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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Travel Preps (Itineraries and Logistics)

This is just a sneak preview of how I plan itineraries and prepare logistics for travel. Sneak preview lang ha? :P

Planning Itineraries

Chris and I plan our itineraries well because we really want to make the most of our trips, plus both of us have certain must-see, must-photograph and must-eat places in every place we go.

One of the reasons we take ample time in researching about a country or a city is because it is a means for us to come up with an itinerary that will have the musts on our list plus have some time for rests in between and time for exploration and surprises.

A sample itinerary would look like this:

5:00 PMGold Souq
6:00 PMParty with Workmates
7:00 PM
8:00 PMDinner - Restaurant 1
9:00 PMAfter Dinner Coffee

We gave each other lists of places we want to see, restos we want to dine and activities we want to do for each city that we plan to visit. Pag may list na kami, saka kami bubuo ng itinerary.

Please don't be fooled by our itinerary, you might think we follow everything to the dot. Although there are specified times for each place/activity, it only serves as a guide. On a given moment, we are very flexible especially if a place or an activity is extra fun and enjoyable. May mga parts pa rin dyan na we can readily give up if needed or we can cut short if the place turned out boring and pointless to explore.

Some reasons why you need to plan your itineraries:

  • You need to determine what outfits you need to bring.
  • You need to make reservations at hotels/restaurants you want to dine in.
  • You need to know what activities you want to and have money ready for entrance fees, train/cable fares, etc.
  • You need to identify your top of the list places to go to given a certain amount of time.
  • You still need to rest---you may be able to go to all the places you want to see but it's not worth it if at the end of the trip you suffer from overfatigue or worse, you get sick in the middle of your trip.

Preparing Your Logistics--in other words: Packing your stuff for travel

This is one activity that I love doing---packing everything for travel. Ako ang dakilang tagapag-impake ng pamilya ko. Sa tuwing mag-travel ang family ko, ako ang naiiwan na nag-aayos ng lahat gamit at naglalagay sa maleta. Ang pag-iimpake ay parang isang laro sa akin--feeling ko Lego ito na binubuo kaya kahit pagod at puyat na ako sa pag-iimpake ng maleta ng bawat kapamilya ko, okay lang sa akin.

Here's a peek on how I pack my stuff:

1. With our itinerary at hand, I prepare a travel list like this:

Resident Status in Australia document
Change of Name document
Plane Tickets
Confirmation of Hotels
ClothingShirts, Jeans, Shorts, Undergarments
Evening Dresses for Night outs

2. I have what I call a "packing rehearsal" (parang dress rehearsal kumbaga sa isang theatre play). For short trips (10-15 days), I practice packing at least a week before. For long trips (16 days-up), I rehearse a month before. Why? Pag long trip mas madaming dala, kung talagang overweight na ang luggages mo (airlines have certain weight limits), you have the option to (1) lessen your stuff or (2) send your things via DHL/Fedex/UPS--for these two reasons you need ample time.

Now this is what happens during rehearsals:

I lay all the things I plan and want to bring on my bed. It literally looks like a mess but it's "my storm before the calm" kaya wala nang kokontra (my family knows that when I start packing I'm not to be disturbed coz I really focus on it--ganun ako ka-enjoy pag nag-iimpake to the point na super nagko-concentrate ako) and believe it or not, it's still sorted out in a way that only I can understand. :)

In one corner, I have there my gadgets, travel diary, travel guides and reading for pleasure book (for this travel I'm bringing "Love in the Time of Cholera").

In this corner, you'll find all the souvenirs, chocolates and loot bags I will be giving away to friends.

This colored folders contains important documents for the trip: e-tickets, hotel confirmations, etc. Why four folders? Each luggage will have one folder each so that if we lose a folder, we'll have an extra somewhere.

The small fuschia bag is where I'll put my passport, a copy of my e-ticket, money and one credit card. Whatever happens I'll have my this bag wrapped around me everywhere I go, as in EVERYWHERE.

If I have laid out everything I need for my travel, I start putting each one unto their respective luggages. Packing can take hours or even days. I never stop unless I get everything in the right place or I get the right weight for the luggages.

3. Secure the little ones that may spill

This is one of my favorite activities in packing---packing for my toiletries. I like finding mini-me shampoos, conditioners, lotions, etc. They're sooo cute! For some essentials that I can't find mini-ones, I buy little bottle/containers (see facial cleanser bottle below). But before putting them inside the luggage, I make sure they're tightly closed and plastered with sticky tape to avoid spills inside the luggage:

So there, some of my packing-for-travel habits. I still have a lot more "rituals" prior to traveling I'd like to share but I'm pressed for time right now as I about to leave in like 2 days!!! :) Yes, 2 days!!!! Can you believe it?

Am I ready? Let's see:

  • I'm done with 3 weeks worth of work at the office
  • I've filed all my day-offs and vaycay leaves
  • I have somebody who will take over for me at work while I'm away
  • I'm done with pasalubong shopping
  • I'm done with packing (just need to double check everything tomorrow)
  • I'm done with preliminary preps for Chris' Welcome Party next month (menu finalized, guests confirmed)
  • Confirmed driver that will take me to the airport
  • Checked-in online and booked seat on the plane (Yay! I got the window seat)

So I guess I'm ready.