11 April 2016

Guest Post - Using an Organiser to Plan Your Travels - Alison

Karine and I mentioned in a recent podcast about using your planner to record details of key information for your travels. It seems we were not the first to think of this point. Alison Day contacted me and shared the details of how she records information for her globe trotting journeys around Europe and to the USA. 

A raised eyebrow is a typical reaction when I pull out my trusty pocket Filofax, along with my iPhone at the airport. I am certainly not a technophobe and embrace the option of having an electronic boarding pass, however I am a paper lover when recording my travel plans. 

Key advantages of paper travel planning include:-

A visual record of past trips. As I fan through the pages, memories come flooding back. Comparing previous flight times, routings and hotels is useful when rebooking a similar trip.
Avoiding iPhone battery death! When the French air traffic controller strike delayed my return from Portugal and chaos reigned at the airport, I was able to locate my booking reference number and subsequent flight details from my paper pages. Whilst using my precious battery life to phone and change my flight I was able to access the reservation quickly (am I the only person who finds it a real pain to speak and access info on my phone at the same time?).
Consciously checking the dates, times and addresses as I write down my trip details. Especially useful when a third party confuses my travel dates. Had I have just mindlessly forwarded the booking e-mail to an on-line travel-scheduling app I would not have spotted the error.
Checking that I have all aspects of the trip booked including flights, hotel, car parking and car hire. I don’t seem to process each distinct part of a trip when storing electronically.
Actively checking that miles have posted to my frequent flyer accounts post-trip. As a keen travel hacker it can get confusing as to what should post where and when, being able to manually tick off the deposits gives me some control and reassurance.

So my system… I write the details on yellow paper (yellow as it is the colour of sunshine, weather I associate with travel even if I am travelling to Chicago when it is -15C!). I keep my travel pages in my day-to-day Filofax until after the trip when I transfer them over to my travel storage Filofax. 

Also in my travel section I have my frequent flyer information, the phone numbers of my nearest and dearest (in case my phone dies) and the log in details for a pre-charge calling system (I use Keep Calling) which always has money loaded on it for emergencies.

Thank you Alison, I think this is a great use of a pocket Filofax. I recently acquired a small ring pocket which would be ideal for this sort of use, small ring size therefore quite slim and light weight. 

Do you record details of your past trips?


  1. Great post - I also love to write my plans down when I travel. For past trip reservations I use TripIt though. The written section in my planner is mainly used to see what I brought as luggage on previous trips in order to see what was useful and what wasn't.

  2. Oh that is so coincidental- I was setting up my identical pocket FF for our trip last week! I moved the inserts instead over to my pocket Montblanc because it holds 8.5 x 11 paper folded in the big back pocket. I used the FF a-z inserts and an index to list and record everything- flights, hotel, activities- and day per page to do the to do and a short journal entry of each day.