Less than 3 weeks to go until our big European adventure trip and I am feeling so unprepared that I don’t even know how to start thinking about how to prepare. Did that make sense? Probably not. I can’t make sense of my own thoughts on this trip. I flit from one thought to the next with nothing connecting them. For example, I started up my computer intending to do some research on a few of my favorite travel blogs, then suddenly needed to figure out where out hotel was in Amsterdam, then decided I better write this blog post, then had to look at my mom’s itinerary and text her about Paris… I feel like I have ADD.
This is a big problem for me. Typically, I love to do trip research. I can spend hours on Trip Advisor and Yelp, choosing the places we’ll go and the food we’ll eat there. In fact, it was one of the things I was really excited to write about for this blog. But for some reason, I have a block. I just can’t do it. I start thinking about one thing and then my brain shift gears to something else before I can finish it. I can’t even get an itinerary together! I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHERE I WANT TO EAT! This is unheard of for me.
So far, I have managed to figure out where all the train stations are in all cities and find directions from the train stations to our hotels and back. Other than the information that the lovely Jill from St. Germainia put together for me and some scattered thoughts, that’s about it! It isn’t even super organized – I’ve used a combination of Google Drive and Evernote that I wouldn’t recommend.
The only tool I’ve actually found useful is Tripomatic. It’s a web app that syncs to your mobile device that’s used to create trip itineraries. It’ll show you a map of your destination and the major attractions show up as little bubbles, which makes it really easy to see where everything is. It also integrates hotel and tour locations.
I tested it on Munich because we’re only going to be there for a short time – we’ll be limited to what’s close to our hotel. I searched for the hotel and added it to the itinerary (you can also book from the app) then looked at the attractions close by. When you click on a bubble, it gives you helpful information – a description of the attraction, a link, its open hours, and even the cost of admission. VERY handy! You can also add custom hotels and attractions – I put all our train stations on our itineraries so that I could get a good visual of the distance as well.
Tripomatic is the only thing keeping me from feeling totally lost at the moment. I may even end up paying for offline access to the maps, though it does let you create PDF files of your itinerary for free. The only thing I wish this app would add is a partnership with Yelp so you could add restaurants as well!
I hope my brain is able to get it together so I can do more thorough research. We have just 2 weekends left before we leave, which feels like no time at all! Of course, the more I think about how little time there is, the more I freak out and can’t think, so… EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKK!