Retirement is an exciting and rewarding milestone after years of hard work. You want to travel and enjoy life. There are specific photos retirees should carry on their phones to make life and travel easier. I’ve curated this list of photos that have helped my husband and me and other relatives over the years. Let’s explore the essential photos every retiree should have on their device for ready access anytime!
1. Driver’s License
Yes, your license should be in your wallet, but a photo is beneficial if you lose your wallet and are pulled over for any reason. The photo shows proof that you have a valid driver’s license, and they can get your license number from the photo and see that it is you in the picture when they run their searches for information. It also speeds up obtaining a temporary license.
I left my license in another purse while traveling and managed to get through two airports with a photo of my license. I had to show the photo of my license and another form of ID. I don’t recommend trying this because it was most stressful and there is no guarantee it will work every time, but it did get me to my destination and back home.
Pro Tip: Be sure to file a police report if your license is stolen. Police and others may ask for it as proof.
2. Health Insurance Cards
Whether you are out for a Sunday drive around the neighborhood or traveling across the country, a photo of your health insurance cards should be on your phone. This is important if you have an accident or get sick and need to go to the hospital. Your health insurance information — whether it’s obtained from your actual cards or a photo of them — will ensure you get the treatment you need as quickly as possible.
This is important if you lose your medications or run out while away from home and is also very helpful if you forget the prescription bottle when you go to the pharmacy. A photo of your prescriptions will make it easier to get replacements if necessary. You can show them the photo, and they can look up the records to save you an extra trip.
I keep a list of all my supplements and meds in the notes area of my phone, but I also have a photo of them. It is helpful when visiting a new doctor and when my current doctor asks me to update my medicines.
4. Emergency Contacts
If you have an accident or become ill and cannot contact your family or friends, having a photo of your contacts will be very helpful. Having a list of emergency contacts on your phone will also ensure that someone can get in touch with them if needed.
Pro Tip: You might wonder Why not just type a list into Notes? Having a photo or screenshot saved in the same folder with all your other emergency photos is helpful. I also suggest backing the folder up on Google Drive or Dropbox so you can access it via other means (a tablet, hotel workspace computer, or even someone else’s phone) if necessary.
5. Bank Cards And Credit Cards
A photo of your bank cards is essential in case you lose your wallet or purse and need to cancel your cards. A picture of your cards will also come in handy if you need to make an online or emergency purchase and don’t have any cash.
Pro Tip: Take a photo of both sides of each card since contact info to cancel cards is often located on the back.
6. Car License Plate
I carry a photo of my car license plate because I can never remember it. When you check into most hotels, they ask for your license plate number. Having a photo saves me time. It is imperative if you have a rental car because you won’t remember what it is.
Pro Tip: If you have a rental car, take a photo of it upon rental. It is easy to forget color, make, et cetera when traveling.
7. Doctor’s Phone Number
I keep a list of my doctors’ phone numbers on my phone, and I have a photo of the list in my photos. I also include my dentist, eye doctor, and pharmacist’s numbers. It is handy to look at the photo when I need to contact them.
A photo of your passport is essential if you lose your wallet or purse and need to prove who you are. If you lose your passport, it will be much easier to replace it if you have a photo of it. As with a driver’s license, a picture of your passport could also come in handy if you need to check into a hotel.
Pro Tip: I print out a copy of my passport and put it into my checked luggage when traveling overseas.
A photo of your travel itinerary is important so you can keep track of your plans and know where you’re supposed to be and when. It is easier than carrying a bunch of papers around throughout the day.
Pro Tip: Just be sure to change this photo before each trip.
10. Room Number And Key
Photos of your hotel room number and key (if it has any unique identifiers) are helpful in case you forget which room you’re staying in or lose your key. This is especially helpful if you are on a road trip or tour and will stay at multiple hotels. After a few, it is easy to forget which room you are currently assigned.
11. Hotel Or Lodging Address
A photo of the address of where you are staying while traveling is also helpful. Whether you need to plug it into your GPS or provide it to an Uber driver, it is vital to have the correct address.
12. Person You Are With
When traveling, taking a photo each morning of the person you are traveling with is helpful. We are often not very observant of what those we are with have on, and a photo is helpful. Should something happen and you are separated, it is much easier to find someone if you know they are wearing pink, green, blue, et cetera.
13. Important Documents
A photo of your will or power of attorney documents will be needed should something happen to you while you’re away from home and your family needs to access your financial accounts or make medical decisions on your behalf.
14. Spouse Or Significant Other
If you are fortunate enough to have someone special in your life, you should carry at least one photo of them on your phone. It will bring a smile to your face every time you see it and make that special someone happy to know you are carrying their photo. If you are out and about and get separated or lost, having a photo of them will be helpful.
15. Photos Of sentimental value
While not strictly speaking “essential,” it can be nice to have photos on hand that are purely for sentimental value — photos of family members, pets, special memories, et cetera. Like the photos of your special someone, they should bring a smile when you see them. You can also show them off when you are out and about and run into someone who asks about family members and such.
You will think this one is funny, but I keep a photo of my last Christmas tree on my phone. I love Christmas, and when I see old friends and acquaintances, they often ask what theme I did my tree in the past Christmas. It is easier to show them than explain.
Bonus: Establish Your Emergency Info Photo Folder
Put all the above photos in an album on your phone labeled Emergency Info or Travel Info. This will keep all the images together, and you will quickly be able to find them when needed.
Travel should be a joy and an adventure. Carrying photos on your phone can be a great way to stay connected with the people you love most while out traveling in retirement. Not only is it an easy way to share memories while you’re on the go, but it can also provide comfort and a sense of security if anything should ever go wrong during your travels.