Vacation Planning :: London 2017

Google Calendar is a Godsend

My wife usually plans everything. For me to put together an itinerary where there are choices to do anything you like is like herding a group of cats with a pencil and a wheelchair, blindfolded. That said, the task of vacation planning is turning out to be a little bit of fun. The trick seems to be figuring out what you’re interested in, figuring out how far apart that stuff is and how long it takes to do each thing, then laying them out on a calendar to see how everything fits together.

It sounds so easy at first: make a list, wrap each item in duration and location, then just lay it out on a calendar. In fact it sounds a little like laying a pattern out on wood or fabric to maximize the use of the available fabric. In reality, you don’t really know everything to such great detail and that means you can’t identify all the little pieces well enough.

What I’ve done is just take the things that are known and plaster them on a Google calendar. That means my flights, transfers to and from the airport, checking into the hotel and specific things we know we want to do are laid out. Plus, Google shares these things to my phone so I get notifications when it is time to leave for each major event no matter where I am. Great, right?! I think so. It also lets me view the calendar in a sort of weird negative space. I know where our free time is, so we can wander strategically without feeling too pressured. That said, those trips to Paris and Edinburgh are definitely going to seem like a push.

The Calendar We’re Using

Our Google calendar also provides a convenient way to keep reservation notes about each event in a single place. The address, time of departure, even the confirmation codes for the tickets you’re using are all right there. Plus when I “invite” the people I’m with on all the events, we all have the same information. Get separated? You know where to find me! It’s only a bit confusing when it comes to planning things in a different timezone. I’ve opted for placing events using London time and I’m still not used to that part.

Privacy is a Little Weird Sometimes

If you notice there isn’t a great deal of information in that calendar unless you happen to be someone I’ve shared it with. Naturally if you want to see the details and have a Google account, send me your google email address and I’ll add you to it. It’s certainly cool with me for my family and friends to know right where we are on our trip. I only wish there were more time to play than the one week!

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