And other useful advice on booking flights and lost luggage, from our friends at AirHelp.
Planning a vacation can be exciting: researching what you’ll see, where you’ll stay, what you’ll eat. The entire process can overcome you with the feeling of boundless potential. A cheap airfare quote pops up in your inbox and suddenly the world is your oyster.
But before you fashion yourself a modern day Magellan, don’t forget there’s a lot of pesky logistics to handle in your quest to a new destination. I’m here to tell you that Trello can manage all everything from your itinerary to your budget, so you can focus on mapping out uncharted territory. All you need now is to fetch your lucky spyglass.
Draw A Plan In The Sand
The first step to planning the best vacation yet begins with your Trello board. The lists required to set up the optimal Vacation board vary. Some tasks require the “To Do,” “Doing,” “Done” format, and some are just better as large lists of information and links you need to hold onto, such as your hotel and rental car confirmations.
For example, some potential lists for your board might be “To Do Before Trip,” and “Completed,” in addition to “Good Places to Eat/Drink,” and “Attractions to See.”
Trello’s infinitely flexible nature makes it awesome for planning a trip, especially if you are going with multiple people. Flashback to my 13 year old self: I would have insisted on making my own list with my own itinerary (one card would have been like, “OMG we HAVE HAVE HAVE to go to Hard Rock Cafe in Disney World because NSYNC ate there!”).
The point is, there are as many ways to structure a Trello board for trip planning as there are destinations to visit.
Checklists and Checked Bags
The unwritten rules of vacation prep are as follows: don’t forget to pack your cell phone charger, there’s a reason the hotel’s rates are low, and, most importantly, you can never have enough checklists.
There’s a ton of stuff to get done as you plan a trip, so it’s helpful to have a card for each task. Expand on the task by adding a checklist to the back of a card. A good example of this is making a card for each person, then adding a checklist to the card with all the items they will need to pack. It’s a great way to never forget your cellphone charger again so you can stay connected and post all those selfies by the pool to Instagram.
Speaking of luggage, it’s important to be aware of your rights when it comes to delayed or lost bags. Nicolas Michaelsen is the co-founder of AirHelp, a company that assists passengers in getting money back from airlines after disruptions in their flights. He says that a lot of passengers don’t realize that they are entitled to a certain amount of money if their bags are lost, or even just delayed. The amount of money is contingent on what is packed.
“It all depends on what you can prove,” he explains, “so a good idea is to simply take some photos of your bag before you leave, because then you will have some proof that you actually had those items with you when you left.” There’s even a smooth Trello trick for this one: you can take a picture straight from a card on your Trello app, and it will automatically attach to that card.
Have No Cares While In The Air
Before you hop on that flight and prepare for take-off, there’s a ton of things to get done. For items that require more in depth information, make a card for them. Some of these items are time sensitive, like making sure passports are up to date, and arranging pet care for Sparky.
Add a due date to make sure these things get done with enough time. When they are taken care of, check off that due date to mark the card as done. It will let your vacation collaborators know that travel to-do is taken care of!
Booking a flight is also a necessary evil: and some people are better at it than others. Be sure to assign your most ruthless, bargain hunting friend or family member to tackle that card. Nicolas offers a few important tips to maximize your search.
“What you should be aware of when you go to a site to get an airfare quote, and they say there is only one seat left on this flight at this price… it doesn’t mean that there aren’t any other seats on that flight,” he explains. “What it means is that there is only one seat left at that price at this time.”
So the quote shown at the time of your search is simply the quote that website is authorized to sell at that moment. It is entirely possible that later on a ticket for the same flight will be quoted at a different, potentially lower, price.
If you’re quickly trying to peruse figures, but aren’t yet ready to buy, it’s always possible to put the price in a comment or using a Custom Field on the back of a card. There is a time stamp on each comment, so you’ll always know what the price was at different times during your search.
Plan A Vacation Without Blowing Your Budget
In addition to the flights, there will be plenty of other expenses to account for during the planning process. From hotels to restaurants, you may need to give your credit card its own vacation. Luckily with Trello, you can keep tabs on your spending right from your board.
Search the internet for great deals, or even a vacation package. Lots of resorts and hotels have affordable rates that fit your budget, especially if you’re organizing a family vacation. Add these hotel and excursion options as cards with link attachments and use the Costello Power-Up to track the costs. Costello also adds the price to the front of the card and even shows a total cost at the top of your board.
At a quick glance, you’ll be able to see if your within your budget or if you’ll have to sacrifice visiting the BigFoot Discovery Museum during your West Coast tour.
See More Sites With Less Gripes: Trello Power Tips
Now that the nightmare of flight planning and budgeting is over, let’s get to the fun stuff: sightseeing! You’ll want to book a few popular attractions in advance, especially if you’ve got teenage kids who pretend to be “so over” the whole family vacation thing. One casual mention of tickets to an awesome theme park and you’ll magically return to their good graces.
When you receive a confirmation email from one of these attractions, use either the email to board feature to keep all of that information on one card. If you’re a G-Suite fan, you can also create cards directly from your inbox with the Trello Add-on for Gmail. So instead of fumbling through your bag for your printed itinerary, you can open a card on your phone and easily access your tickets, tracking numbers, and confirmation details.
With offline mode for the Trello mobile app, you can check important details from your board or make changes to the itinerary on-to-go, even if you don't have data or wifi access.
Finally, there's no need for you to try out all these tips from scratch. Plan your vacation in a snap using our sample board. It's free to copy! Grab it here:
Trello can’t predict the weather or guarantee your flight won’t be delayed, but it can keep you sane before your trip or during any unplanned travel disruptions. And if your flight is delayed or canceled, definitely check out AirHelp to see if you’re entitled to any money back. Wtihy our Trello board handy and your trip details organized, you'll be flying high like a Boeing 777 in no time. Safe travels!