Credit cards can get lost, passports stolen. Worse yet, during a catastrophic event, all or most of your important travel documents, money cards and insurance cards can go M-I-A.
In such rare cases of emergency, it's uber useful to have easy access to photocopies of:
- The ID page your passport, with the passport number clearly legible
- The fronts and backs of the credit and debit cards you plan to take with you. The rear of the cards have an international number you can call if you need to replace a lost or stolen card.
- Your medical Insurance card and your travel insurance card. If an international contact number is not on the card, be sure to notate that somewhere
- Your driver's license or international driver's license
Bring a photocopy of each with you onto the plane and keep them under lock and key during your trip—ideally in something that looks boring and innocuous.
Also, save a digital copy of each in a secure and private Cloud folder (e.g., Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive) in case your best option in an emergency is to access the information digitally. Just be sure to remove it from the Cloud when you return home.
Additionally, either give a second photocopy of these documents and IDs to a trusted friend or family member back home (ideally someone who is consistently listed as your emergency contact); or give them shared access to your private Cloud folder. This can be of extreme importance in an emergency, especially in cases when you're unable to advocate for yourself.
Just be sure you know this person's phone number by heart in case your phone goes M-I-A and you don't have access to email or the Internet.