Backup info sheet

The backup info sheet (Photo © Reid Bramblett)
The backup info sheet

The sheet of backup information is the message in a bottle you send to yourself in case you get into trouble and lose all your important travel documents

Make a photocopy collage that includes the following: 

Also write on this sheet the your credit card numbers ("code" them somehow), and the phone numbers for the issuers of your ATM bank cards and credit cards—if you lose any of them on the road, you’ll need to call it in immediately. 

Note that most credit cards and such will have a local, non toll-free number that you can call collect from abroad (since you can't dial 800, 866, 877, or 888 numbers from overseas).

Be sure you get these numbers before you leave. If it's not written on the back of the card or somewhere on the card issuer's web site, call the toll-free number that is on there, navigate the annoying "push 1 for..." system until you get a live person, and ask her. 

Make three copies of this backup sheet of paper.

  1. Leave one with a friend at home (along with a copy of your itinerary)
  2. Give one to your traveling companion
  3. Carry the third with you in a safe place separate from the originals! (Tuck it away inside the lining of your bag or something.)