The Basics

Why A Pen Is Still A Time-Saving Travel Tool In Our High-Tech World

I don’t know about you, but I do not find myself using a pen for much of anything any more. With computers, smartphones, recorders, tablets, etc. we really never need a pen for some things that we used to find them necessary.

Why A Pen Is Still A Time-Saving Travel Tool In Our High-Tech World

The only time I had still used a pen in my travels was pre-Global Entry when I had to fill out the CBP form upon reentry. However, I must confess, since Global Entry, I find myself never packing a pen. I may sometimes find a pen stuck in my bag from previous trips but I do not actually throw one in anymore.

Entering Egypt? Not Without A Pen!

And that little lack of travel planning cost me over 20 minutes a couple of weeks ago. Upon landing in Cairo International Airport, I went to make my way to passport control – only to find that I did not have a pen and that there were no pens on the tables to fill out the visa forms. Not that it made me feel any better, but I was far from the only person that did not have a pen as there were many of us making a tour around the area to find a stray pen. It was actually easier to find money (which I did) than it was to find a pen in that room!

After asking police, exchange agents, and everyone else, I finally wondered into an office where someone kindly lent me a pen. I quickly filled out my form and was on my way.

The Pen Returns To The Pack

With my return to Cairo next week for my big trip, I can promise you that a pen has already been packed! Yes, our tech tools make life easier and save time, but there are still some times that the simple pen can save us more time than the best technology in our bags or pockets.

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

1 Comment

  • You’ll also need to pack a pen if you’re headed to Phuket. No pens are available at customs, and I had to bum one off a visa-on-demand agent.