Bucket lists. Packing lists. Activities lists. The list goes on. Ha.
Call me crazy [or as I like to call it, extremely detailed & organized], but one of my favorite things to accomplish before a trip, is creating an extensive GoogleSheet. If you are not a GoogleDrive user, you’re missing out. I use it for keeping track of my upcoming trips, for anything from choosing accommodations, to budgeting, to a day-to-day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute, second-by-second (ok, KIDDING) itinerary. The best thing about it all? You can access it from the GoogleDrive app and share it with your friends who are traveling with you! All fo free.
So you really may call me crazy for having an intense itinerary, but I use it as a guide to maximize my time while on a trip. Do I follow it exactly? Heck no! However, I’ve realized how handy it is to be able to pull it up on my phone and reference any commitments I have (such as an architecture boat tour in Chicago, or my timed entry to the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam) and plan around those events. By having a rough itinerary, I don’t waste time standing around trying to figure out what to do next. If I’m really prepared, I’ll have a list of restaurants (hopefully divided by breakfast, lunch, dinner and most importantly, bars), sites to see, activities, and any local events happening.
To get an idea, you can check out the itinerary I made for Chicago here. Make sure you click on the other two tabs to take a look at Expenses & Lodging. Here’s a snapshot of what it looks like:
Another supa cool resource I recently discovered is My Maps in Google Maps. You can essentially take your crazy, detailed lists of places, and put them all on a map that you can access on your phone. So you finish that Pedal Party in Nashville (check out my post about visiting the Music City here) and you’re hungry (obviously after all the beer you just drank to keep you hydrated while cycling) but don’t know where to eat? You can pull up your handy My Maps and take a look at what’s closest to you. You can even add your own personal notes, such as who it was recommended by, if you read that a certain meal was especially good there, how to get cheap deals, etc.! It’s literally the coolest for the nerdy part of me that loves having a plan. (Side note: do not use the Google Maps app, as I discovered that it does not work well using the My Maps option. I use it from my Chrome browser app).
If you wanna see what I’m talking about, click here or take a look at the screenshot below:
Here’s a sneak peek at what happens when you select one of your saved locations and you can view your personal notes, the address, phone number, etc: