2012 Trips and Visits Planning

I’m a planner, so this is the time of year I like to start working on my family’s summer vacation. We also get frequent visits from out of town family and friends — so many that if I didn’t keep track of all of them, we’d have the awkward situation where we eventually found out that we double-booked more than one set of visitors for the same weekend. Yikes!

I’m so fortunate that the Travel + Places topic of LifeTopix makes managing all of this so easy. It even allows me to put information in for trips and visits that aren’t even completely final — I just update them as plans develop.

Here’s how I use LifeTopix to track our trips and visits:

For our family vacation, we start by looking at our calendars. This way, we can see what important dates we have to be in town (mom’s big birthday party at the end of June, dad’s retirement party at the end of July, etc.) while also figuring out what week we’re able to take off from work. Now that we’ve done that, I created a trip in LifeTopix for “Family Vacation 2012” and set the dates of that trip to the week we chose.

Right off the bat, I thought of several tasks I want to track, including:

  • deciding on our destination
  • booking airfare
  • researching the destination on TripAdvisor
  • reserving a hotel
  • reserving a rental car

I even created tasks for things close to the trip, like “start packing for family vacation”. And of course, for each task I can track its due date, status, priority, and even a repeat schedule if it’s a task I will have to do more than once, like checking for special deals on rental cars at our destination.

My sister and her family are going to join us this year so I added them as companions for this trip.

To make sure we don’t forget to bring important things with us, it’s helpful to have a list of items to pack. I created a checklist right in our trip within LifeTopix just for this purpose with everything I could think of now such as camera, iPad, chargers, etc. Whenever we think of something else we will need, we’ll just add it to our packing checklist.

The bookmarks capability within LifeTopix is really helpful to keep track of web resources we have come across that we want to visit again. I bookmarked the weather page for the local TV station at our destination so we can check the forecast as it gets closer to our trip, and the web site for the local museum so we’ll be able to see where they’re located, their hours, and any special events when we get there.

Once we’ve bought our airline tickets, I’ll keep a pdf version of the itinerary in the Notes + Files topic in LifeTopix and attach that particular file directly to this trip. I could also keep it up on Dropbox and access it directly from LifeTopix via the built-in Dropbox integration.

I’ve created reminders in our trip so that I’ll automatically be reminded to do the electronic check-ins to get our boarding passes for the trip 24 hours before our outbound and return flights.

We know we’ll need to buy some things for this trip, and with the convenient cross-topic integration that is part of LifeTopix, we’re able to create a shopping list directly in this trip. We’ve added things like sunscreen and a new suitcase. Now, that shopping list shows up automatically in the Shopping topic with a title of “Trip: Family Vacation 2012”.

If I take photos, videos or make audio clips, I can attach those directly to this trip as well. For example, a friend of mine was showing me a particular brand of sunscreen they like a lot, so I wanted to make sure to get this for our trip. I took a photo of the label with my iPhone and attached that photo to this trip.

Tracking visitors is just as easy. In addition to the things I can track for a trip, the visitors topic item lets me track the people who will be visiting us. And since LifeTopix has direct access to my device Contacts, adding these folks is just a simple matter of selecting from a list, saving me the trouble of having to re-enter data that already exists on my device.

LifeTopix makes life so much easier!

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