On your marks, get set, travel!

by Andy Youings January 06, 2017

On your marks, get set, travel!

It’s cold, wet and January so if you’re anything like us you might just have a case of the post Christmas blues! The New Year is the perfect time to look forward to warmer weather and think about travel plans for the year ahead. And for some of you, 2017 might be the year you’re planning the adventure of a lifetime. So, whether it’s a sabbatical from work, backpacking through Asia or that dream trip around the world, there’s no better time to start planning and no better place to get organised than in your Say Nice Things journal. In this first of a three-part blog we consider how your journal can help you to start get organised for your adventure.

Planning a once in a lifetime trip isn’t quite the same as preparing for a two-week package holiday, there are so many things to consider to ensure you make the most of your adventure. Using your Say Nice Things journal to keep all your travel plans in one place is a great way to create the perfect itinerary in a travel-size format that’s 100% reliable and always on….no charging or wi-fi required. There’s nothing worse than spending hours preparing for your trip only to find you can’t access those notes in the cloud! And if you’re super organised like us, then the thought of having scraps of paper all over the place will no doubt be leave you in a cold sweat. Take it from us, if your plans are organised your trip will be too. Enter your trusty journal.

With so many things to think about before your big trip, you may feel a little overwhelmed. Fortunately we have some simple ideas on how the various sections of your journal could be used to managed the important aspects of your adventure.

Why not start your research by finding the best places to stay in your chosen areas and ensure you make the right choice for your needs. If you just turn up, you risk having to settle for accommodation that’s three times the price to the one around the corner. And don’t forget to take full advantage of Trip Advisor and other review sites too; that luxury spa might not be so delightful and that fabulous sauna might just be your bedroom if the hotel forgot to mention the aircon hasn’t worked since 1979. Once you’ve completed your research and made your bookings, be sure to make notes in your journal of things like reference numbers, addresses and other vital information you will need for your stay.

Knowing where you want to go also helps with discovering how you will get from one place to the next. Some of the more remote areas you plan to visit may not have frequent public transport services and you could find yourself waiting days before you can reach your next destination. Again, good research pays dividends and your findings will be safe inside the pages of your journal to ensure nothing gets lost before you leave, ready to refer to while you’re on the road. Once your destination plans are in place (especially if you are a first-time traveller) make a note of other helpful references such as travel books, online guides to attractions and other important information you might need.

Image of French alps

To help you on your way at this stage, we’ve grabbed the opportunity to make a list (did we mention we love a list?) of just a few things you might also need to answer:

  1. Vaccinations. Check what you need in advance of your travels. Some vaccinations can be free, but you will need to book these with plenty of time as some need to be done at least six weeks before you go. Record important appointments in your journal.
  2. Currency. When it comes to currencies, do your research. Some destinations may have the option to pay in more than one. And think about how much cash you should be taking with you and whether it may be safer to use things like a travel card.
  3. Do you need a Visa? Travel agencies should be able to provide the correct information to you for this.
  4. Travel insurance. Look into what cover you will need for yourself while you are away. This may apply for things like lost belonging, healthcare and cancellations.

Whilst on the subjects of lists, your journal is also a great place to start jotting down all those “before I leave for the airport” tasks that spring to mind for weeks before. Lock doors? Check. Unplug TV? Check. Water plants? Check. Add them to a dedicated list in your journal, ready to run through before you leave for the airport. This will relieve some pressure at this key stage and while we’re on the subject; check you have your passport!

We hope this gives you a head start to your travel preparations, although we’re sure there are plenty more things you will be adding to your own lists. But most of all we wish you an amazing time wherever you decide to visit this year and we’d love to hear how your journal came in handy when planning. Next week we’ll take a look at how your journal can be used to write down and record all your great memories and experiences while you’re travelling, things you might otherwise forget in years to come…so don’t forget to leave some space! In the meantime, planning is a great cure for those post Christmas blues.

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Andy Youings
Andy Youings

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