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Travel With Trello: How To Create An Award-Winning Travel Board

travel with trello contest winner

If you could jet off to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

To the cenotes of Mexico?
The night markets of Thailand?
How about to several medieval cities in Europe?

Wherever it is you dreamt of going, our recent travel campaign tried to make that dream come true for one lucky winner. A few weeks ago we announced the winner of the $5,000 getaway prize for our #TravelWithTrello campaign on our Instagram.

Congratulations again to Emily, from Mississippi! 🎉

Emily’s "Dream Trip To Europe" Trello board blew us away and we’re so excited to follow along with her adventures this fall. In the meantime, we chatted with Emily about her upcoming trip to Europe, how she made her Trello board, and how she started using Trello in the first place!

Get the full scoop from Emily on what inspired her to create an award-winning travel board.

Trello: First things first, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Emily: Absolutely! I’m an adventurer who enjoys the outdoors, good books, deep conversations, and, of course, travel. My family has had the opportunity to live in several states across the U.S. since I was little due to our being in the ministry. These experiences have contributed to my serious case of the travel bug.

I’ve worked in the nonprofit world but am currently transitioning into freelance filmmaking—focusing on both marketing and storytelling.

How and when did you start using Trello?

Emily: For the last few years, I’ve worked for two nonprofit organizations. My first introduction to Trello was when the larger organization of the two began using it to manage task lists and to assist in team collaboration. Noting that it was a very helpful tool, I was then able to recommend Trello to the second nonprofit. It became a normal part of our administrative routine and the best way for us to assign projects and transfer pertinent directions and information for each task on our lists.

✨Pro-Tip from Trello: Check out our playbooks for recommendations on how to get started with Trello at work, home, and anywhere in between: trello.com/teams.

Added Bonus: Working for or with a nonprofit? Discover how UNICEF uses Trello to support their efforts globally.

Awesome, so you used Trello in a very different capacity. Had you ever thought about using it for planning a trip? How did you find out about our Travel contest?

Emily: This was actually a new idea to me, but a great one! I was reading an Instagram post from a fellow traveler and found out that she used Trello for trip planning and that Trello was running a travel contest. Needless to say, I was quite excited to learn about both and quickly clicked on a link to find out more details.

A note from the Trello team: As a part of the travel campaign and contest, we worked with travel experts to share the ways they use Trello in their trip-planning process. See more online at #TravelWithTrello.

We loved the way you chose to organize your Trello board, can you tell us a bit more about that? And why you chose to do it this way?

Trello trip planning sample board

It seemed easiest to organize a travel board by including lists for each country, as well as two lists for before the trip:

  • Lists by country
  • Things to do ahead of time
  • Dates set on each card so fellow travelers know what’s going on
  • Labels
  • Checklists

Creating a list by country helped me lay out destinations in an itinerary style format and made it easy to see everything left to research and plan out per region.

Because I usually do a ton of research before a trip, having the ability to keep track of different website addresses, helpful blog posts, neat travel ideas and photos via the attachments option is really beneficial—hence the “things to do ahead of time” list. On several of those cards, I also have checklists. This narrows down my research to specific items, like what kind of transportation needs to be researched per country, and also helps me be more thorough in my overall planning.

I also use labels to identify, on the board are labels for "things to see," "food to try", and "accommodations", which makes it easy for me to look at each planning category for every location on the trip and quickly see what remains undone. I've also created labels for my pack list and research list so that important things don't get left behind, nor will I forget to research something before I make a decision or leave home.

The due date tool is also a super helpful asset for time sensitive tasks. When you have due dates and notification reminders set, my stress levels are much lower when I don’t constantly think about missing the window of time for purchasing tickets for flights, making accommodation reservations, or purchasing other pre-trip necessities. Setting due dates also helps my travel buddy (aka my mom) see what else needs to be done, too.

Screenshot of Trello card planning a vacation itinerary

The collaboration aspect of the travel board is another huge bonus for me. Not only can others see due dates, but tasks can also be easily delegated and everyone can keep track of discussions through the comments section on each card. Auf Wiedersehen to hard-to-find emails and lost texts.

In the end, all that's left is for me is to check items off on my checklists, meet those deadlines, and then it's off to the airport! ✈️

Pro-Tip from Trello: Use the Travel Planner by Skyscanner Power-Up to keep track of ticket prices and make sure to book at the right time with categories like “Best week to travel” or “Typical trip price” to make sure you snag the best deal!

Now the moment everybody’s been waiting for—tell us about the trip you’re planning!

Emily: Europe has been on my dream list for as long as I can remember. Austria, Switzerland, and France are at the top of this list. Each has a unique mix of classiness and adventure, cities and countryside, touristy locations and hidden treasures off the beaten path that all come together to create individual cultures.  

The trip will begin in Vienna and end in Paris. In between those two cities, we will be exploring 10 others. Though there are many museums and touristy things to do in each of the cities of those three countries, the goal is to experience a little bit of life outside of the typical tourist route.

Pro-Tip from Trello: Check out one of Trello’s most popular Power-Ups, Custom Fields to create exactly that, custom inputs for your needs. Think things like, weather in a specific location you’ll be visiting, or cost of entry for a museum, maybe even secondary key dates you need to meet before the trip begins—the possibilities are truly endless! Learn more and enable the Custom Fields Power-Up here.

There will be roughly a week dedicated to each country and my mom and I will be trying foods unique to each, appreciating the efficiency of European transportation, and in general, learning about each country’s culture and history.

It’s so exciting to be planning this dream trip and I can’t wait to begin this next adventure!


Wow! Well, that sounds like the perfect getaway for an adventurous mother-daughter team. We can’t wait to follow along Emily’s adventures and to catch up with her when she gets back! We’ll be sure to share some snapshots this Fall over on our Instagram, so give us a follow here.

Want to try out Emily’s board? We’ve made a version below that you can copy and start using right away!

Vacation Planning Plan Trello Board

Copy Board

But don’t hop on that train, plane, or automobile just yet. We have a few more bonuses for you! 🏆

We created several custom backgrounds for you to use on your Trello board while planning your next adventure! Download them here.

And if you’re using the free version of Trello then you can use the code in this link for 3 months of free Trello Gold to upload your new custom backgrounds!

TravelWithTrello_Roadtrip_v01
One of several custom backgrounds for your Trello travel board! 

Finally, we want to acknowledge and thank all of our amazing Trello users who submitted entries into the Trello Dream Vacation contest. It was really tough for us to choose just one winner and we hope that you all felt inspired to take your trips either way!

Curious about where other Trello users in the community are getting productive? Follow along at #WhereITrello.


Good or bad, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Find us on Twitter (@trello) or write in to support@trello.com.

Next: How To DIY A City Travel Guide With Trello (According To Expert, Johnny Jet)