Subject: Re: Planning
Hi Tom,

Like you, we spend much time planning our trip. I do the legwork and share the information with my husband.

I start compiling word/excel documents with information for each area we will be visiting as soon as we decide where to go. For source materials I use the net, travel books (we should purchase stock at Barnes and Noble), Travelzine information, other massage boards and personal recommendations. My dining room and office resembles yours, multiple maps, guidebooks, and information printouts everywhere. I have found that using a binder, divided into sections, is invaluable. As soon as I gather information I file it, otherwise every surface would be covered with paper. For this trip I have broken the sections down by planning information; maps and charts; reservations and confirmations; packing/to do list (each item checked off as completed); train schedules; an a section for each city/town we will visit (must sees, restaurants, directions, and travel and museum pass prices) As we get closer to the trip I prepare several multipocket folders to hold my printouts. The small folder holds my itinery, passport, tickets, confirmations, copies of prescription, important phone numbers, frequent flyer/hotel cards, calling cards, and preaddressed self stick labels (useful for addressing post cards and sending things home). This folder is set up by date making it easy to find what I need. The larger holds info by location. Whatever did we do without computers?

I also make up a gift list with a place to note the item purchased. This assures I do not forget anyone. My wonderful neighbors drop us at the train station, collect my mail, water my plants, and check my house to be sure all is in order.

Soon to leave for Italy. Edna