I’m currently on a tour of CoderDojos in Ireland, doing some research on how these informal coding clubs work. It involves meeting lots of great people, and lots of travel. I’m in Cork at the moment, having come from London to Galway and up to Dublin tomorrow with some excursions to surrounding areas. Travel takes organisation, and having done a fair bit in the last few years I’ve developed some tips for keeping things manageable.
It’s tiring traveling, and I always seem to plan to get more done during the actual travel than I ever manage to. Despite the amount of waiting and sitting it takes quite a lot of mental bandwidth to successfully navigate multiple forms of transport and find a different place to lay your head each night. The way to approach this challenge, I think, is to be super organised, and make sure you’ve got easy access to all the information needed. You could print out and organise all the documents and emails relating to your travel. Or…
Using TripIt for itineraries
The main tool I use for this is a wonderful website called TripIt. This site and accompanying app builds itineraries for you based on the confirmation emails you get when booking your travel. You sign up for an account, then simply forward any confirmation emails you receive to email@example.com. You can even set it to automatically scan your inbox if you use certain email services. The platform reads these emails, figures out what kind of travel they are, extracts the time, locations and any confirmation numbers you might need to pick up tickets. It then keeps all of these in time order so you just need to follow them through. You can do this on the app, but you can also synchronise it to your calendar using these instructions.
This is where I get the most use from it, as it drops all your travel plans into your calendar as events, including all the info you need to pick up your tickets or retrieve your booking. All those travel documents get organised by the time you need them and you can organise the events your are travelling to attend around them.
Staying charged up
This solution does make your rather reliant on your technology. You can print your itinerary using the TripIt website, something I’d probably do for a very complicated journey or one to a very unfamiliar country.
The solution I usually use though is to make sure I have my phone power cable and a decent size portable battery. I’d recommend Anker batteries, I’ve had one for a few years now (this model) and it was relatively inexpensive and has been very reliable. Don’t forget to also bring the charger for your phone and a micro USB cable to recharge the battery. It’s worth having a USB car charger too, and don’t forget a universal power convertor if you are going abroad.
It takes a bit of set up to get all this in place, but once it is then it removes a whole load of work from your travelling, both when preparing and during the trip.