Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Suggestions for a travel organizer/journal

Suggestions for a travel organizer/journal


May 29th, 2009, 08:18 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 263
Suggestions for a travel organizer/journal

Hi - We leave for our 3 week trip to Italy in less than 2 weeks. Does anyone have a favorite travel organizer or journal? I am looking for something that I can use for all of my email confirmations and contacts from the many places we'll be staying, as well as something that I can use to record all of the notes that I have made while planning the trip, as well as collect the receipts and tickets from places we visit.

If anyone has a recommendation for something they have used that worked well , I'd love to hear about it.

PSGMARTINO is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 29th, 2009, 08:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,540

I use an A4 plastic folder. It has several document holders as inserts and file dividers to seperate each location or topic.
worldinabag is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 29th, 2009, 08:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 23,652
Nothing fancy for me.

For print-outs (such as email confirmations, online tickets etc), I put them into a sturdy paper folder with pockets. I think it was given to me for "free" by my wedding florist who put his bill in the folder.

As for journal, I used to just buy a $0.99 spiral notebook (4x6) from drugstores. Recently, I upgraded to the Moleskin journal notebooks.

This combo has worked well for me, as you can tell from my profile with all the trip reports I've posted here.
yk is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 29th, 2009, 09:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,125
I use one of those bank leather envelopes they give you if you own a business and are depositing lots of cash. It's just a bit bigger than a business-size envelope, so I print out all my vouchers and confirmations and whatever and fold them into thirds and carry them in that, along with my passport and any train tickets.
My journal is always separate and always a small booklet with lined pages. I carry it with me everywhere and take notes like crazy. Then go on my laptop and write up my reports.
StCirq is online now  
Reply With Quote
May 29th, 2009, 09:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,741
I like to use those accordian-pleated, expandable, multi-pocketed folder holders; they're usually 12-14 pocket size. They have a flap and elastic bands to hold them shut. I put sort info (confirmations, maps, tickets, etc.) by day. Then at the end of the day, I toss whatever is now extraneous and put back in the brochures, etc., memorabilia I collected for that day. They can be squashed down to a very thin folder or expand to hold tons of stuff. Having stuff sorted by day makes scrapbooking a bit easier later. For a jouranl I am much like StCirq above--keep little tiny lined notebook with me and at the end of the day type it up before I forget what my horrible, quickly written handwriting said!
texasbookworm is online now  
Reply With Quote
May 29th, 2009, 09:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,288
Have you considered doing it all online?
Look at a website called www.tripit.com
You can upload all your info there and then print it out as one itinerary. I like having that as a back up.
Then, I print out everything, fold it in half and put it in a gallon size zip lock bag. I take pages out as I need them, and put receipts and ticket stubs in as I get them.
In my day bag, I carry a tiny 3x5 spiral notebook which I use to jot down expenses and notes about the day, what we ate, etc.
Kristina is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 29th, 2009, 11:52 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 20,305
I'm with Kristina-baggie and spiral notebook. We also make a chart of our "to see" places showing days open and hours and organzed by area.
TDudette is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 30th, 2009, 05:31 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 263
Thanks - I'll check out the website, and also head to the local Office Supply store.
PSGMARTINO is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 30th, 2009, 05:57 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,057
I use a plastic report cover with the metal clip along the spine for my documents and travel info. The documents are arranged in the order I need them. As the trip progresses, I move the no-longer-current documents to the back so that my current flight/hotel/restaurant list/whatever is visible through the clear plastic cover.

Like other, for a journal I use a small spiral or other notebook that fits easily in my purse. I choose one that has a pocket for receipts and has elastic to secure it shut. Most receipts, brochures, and other realia end up in a zip-lock bag at the end of the day.
ellenem is online now  
Reply With Quote
May 30th, 2009, 05:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 941
For our reservations, confirmation emails and forms I usually use a 3 ring binder with divider labels for hotels, auto, maps, etc. We found that having everything in a binder helped us to keep it all organized and easily available. When we used a file folder or large envelope we were always shuffling through papers to find what we needed. After I started using the 3 ring binder system my DH loved that I could always find exactly what we needed from maps to confirmation letters quickly. A 1/2" view binder with map on the cover doesn't take up a lot of room and keeps everything at my fingertips, this works best for us.

