Okay, fine. Bill and I haven’t actually got 13 destinations we go to regularly, and with our cross-country move1 one of destination (New York City) will be a lot less common. However, this little piece of plastic has dramatically helped us over the years, and even with a likely reduction in travel, will still be used constantly.
Nope. Not a credit card. A a check organizer.
Travel to the same places often enough, and you are going to pick up things like transit RFID cards and loyalty cards. A check organizer is the perfect place to store them.
You may be wondering why it’s worth it to pick up transit cards when you travel. Even if you do not live in any given city, they are still convenient, and will save you money. In Chicago, you can only purchase single ride passes (no transfers or similar) without purchasing a transit card. In the San Francisco Bay area, only their Clipper card will get you all all the different forms of transit there AND the street cars cost less when using the Clipper card versus paying with cash. (This is so important for the Bay Area that we really did buy a second round of Clipper cards when we lost our first set; since found.)
Loyalty cards are useful for far more obvious reasons, but they’re easy to misplace. It really sucks to have purchased nine out of the ten coffees you need to get a free one, only to forget or misplace it for the next time you go. (Staying in a hotel with a coffee shop across the street? You could rack up those nine coffees faster than you think.)
In the check organizer, I also store anything small and necessary for a trip to a particular city. So, for example, Bill wanted to reinstitute his Long Now membership, so we popped his membership card in there for his next trip to San Francisco. As it happens, he’s there right now, so hopefully he remembered to renew it.
And, as I typed this out, I realized that I OUGHT to be storing our Southwest Airlines drink coupons in there. Right now they live on the fridge with intentions for me to remember them “next time.” That never happens. If I slid them in the front of our check organizer, I could just grab them every time I fly.
As for the check organizer itself, any kind will do. I got mine at Container Store, and I like that mine can be stretched to stand up on its own. Mostly that’s because it has a large capacity, and some of the cities we visit (say, any place we have lived) have a lot of associated cards. If you don’t have a ton of cards, this may not matter to you.
I truly cannot recommend a check organizer enough for keeping your transit passes, loyalty cards, and other city-specific ephemera together, especially if you travel to the same cities time and again. It’s one spot to keep all of these things organized by city, and it will pay for itself with a few free coffees (or leftover rides on transit cards) the next time you visit your sister, friends, and/or second office.
1 And, for the record? If you end up moving to a place you used to visit a lot, this thing is even more handy in that initial move. Why? Because you already know exactly where your transit passes and loyalty cards. Ask me how I know! (Portland. We moved to Portland, which was previously a place we visited at least once a year.) ➥