As an avowed minimalist, even my travel style veers towards minimalism. I absolutely keep time open for the spontaneous adventures and serendipitous experiences that made me fall madly in love with travel in the first place. But to have those adventures and experiences, I realized I needed to get rid of the clutter that so often gets in the way during a trip: missed trains, overspending worries, time spent searching for phone numbers or wondering what to do next.
When you’re a travel writer, you generally end up planning a lot of group trips: family Christmases, reunion trips, etc. A few years ago, I created a spreadsheet for day-to-day plans. (Note: I am not a designer, so sorry for the horrendous formatting.) The Finn and I now use this religiously for every trip we take.
For a longer trip, I’ll often print out a monthly calendar and write these details there (it’s a sickness, I know). Then I copy and paste this travel itinerary to Google Docs, share it with whomever is joining me, and we can start filling in all the necessary details. I estimate that a coupla hours before a trip saves me 20-30 hours of feeling stressed, confused or overwhelmed while on the trip itself.
Here are a few ideas:
Where Where will you wake up that morning? Helpful if you’re going to several locations.
Transport Rental car? Add in the pickup destination, phone number, etc. Taking a train from London to Oxford? Add in the name of your train station and a few train times and prices.
Necessary Activities Do you need to meet the Airbnb host at 5.15pm?
To Do If you’re taking a tour, meeting people, waiting in line for half-priced tickets — add it here.
To See My favorite way to travel is to plan ahead, but not necessarily stick with those plans. Are you going to be in Cologne, Germany Sun-Tues but the Roman museum is closed Mon? Jot it down.
Maps Google maps is a traveler’s dream tool. You can create a point to point itinerary (for driving or walking) for up to 10 spots. If you’re going to try to walk from the Vatican to the Parthenon to Palatine Hill and back in one day, map it out first and save the URL here.
|Sat,Aug 9||Sun,Aug 10||Mon,Aug 11||Tue,Aug 12||Wed,Aug 13||Thu,Aug 14||Fri,Aug 15|