Planning Our Recent 2019 UK Trip! 🚀 💂‍♀️

March 05, 2019

As you may have seen from recent tweets, Jer and I recently took a trip to the UK. Specifically, London, then Scotland, then back to London.

The idea for the trip was kicked off when reflecting upon going to Maui for my birthday last year. It was an incredible experience, and I wanted to be able to reciprocate for Jer by taking him to the top locations on his “bucket list.”

Various folks on Twitter have requested that I create a blog post that discusses the process I use to plan a trip. I hope you find the below information useful.

So now that there’s a location in mind, how the heck to begin planning? 🤔

🗣 Collaboration Tools Make It Happen!

If you are planning a trip with anyone, you’re gonna need a collaboration tool which you can collectively reference what needs to be planned, what’s already been considered and booked, as well as a common reference place for information - hotel names and addresses, booking reference numbers, etc.

These tools can look anything like the following:

  • Keybase
  • Google Drive
  • Git(hu|la)b

All of these can be fine choices, but the important bit is that everyone involved in the planning should enjoy using the tool, and the tool should have some security-mindedness (ACLs, etc.) so that if you opt to include sensitive information, this information is kept safe.

Below I’ll go through the detail concerning all the bits and bobs I find to be handy in this common collaboration space.

📅 Timeline of Events

For Jer and me, doing touristy stuff doesn’t rank highly on the list (if at all), so we don’t need to manage every hour of the day with markers of all those little events.

That said, it still makes sense when planning a trip (especially one with multiple locations involved) to have a timeline of events within easy reach. Even if you think you are planning a “simple trip”, having a timeline will help tease all sorts of shapes/sizes of logistics to you haven’t immediately considered concerning the timings between the transportation, flights, hotel, meals.

For example, you may realize that by booking an early morning flight that you have consequently cheated yourself out of a decent breakfast at the hotel and will consequently either need to seek out food at the airport or schedule a later flight. Or, you may find that by arriving late in the evening, unless you call the hotel and schedule a late check-in ahead of time, no one will be available to give you a room key.

Going through this exercise will take a bit of time up-front, this will ultimately save you time, anxiety, and headache of having to deal with the fallout of a poorly considered timing.


📋 To-Do List

It seems obvious, but mentioning here regardless! I live by to-do lists. In a collaborative setting, doubly so because it makes sure that everyone is on the same page at all times.

Additionally, in seeing and making use of the list, it may prompt the brain to think of other things that should be added to the list. For example, in the last trip after ‘completing’ the To-Do list, I noticed that we hadn’t considered a taxi from a train station to a very remote hotel in the evening. 😅


🗝📕 ‘What’s Booked’ Metadata

This can be flight, car, train, hotel, and all sorts of other reference information. A few pointers before adding the information:

  • Do you really need the sensitive information in the collaboration tool? Some providers don’t really need this information anymore, and you can communicate with them directly via mobile apps instead of having to keep track of reference or booking numbers.
  • Make sure that the collaboration tool is secure, where only contributors involved in the trip can reference the information. Do your research to see if the tool is secure enough for your purposes. Not sure? Don’t store your information in the tool. ✨


💡 Open Dreams / Questions / Logistics

Daydreaming about the possibilities during a trip is lovely, so why not share those thoughts so that the ideas aren’t lost? I’ve found that even when we find we don’t have time on this trip for a dream, that we can save that idea for a later voyage. Sharing dreams brings joy. 🌈


🌯 In Conclusion…

I hope that these templates, pointers, and examples helped to spark new ideas about your upcoming adventures. If there’s a section which you’d like more information, or if you’d like to engage with me on related topics, please feel free to DM me on Twitter (@brennx0r).


Brenna Flood

Written by Brenna Flood (they/them or she/her), software engineering leader and co-organizer of the Open Source and Feelings conference. Follow them on Mastodon.

Brenna Flood @ brennx0rblog.