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I write with no particular theme in mind, because I am random like that.

13 2010

12:13 AM



The Organized Traveller

Generally when people travel with me, their jaws drop when they see the amount of documentation and research I do prior to a trip. I admit, I can go a little overboard sometimes – but well, it is better to over-prepare than to under-prepare.

I have compiled a travel folder for the upcoming trip to Canada and the U.S. commencing this Saturday – comprising checklists for everything I would be bringing there, right down to schedules for clothes-washing, important telephone numbers, maps and the like.

Travel File
Travel folder.

As this would be my first travel to the U.S. – I hadn’t quite realized before that there was so much registration to do before I head there, such as the registration of ESTA for entry into the country, and with the local MFA (because of terror risks surrounding the U.S.).

In view of the number of registrations I had to do, the last thing I wanted was to lose track of all of them.

Travel File
Different sections of the folder.

And why the checklists? Apparently, writing/typing checklists prior to a trip has been a habit ingrained from young. No, it wasn’t taught to me by anyone. I picked it up myself … since I was eleven. This was due to a past experience.

The last time I let someone do the packing for me was prior to a cruise trip when I was nine. Apparently, that someone had forgotten to include the most important item (hint: ‘u’ is the first letter) in my baggage. As a result, I vaguely recall the embarrassment I had to face walking around in my mum’s oversized (and really uncomfortable) panties.

Okay, I think that was too much information. But well, that was the most pertinent experience that made me swing towards my obsession with checklists (and demanding to pack my own bags ever since).

Since that incident, I devised a standard template for travel checklists and have been sticking to it religiously. I type out my checklists on Microsoft Excel now but I used to have a special travel notebook for this stuff before computers became ubiquitous.

And yeap, I check things off the list whenever I pack, and (sometimes) even when I unpack!

Here’s a peek at some other stuff lurking around in the travel folder.

Maps of Vancouver and its surroundings.

New country (to me, that is), hence the higher the chances of getting lost. Much as I am aware that I have an excellent sense of direction, some additional maps will never hurt anyone.

Not to mention of course, you have to keep some very important telephone numbers handy.

Important telephone numbers!
(Foreground) Important telephone numbers and
(background) the itinerary sent by my aunt.

Yes, hospitals – in case (touch wood) anyone gets sick. And taxi services – in case (touch wood, again) we end up getting lost. Other emergency numbers and local contacts (my aunt’s friends) are also included. Yes, dudes and dudettes – always be prepared with information like these.

I love my travel folder. Basically, any information I need is there. (:

So, how do you prepare for a trip?

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  • 13 May 2010
    9:46 AM


    have a safe trip dear girl. :)

    • 13 May 2010
      3:08 PM


      Thank you, dear! (:

  • 13 May 2010
    1:36 PM


    Holy chit! That’s a lot of organization. Generally when I go on vacation I’m with family. I pack my own bags and let the rest of it go to someone else! I’m much more of a follower.

  • 13 May 2010
    2:30 PM


    how I prepare for my trip? HMMMMMMM….. Checklist no. 1: BRING BRENDA ALONG!

    • 13 May 2010
      3:10 PM


      Hahaha, I think you are still remembering my 50 odd page-long PDF file for last year’s Perth trip, no?

      The Vancouver PDF file is only about 16 pages. (But it still took me over 3 hours anyway. Oh man.)

  • 14 May 2010
    2:26 PM


    You’re coming to my city! Welcome =] I’m confused, though … we never see the aurora borealis here.

    • 14 May 2010
      2:35 PM


      (Oops, hit the ‘Submit’ button too fast! Sorry!)

      Haha, thank you. (:

      I’m heading up to Alaska for a week or so, dear. That’s where I hope to see the auroras!

      Oh, by the way, (this may sound a little scientific) if solar wind streams or magnetism are strong enough, you can see the auroras in Vancouver and even right down to USA (non-Alaskan) cities! That was what happened earlier this month. (;

  • 14 May 2010
    3:26 PM

    Maria Celina

    I’m obsessive-compulsive and love to organise, so I almost passed out from delirious happiness when I saw your organisation skills in this post. I haven’t organised travels to this extent, but I think I am inspired to do so for my next trip!

    Have lots of fun on your upcoming trip to the USA and Canada!

    • 14 May 2010
      3:33 PM


      Ooh, awesome! Fellow OCD-trip planners are so hard to come by these days. :P

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