spreadsheets and suitcases

organization + travel = family fun

Travel planning for dorks- spreadsheet tutorial part 3

on August 9, 2014

Please see Part 1  and Part 2 here.

After the Budget and To-Do Timeline tabs, we can move on to the Details tab.  The Details tab contains just that- details.  Here is where I like to fill in the nitty-gritty, the kind of stuff that needs to be recorded somewhere but would clutter up the other tabs.

  • A section for the flight details will contain the departure date, flight #, departure time, arrival time, and the name of the airline.  And the airport codes, too!  My daughter thinks I know them all by heart, because my screensaver for when we lived in Spain was our route there and back home, so HNL-LAX-EWR-JFK-DUB-MAD-SVQ-MAD-JFK-EWR-SFO-HNL would scroll across my little monitor several times a day.
  • A section for the hotel details will contain the name of the hotel, street address, phone and fax #s (these have come in handy more times than you can imagine), the type of room booked, included amenities like free breakfast, and of course, the reservation dates.  Sometimes I also include a note to remind myself what website I booked the hotel through (so I can be sure I was credited my miles or points appropriately after the fact).  I might also note if we used a special discount code such as AAA, Costco, or AARP, to be sure I have those membership cards handy in case they ask to see them.  Note: they NEVER ask to see them.  But as sure as the sky is blue- the time I don’t have them is the time they will ask for them.
  • Rental cars, ticket details, and other types of confirmed experiences also find their home here.
Details, details...

Details, details…

As I get closer to the trip, I usually add another column: Shopping!



The shopping list is pretty important to my planning.  I feel it important to have a souvenir from each trip.  Want to know what my fabulous memento is?  You sure you’re ready?

It’s a magnet.

Yup, a magnet.  A good, old-fashioned, refrigerator magnet.  There’s something about them that appeals to me- they are easy to find, don’t fade the way clothing does, and aren’t dust catchers like figurines.  And they’re usually pretty inexpensive.  I also like jigsaw puzzles, but that souvenir is reserved for my very favorite places, especially if I’ve been there many times.  For certain VERY special destinations (hint: they usually begin with the word “Disney”), I get a year-dated photo album and at least 1 photo frame.  Here are some of my magnets:

My freezer door, displaying 10s of dollars worth of memories

My freezer door, displaying 10s of dollars worth of memories

Of course, I don’t impose my souvenir rules on the rest of the family.  My husband always finds the perfect T-shirt, and the kids get several items, some of which will be forgotten as soon as we get home.  Such is the way of the world.

But anyway, back to the spreadsheet.  In addition to the Shopping list, I usually have an Eating list.  Doesn’t everybody travel with the intent to stuff their faces with regional delicacies?  And I’m not talking fine dining.  I make sure to eat greasy, delicious street food that you just can’t get in Honolulu.  On our recent trip to the East Coast, pizza was #1 on the list!  I’ve tasted most of the pizza on Oahu, and…it’s just not good enough for me (who grew up in NJ) or my husband (who was born and raised in the Bronx).  But the Boston’s pizza in Kaimuki gets an honorable mention for the Meatzilla and Spinach/Garlic/Mushroom slices.  Mmm.  So the Eating list might contain a type of food, a specific restaurant, or sometimes even a recipe request if we are visiting family.  And…now I have a craving for my mom’s Sopita de Queso.

That’s all for the Details tab, folks.  Next up: Packing lists! Yes, that’s a plural.

4 responses to “Travel planning for dorks- spreadsheet tutorial part 3

  1. gina says:

    me encanta este segmento. siga trabajando en ellos muy buenos consejos


  2. […] is the final post in the spreadsheet tutorial!  See Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and […]


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