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How do you organize yourself on vacation?

How do you organize yourself on vacation?

Old Aug 20th, 2014, 11:57 PM
  #41  
 
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I am high tech in my day to day life but decidedly old school when it comes to travel documentation.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 04:07 AM
  #42  
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>I understand not relying exclusively on a device, but for pity's sake, if you have it with you anyway, why not make use of some of the organizing tools that are out there??

I am ready but the tech is not. On our trip to Greece in June:

Hotel 1: Great wifi but the hotel wanted $20 euros per day. Pass. Paper is a lot cheaper.
Hotel 2: Wifi worked 1st day. Dead on the 2nd until a router reset that night. Off again the 3rd.
Hotel 3: Wifi only worked when I was outside on the patio with a clear line of sight to the main building. And then it was verrrrry sloooooowwww.
Hotel 4: Wifi worked fine but verrrrry sloooooowwww.
Hotel 5: Wifi worked great. Slow but always available.
Hotel 6: Wifi great for 1st day & then nothing. The owner was waiting for his provider for service.

So, if I had relied solely on wifi, I would have been in the dark about everything for 50% of my vacation. And I dare you to try to pull up a reliable custom map on Google maps when you really need it. Sure I could have saved jpg maps to pull up, but then I would have been constantly searching for charging areas. No thanks, paper is fine.

Ian
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 04:36 AM
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I use TripCase which is better than Tripit because you do actually get info on gates/delays etc. Plus you don't have to create the itineraries, you just forward them once you've booked something and they get imported into your TC account. I setup personal hotspots so I can be connected to the internet where there is no wifi. Images of my boarding passes etc are stored on my phone, the bar codes work fine.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 04:40 AM
  #44  
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And while we are on the subject, the 40 inch iPad & iPhone charging cable? A joke. It is always, always, always too short. In NA, you can usually count on lots of plugs in hotel rooms. They have gradually added more with power bars around desks, receptacles on every wall & in lamp bases, several in bathrooms etc. In Europe? One in the bathroom beside the sink & one inaccessible one behind a 3 ton armoire.

Ian
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 04:46 AM
  #45  
 
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Does anybody else "cannibalize" guidebooks? In order not to have to take a big guidebook (or, in some cases, more than one), I typically just cut out the relevant pages (especially if they don't constitute a large portion of the book)and put them in sleeves. Takes much less room and is much lighter than taking the whole book!
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 04:56 AM
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<< Does anybody else "cannibalize" guidebooks? In order not to have to take a big guidebook (or, in some cases, more than one) >>

I used to years ago but now I photocopy the pages and take them instead.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 05:06 AM
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<i>I used to years ago but now I photocopy the pages and take them instead.</i>

Photocopy? This is 2014. Take pics of the pages with your smartphone.


I tried the pdf travel guide route once with Lonely Planet's Madrid city guide. I didn't use it.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 05:08 AM
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I take one extension lead with several sockets and an adaptor which overcomes the lack of sockets, even for NA. All the cables are therefore in one place and am less likely to forget them. Charging iphone, ipad, laptop, kindle, camera, its alot of cables so the extension lead works fine for us.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 05:20 AM
  #49  
 
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I used to travel a lot for business and had a bundle of little cables, so much so I found my bag was half full of electronics and no room for my clothes. What I do find is while software used to be "bloatware" that hardware is now "extension-ware", the best planner I ever had was the Psion Revo, it did everything with minimal charge and was smaller than a glasses case. Then people began making money out of evermore functions.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 08:24 AM
  #50  
 
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<Photocopy? This is 2014. Take pics of the pages with your smartphone. >
This is my point--we must encourage each other to find better ways of doing things, not because the old ways are wrong but because better ways exist.

WiFi? Wy do you need WiFi when most apps allow you to work offline?

I do see that charging can be an issue, which is why I say, again, devices are not the only answer. But, having bought them, and if one is lugging one or more, it would be good to use them, no?

