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  1. #1
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    How Do You Prefer to Organize Travel Details?

    As I was looking to tie together any loose ends for our June trip (four weeks, three rentals, two hotels, three flights, one bus trip) I was wondering how others organize the details of their complex travels. I keep my trip emails (rental correspondence, booking emails, flight reservations, etc.) in separate email folders. Because I am very much a visual person, to double-check everything I make post-its of the details, and arrange them onto a board so I can check lodging dates with deposit and balance info, transportation details, tours I might book, to-do lists, and see what might be missing. I tie everything together with Tripit to have an online source of all the info as I travel, and also print out that document.

    Always looking for better ideas--how do you do it?
    Last edited by Amy; 03-11-2015 at 05:58 PM.
    Amy in MA
    Destination Anywhere

    "A traveler without knowledge is a bird without wings."--Sa'di, Gulistan (1258)

  2. #2


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    Gmail basically. Hotel dates get added to the Google calendar. That's easy if it's booked with booking.com. Manually if it's booked differently. Gmail "reads" your email and adds the details of things like flights. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to handle my train bookings.

    All the dates then show up on my phone/tablet automatically.

    On the calendar it's very easy to look if anything is missing.

  3. #3
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    Alpinista's Avatar
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    Having spent my career as an IT person, I have a profound distrust of anything electronic. I put together a spreadsheet of transportation, hotels, and other reservations that serves as an index to the printed copies of those reservations. Same for the sites we plan to visit using a daily calendar index. The package can be bulky, but it gets discarded day by day and life goes on.

  4. #4
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    I also use a spreadsheet to organize details -- dates, cost, deposits paid,amounts due, addresses, phone #s... whatever I might need when I couldn't consult my computer. I sometimes add sheets with notes on possible sightseeing info (including URLs of any websites, of restaurant suggestions, etc. It's the only way I can stay sane.

  5. #5
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    I save all the reservations in a travel folder in my email and print out the essentials. I keep those hard copies, in an old fashioned folder with pockets, in my carry on.
    Lesson learned after having all the print outs in the non-arriving checked luggage and not knowing the address of the vacation rental we had booked

    I've been toying with using tripit. Planning to check it out next week on Spring Break.

  6. #6
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    I save all my documents, confirmations, etc. in Dropbox, Box, OneDrive and iCloud. A little overkill, I know, but rather be safe than sorry. I also use spreadsheets with various pages. These are printed out as well as being saved to the same four places. I do print out important confirmations and tickets and bring a folder with me. I guess I am a little beyond anal but I pretty well know I'll have what I need accessible somewhere.

    BJ
    BJ's and Alan's Adventures
    "One’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things." – Henry Miller

  7. #7
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    Small Laptop

    In addition to many of the other suggestions, we've begun taking a small, inexpensive, Atom cpu laptop with us when we travel. It gives us quick access to stored copies of too much information and too many documents. And it gives us, in all of the apartments we've stayed in, access to email, saved files, and access to the web for museum schedules, etc., and the ability to make restaurant, Eiffel tower, and other important reservations!

  8. #8
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    Roz's Avatar
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    Like BJ, I use Dropbox. It's easy to print info to PDF and put it in Dropbox. Then I can save things I want to be able to refer to offline on my iPhone or iPad so I have them handy whether or not I can get online.

    I also like Google Calendar, which I understand finally has an iOS version. I have been using another calendar app that synced with Google, but I'm going to try out Google's own calendar, since I always use it on my computer. All my devices are Apple, but I do NOT like the Apple calendar app.

    I also like to scan pages from guidebooks that have pertinent info, and save them to Dropbox as PDFs. Much easier to carry around than the heavy books. You can also put PDFs in iBooks if you use iOS, but I prefer Dropbox.

  9. #9


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    For me, all reservations go into TripIt, which I then access from the TripIt app on my iPhone. It is comforting to me to see it all arranged in chronological order as a TripIt itinerary. I also save all the reservation e-mails in folders in my gmail account which is also accessible from my iPhone. For documents that I may want to access, I will scan or save them to PDF and then store them in iBooks on my iPhone. I have also saved reference material to PDFs and then e-mailed it to my Kindle. That made it handy to read on the plane.

  10. #10

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    I also use Tripit as my primary reference. For years, I'd build a binder as plans came together. Everything would be arranged in chronological order, including tickets, confirmations, vouchers, emails, etc. along with any maps, to-do lists, etc. I still do that, but often the binder stays in my bag because Tripit has everything I need and is more easily referenced. The exception would be any tickets or vouchers where I know a hard copy will be needed (train, theatre, etc.).

