Right up the top of the Things I am good at but wish I wasn’t list is logistics. Give me any situation, give me any number of people and I will make sure everyone gets to the church on time. I don’t LOVE doing logistics. In fact I really wish someone would organise ME sometimes but in my little family of three it’s erm … not going to happen any time soon.
When it’s time to travel, especially the kind that involves planes and accommodation in unfamiliar cities/countries, these logistics skills really do come in useful. I know a lot of people who are happy to just get themselves on the plane and then wing it once they’re on the ground at their destination, but I have done this once before and it just did my head in. Also – this can work when you’re travelling solo or with a partner, but with children? Oh my.
So what’s my lifehacker tip for travelling? Well that would be:
I print out every bit of information that I need for my trip. Let’s pause for a quick story here shall we?
It’s April 2008 and I am in Paris trying to calm my nerves as I am running the Paris Marathon the next day. I am also trying to calm my nerves because X, who was travelling to Paris a few days behind me, is not answering his phone. He should have made it to our apartment by now and hasn’t, so naturally I am starting to freak out. I am assuming that his plane hasn’t crashed as there isn’t anything about a plane crash on the news but being me, I am imagining every worst case scenario known to mankind (kidnapping, sudden heart attack in city where no-one knows you etc etc).
Looooooooooong story short, three hours later he finally makes it. All the info for our trip was on his laptop which had no battery left and his phone was also out of battery so he couldn’t call me/respond to the 12 frantic messages I had left for him.
So now you can see why I print everything out. It’s nice that we live in an electronic age but there is nothing like travelling to make us forget to charge our phones/laptops/iPads.
This week I am heading to Melbourne for the Digital Parents Conference and then on Saturday morning I am flying up to Sydney for a wedding. What do I have printed out?
- My flight itinerary
- My Jetbus transfer ticket from airport to Melbourne accommodation
- Conference program
- Conference ticket
- Pre-conference drinks ticket
- Google map of conference venue and pre-conference drinks venue
- Tram instructions for getting from accommodation to conference
- Sydney to Manly Shuttle Transfer paperwork including where the shuttle stop is located at Sydney airport
- Sydney accommodation confirmation
- Map of where Sydney accommodation is
- Google map of where the wedding is
Travelling can be stressful, and I don’t know about you, but when I get stressed, I get flustered. I don’t want to be mucking around with electronica trying to find a booking form or important information when am flustered – I want it to be close at hand! Print everything out, put it in your carry on and hey presto, no messing around.