Staying Organized on Holidays like a Babe
Hi friends. The time is nigh. I head to the airport tomorrow night. More good news - I got my money back (my debit card got skimmed last week, life was fabulous. No really).
Dropped my baby cats off at Hotel de Cat (totally a real place in Richmond) and the rest of today will consist of last minute packing and cleaning and chilling.
Anyway, onto the actual purpose of this blog post.
I'm not one of those people that likes to plan every little minute detail of every single day when I'm on holidays. I prefer to let spontaneity run it's course as I've been subjected to the disappointment of plans falling apart - especially when trying to plan for a group of people. I also don't like the fact that micromanaging your day in this manner can leave you rushed and stressed, not great feelings when you're in unfamiliar surroundings.
You end up so focused on your next destination that you miss all the little things - random fireworks, that little cat that has strutted outside the window, the kind eyes of an elderly lady selling treats on the side of the road. #andidontwanttomissathing
Don't do it folks, at least, not until you're at your destination country - minds change. If you plan anything, make a rough plan and give yourself plenty of time in between destinations. Don't feel disappointed if your plans fall through, take them in your stride and take it as an experience.
I've made very loose plans for our Honeymoon and surprise, surprise, it revolves around food. As far as our actual holidays are concerned, I've really only penned in breakfasts, lunches and dinners at various restaurants, leaving the time in between free. No reservations or anything for these restaurants either. I've made one tour booking with one definitive time and thats as anchored down as I want to be, right now anyway. Oh and I want to go see my lola in my mother's province.
When I'm there, I will add more things to my itinerary, but not anything that is going to leave me stretched too thin. Not. On. My. Honey. Moon.
Initial Planning Stages
I read a lot of blogs from the Philippines before I decided I wanted to go there this year. I've been a trillion times before, but I like to be kept up to date. It's a rapidly developing country and although I was only there in February last year, after reading through a number of blog posts I feel like a lot has changed already - especially in the food scene.
These were a few of my resources: Shoot First Eat Later | The Food Scout | Our Awesome Planet - a lot of entertaining and informative posts accompanied by scintillating high definition food images. From other blog comparisons, I think I can deduce that these bloggers have their finger on the pulse when it comes to new openings and food trends.
From there I moved to something I knew I could easily share and take with me wherever I went. I drew up a spreadsheet (because I'm the biggest nerd/loser you will ever meet) riddled with links to various resources. Because. Food. IS A BIG DEAL OKAY.
Planners and Tracking
The one thing I definitely, ONEHUNNITPERCENT want to keep track of are flight times.
There was this one time where I accidentally derped and missed a flight after spending a night in Singapore. In true Jo fashion, I was under the impression that a 12pm flight actually left at 4pm. Rocked up at the airport at 12pm thinking I was a hot little boss with plenty of time to swan around Changi. Nope. NOPE.
I sent a forlorn Facebook message to my boss who in turn laughed at me. Don't worry, we have that kind of working relationship where we can do this without offending one another. I totally would have laughed at him too.
I digress, as usual. Just before I really get into this though, I want to start by saying that these are the things that I am using for my trip because they have been working for me. Of course there is no right or wrong way of going about this, theres no "ultimate product". Work with what works for you, and if you're only just starting to figure out what exactly does work for you, road test what you've got so far.
The only way you're going to know if a particular style of notebook is not going to piss you off or get in the way is by using it for its intended purpose to see it is going to be practical.
Midori Traveler's Notebook Passport Size (10x13cm)
Amongst many things, I'm also a sucker for stationary. I find that great stationary can keep me motivated, as cheesy as that may sound.
One day, as I was trawling through NoteMaker, I came across the Midori Traveler's Notebook and fell in love. Honestly, I feel like I've lucked out finding this. I went a bit nuts this day and bought a bunch of other things but most of my order consisted of add ons for the Midori.
I didn't know that it was such a "cult" notebook before I purchased it but I can see how it has gained that notoriety.
The Midori Traveler's Notebook is a fully customisable traveller's/generally organised person's companion. It sports a very handsome tanned leather cover and comes by default with a ruled notebook. I ordered two extra plain paged notebooks, a medium pen holder, a brass ballpoint pen, rubber bands and zipper pocket to use it in a way that I wanted to.
My current setup consists of two notebooks - one for blog articles and the other for travel bites - plus the zipper pocket, but will be adding my passport as a "third notebook" whilst at the airport. My travel section essentially contains all of my flight numbers, times, when I need to be at the airport by as well as my tentative food plan for each day. The plan for Maldives by the way - is left completely blank. I'm going to one of the most romantic places on the planet. AS if I would plan a single day on that island.
This is literally the size of my passport so it makes the trip with me literally everywhere - I never leave the house without it ever because its just so great to be able to scribble stuff on the go. Unfortunately, even though I surround myself with a decent amount of tech, I still prefer to write things down. I crave the scratching of pen to paper at times and will pull it out when I'm sitting down at a coffee shop.
The great thing about it is that it also fits in my (relatively) tiny Fiorelli Mia Grab Bag which is the only hand bag I'm bringing with me.
Mi Goals Get Shit Done To Do List (A6)
I also lug this around with me. I wrap the Mi Goals Get Shit Done To Do Notebook up with the Midori. That band that keeps the Midori closed is really quite handy.
I've been filling this little list out with stuff to do before I leave, blog post articles, appointments and such.
I figure that this will come in use for when I hear about places or suggestions from locals on my travels.
Rifle Paper Co Notebook Gold Foil Pocket Twin Set (9x14cm)
I bought the Rifle Paper Co Pocket Twin Set with the intention of writing memoirs of my honeymoon. These stunningly detailed notebooks contain blank pages which do not limit me to writing in a certain manner. I can express how I feel or what I did in a drawing if I felt like it - which I love the idea of.
They're so gorgeous and I'm ashamed to be one of those people and say that I am almost hesitant to mark them; but so determined to do this. Maybe a page a day. I shall see!
Kikki K Large Time Planner in Gold (243mm H x 205mm L x 40mm W)
This is my daily planner, unfortunately it is no longer available in store or online from Kikki K.
It sees a lot of use at work as well as for appointments and general every day musings. It's a little big so portability can be difficult with smaller bags but this is what I will transfer most of my scribblings from my Midori into.
I've also personalised this planner a fair bit to include post it notes, additional pages and my own categories to fit around daily life, work and travel and blog planning.
Kikki K is a shop that has unfortunately been waaaay too close to my work for me not to have a look around during breaks. If I walk in, you can expect that I will leave with a Kikki K branded bag. Le sigh.
I will more than likely check this before I leave to go out for the day's adventure and fill it in last thing at night for the next day.
Apple iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Last but certainly, definitely, not least - phones and tablets.
Google Sheets contains links to things marked on my private Google map I've created for the trip. I've also got a few travel apps that I will talk about later on in a separate blog post.
As much as I love the feel of the traditional planner, in this day and age many would consider you to be crazy if you didn't maximise full use of your phone for itineraries and planning.
That's it from me until Tuesday where I will be back in the country that I love so dearly. Bisou!