    As my wife and I plan, we tend to use Google Docs to collaborate on itineraries and ideas. We do that for more than just travel, though -- renovations, Christmas gift ideas, etc.

  11. #11
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    Do you all upgrade to the paid version of Tripit or just use the free one?

  12. #12
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    I've just used free TripIt; I don't travel often enough to justify the paid version, and I'm obsessive enough about checking flight itineraries for changes. I am considering getting the Barclaycard Arrival Plus credit card, though, where one of the benefits is a TripIt Pro subscription.

  13. #13

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    I don't feel I'm missing anything with the free version of Tripit.

  14. #14


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    Agree with Scott. The free version of TripIt works just fine for me. Although, they enrolled me in a free trial in January when we were going to the Caribbean. We had flight delays on US Airways and the Trip It e-mails about the delays arrived sooner than the ones from US Airways. Not so much, though, that it made me want to spend the money on the paid version of TripIt.

  15. #15
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    Do any of you using Trip-it get lots of spammy emails suggesting hotels, etc., when you put in a destination? I briefly signed up for Trip-it once to try it out, but when I put in a trip destination, my mailbox started filling up with ads from various businesses in that city. It annoyed me so much that I canceled the membership.

  16. #16
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    I've had nothing like that with my basic TripIt; Googling the topic indicates various problems mostly dating from 2008, but I've had nothing from when I got it in 2011. I sign in with an address that I mostly just share with close friends and family, and I would notice if commercial emails started coming in there.

  17. #17


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    Quote Originally Posted by Roz View Post
    Do any of you using Trip-it get lots of spammy emails suggesting hotels, etc., when you put in a destination? I briefly signed up for Trip-it once to try it out, but when I put in a trip destination, my mailbox started filling up with ads from various businesses in that city. It annoyed me so much that I canceled the membership.
    I've not had that experience either. I started using TripIt in 2012.

  18. #18
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    I no longer trust Trip it. Last summer while we sat on the airport lounge in JFK after a long flight from Turkey, I received an email from them saying our flight was delayed by several hours. It had not been but had we not been at the airport already we could have had a big problem. Lesson: double check email notices from Trip It. (I don't depend on Trip it anyway. They just added things somehow. I have now deletd the app)

    My system: file emails in folders (gmail.) Print confirmations and keep in folder to carry with me. Keep in DropBox. If you do that, be sure to star items you want to access off-line.

  19. #19
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    Thought back to this thread as I was packing my loose leaf binders (one for reservations; one for maps and site information; other with back-up copies of documents and financial information). As I mentioned earlier, my entire career was in information technology and there is nothing I trust less than putting things into electronic format I might have been one of the last people sorry to see punch cards disappear from data processing.

    In any event, this is my favorite time of the travel sequence, when all the planning is just about to turn into memories (and none of the hiccups have yet occurred). The idea of anticipation being a part of happiness always resonated with me, but I guess there's something to be said about all the things that happen between anticipation and realization. Just a couple more things to pack away and then two months in our 500 year old stone house in my wife's ancestral family village in Italy with side trips to Prague and Nuremberg this year. My wife's favorite sister is joining us for three weeks for her first trip back to Italy in 40 years, so even more to look forward to (not sure we'll be as much fun as her college semester group, but we'll try). They are both "let's do whatever" types while I am OCD about planning -- maybe we won't be needing all those pages in the binders after all?

    “Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.”
    ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

    “The pleasure isn't in doing the thing, the pleasure is in planning it.”
    ― John Green, Paper Towns

    “Never forget that anticipation is an important part of life. Work's important, family's important, but without excitement, you have nothing. You're cheating yourself if you refuse to enjoy what's coming.”
    ― Nicholas Sparks, Three Weeks With My Brother

    “The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting”
    ― Andy Warhol

    “..that sanguine expectation of happiness which is happiness itself”
    ― Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

    “Anticipation is sometimes more exciting than actual events.”
    ― Ana Monnar

  20. #20


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    In spite of the fact that I travel with an iPad and iPhone, with relevant emails in a folder, I use manila envelops to organize my travel. Airline tickets, boarding passes, etc. go in a large envelop (10" x 12"). Each city has a smaller envelop (5" x 7") with printed copies of reservations, tickets, deposits, etc. that then goes in the larger envelop as well. When we get to our destination, I pull out the proper envelop and voila!! While in the city, I put receipts, cards, flyers and other odd bits of info in the envelop.

    This has worked well for me for so many years that in spite of all the new technology, I haven't really changed anything. And I save every one of those envelops, so I have records of hotels, restaurants, museums, etc. My envelop drawer has become two drawers now, and I love looking at the collections of things from trips past.

    Callie

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