Many times I have found myself battling with tons of paper about trip details such as flights, Hotels, Museums, destination info, costs etc.
Many times I have found myself loosing papers with extremely useful info because I had not put everything in an orderly manner.
So, after some time I concluded that, for my personal tastes, one best way to do this is through a spreadsheet! And I sincerely propose it to people.
What is portrayed reflect my personal tastes but I guess this may be in the likes of other people also!
Start with the main facts e.g. dates and month. Then move to the main way of getting there e.g. flight details or if you are using other means of transport e.g. trains. Add the Hotel details and spice the whole thing with what you intend to do. The third part is all about costs.
Flights and hotels are normally the parts of the trip you will be spending most of the money, but if you intend to stay there more, then daily costs may add up to a reasonable amount.
Finally, if you want to change some costs and see where this will lead you e.g. when you want to …supress costs, you can also add a second option and sum OPTION2 costs.
Point 1. This spreadsheet can be as detailed and complicated as you wish (make links with photos, google-maps screenshots, URLs, pdf’setc), but normally try to fit everything into one page.
Point 2. If you don’t have a hint about costs, try not to be too stingy with predictions. The truth of the matter is that surely what you will spend will be more than what you planned.
Point 3. Don’t waste too much time in nitty gritty details and costs. You just want to have a rough estimate of costs and details.
Point 4. When you come back from your trip make use you add all cost and see if your predictions were accurate. Over time you want to see your predictions getting closer to the actual costs!
EXAMPLE. (The costs and time details are purely indicative)
A couple intends to travel from London to Stockholm , Oslo and then back to London.
The flight, train, hotel and things-to-do columns are included and the relevant costs are portrayed and summed up. As cost may have been too high, the OPTION 2 (Cheap hotels, no museums) was calculated to 340 Euros less!
For more details, don’t hesitate to ask!
PS> I know that out there, there are probably numerous travel planning applications and tools for iOS, Android etc. What i have just proposed is just a simple, back-to-basics way to do what. After all, sometimes a paper copy of a travel itinerary is, at least psychologically and still for for many people, priceless!