I must say, I travel with an iPhone and that's it. SO brings his iPad as well as his phone. One cord works for all. A sack of cords and chargers and such is a PITA for sure.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 08:37 AM
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<i>A sack of cords and chargers and such is a PITA for sure.</i>

Aye. I have a 4 port USB charger and my devices are either mini or micro USB. Carrying 4 chargers would be madness.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 08:39 AM
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<<I feel that clinging to old methods is...old. Sorry, I know that sounds rude. Maybe it is rude.>>

But I don't own an iPad or a cell phone.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 08:51 AM
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As somebody said above, in the case there's a dispute about the hotel reservation dates and room rate, it's better and easier to hand over a piece of paper at the front desk. Instead of presenting a smartphone or a tablet.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 08:57 AM
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Tom and others who cut up guidebooks--I like to keep the guidebooks intact. It is seldom necessary to update a guidebook these days, with on-line travel sites like Tripadvisor and Michelin, not to mention site-specific websites for just about everywhere you'd want to go, and I like to keep the old ones in my library.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 09:04 AM
  #55  
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<<I feel that clinging to old methods is...old. Sorry, I know that sounds rude. Maybe it is rude.>>

It is.

It is not whether a method is "old", it is whether the method works for the user.

Personally, I find carrying around a few pieces of paper is much easier, and lighter, than having to carry around a piece of electronics, or having to ensure that said electronic is fully charged and on when I need it. I go on vacation to get away from being connected to a computer/tablet/phone 24/7.

"New" is not always better, nor always the answer.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 09:23 AM
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While I consider myself pretty tech oriented, for trip planning I still do things the old school way. I get a multi-pocketed folder and put all of my important stuff like payment records, important emails and reservation confirmations in it. Then I divide each day and put the corresponding things to do and restaurants to visit in each respective section. I do tear pages out of guidebooks and toss them in too. I also print out and throw in recommendations from places like Fodor's too. Then a few weeks before leaving, we review everything in the file and finalize our touring plans with lists - I'm a big list fan.

This year for our trip I will have the same usual old school file for our reservations etc. I will bring this with us. But for our itinerary I will be using my smartphone and for restaurants, I'll have apps for finding good places. I plan to scan in my pertinent documents and lists and have them as a file for reference all the time. We'll bring both my smartphone and our iPad on the trip. I figure each night I'll look up my information for the next day on my iPad, and write down our plan for the day - though I will still use paper maps though….I can't help it - I just like them!
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 09:29 AM
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<< Photocopy? This is 2014. Take pics of the pages with your smartphone. >>

I don't own a smartphone. I have a dumb phone. I do have an iPad but am not going to lug that around while siteseeing. I'd rather have a few pieces of light paper.

<< "New" is not always better, nor always the answer. >>

Very true!
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 09:55 AM
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Plus the *old school* way (paper) takes up virtually no weight or space in your luggage, you don't need chargers, convertors, wifi/internet connection, or even electricity for that matter, it has zero monetary value so no one worries about someone stealing it...
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 10:21 AM
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First of all, I send copies of everything (boarding cards, hotel reservations, e-tickets) to a trip-specific Dropbox folder. I also save information about restaurants, museums, and things I might want to see in the same folder. Since I have Dropbox on my phone, my tablet, my laptop and my desktop, so I always have this information available. I could also reach it with a browser on a public computer, but I've never needed to do that.

I also carry a paper summary of everything, a sort of day-by-day agenda. This has all reservation numbers, hotel information, train ticket information, and it's just one (rarely two) pages. I nevef print out entire hotel confirmations, which have about 30 useful words on them
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 10:33 AM
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I accidentally sent that somehow. Picking up where I left off, I've noticed that a hotel reservation confirmation that's two pages long has only about two sentences that are useful. Rather than print them all out, I copy and paste into my one-page agenda the essential information for all reservations and tickets. (I always have the originals in the Dropbox folder.)

My agenda also has a rough itineray for each day, maybe just a list of a few things we might want to do or see. We don't like itinesraries set in stone, so I make very few dinner or museum reservations, and very rarely book a guided tour.

I carry this one-page agenda in a plastic envelope, the size of a tr-folded page. To this envelope, I add receipts as I go along, and make notes about where and what
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