Going paperless while travelling

Even though I have limited room for items, my suitcase was a little bit fuller than I wanted it to be, so a few days ago, it was time to declutter my paperwork. The goal is to go (nearly) paperless.

This was what could go immediately:

  • brochures
  • maps
  • flyers
  • travel vouchers that are expired
  • information about hostels
  • copies of things
This is how much unnecessary paper I was carrying with me!

When you check into a hostel, almost always, they have a bunch of flyers and maps that they give to you, which is really convenient, because you don’t have to bring your own map. And if the hostel doesn’t give you a map, then you can go to the nearest tourist information and they can give you one, usually for free. This is one of the reasons I buy neither maps nor a travel guide.


Nevertheless, if you don’t throw it away after you leave the place, you will end up with a lot of paper. Unorganized paper. Unorganized sentimental paper, because you carried the maps with you the whole time while you travelled and the flyers remind you of all the beautiful places you visited. It is so easy to hang onto them. This can be okay for a while, but anybody who has ever helped a person who loves to read move knows: Paper is actually pretty heavy when you have a lot of it.

So, I took my (new, perfect and shiny Japanese) camera and took a picture of all the papers that were semi-important to me in such as they contained information I would need, but I don’t need the originals for anything. The digital version of it got stored in a folder on my laptop, which took me to the next step of decluttering my computer files. I also installed an OCR software, so now all the information I need is in proper digital form on my computer. Which makes me really happy, because it is much more convenient. Who needs a scanner now? Apparently all you need is a good digital camera, a smartphone and a laptop and you are good to go.

Unfortunately I could not get rid of everything, some things I have to keep the original because they are important official documents, but I tried to limit these things to a smaller, limited number of pages. Mission paperless: (for me) completed!


Going paperless while travelling

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