We just bought a Canon MX860 all-in-one printer, and so far we're really happy with it. It's got all the bells and whistles you could ask for, including document feeding and flatbed scanning.
For some odd reason, looking at the flatbed scanner triggered an old traveling tip from long ago - when you travel overseas, the State Department suggests traveling with at least one copy of your passport. While the copy won't work in an official capacity, it's certainly better than nothing if you lose your passport.
With the flat bed scanner, it occurred to me I could copy any and all important documents and just throw them on my thumb drive.
Of course, there's a security concern here - as a lost thumb drive could now mean important documents are in the wild. I suppose I could have dealt with this risk by encrypting the files, but I took a simpler route. First off, I stored the files not in the root directory, second of all I named the files something misdirecting, and finally, I changed the file extension from .jpg to something completely different.
I think this covers the case of the casual user picking up the thumb drive and inspecting it. It also keeps things nice and simple, as you can open up the files by just changing the extension back to .jpg.
Now, I just need to convince Shira to tell me: (a) what our important documents are, and (b) where she keeps them, and I can actually follow through with this hack. Yeah, that's not going to happen.