It is so easy nowadays to be your own travel agent. I cant remember the last time that I got someone else to book something for me. I did try once to get a company to quote me for a few days in Barcelona for three people, but they were not getting anything through their corporate connections that I couldn’t match or get something equivalent with status and points myself. Where this does work is at the luxury end of the market, where MummyAirmiles is an expert. I think that she speaks to her travel Agent at Trailfinders more frequently than she does her children when she is in the process of putting together one of her epic trips.
One of the pitfalls of this self-service travel age is that there are so many bits of paper, confirmations and vouchers that you need to keep track of that get fired across in various emails that I will undoubtedly lose. MummyAirmiles simply gets an itinerary with all the information enclosed that she sends round to her sons just in case we want to send her a present whilst she is away!
On my upcoming trip to California, I have 8 separate hotel bookings, three flight bookings, a car hire, ESTAs, 4 restaurant reservations and at least 3 sightseeing or activity bookings.
I have two tactics I use to try to keep on top of all the paperwork:
Depending on where you have booked, smartphone apps can be an easy way to keep track of things. The flights are all stored in the BA app and on MyFlights. 2 of my hotel bookings were through Hotels.com, so I can use their app to get details; the same with the IHG app. I can keep on top of the restaurants with OpenTable, and all of this is kept in an overview in AwardWallet.
This works for most of the main parts of the trip, but it doesn’t give all the details, not does it cater for the more specialised information like ESTAs.
I got the idea for this from an elderly couple I say in Jersey recently who had a beautifully bound book of all their paperwork for their trip they handed over to the lounge agent who scanned their boarding passed straight from the book.
I made a list of all the documentation I had for the holiday and printed it to a PDF – easy to do on Google Chrome. I then used a website called PDFJoin to link them all together in one large document. This made it easier to send to print as well as email others. I have also opened it in iBooks on my phone and iPad so that I will be able to access it offline.
How do you keep on top of all your travel documents?