When we first started conceptualising our trip, the challenge was to figure out where we want to be and when, and of course, to make sure it fits into our timeline and the all-important budget!
Budget is a boring thing, so let’s leave that for now, and really talk about the things that excite – stationery! Well, being organised and buying fun stationery to make it fit.
Before we bought tickets to anything and booked any accommodation, we first had to figure out how long we wanted to be away — how much of that in the USA, and the rest for Japan. And of course, was that enough? Initially, we were thinking 6 weeks in the States, then 4 weeks in Japan. Starting with that, I printed off an A3 calendar, and an A3 map of the USA. And off we went, plotting out where to be where, when, how long it would take, etc. It was so much fun — calculating days here and there as we followed the map around and chatted to many friends who are familiar with some of the spots we were planning to hit up. Very quickly, we realised 6 weeks in the US was not enough and upped that to 8, added an extra week to the entire trip to give us 3 weeks in Japan. And off we went, searching for multi-city flights.
Once we booked our flights, it felt like the frame was in place, and now to paint in the rest of the picture! When we travel, I like to organise all of our booking print outs, scribble our day-to-day in my diary alongside all my other travel notes. I realised very quickly that wasn’t going to work for such a long trip – piles and piles of paper and I wanted to easily see at a glance, an overview of our plans. A plastic sleeve folder sounded perfect but an A4 size folder full of papers, did not sound ideal for wanting to be on the go. And the lightbulb moment – an A5 plastic sleeve folder! Off I went to hunt that down…
Stationery store + Tammy = hours of fun (and yes, I am well-known to the people who run the local stationery store)
Ta-da! A folder for the USA, and a folder for Japan, along with a little cactus notebook for scribbles.
Then, I printed off A5 month-by-month calendars to write in our plans:
An A4 USA map for reference (and folded neatly into the folder haha):
And the fun part – organising each sleeve to have all the relevant papers/ documents for each stop (in chronological order, of course!)
And finally, the last sleeve in the folder for all of our relevant show tix. So far, we’re booked in to see Blink-182 in NYC (ahhhh), Cirque du Soleil – Michael Jackson, Cirque du Soleil – O, and Penn & Teller in Vegas. Still to be booked is The Book of Mormon in NYC. Fingers crossed we manage to grab some tickets to Hamilton in the various lotteries too (along with one million and one people)!
Importantly, the A5 folders are so easy to carry around, and at the moment, are in my handbag going everywhere with me in case I have a moment of inspiration, a quick note to jot down, or often, a look at the calendar to remember where we are and when!
And…the satisfaction of an almost full, and very organised folder…ahhhh!
A quick note from Michael and me — thank you so much for all of the supportive messages and tips. We are so happy and hope you enjoy the blog. We have lots of fun ideas and creative things to launch on here so stay tuned! xx