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How do I plan my vacation? Geek edition

May 19, 2011 by . 3 comments

Summer is coming, did you plan your vacation yet? Looking for something else than those pre-made vacations? Read on, we’re going to look at software that helps you plan your vacation in a more productive and geeky way.

Even if you did plan your vacation or went for a pre-made one, you might get to know more about the area you are going to be in on your vacation.

Looking for your ideal location, hotel, banks, shopping, restaurants, info, beautiful places and more…

Google Earth should be your first stop to search for good weather, a location that’s close to the sea or perhaps snowy mountains. Then, you can look around the place and get to know it by watching pictures, 360° panoramas, walking routes, webcams and videos. If you like the place you can start looking into the hotels, knowing where the bank and shopping center are alongside the touristic routes and restaurants.

Be sure to know where the info points are so that you can still go and ask for something more specific; it can happen that you need to visit the local police, garage or doctor. Well, let’s hope it doesn’t happen, but it’s better that you know how to reach those in advance…

See the small icons in the above picture? They are really handy. Go fire up your Google Earth, find a location that fits you and enable all those useful layers that result in those extra icons.

Hover them and more information will appear. But what if you want to plan something out with that or other information? That’s where note taking comes in.

Taking note of all the important information you find

On your trip through Google Earth, internet websites like your airport or the local tourist information of your destination you will pass a lot of information. Wouldn’t it be handy to store every useful thing you pass? So you won’t forget it and perhaps can show it to your spouse? Or perhaps plan it together with him/her using sharing features? You can print or access it mobile.

Software like OneNote (if you have Microsoft Office, the chance is high that you have this) and EverNote allow you to easily copy information (like text and images) from webpages (the link gets stored along), then rearrange it over pages and sections. Tag them with icons and other handy features, this allows you really organize your vacation plan in something useful that you could print and easily look through on vacation.

For OneNote you can take some examples from around the world in 40 days and for EverNote see how Marie Kennedy found it handy to use EverNote to plan and check her trip information along the way. I didn’t really found a good tutorial or example for EverNote, but things should be self-explanatory or require low effort. Just clip, write, plan and enjoy… :)

Before you go, make sure that you leave everything behind well

Check out this vacation checklist for some tips regarding meetings, voice mail, size limits, expiration, your team, security and out of office replies.

Leave all your worries behind and have fun on your vacation… :)

Filed under Productive Thursday

3 Comments

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  • nobody says:

    The vacation checklist (http://www.microsoft.com/atwork/remotely/vacation.aspx) you linked mentions changing your password before you go on vacation. NEVER change your password before you take vacation, when you get back you will have no idea what it is.

  • Tom Wijsman says:

    Well, you should at least remember it or write it on a paper and store it with you. Then there’s still the security question, which you really shouldn’t forget…

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