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14 Surprising Things You Should Take Photos of When Traveling

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Allianz - young couple with camera

If you’re serious about travel photography, you already know what not to take pictures of: your toes on the beach, the view from your tent flap, and anything else seen on the insta_repeat Instagram feed.

But did you know that your phone camera can be a powerful tool to protect you when you’re traveling? Here are a few things you absolutely should photograph on your next trip, although none of them is Insta-worthy. (Except for the portrait of your pet, of course.)

>Traveling soon? Don’t wait — protect your trip with travel insurance.

1. The Inside Of Your Packed Suitcase

Your phone camera is the easiest way to keep track of what you’re packing. Snap a few shots as your possessions are laid out on the bed, and also of your fully packed luggage. This can come in handy in case your baggage is lost, stolen or misplaced and you need to file a claim.

2. Receipts For Anything You Purchased For Your Trip

Did you buy a new parka for your ski trip, or a new swimsuit for a cruise? Take a photo of each item, along with the receipt. That’s because your travel insurance’s baggage loss/theft/damage benefit can cover up to 75% of the cash value for your items without a receipt, or up to 100% of the value with a receipt (up to the max limits for your plan.)

3. Your Credit Cards

Taking photos of your credit cards, front and back, can protect you in case of loss or theft, because you’ll have the account numbers and the bank’s phone number. Consider using a secure photo-storage app to keep these safe in case your phone gets stolen.

4. Your Passport

No, you can’t use a photo of your passport to travel. However, having a photo handy can make it easier to replace your passport if it’s lost. Snap a quick shot of the inside, so you can see your passport number and other info. And remember: in case of lost or stolen documents, call 24-Hour Hotline Assistance for help.

5. Your Emergency Medical Information

If you have an emergency while you’re traveling solo, your phone can communicate important information to first responders. Write your name, your emergency contact info and any chronic medical conditions on a piece of paper. Take a photo and set it as your lock screen, just in case.

6. Prescriptions

It’s smart to bring an original copy of any prescriptions on your trip, in case you need to refill them. The next best thing is a photograph.

7. Receipts for Purchases

While you’re traveling, you’ve got to keep track of all your receipts in case you need them to file a claim. But it’s just too easy to lose those little scraps of paper! Take a photo of each receipt the minute you get it, and you’re set. Essential receipts include:

  • Receipts for meals, hotels and transportation during a covered travel delay
  • Receipts for necessary items you buy during a covered baggage delay
  • Receipts for accommodations and transportation due to a covered trip interruption
  • Receipts for souvenirs and other purchases, in case those items are lost, stolen or damaged on your trip

If you have those photos, you can upload them with your claim directly from the free TravelSmart app from Allianz Global Assistance.

8. Claim Checks and Valet Tickets

Any time someone hands you a tiny, important piece of paper, take a picture!

9. The Outside of Your Hotel or Homeshare

If you often get lost in big cities, take a photo of the place where you’re staying. You can always show the photo to a cab driver or a local to get help finding it.

10. The Inside of Your Homeshare at Checkout

A family rented an Airbnb property outside of Washington, D.C. for a week, and then got hit with an excess cleaning fee of $1,470. The owner claimed they had left trash in the house, spilled food on the couch and brought in a cat. The family denied all of this — and only got their money back after a consumer advocate stepped in.1 Protect yourself from situations like this by documenting the condition of your rental when you check in and check out.

11. Your Pet

Traveling with your pet? Take a picture! If your dog or cat gets lost, you’ll have a good likeness of them for flyers and online postings.

12. Pet Vaccination Records

If you have to board your dog or cat unexpectedly while traveling, most kennels will require evidence of up-to-date vaccinations. Keeping a photo on your phone should suffice.

13. Your Rental Car

When you’re renting a car, there are two things you’ve got to do to protect yourself. One is taking lots of photos of the car when your rental period begins, so you have evidence of its original condition. Don’t forget those hard-to-see places, like the underside of the bumpers.

The second action you should take to defend yourself against rental car loss and damage: Buy the Rental Car Damage Protector. You get primary collision loss/damage coverage up to $75,000 for just $11 per calendar day, almost anywhere in the world. (Read your plan for exclusions.)

14. Anything That Goes Wrong When You’re Traveling

A car crash. A flooded beach house. A blinding blizzard. A ransacked hotel room. If something catastrophic happens during your trip, it never hurts to have photographic evidence to support your travel insurance claim. Just make sure you and your travel companions are safe: If a volcano’s erupting, don’t snap photos. Run! And then call 24-Hour Hotline Assistance for help. We’ll do everything we can to keep you safe and get you home.

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