Mapping It All Out
Ok, ok, I admit it. I, Marian Holmes, am one of those crazy detailed, stationary-loving, 6-inch ruler wielding bullet journalists... -_- I belong to the facebook groups, speak the entire BUJO language (can you say: monthlies, dailies, banners, trackers?) and spend WAY too much money on washi tape, but, for me, it's worth it!
The Bullet Journal is the brain child of Ryder Carroll. It's a planner which utilizes a style called "rapid logging" used, as Ryder puts it, to, "track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future." (Feel like becoming obsessed, or, just, getting more info? Watch this!) However, since its introduction in 2013 (read the bullet journal backstory here), the internet, and crafters alike, have taken this new style of journaling by storm, organically growing, and sometimes complicating, Ryder's original concept into the bullet journal community we have today.
Enter the travel bullet journalists: a whole new subsection of bullet journaling.
For me, personally, I don't keep a separate bullet journal just for travel.
1) I don't like the concept of having to keep track of two physical journals at once (this is one of the reasons I left so many other systems behind for Ryder's Bullet Journal)
2) I enjoy my trips being scattered naturally throughout the pages of the year they occurred, or were first thought up, in
What I do, instead, is to incorporate several aspects of traveling directly into my current year's bullet journal.
When beginning a fresh, new bullet journal there are several pages that I always incorporate: pages to track the books I've read that year, the movies I've seen, and, of course, the places I've been. Each year, the travel-centered pages tend to look slightly different in design, however, overall, they always feature an outline map of the United States, and a page to doodle log (my preferred method) the trips I've taken, both big, and small.
For the places I travel to often, usually for visiting family and friends throughout the year, I simply list the dates for each trip beneath that place's doodle. I love these pages because by the year's close I have a visual collage representing all of the places I visited that year, and of all the states I've added to my "Fifty Nifty Visits" goal.
While these pages are great for seeing where I've been, they don't incorporate all that I need when planning where I'm going.
"One of the most wonderful parts of the Bullet Journal system is that it's completely developed, and drawn by you. Because of this, every page is 100% customizable to what you find helpful, instead of what someone else, when developing their journal/planner, might have thought you would need"
For larger trips, I tend to rely on a page spread devoted to that particular adventure. One of the most wonderful parts of the Bullet Journal system is that it's completely developed, and drawn by you. Because of this, every page is 100% customizable to what you find helpful, instead of what someone else, when developing their journal/planner, might have thought you would need.
For my month-long trip to Ireland in 2016, I knew I wanted it very loosely planned, so we had the opportunity to "get lost" whenever mi madre and I felt like it. Because of this, weekly itineraries, weren't necessary. We were renting a car, and had the freedom to just go whenever, and wherever we pleased. However, we did list places, and things we wanted to see, as well as items to buy, items to pack, flight details, and a note section for the bits of infomation I had picked up along my travel research - "Don't tip the bartenders!" was one of the largest notes used on this particular trip! I also added a visual piece for saving up my Ireland spending money, dividing the $2000 goal into $100 blocks so that it looked, and felt more manageable.
Beyond the one larger trip page, I also added a small Ireland-devoted section to each of my "Week at a Glance" pages in the two months before we left. This allowed me to break down the last-minute to-dos over the weeks, and make sure every tiny detail was in place before we boarded our flight.
Currently, I'm starting my plans for my trip to Germany in May of 2018. As pictured, this spread is focusing mainly on research of different places to eat, stay, and see, as well as hikes and other activities Niko and I may be interested in doing along the way. I am also keeping track of my Duolingo progress as I attempt to learn the native tongue - sprechen zie deutsch?
Once a more solidified itinerary exists, or we at least have narrowed down our list of cities "to see" to an actual feasible number for our ten-day trek, I will create a newer page to incorporate the next round of necessary details and information. And, of course, as the trip steadily approaches, Germany will creep into my weekly overviews and spreads as well!
Bullet journaling is a great tool when planning a trip - no matter the size! It allows you to only pay attention to what you need, and to ignore all the other aspects of traveling that may be a focus for other travelers.
Have a trip coming up anytime soon? Dreaming of visiting someplace? Try making a spread and planning it out - I promise it will help you stay organized, and it may even jumpstart your decision to buy that plane ticket!