Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Vacation - Plan B

As I mentioned earlier, my family got stuck in Chennai as we failed to note a minor but important detail with passport expiry dates.

We went back to the drawing board, did some last minute scrambling requiring documents to fly across the globe and managed to get a temporary passport for my daughter. American Consulate in Chennai was helpful and issued the necessary documentation enabling my family to travel and are currently en route to LAX. I will be waiting for them when they land here..

The net of this fire drill is that we lost two vacation days and hopefully learned an important lesson around checking expiry dates of important documents.

I say hopeful because, not sure how to keep track of the multitude of documents that expire on a regular basis (passports, PIO cards, drivers license India, US, financal documents, credit cards etc.,) . I thought of putting a reminder in my calendar but couldn't figure out a way to get regular and periodic reminders till I action it.

Is there an opportunity to innovate here?


  1. Use any good smartphone (like BlackBerry) or even Yahoo calendar to notify via email/IM/phone.

  2. WOW..good news... didnt expect you'd manage to get them to you!! ... if they were indian passports.. maan. you could forget it...

    but Ram.. to answer your Q... "The doctor wants a prescription himself?"... I am scratching my head! :)))

  3. Replying to the anonymous commenter, I would be careful about what you save online. Sending credit card numbers over IM/email... not a good idea.

    Perhaps the RFID chips in the passports store some details. I was thinking of a simple program that keeps track of all the stuff that you need, just enter the data once you get the new passport/credit card/whatever. The program should automatically track the expiry date and issue warnings ahead of time (that should be configurable as well).

  4. Hi,

    I would suggest using a calendar/reminder services which is available online with alerts (Google/Yahoo or outlook calendar).Regarding the security issue raised my previous commentator, you can share credit card or other important details but make sure you sent it in different packets i.e. seperate messages like 4 digits on each ...unless some one eavesdrop..it's safe to transfer. If you are still finicky then encrypt it. I would suggest it's better option rather than writing in a hardcopy.