When we hit the road last year, we had a rough idea of where we were going. But we were also aware of the nature of travelling with three small children and a mama rather large with a fourth, and that it required a certain level of flexibility. Four weeks on the road meant there wasn’t any particular rush to be anywhere. We would book the next stop a day or two ahead, though once we hit the coast we planned a bit further out, and as I am a bit of a list-and-note-junkie, this notepad was my lifeline to keeping all our accomodation, tours, things to see and important numbers safe, organised, and handy.
It lived in the front pocket of my day pack, pen clipped to the spiral binding. Each location had it’s own page, with the date and the town name at the top. My next section would be the accomodation details once they were booked – we accumulated a number of flyers and guidebooks and the like, but to keep it simple, I wanted the information easy to hand to avoid shuffling seven thousand pieces of paper to find the address we needed “right now”. I would also make a note of the phone number “just in case”, and anything else we needed. I would also make a note, as we got further along, of the cost and if I’d paid any deposit.
Below that came the fun stuff. Together we would sift through the piles, pick out the things we wanted to do, work out was possible to do given the constraints of time/children’s attention spans/inability to locate a money tree, and then start making notes, complete with rough schedules, addresses, phone numbers, websites, (depending on what information we were going to need – the above attractions we required a separate map with this information, as well as having it on our pre-purchased tickets) and details of payments required/made.
Not only did it help keep us organised and destressed, but now we are home and a year past, it is a great little record of where we went and what we did. It had the added benefit of having something on hand if we needed to make notes, or the children wanted to draw, or I had a plot-bunny and needed to write straight away and had managed to leave the ipad in the camper trailer. It meant my mind could disengage from being constantly trying to remember what was next, and instead enjoy our trip, knowing everything was under control.
What’s your tips for staying organised on an extended holiday?