Planning this 3-month trip for three people was not an easy task. Not only did we have to prepare to travel, we also had to find sub-tenants and partially move out of our house for the summer to accommodate them. We started the planning process in January and began by making a high-level timeline to reassure ourselves it was possible.
After that, we tracked our to-dos in Trello, which was (and still is) an essential tool for us. The great thing about Trello is you can start using it very casually, and later can easily shift to a more detail-oriented approach. We set up a board for our trip with one list for each item on the timeline, and a card for each to-do item in that category. Closer to departure we created a list for every week, and just before leaving we had a list for every day. Now that we’re on the road, we have a list for each country and one for when we return. As we think of something we want to remember, we toss another card in the right list. Trello is easy to use and great for collaboration. (We also use it to track our everyday household tasks, and planned our wedding celebrations with it too.)
Our research was created in a shared Google Drive folder. Some items we created:
- Visa requirements for each country
- Weather research (temperatures, monsoon patterns)
- What type of voltage and plug type are used in each country
- Research on what to do and where to stay (one doc per country)
- Gantt-chart-style trip itinerary with estimate of nightly costs
- Packing lists (both for the trip and for packing our house)
- Emergency information cards to carry with us
- Copies of important documents just in case
When we finally started making bookings, we forwarded the confirmation emails to TripIt, which automatically created an itinerary for us from those emails. Then, we went in and added other details manually as needed. TripIt is another essential favorite tool – we pay for a Pro account for better notifications while in transit.
Much of our trip is still unplanned, by design. So we’ll continue to plan as we go, and will probably have another post at the end of the trip to share new tools and resources.