Thursday, June 20, 2013

The OCD Guide to Vacation Planning

It's usually around Christmastime every year that I begin to plan our summer vacation...and so it was last December, when I began planning - with approval from the family - for a summer trip to Colorado Springs. It's a place we've visited numerous times in the past, and we always have a great time.

However, about three months into my planning, Hubby threw a kink into the was after my visit to New York City, volunteering on behalf of the American Red Cross, when Hubby decided that we should ALL go to New York City. This summer. For vacation. As he and our daughter have never visited before, and they decided THEY wanted to see and experience what I'd had a chance to do.


For an OCD-planner like myself, this had me scrambling a bit, but I've managed to put together a battle plan that would make General Patton proud.


We leave tomorrow, for a 10-day trip to the Big Apple, and it will truly be EPIC.

I hope.

Anywho, here is how an OCD/Type A/Master Organizer - such as myself - puts together a vacation....are you ready for this???!!

First, we begin with an Excel spreadsheet, color-coded, no less, that has the entire vacation at a glance - down to the hour:

Green for food, grey for travel, pink for Broadway - et cetera, et cetera, et cetera....

This will be printed and taped to the mirror in our hotel bathroom, so we can see what the plan is for that day - and any day, for that matter - as we get ready each morning. Cool, huh?

For each day of our trip, I have a designated, labeled the morning, I grab the folder for that particular day, and drop it into my messenger bag, which will be my "purse" for the trip:

There's TEN of these babies!!!

Inside the folder, we begin with a detailed itinerary - again, color-coded - for the day:

For each event that we're doing, I have a printout, from Mapquest, of either walking directions - or subway directions:

First, the written directions...

...and then the mapped directions....

There is then detailed information about the event itself - perhaps tour information, trivia, tips, or reviews from Trip Advisor:

If I've paid for a tour, I'll include the confirmation email - or receipt - for that tour, as well....

For restaurants, I've printed out copies of the menu - which we can peruse, perhaps, while riding the subway, or waiting somewhere - which will save us time once we're actually seated at the restaurant:

For Broadway shows (and we're going to see four!! Woot!), I have the tickets sealed in an envelope, which have then been fastened into the folders, so they can't fall out while I'm fumbling with the folder:

Once we arrive at the theater, I can quickly open the envelope for the tickets...voila!

So...there you have it - the OCD's Guide to Vacation Planning.


I'm sick.

We leave tomorrow for our epic adventure, and I am bouncing up and down like Tigger, as I can't wait for Hubby and Daughter to experience everything I've planned....

In the meantime, I have to get to packing...and we won't even GO THERE on my organization for packing...that's a whole 'nother post for another day!!! (And it's just as sick as well...I can't help it. I was born this way.)




Christy said...

Awesome! I've been following you after reading reviews on CC but never commented. I'll be in NYC too - from the 25th-28th. It will be my 3rd time, so taking a much more casual approach. However, I love this and might steal it for our Boston trip next year :)

lacochran's evil twin said...

If that's what makes you happy, more power to you. I'd much rather plan just a few things and be open to exploring in between. Enjoy your trip!

Gypsy Wind said...

I love your style of planning ... it's so beautiful and organized!!! AND as organized as you are, it still appears that everyone has fun!!! Whoo Hoo!!!

Charla Lear said...


We are doing a Venice to Barcelona cruise in a couple of weeks which is how I learned about your wonderful writing. I LOVED your review of your European cruise and am enjoying following you on Facebook and this blog.

I love researching and planning trips, hate packing, and love traveling. I wish you would think about doing a travel workshop with your awesome ideas. Your organization is astounding and I would love to learn more specifics.

Either way, thank you for being so generous with your ideas and tips. I have appreciated them so much!