Victoria Zidwick a RoamRight Blog Author

The Ultimate Travel Documents Checklist

travel document checklist

You have a lot of things to remember when you are packing for your trip. However, the worst thing to forget are your important travel documents. Without them, you may not be able to take your trip.

Whether you are traveling within the United States or traveling overseas, this list can help ensure you are packing the documentation you need in order to have a great trip.

Domestic Travel Documentation

For traveling within the United States, all people over the age of 18 are required to show a valid, current U.S. federal or state-issued photo ID that contains name, date of birth, gender, expiration date, and a tamper-resistant feature. These IDs include:

  • Driver's licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by a Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent) that meets REAL ID benchmarks
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS "Trusted Traveler" cards (Global Entry®, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Military ID
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Border Crossing Card
  • DHS-designated enhanced driver's license
  • Native American Tribal Photo ID
  • Airline or airport-issued ID (if issued under a TSA-approved security plan)
  • Registered Traveler Card (that contains name, date of birth, gender, expiration date, and a tamper-resistant feature)
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) card
  • Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)

Depending on your travel plans, it may also be helpful to have these documents on hand:

  • Paper copies of your tickets (plane, train, bus, etc.)
  • Your hotel confirmation information, or other info on your destination
  • A copy of your travel insurance description of coverage, including your ID card
  • Maps of your driving route
  • Discreet city maps when you may be exploring a new city
  • A copy of your itinerary

International Travel Documentation

international travel documents

No matter where in the world you are traveling, it is a good idea to take with you the following documents:

  • Your passport – make sure it hasn’t expired or is close to expiring
  • A copy of the picture page of your passport stored in a place separate from the place you plan to store your passport
  • A copy of your itinerary
  • Originals or paper copies of your tickets (plane, train, bus, etc.)
  • International driver’s license if you plan to drive
  • If you use traveler’s checks, bring a copy of your check register
  • Consider keeping some US Dollars in a safe place in your hotel in event of emergency
  • Your hotel confirmation information

Some countries have stricter documentation requirements when entering:


To enter Australia you may be required to have an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). You can apply for an ETA on the Australian Government website.


Permanent U.S. residents need an electronic travel authorization (eTA) in order to be able to fly into the country. You can apply for an eTA on the Canadian Government website.


All travelers to Honduras must complete a biometric passenger registration process than includes an online customs and immigration form that should be completed before arriving in Honduras. Travelers can complete the form online.

United Kingdom:

Visitors to the United Kingdom can join the Registered Traveler program which expedites the process of pre-approved, low-risk international travelers entering the country. You can register for the Registered Traveler program on the U.K. government site.

Other countries:

Some countries may require you to show additional documentation, such as:

  • Your Yellow (immunization) Card
  • A copy of your bank account statement showing your balance
  • Your ticket to exit the country
  • Extra copies of your passport photo

International Student Travel Documents

For those studying abroad, there is a different set of documentation needed in order to ensure entry into the foreign country as well as re-entry into the United States:

  • Valid F-1 Visa
  • Valid Passport
  • Endorsed and original Form I-20 (the document issued by your designated school official when you are accepted into a Student and Exchange Visitor Program-certified institution)
  • Bank statements or other proof of financial support to pay living expenses and tuition fees
  • Contact information for your designated school official
  • If you are traveling for training, a verification letter from your employer stating the purpose of your trip and that you are expected to return

How to Store Travel Documents

It is important to make sure you are storing your travel documents in a safe place before you depart for your trip.

  • Always bring the original documents, but consider keeping original documents in a safe place in your hotel room when you are out for the day since passports are not typically required for routine sightseeing and travel
  • Always keep a paper copy of key travel documents (passport, tickets, etc.) stored in a separate piece of luggage from the original
  • Use the RoamRight app to securely store pictures of your travel documents

What to Do If You Lose Travel Documents

It can be a stressful situation to lose important travel documents when you’re overseas. If documents such as your passport are lost or stolen while traveling, you may have coverage with your travel insurance plan.

Most Arch RoamRight travel insurance policies provide coverage for passports and visas that are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed during your trip. This coverage can provide reimbursement for fees association with the replacement of these documents. You may also have coverage for trip delay associated with lost, stolen, or damaged visas or passports.

The travel assistance services included with Arch RoamRight travel insurance policies can also provide assistance for replacing lost or stolen travel documents. If you need this assistance and are currently covered by an Arch RoamRight travel insurance plan, you can call collect at +1-443-279-7335 or toll-free at 1-855-286-8348.

Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.


About the Author

Victoria Zidwick

Victoria Zidwick, a RoamRight Blog Author RoamRight's Marketing Communications Specialist, Victoria Zidwick, has worked in the travel insurance industry for more than five years. She has traveled extensively throughout the United States and has a handful of international travel experiences.Victoria's travel experiences have changed in recent years, as her family grows and she is learning the ins and outs of traveling with children. Connect with Victoria on LinkedIn or follow her onTwitter or Google Plus.

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