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One of the great benefits of the digital age is the reduction of paper usage, the synchronization of information and data in apps and with downloadable forms. However if you are totally reliant on these tools and you like to travel far and wide, paper printouts of Everything relevant to your trip is still very essential.
When undertaking a trip of any size it is good to have your itinerary spelled out as far in advance as possible. This is plane/train/bus/boat/car reservations which ensure your mobility the most essential part of travel. The second most important question is where are you staying? Keeping hotel data in an app as handy as it is will not ensure your reservation if your devices have no connectivity or power. An app will not give you as strong bargaining power as well if there is a descrepancy about the room rented, (We had an encounter on this issue at a simple hotel in Kazakhstan and the paper printout was the only thing that gave us a place to start from when contacting the booking website.
By printing everything we mean all forms of stay and transit and of course any remaining reservations for museums, tours etc.
This is the place where most tourists, even experienced travelers kick themselves for not having their information printed and handy. You probably will still be able to enter your destination country eventually, (you may not in some cases) but would you rather be fumbling around looking to print confirmation of your reservations, or to have them all handy in a folder when a border agent asks for confirmation of a departing flight and of the hotels you will be staying in?
Just in our current multi destination trip we’ve been asked to provide proof of outbound flights and hotel addresses and we’ve witnessed many border patrol agents not accepting phones and tablets as proof.
Printed information comes in so handy you will not want to travel without it. Many times we’ve thought we knew when the next flight would be, only to look at the printout the night before and realize we’ve got to be out the door 2 hours earlier the next day. Instances when one has had luggage stolen or lost or been the victim of a crime abroad, all of these instances the travel documents will assist, police, travel agencies and gate agents to fill out forms, recover part of your trip or put you on another form of transit. Imagine having your electronic device stolen and no other way to known what your itinerary will be.