For my travel journal of experiences I make a daytimer type book by creating pages using my travel photographs as a watermark under the printed lined template that I designed on top. This is a great way to use photos of past trips.
Celticharper is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 30th, 2009, 02:15 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 263
celticharper - I'm impressed with how you use your photos for a travel journal - what a great idea!
PSGMARTINO is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 30th, 2009, 03:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 941
I've had so many compliments on my books whenever anyone sees them. Many people have asked me where to buy the "travel pages" for their daytimer, I've told them how easy they are to make but noone would believe it's that simple.

I make a daytimer 8.5" x 5.5" journal that I have GBC bound for my husband's cycling records for each trip to France, he can keep track of his mileage, altitude, grade range and all the other quirks of the course that he rides each day. I make this with pictures of him on his bike in France, the mountains, cols and some of the Tour de France riders that I have taken over the years. I made these for friends who joined usone year and the guys just loved them. A simple quick gift. It's a lot of fun to make these and use the photos that I love.
Celticharper is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 30th, 2009, 05:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 263
I think I may have to try this... thanks for sharing such a great idea...
PSGMARTINO is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 30th, 2009, 05:26 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 764
Celticharper - how do you make the pages? just color photocopy your photos? are you able to write on top of them? I love the idea!
Sally30 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 31st, 2009, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 941
I use MSword, I
set the page to landscape and
set for two columns
Oh gosh explaining it will be hard. I will gladly email a sample to anyone who wants one. [email protected]
Just let me know and I'll send it off. It's a lot easier to explain how to input the photo as a background than it is to explain the whole process.
Celticharper is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 31st, 2009, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 20,877
Another vote for Tripit. It is a really great site for the pre-trip part. For the collecting while on vacation, I use my iPhone mostly, but I don't really put much effort into collecting receipts for my personal travel. For business travel, I stuff the receipts in my wallet.
travelgourmet is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 31st, 2009, 02:21 PM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 129
Just a suggestion (with these other great ideas mentioned) -you will pick up a lot of receipts along the way and it is a good idea to have a quick place to keep them all. You can sort them out when you arrive home and it also gives you the name of where you ate or made a purchase or hotel you stayed at. They may seem a nuisance while traveling and your tempted to throw away but better to keep until the journey is over. Baggies work.

Also I have always written my daily activity in a travel journal- my memoir of the trip. This past trip I did take my laptop. It was great if the hotel had free internet but a pain when it did not and charged by hour or 24 hr. & not enough time to find internet cafe nearby. Overall, it worked out, and came in handy. Funny, the small boutique hotels had the free internet. The larger hotels charged.
traveltheel is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 31st, 2009, 05:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 263
I've tried Tripit and am having fun building my itinerary. The flights were great - emailed them off and they were loaded immediately, but the hotel reservations I had to build myself - it's still fun, I can upload pictures, and the result is nice.

I got a plastic folder with clear plastic page covers to put my itinerary in along with other important papers...

I would like to start working on a travel journal now, as celticharper suggests.. And I'll bring some baggies for the receipts and cards that I pick up. Thanks for all the ideas..
PSGMARTINO is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 1st, 2009, 07:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 752
I use Tripit for my itinerary - then print it out for my 3-ring binder (1/2"). Tripit makes it easy to send out the itinerary to family members, etc.

I use dividers in the binder to separate each section of the trip so that I can find everything easily. I put all the reservations, etc., for each place in the different sections. I have plastic sheets with pockets that go in each section for maps, tickets, etc. Then as we move on to a new place, I remove that section from the binder and put it in a pocket of a suitcase. I put printouts from all my research or pages copied from travel books in the binder. The binder is easy to use in a hotel room or rental car. In the front of the binder, I have a zippered pencil holder that I use for receipts, etc.

For my daypack or purse, I carry a small (4X6) binder organized in much the same way - by sections. I also use it for a journal (lined pages) and keep up with expenditures as well so that at the end of the trip, I can tell what we did each day and where the money was spent. I find that a binder works so much better than a spiral as I can move pages around as I need to. These small binders aren't easy to find - but I have bought them at the Office Supply store and on line. There is a 3X5 size, but I like the 4X6 size better. I also buy page refills.

When we return from a trip, I keep the pages from the binder in a file and refer to them often when planning return trips or helping others plan trips.
blh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 2nd, 2009, 07:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 87,144
I use plastic folders from my office. Like a manilla folder size but these are clear plastic, closed on 2 sides, open on 2 sides. They are perfect!

The other thing I've used is a zippered clear plastic pencil case (like a student would put in the front of a 3-ring binder). These are clear on the front and different colored on the back. So I use different ones, one for each city. Once I'm there I tuck business cards, maps, etc. in so have a nice neat packet of the city's information after the trip.
suze is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:17 AM.