Tag Archives: airplane

Organized Travel – Planning Tips

Travel Planning

Summer is approaching, what are your travel plans? There are a lot of moving parts in travel planning: ideas, resources, and schedules.

Stay Organized, Create a System

Having any kind of system in place to manage the inflow of resources is critical to reduce overwhelm and help make your decision making more efficient. Organizing information is like organizing things in your house.  Having a dedicated space for your travel plans makes it easy to pick up where you left off in your planning efforts.

Choose one location where you’ll keep track of everything. This is critical to avoid having bits of information floating everywhere – random emails, scraps of paper, bookmarked website. Examples:

  • Evernote or Pinterest –online project management tools
  • Email folder and/or Documents folder
  • Spreadsheet
  • Notebook
  • Shared calendars or documents or folders if multiple people are involved in the planning.

Keep a running to-do list of planning tasks. In addition, create a checklist of major components: this includes transportation, lodging, activities … in addition to logistics: banking, credit, phone. Checklists help you know what has been handled and what is still outstanding.

Travel Checklist

Set Your Priorities

Sometimes working with the blank slate of an open 2 weeks is daunting. To help build out the structure of a trip it helps to determine your “have to do’s” vs. your “nice to do’s”.

  • Are your to/from dates set in stone? How much flexibility do you have around travel dates? Prices can vary a lot based on day of week you travel
  • Are there key sights or events that are MUST do’s? If so, are they available any time or are there limits? For example, if you’re traveling to Paris and getting to the top of the Eiffel Tower is a must for you – researching the availability of tickets for that may determine which day that has to happen.
  • Are you traveling for an event such as a wedding or concert/play/tour?

Your top priorities will be fixed points both for day and location that the trip planning will evolve around so figuring them out first makes planning more efficient.

Gather Resources

Planning can take a lot of time – start your research early – talk to friends, put it out on Facebook, browse travel websites. Find out what you shouldn’t miss! This will help give you a rich pool of things to choose from while setting your top travel priorities.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

Many people have taken your trip before you…there are tons of travel advice and resources on the Web. A quick search of “things I need to do before traveling to X” will turn up a great list to build your Travel To-Do list.

Delegate

Delegating can make the trip more fun for you…especially if you’re not the only one responsible for logistics.  Share the burden and get your fellow travelers’ buy-in. Can you assign your partner to handle a component of the research and planning… or can your teen-age companion scope out fun things to do at your destination?

Stay Organized on the Road

As the date of departure approaches, tidy up.  Dispose of unnecessary bits of info and separate out the final itinerary details from all the planning materials.

You’ve worked hard to plan the trip – continue to reap the benefits of your organization the whole way. Create digital images of all your important documents and reservations. Keep one pocket of your carry-on dedicated to holding any travel plans. Have a backup also – send it to yourself in an email or make sure you’ll have cloud access to any summary documents you created. Make sure your traveling partner has all the info as well.

Just as being organized at home helps you enjoy your space better, organizing your travel planning helps you focus on the adventure ahead instead of being mired in logistics.

Happy Travels!

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Decluttering, Holidays, organizing, Perspective, Strategies, Time Management, Travel

Organized Travel – What To Bring On-Board

carry-ons

Last time we covered how to pack most effectively for a comfortable travel experience. This week we cover the same issue in your carry-on bag. In addition to making you most comfortable for the duration of the flight what you bring in your carry-on matters in case your luggage is lost or delayed. You may not want all these items (some are specific to international travel) but consider this list an open buffet to choose from:

Paperwork

  • Boarding pass
  • Passport and/or ID
  • Copy of complete flight itinerary
  • Copy of any transportation or accommodation plans
  • Physical address of where you are staying: You will need this to complete immigration forms and it may be helpful to share with cab drivers as well so they can easily look up directions.
  • Visa confirmations

Comfort

  • Hand lotion
  • Chapstick
  • Deodorant
  • Contact solution
  • Toothbrush and mini-toothpaste
  • Bath wipes to help you freshen up
  • Face wipes or mini bottle of face wash and wash cloth
  • Ear plugs
  • Eye mask
  • Long flights: oral sleep aid, your own pillow and blanket

* Make sure any liquids are in a bag meeting carry-on size requirements

Snacks

  • Nut butter sandwich (unless you’re allergic, of course)
  • Fruit – apple or dried fruit travel well
  • Granola/muesli bars or protein bars.
  • Water bottle: Buy one after passing through security, or if you can wait, bring an empty bottle from home (you can bring this through security) and fill up on the plane.

Entertainment

  • Laptop
  • iPod (or your music player of choice)
  • Kindle (or similar) to read books without weighing down your bag
  • Music, books, movies

Clothing

  • Underwear
  • 1-2 shirts (change of clothes)
  • Your favorite “I would HATE to lose this” article of clothing

Valuables

  • Jewelry
  • Wallet with essential credit cards and other important cards (leave extras at home)
  • Money
  • Camera equipment
  • Phone and car keys

Misc.

  • Travel guides – be careful not to overdo this category. Pick your favorite one and leave the rest at home.
  • Something to write with – in case you have a brainstorm
  • Medication or supplements

What NOT to Bring

…on the plane or in your luggage

  • That stack of books you haven’t gotten to in the past 6 months. Heard of that cool thing called a Kindle?
  • Multiple shoes for every occasion. If planned activities demand a variety (probably not a good idea to wear running shoes to the cocktail party) limit yourself to 1 sport, 1 dress, 1 casual. Wear your bulkiest shoes while in transit.
  • Too tight clothes
  • Too fancy formals
  • Dashing outfits don’t have the courage to wear at home

These are the basics of what to bring on board for a long trip. Again, pick and choose what is important to you. Some experts advise to bring the bare minimum and buy what you need when you arrive. It all depends on how willing you are to experience discomfort. Traveling with children can be approached in the same way; bring only the basics to save yourself from unnecessary physical stress. Just remember that whatever you bring, you’ll have to schlep it and account for it at every juncture.

What items have you found most useful to bring along on trips? Most useless?

Leave a comment

Filed under Decluttering, Holidays, Perspective, Travel