6 Reasons PowerPoint is an Excellent Vacation Planning Tool (Yes, PowerPoint)

You’re ready to plan a vacation. Destination is chosen, guidebooks are ordered, and you’ve begun scouring the tourism website(s).

Help! So. Many. Options.
If you’re like me, you don’t want to make many/any decisions on vacation. Playing it by ear while actually on vacation appeals to some; but at the same time, who wants to go to Arizona and not know that the Grand Canyon is there?

Enter pre-trip-planning. And enter PowerPoint as the tool that saves your sanity.

Seriously. PowerPoint.

6 Reasons PowerPoint is an Excellent Vacation Planning Tool

  1. While reading books, brochures and websites, things will catch your fancy. Create a PPT slide for each mini-destination within your trip and type up activities, descriptions, factoids, restaurant recommendations. This is the organizing phase. And it’s the most fun.
  2. Go to your favorite web-based map tool and plug in all the destinations. This shows their proximity to each other and drive time between excursions. You’ll find that the majority of what you want to do is centralized in a geographic region. Phew. But there are outliers, hours away; and now you have to decide how important they are to your trip. This is the filtering phase. It’s the most stressful.
  3. Put the PPT slides in order by geography and driving time. Shazzam–you just created a day-by-day itinerary. Truly allocate the days: these two activities can be done on Saturday; Sunday we’ll be driving for three hours and there’s a diner famous for pie along the way. How many nights are booked at this hotel/campground? (it’s nice to know how much unpacking to do at each stop) This is the anal-retentive phase. It gives you great peace while on vacation. No immediate gratification.
  4. Add visuals–PPT accepts them graciously. This is helpful if you tentatively booked multiple excursions in the same area and can’t decide which you want to do. A picture of the bog vs the rocks-and-ferns can help you decide once there. Because even though you have a smart-phone, you may not have great reception in the middle of glorious nowhere. If you’re a craftsy person, have fun and treat this like part of your scrapbook: logos, clip art, whatever inspires you. This is the optional phase. Do what works for you.
  5. Remember what still has to be done. Got a checklist? Great. Instead, try visual reminders, like changing the background color for things that still need to be planned: car rental, lodging for the third night, reservations for the canopy tour. Why? Because a trip will be planned over the course of several weeks, and possibly by several people. Color-coding lets you know what’s done and also keeps all the info there for when you’re ready to make the reservation. Revert to white backgrounds when a task is done. Sigh, getting closer to vacation. This is the reality phase. It may be a tad bit stressful.
  6. And now, you’re on vacation. Happy day! Use your printed-out-PPT to jot down anything and everything.  Restaurant recommendations from locals. Tips from bikers (engine, not pedal) who always know the best places to explore.  And capture impressions and experiences of the trip. It’s a ready-made journal. This is the vacation phase. It’s wonderful.

Five minutes of planning saves fifteen minutes of work. Or in this case, gives you peace of mind that your vacation is exactly what you want it to be!

One Response

02.07.12

A very clever approach to organizing, blogging and vacationing…all wrapped up in a pretty Presentation.

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