Whenever Sharon and I travel I make an Excel file for our itinerary. In fact, I enjoy thinking about traveling so much I make up such files for imaginary trips. Okay, I’m crazy—so sue me.
Anyway, I have a column listing points along the way, another column for distances between points, another for cumulative distance for the day and so forth. At the end of each day I use a line to enter motel information, including address, phone and confirmation number. This way, I have a written record of everything I need to know for the trip.
In case you don’t read my Facebook posts, I recently had some work done on my computer which obliterated all my files. Since I used (no longer) a program called Oops! that automatically backs up all files, I didn’t worry about restoring them. What I didn’t know was that Oops! quit backing up on September 4th, and I had no way to restore any files created or changed after that date.
Among other things, I lost some 120 pages of manuscript I’d been working on. I wanted to cry over that loss, but I didn’t think anything else lost was of great consequence.
Then the other day I happened to see my “Vacation” email file, where I keep email confirmations of reservations and such, and I realized I was missing the email for one night of an impending trip. I remembered then that the motel had not sent me a confirmation, but I hadn’t worried about it since I had all that information in my Excel file.
Just to be safe, I decided to pull up the Excel file, and that’s when I discovered it was one of those lost without a backup. What do you do when you have a confirmed motel reservation but you don’t know the name of the motel, or even the town. I knew what part of what state it was in, but it could have been in a number of different towns.
Of course, when you make a reservation, they ask for a credit card number to guarantee it, which suits me fine, since I sometimes don’t arrive at motels until after 6:00 and I don’t want to lose the room. Now I was in the position of having guaranteed to pay for a room I couldn’t find.
No one wants to throw away $80 to $100 on a room not used—especially no one married to my wife. So I spent a semi-frantic hour or so calling all the motels I could find in the general vicinity in question. The more I called, the less semi the frantic became.
Fortunately, the story has a happy ending. I eventually found the right motel in an obscure suburb outside the city where I thought it was. Whew!
What sort of panic have you run into in planning trips?
We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.
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I don’t have to worry about planning for trips because my husband David is so good at getting it all together.
Oh, wow, did you ever set me up for that old saying: by the time I got it all together, I forgot where I put it.
You make me smile, James Neal …. oops, I meant David. Can you imagine Dad trying to find missing info on a computer? Or even using a computer? Anyway, I am glad you found the right motel. Hope your trip is being fun and you are having a good family time.
There are a few similarities, I suppose.
Great post! I think I like to plan the basics and then just let life happen. Air tickets and hotel are OK. So, no major planning tragedy. Keep writing!
Thanks, Nicholas. I can’t stand dealing with airports and sitting in sardine cans, so I drive. And I enjoy all the planning. I get to take a trip many times before I actually go.
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