Skedsheet Blog

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Vacation travel planning the organized way

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Tevie's Termite Taxi by Qole Pejorian -http://www.flickr.com/photos/qole/246971844/ I’m on a road trip, and a big part of the enjoyment is knowing that I don’t need to plan anything…because my wife has it all taken care of. 

I put in my two cents worth – “It’d be cool to go to San Diego for a week, then Tahoe for a week”, and the trip magically comes together.  Part of the planning usually involves a detailed itinerary with some key info that we both need to know, and share with friends or family:

  1. Date – In general, it’s good to have every day accounted for – if we’re going to be more than one place, it’s that much more important that we know every day’s plan.
  2. Day – because it’s not a calendar, but we still want to know what day of the week we’re going to be in certain places.  Most of the people we know have 9-5 jobs, so we need to be a little considerate about when we show up.
  3. Location – Lately, we’ve been doing road trips that tie in multiple locations, so we need to have an idea of what city we’re going to be in every night.
  4. Hours in car– With two toddlers in the car, we don’t want any travel day to be too long.  Our limit is about six hours, but the toddlers mean that we can’t just have six uninterrupted hours of traveling.  Usually we stop for a long lunch and run-around-like-crazy time.  FYI, my kids are angels and would never act like the ones on YouTube.
  5. Accommodation – before we had kids, we were pretty footloose and fancy-free, so we’d travel and not sweat the details of worrying about where we should stay.  Now we’ve either booked the hotel in advance or have friends to crash with.
  6. Friends/Family – Because we’ve lived all over the place, we have a pretty extensive network of family, friends, and acquaintances scattered around the US, and the world.  It’s handy to know who’s around a particular city to meet up for fun.
  7. Contact Info – because we want folks to be able to reach us while we’re traveling, we also include some phone numbers and addresses.  It’s rarely necessary, because cell phones and internet access make us very accessible.

For short trips, the itinerary is just a list in an email.  For longer trips, it turns into a spreadsheet like this:

Family trip

Even though I don’t get much excitement in making the plans, I have personal experience with someone who doesn’t like surprises – so planning is good for everyone.  And it looks like there are plenty of other folks who get a kick out of planning for a trip.

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Written by Harry Hollander

March 16, 2009 at 7:53 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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