances, be sure to have a decent travel wallet. They really are invaluable!