Travelling is a complicated ordeal. To make things simpler and help you communicate with loved ones, we've made a comprehensive travel info sheet you can modify, print out and share to help you keep everyone in the loop.
We created this spreadsheet with separate tabs for all the information that you could ever need to keep track of when going on a trip. You can enter your info in the individual tabs, and then see the most pertinent info in the main "Summary" tab. To use this, follow the link above (or at the source below) to preview the spreadsheet, and click "Use this template" in the upper right corner to create a copy in your Google Drive.
If you prefer good old-fashioned pen and paper, we've modified each sheet to fit roughly on to one piece of paper. When printing, select the "Fit-to-Width" option, and "Portrait" option. If you have trouble fitting them on to one page, you can also select just the cells you want to print and choose to print "Selection" instead of "Current sheet".
Here's a brief overview of the various tabs and what they do:
Here, you can enter the name, address and confirmation number for your hotel. We've also left space for your check-in and check-out dates, as well as useful stuff such as the Wi-Fi password, if necessary.
Here, you can add information for your flights, including the airline you're flying with, departure and arrival times, flight numbers and the airports you'll be visiting.
This tab has a template packing list that you can use to make sure you don't leave anything behind. We've given the template a few examples of items you'll need to bring along with you, as well as separate columns to mark the various items as done and accounted for.
This tab deals with your travel arrangements once you've arrived at your destination. It includes space for rental car reservations and agency information if you're renting, or train and bus information if you'll be using public transport. There's also extra space at the end, which is an excellent place to make note of useful locations like the nearest ATM, convenience store or restaurants you may need.
This tab is particularly useful if you're sharing it with friends or family back home. Here, you can make an itemised itinerary of where you'll be and what you'll do while you're away.
Here you can place all the most important contact info for people you'll need to keep in touch with. The first four rows will automatically appear in the Summary tab, so be sure to add any emergency contact info here.
Before you leave your home for long periods of time, you'll need to take care of a few things at home. Here, you can add phone numbers and contact info for insurance, utility companies, pet sitters and kennels, or anyone else you'll need to make arrangements with before you leave.
Travelling out of the country has its own set of challenges. This tab has space for your local Passport Agency's address and phone number, any deadlines you may need to meet, and what papers you'll need to present. You can also keep links here to information about local currencies or cultural customs while you're researching the place you want to visit.
Why Use This Over Apps Like TripIt Or Google Now?
Our regular readers know we've also recommended using TripIt when travelling. And Google Now users will probably already see a lot of this information in their phones. Both of these apps are still great, and we still recommend them — but this sheet is a bit more versatile in how you use it. It holds a lot more information, is easily printable, and is much easier to share with friends, relatives and travel partners.
With this info sheet, you can send a single link to everyone you're travelling with, as well as any loved ones who are staying home and any changes you make will be available to them instantly. For trip planners, it's still probably a good idea to use the apps mentioned above for your personal organisation, but this spreadsheet is a handy one-stop resource for all the information you'll ever need, so everyone can be on the same page.