Along with all the reservations I’ve made over the past couple of weeks have come emails. with confirmations, addresses, etc. Most of them arrived in my inbox and were then relocated to a special file I’d set up (Brett also maintains confirmation numbers in a calendar). Even though I’ve arranged them in order by date they’re frankly still a pain to get into and go through when I want or need to know something.
Although I’m always trying to go as paperless as possible these days, I finally figured out that I would be happier in this case if I had everything printed out and organized. So, I created The Notebook.
I purchased a half-inch three-ring binder, lightweight yet big enough to hold everything I want. It also has pockets inside both the front and rear covers to hold odds and ends that we collect along the way, including the pages from guidebooks that we want to take along.
Then, I printed off calendar pages for each month we’ll be traveling, and filled in each day with where we’ll be, using a different color for each destination. It’s easy to look at the calendar page and see which days we’re traveling, and for how long we’ll be staying at each location. Travel days get an arrow, and also are coded to let us know if we have airline tickets, lodging and/or hotel or car rental, if needed, or if there’s something that still needs to be taken care of.
Behind each calendar page go hotel and flight reservations, and Airbnb rental agreements. The Airbnb information contains phone numbers, addresses, etc. which will be highlighted and easier to find if needed, and we’re planning to print out a page from Google Maps for each of our Airbnb rentals to show their location, which we might need to share with a cab driver or someone else if get lost. We can add extra information to the pages if needed, things like directions, which bus or train to take, luggage fees and so forth.
As we move through the calendars each month, pages will be moved to the back of the notebook to form a sort of “diary” of our journey. Brett will be keeping a journal of each day, but the notebook will hopefully add another dimension.
I realize The Notebook is one more thing to carry along, but I’ve already found it useful and know it will continue to be so as we move along. I figure we can’t be too organized, especially with as much as we’ve will have going on.