For those of you who know me, it may come as no surprise that I’m a bit of a “type-A” personality. This is especially true when it comes to being organized for my travel. It’s not that I want to run us ragged, but because I want us to enjoy the trip. And as a result of my years of travel, I’ve come up with some pretty simple ways to stay organized while on the road. One way I do this is by creating a special travel itinerary template, which I also refer to as my “cheat sheet” for the trip.
A “Cheat Sheet” is More Than Just a Travel Itinerary Template
Keeping track of all the details related to a vacation can be overwhelming. Especially if it is a long or busy trip filled with hotel changes, transportation, and activities. After you have made your travel arrangements, you are bound to have endless emails and confirmation numbers to sort through.
That combined with your research and notes about the things you want to see and do on your trip can make being organized even more complicated. You need all this information nicely organized where you can access it easily when you need it.
And that is why I came up with my travel “cheat sheet.” With has helped myself and over 11,000 travelers stay organized on the road!
Sometimes Nothing Beats a Good Ol’ Fashioned Piece of Paper!
Technology, especially mobile devices, have really helped travelers stay organized while on the road. In fact, one of our favorite travel apps that we use is called TripIt.
The TripIt app helps us consolidate a lot of our travel information and confirmation numbers into one place. This allows us to access it online or save it for viewing offline on our mobile devices. However, I have learned from my previous travel experience that using technology doesn’t always make things easier or quicker.
This is especially true when traveling overseas. I don’t always have my mobile devices powered on, and often they are not connected to a data network. Other times I may not want to draw attention to myself and my fancy technology while I’m walking down the street. In these cases I’ve discovered that it’s easier to go old school, with an actual piece of paper!
Unfortunately, all those confirmation emails and travel planning documents tend be long and include a lot of information that you may not need. In fact, if you were to print all of that information out, you would probably be walking around with a small book in your pocket!
This defeats the whole point of a “cheat sheet” because you would be fumbling around trying to find what you need.
My “cheat sheet’ is only 1 page!
Items to Include on Your Travel Itinerary “Cheat Sheet”
There are all kinds of things you may find useful to put on your travel “Cheat Sheet.” But the most critical pieces of information to include are only those that you may need to reference quickly while you are on the go. So don’t overdo it by putting too much information. Keep it concise and easy to read. Some of the items I include in my “cheat sheet” include:
- Rough Itinerary – Don’t plan each minute! But it’s helpful to plan out major activities on each day, especially days when you are traveling.
- Hotel Information – confirmation numbers, addresses, contact information, prices & deposits paid (so you know what you owe on arrival), and possibly directions.
- Transportation Information – flight numbers, train / bus schedules, how to use local transportation and buy tickets, etc.
- Attractions – if there are certain sights that you absolutely want to see, make a note of their operating hours and days (because that might impact your itinerary), addresses, and prices (which will help with budgeting).
- Activities – anything that you have pre-booked, along with the confirmation numbers.
- Language Phrases – include a few simple phrases or notes about the language or even local customs.
Bring a Hard Copy of Your Travel Itinerary “Cheat Sheet” & Keep It Handy
My “cheat sheet” travel itinerary template is only one page. It is grouped into 4 sections so that I can easily fold it into quarters and stuff it in my pocket. Within the document itself, I group the information within each quarter section. This way when it is folded, each side has a table of similar information.
For example, one side of the page might have my overall itinerary for each day, while another side contains all my hotel information. I also color code the header of each page for each section. This makes it easy for me to find the page I need for whatever it is that I’m looking for.
Be sure to print out a few copies, and it is good to send an electronic copy to your email.
Lastly, this “cheat sheet” document is perfect for sharing with family and friends, in case they need to contact you while you are away!
Join 12,000+ Other Travelers Who Have Downloaded this Useful Template
Download Our Travel Itinerary Template & Create Your Own “Cheat Sheet!”
It’s always tough to start out from scratch creating a planning document like this. And sometimes, it may not seem worth it to put in all the effort. But since I have already found a format that seems to work well, I wanted to share it here for all of you .
Your time is valuable.
So all I ask is that you buy me a small cup of coffee (.99 cents) for saving you the time and hassle of making it yourself.
I assure you that you will feel so much more organized during your trip, and not fumbling around with smartphones or trying to open emails while on the road.
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Photo Credit: All photos under CC 2.0 – edar, Unsplash, TheAndrasBarta, GotCredit, docentjoyce
Got Your Cheat Sheet? Now It’s Time to Plan Your Trip!
There are MANY ways to go about planning a trip – and every person, and situation is different. To help make it easier on you, we’ve created a special Plan Your Trip page — with do it yourself (DIY) planning resources and links, as well as additional options if you want to ask us some questions or have us help you out with planning.
Just let us know – we are here to help you by making your trip planning easier, more fun, and cheaper!