While planning your summer vacation, you have probably put some thought into what to pack. While you are stuffing suitcases, now may also be a good time to purge – your wallet, that is. Open up your wallet right now and you may be surprised when you realize you carry a window to your entire life – credit cards, store cards, old receipts, extra house keys, family photos. Our friends at Medjet have put together this great list of items that should be in your wallet.
What you should carry:
- Cash. It’s always a good idea to carry at least a small amount of cash in your wallet, preferably local currency. No matter where you are, cash is always accepted.
- Two forms of identification. At least one piece of identification should have a photo. This can be a driver’s license, a photocopy of your passport or a state issued ID card.
- Prepaid phone card. Depending on your final destination, cell phones may not be the most reliable form of communication. This is especially important if you find yourself stranded or in an emergency situation and need to call for help.
- A credit card. Even if you don’t like using plastic, it can be a lifesaver in an emergency. ATM fees at international banks can be expensive. Also, if the credit card becomes lost or stolen, once you notify the company in most cases you are not held liable for the charges.
- Medical insurance card. Should you end up in a foreign hospital, you may not have access to the same level of healthcare if you are not carrying your medical insurance card. Be sure to check with your insurance provider prior to your trip to confirm they cover international travel. If not, you will want to invest in temporary travel insurance for international travel.
- List of any medications and special conditions. Write these down on a piece of paper and stick it in your wallet in case you are incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. Also include the name and phone number of your primary care physician and emergency contact.
- Emergency Air-Medical Transport Card. Injury and illness often hit unexpectedly and at the most inopportune moments. When this occurs, the last place you want to be is far away from home. Medical evacuations are expensive and not covered under traditional medical insurance plans, meaning the patient is expected to pay for this service out of pocket. Be sure to have emergency air-medical transportation protection in place before leaving home.
One thing you should never carry:
- Old receipts. Occasionally receipts contain personal information like credit card numbers. If you make a purchase at your hotel, stick the receipt in your wallet, and then your wallet gets stolen, the thieves now know exactly where to find you. Remove receipts from your wallet at the end of the day. Check to make sure no personal information is printed on them, then throw away the ones you don’t need. Keep the ones you need to reconcile your bank statements hidden in a safe place.