I’m almost 30 years old and yet, every time I travel I still give my family a full itinerary and a list of “in case of” phone numbers. Is that childish? I actually think it’s one of the smartest things I do.
First of all, it forces me to make such a list–which means collecting flight numbers, lodging addresses and phone numbers–and putting it down on paper. Second, I’ve had nearly everything go wrong while traveling–missed flights, canceled flights, dead phone, GPS failure–and it has saved me. When confronted with a taxi driver who couldn’t speak French in Morocco, I ended up pointing to the address I had written down.
Although I’m traveling more frequently than I ever have, I still don’t fly as much my sister–who flies once or twice a week for work. Confronted with the idea of writing out a travel itinerary twice a week, she signed us all up for TripIt. This nifty website and phone app syncs all her flight information and alerts her to any changes–including suggestions for alternate plans.
As family members, we simply get a weekly email with an itinerary of where she is flying and when–not all the extra information. It’s really nice always knowing when and where she’s flying.
Just so you know, TripIt did not pay me to write those nice things. A few of my favorite links for travel planning:
- The Expat Vagabond’s 30 best tips for travel
- TIME Magazine’s best travel tips
- Professional traveler Rick Steves’ top tips