Years ago we knew a Sales Manager named Eddie Kislan who was whip smart and spent as much time on airplanes as he did at the dinner table. Eddie never left town without his Travelers Notebook, a small (pocket sized) address book he put in his briefcase which had vital numbers and account numbers should he ever need them while out of the road.
He also traveled with a small Webster’s Dictionary, but that’s in every traveler’s cellphone these days, (which reminds me, a phone is also a possible place to store this information, but note, losing your phone is probably the most common malady a traveler might experience). And with e-tickets so common, a lost phone is the most likely reason you’d need a written back-up, as your itinerary would have much of the account information you’d be missing.
So what should you put in a traveler’s notebook?
- Your travel agent’s number. One stop shopping for so much needed information, and the one person who can help you most in an emergency.
- Your security service number. If you have International SOS or Crisis24 and your firm has sprung for crisis intervention service this might be the most important contact number of all.
- A list of your prescriptions and your drug store’s phone number. If your suitcase is misplaced and you need quick replacements of your meds having a list with the appropriate drug store contact can save valuable time.
- Your primary doctor’s contact information. For similar reasons having your doctor’s number is essential.
- Your corporate membership numbers for car rental and hotel vendors. While these are usually on your itinerary, if your phone’s gone and you don’t have a printed version, you’ll be happy you have them.
- Your personal auto insurance policy number and contacts. When there are issues and you’ve used your insurance to cover a car rental.
- Your health insurance policy number and contacts. For health emergencies, when applicable.
- Emergency contacts. Someone at work, and in your family, if you should need help, should be in there for starters.
- Emergency customer service numbers for each of your credit cards. For when you’ve lost your wallet or purse and you need to stop service on each card. Note: Don’t actually write the numbers in your notebook, you’ll need the rep to look up your account with your address.
- Embassy numbers. If you travel to sketchy locations in Asia, Africa or the Middle East, having a contact number for the embassy of the country you’re visiting could be a life saver.
- Your company’s FedEx number. Need to ship documents home? Having the company account number can save you from spending cash and getting reimbursed.
And what should not be in there?
- Your social security number, your home address, your home phone and your name. Everybody knows these by heart and these tiny bits of info can be all it takes for a would-be thief to get a hold on your online identity. Put your secretary’s name and number in the back in case you lose the notebook, asking the finder to call that number if found.
- Credit card numbers.
When numbers and passwords are keys to modern safety and convenience, you’ll be happy you took a little time to store them away!