“Oh cool, I love spreadsheets” said no one ever. How do you plan your travels?

The planning process has been more involved than expected. Sure, a lot of what we actually do and see will be spontaneous, on a whim… but there’s so much more to think about…

  • Waypoints
  • Finances
  • Packing
  • Clothing
  • Currencies
  • Visas
  • Vaccinations

That’s just for starters, and obviously it’s been a bit of an administrative chore. We went through multiple variations of storing and trying to stay on top of it all… but ultimately, a good old spreadsheet turned out to do the job best of all. Google Sheets more specifically, as we can work on the file simultaneously and easily access it on the go or via the app. Even if they do steal our data.

Other options we considered/trialled included:

Apple numbers: useful if you both use Apple products but ultimately it’s a bit buggy and version control, despite us sharing it and double checking we were looking at the same version, always seem to get messed up.

Trello: a to-do list style board. It’s quite handy for keeping everything in one place, but the problem with having to create various documents and upload them is that you end up with stuff all over the place.

We’ve ended up using Google Sheets primarily – it’s slightly less easy to use on iPads, iPhones than the native Apple products, but is way more efficient for sharing across platforms and with each other. We’ve kept everything in one place, with tabs per continent.

The columns we’ve used are:

Country

City

Dates

Travel – how could we get here from the previous place, what are the associated costs

Accommodation – what are the options?

Activities – ideas for what we’ll do there!

Notes – is there something we need to know, i.e. a crucial visa or vaccination? Can we only get in via one border?

Other useful links.

We did initially use a ‘budget’ column, but found separating it out into the travel, accommodation and activities columns more useful for us to really get a grip on what we were/planned to be spending.

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