Well, it’s a long weekend here in the UK and so I’m determined to make the most of it by getting the framework of the Cambodia trip organised.
I think I’ve all but decided that the trip will be to Cambodia only; reading around the web it felt as if four weeks for both Vietnam and Cambodia was going to be too rushed. Dedicating a full four weeks to one country means a more relaxed pace, better opportunities to capture sights in different light conditions and to make repeated visits to places.
So the planning stage in now in full swing. By the end of Monday I would like to have the international flight booked. Not a simple task in my World. Booking flights means that I need an idea of where I am going and how long I am spending in each part…
…which means I need to know what there is to see in each part…
… and how long I want to dedicate to each part…
… and how many days to allow for internal travel.
So the first step is hours in front of Google reading the official tourism sites, reading reviews from other travellers, search photo sharing sites for inspiration, reading about best ways to travel internally etc, etc. That’s a lot of information to store and manage and so you need a good system to keep it in order.
I use Evernote to capture and store large volumes of information. It can be free to use, it can be accessed from the web, from your PC and laptop, from your mobile devices and it automatically synchronises changes amongst all of these. It also has a handy browser plug-in that allows you to not only grab a web page, but it also automatically stores the URL so you can always go back to the page at a later date.
Everything gets stored in Evernote: Booking confirmations, possible ideas for shots, sights to visit, reviews by other people, questions to find out answers to, maps, bus timetables. Everything.
Organisation is key for me, but so is simplicity. I like to prefix each note’s title with an indication of its nature. Ideas for things like where to stay or things to do get the ‘Ideas’ prefix; if an ‘Idea’ becomes a definite thing to do, it gets turned into a ‘Sight’; anything related to travel to, from or between places, or hostel bookings get the ‘Travel’ prefix.
This way I can see pretty much instantly what is outstanding and when the time comes to plan a day-by-day itinerary I can look for everything marked a ‘Sight’ and make sure they all get included.
So, that’s this weekend. A lot of web surfing and note taking using Evernote. But by the end of it, I should be in a position to book flights safe in the knowledge that I’m going to see everything I want to.