Planning for a trip is not always easy, especially if you don’t travel very often. Whether it’s for business or vacation there are so many things you have to do to get ready. By creating a travel planner you will be able to have all the important information you need to help you be organize before you leave and while on your trip.

This Travel Planner will contain permanent information that should be taken with you on each trip. It will also help you get ready for a current trip. Everything is kept in one place - a three ring notebook. No hunting through stacks of papers for the hotel reservation, airline tickets, lists of clothes and other items to pack, etc.

As soon as you know you are going on a trip you can grab your Travel Planner and begin writing your preparation lists. It will save you time and frustration in the long run.

Here are the things you will need to set up your planner.

1. One inch 3-ring notebook.
2. Notebook paper for writing out current lists.
3. One or two 3-ring binder pockets to hold loose papers.
4. Several clear sheet protectors.

Here is a list of information you want to keep permanently in this planner. This information will go with you on every trip. Put it in the sheet protectors.

1. Write out a list of contact numbers for all the doctors/dentists each family member uses. If you have business cards from each doctor you can make a copy of them instead. You can copy 8 cards per page. If any health issues come up on your trip it will be easy to contact your own doctor if you need to.

2. Make a list of names and phone numbers of places and/or people you might need to contact in case of an emergency at your travel destination or at your home. This may include your home security company phone number and/or a neighbor who is keeping an eye on your home while you are gone. If you board your pets don't forget to list these phone numbers. You’ll also want to include close relatives or someone to be contacted in case something happens to you or your family while on the trip. These phone numbers may be valuable if you are delayed returning home. This list can be put in a separate sleeve protector or on the back side of the one above if there is room.

Each trip will require different itineraries, clothes, etc. Write out everything you need to do on the notebook paper. Here are some tips on what to write.

1. List of things to do several weeks ahead of time.
- make airline or other transportation reservations (put copy of confirmation in binder pocket)
- make hotel reservations (put copy of confirmation in binder pocket)
- set up boarding for pets

2. List of things to do about a week or two ahead.
- arrange for mail delivery to be stopped (can be done online a few days ahead)
- list clothes, toiletries, etc. needed for trip. Leave time to shop if needed.
- stop newspaper delivery or arrange for neighbor to pick it up
- get phone numbers and addresses of contacts (friends, family) in travel destination
- refill any prescription medicines if needed.

3. List of things to do 1-2 days ahead and last minute.
- make sure all clothes are clean and ready to pack
- put liquid toiletries in travel size containers if needed
- set timers for lights
- water plants
- adjust A/C or furnace to save energy while gone
- unplug any unnecessary electrical equipment or appliances to save energy
- turn off computers

The Travel Planner is small enough to put in a briefcase or suitcase. If you want to travel even lighter then take only the sheet protectors with the phone numbers and the binder pockets with hotel, airline, etc. information. These sheets can
easily fit in a carry-on tote.

Plan ahead and your trip should go a smoother and be a lot more fun. There's also less chance you will forget something.

Author's Bio: 

Janice Scissors is an author/writer/owner of and She specializes in writing about how to declutter and organize your home and life.

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