Bath, UK – done traveling for a few days

Spent the night near Heathrow, then took a train, a crowded morning commuter train in to London’s Paddington Station. Not easy wrestling with luggage and crowding with people, but we saved so much. Traveled out of Paddington many time in the past so if felt good to have a bit of comfortable surroundings.

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We checked into the Brooks Guest house, Tricia stayed here when she came to Bath in June.

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Then went for a walk, a pint, and Marks & Spencer for some take away for back in the room, staying up till at least 8.00 to beat jet-lag.  Love the flowers and produce stands.

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Kestrel has joined our ensemble!

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A kestrel is a member of the falcon family; they can hover in one place in the lightest of breezes and tend to be smaller than other falcons.

kestralHowever the Kestrel that has joined us is a bottle of Port from the Kestrel Winery tasting room in Woodinville, Washington. We welcome such a wonderful traveling partner, and hope you will follow his adventures over the next three weeks.

 

The itinerary

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We fly to London arriving late in the evening, so we will spend the night near Heathrow. The next morning we make our way to Bath by way of the Tube and Train. After a few days in Bath its back to Gatwick and a flight to Barcelona in Spain. Alexis will join us there for a couple of days, then we will rent a car and drive to Madrid. When we leave Madrid we will fly to Lyon, France. Alexis will take the train to Seville to meet up with a college friend. We will spend a week in the South of France before returning our car in Lyon then taking the high speed TGV train to Paris where we will Join Alexis for a couple days before she returns home. We will then take a train through the Chunnel, flying out of Heathrow for Seattle the next day.

Sophie and Neville, our cats, will miss us, but thanks to a great house-sitter, neighbors and their dogs that keep a watchful eye, and a great guy who is going to clean the gutters, they will not be alone much at all, in fact probably have more company than when we are home going to work.

Trip planning made easy

Its overwhelming – Air, trains, cars, hotels, BnB’s, but trip planning is made easier with the right tools – Evernote and Wunderlist help whip it all into shape.

Objectives.

  1. A place to store information, AND be able to find it when you need it
  2. Lists and reminders of what is left to do and what has been completed
  3. Be able to access all of this offline, with everything backed up and easily recovered if needed

Evernote as your control center

If you are not familiar with Evernote follow the link and check it out. Just think of it as an electronic notebook on steroids.

First I set up a notebook for the trip. This becomes the storage place for everything. Web screen clips of places to visit, potential hotels, info on travel, etc. It all goes here. It is important to set the notebook up so it is available off-line. That way you can access it from your iPhone or iPad even if you have no access to wi-fi or phone coverage.

Next I create a table in Evernote (this is one time where the table works better than a spreadsheet) for the trip. This will be the control center it should look something like this.

Date, you could add day of the week if it helps. Sleep city, I always enter the city where I will be sleeping, needing accommodations. You want enough info for this to be useful, but simple enough to no complicate. The underlined green entries are links to other Evernote pages that have the details I will need when traveling. From this table I can access hotel, flight, car confirmations that were emailed. You simply forward the email to Evernote, place in notebook, and copy and paste the link into the table. This table also keeps you from missing a detail, if there is an empty cell, you can enter a task box to remind you.

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 With the Evernote notebook and control table you can access anything you need from iPhone, iPad, or computer. And any changes made are automatically synced between all three. I even put screenshots of maps and ground views of locations into notes to be referenced while traveling.

 Wunderlist to track the tasks

Evernote has the feature to create to-do lists, and reminders, both of which I use. But for a project like a trip I like an interactive task list and Wunderlist is about as good as they get, simple but powerful enough.

I create a project list for the trip. Now there is a place to enter everything that comes to mind. With Wunderlist you can even place notes and have sub-tasks. You can have reminders and quickly see not only what you have left to do but what you have completed.

This is Wunderlist in its compact view.

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You can also share and email lists to other travelers.

Planning a trip has a lot of details, the key is to keep them all in one place, use reminders, and have them secure and accessible for the trip.