Summer is nearly here (YAY!!!) and that means vacation, trips and traveling for many of us. With the process of traveling becoming more onerous each passing year, we all need to figure out how to streamline our own processes to lessen the stress we encounter as we embark on what should be a FUN trip.
Not only do we have to be strategic about packing (what to bring, what not to bring), how to pack, etc., we also need to have all our travel documents organized and accessible, especially for big trips. If you are traveling to multiple cities, with lots of transportation, hotels, tickets to museums, restaurant and hotel reservations, it’s important to have all your ducks in a row, and then some!
A client just arrived in Europe for a multi-city/country tour with her three teenage daughters. Along the way, two of her daughters will be splitting off to attend summer programs. As a single Mom in charge of this clan, my client wanted to make sure she had all the travel documents super organized so she can find anything at a moments notice.
She asked me to figure out how to make this happen. Of course I was happy to oblige. First we decided to create a Master Itinerary that would provide an overview as well as details for each leg of the trip. Utilizing Excel, I created a table for flight information, ground transportation, hotel and restaurant reservations, museum and other tour ticket information.
Next, I recommended that we create Destination Sheets for each leg of the trip. Each destination sheet includes the information from the Master Itinerary for that leg as well as more detailed information including ideas/recommendations for things to see, restaurants, web links, etc.
Lastly, we also created two additional sheets. The first was a Contacts Sheet so she could have one place to quickly find all phone numbers and emails for hotels, drivers and other folks she would be contacting on the trip. The other was a General Information Sheet which included travel insurance policy information for each person, travel schedules for her daughter’s side trips and other miscellaneous information.
To keep all these papers organized and easily accessible we used Staples Poly File Folders. Using a labelmaker, a label was created for each folder identifying the destination, e.g. “BERLIN.”
I also suggested that my client use Staples poly zip envelopes to store everyones passports and tickets for museums and transportation. Of course I labeled these envelopes as well so they can be quickly found. These envelopes can be purchased individually or several to a pack. When not in use during travel, they are perfect for corralling all your coupons and gift certificates.
Lastly, we needed a larger plastic envelope to house all the file folders and two small zip folders. We used Staples Legal Poly File Envelope which worked perfectly. Essentially it is the legal size version of the zip envelope pictured above and it can also be purchased individually or several to a pack.
Whether you’re embarking on a major trip or just a quick weekend jaunt, I hope these tips will make your travel easy and organized.
Next we’ll tackle packing!!