Tips & Stories

Travel Series: Planning a Trip with Evernote

Posted by Kasey Fleisher Hickey on 07 Jul 2011

Posted by Kasey Fleisher Hickey on 07 Jul 2011

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Planning a trip is a multi-step process that demands a lot of attention. From staying on top of flight deals to keeping track of itineraries, trip planning isn’t something most of us do in one day. In fact, it tends to be an ongoing ‘project’ that gets built in bits and pieces, often during breaks from work, in the evenings and on the go.

In this series, we’re going to talk about the way we’re accustomed to planning a trip and the Evernote way of planning a trip. We’ll cover the planning process, as well how you can use Evernote during your trip and after you return.

The Old Way of Planning a Trip

Depending on the kind of trip you’re going on, planning starts with a grain of an idea and evolves from there. Most of us are used to checking into a number of websites to monitor flight deals, often emailing dates, times, and prices to family members and friends with whom we may be taking a trip.

When we’re reading an article online or in a magazine, we’ll often also email it, or cut it out and give it to our trip companions. Long email strings become even longer as we discuss potential departure and arrival times, places to stay, museums to visit, restaurants to try and car rental options.

Once we have finally gotten to the ‘booking’ part of the trip, we start saving and sharing plane tickets, printing out restaurant reviews, making copies of our passports (if we need them), writing down phone numbers in notebooks and stray pieces of paper and making packing lists. Some of these documents are handwritten, some of them are printed out, some are ripped out of books and magazines, and some of them are swimming somewhere in our inbox.

Before we even get to the airport, we have to think about all of the different places everything is saved, if it’s accessible to us on our phone and whether we’ll have an Internet connection where we’re going.

The Evernote Way

Planning a trip is made easier with Evernote in a number of ways:

    1. Clip ideas from websites as you come across them. For example, reading about a hip restaurant in New York City? Clip the page and save to your New York Trip notebook — tag with the destination and type (restaurants, for example). Do the same with itineraries suggested by your favorite travel blogs and reviewers. [Download the Web Clipper for your browser of choice].
    2. Clip flight options and save them to Evernote, email them directly from Evernote to your travel companions for feedback. Update your flight selections in Evernote so that you never have to refer back to long email chains.
    3. Create a shared trip notebook that you can update and share with friends. Drop in your itineraries, plane tickets and hotel confirmation numbers, destination ideas, as well as scanned copies of all of your passports. Premium Evernote users can allow others to edit notebooks, so you can plan your entire trip together in one shared notebook [see Introduction to Sharing].
    4. Take pictures or scans of travel books, travel accessories and clothes you might want to consider buying later.
    5. Save your packing list in Evernote. Take it with you when you’re out shopping for trip necessities. Check off items as you purchase them.

    1. Create a ‘Don’t Forget’ notebook or tag and make sure all images of items you’re bringing with you are tagged. Before you head out the door, search for this notebook or tag and make sure you’ve got everything you need.
    2. Take photos of your immunization cards if you’re traveling abroad. In case anything were to happen, you’ll be able to instantly pull up health records for a doctor to see. Take pictures of any prescription medications.

These are just a few ideas. We’d love to hear about the ways you’ve used Evernote to plan a trip. Share your tips in the comments and stay tuned for the next installment of the series: how to get the most out of your trip with Evernote.
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41 Comments RSS

  • John Fremont

    My family is two weeks into a year-long RV trip around the US and we are using Evernote every day. I am keeping a diary of our journals in Evernote, as well as RV maintenance checklists, campground reviews and directories and information on the places we are planning to visit.

    I have been using the MacBook for extensive data entry and web clipping, and using the Android version for information retrieval. I also created a checklist for camp breakdown to insure that everything is stowed and disconnected. This trip would be a lot tougher if we had to do all of this in paper notebooks.

    • paul musgrove

      hi john

      i would be interested to hear of you RV trip, do you have a blog? it is something i am thinking about doing with my family one day.

  • Kate Murphy

    I copy Googe directions to hotels, campsites, airports etc into my Travel Planning notebook, tag them with the trip name.

  • Long Pig

    I covered our last trip with my credit card so I took pics of every receipt with Evernote at the end of each day, tagged “receipt” and either “hers” or “mine” and filed them in the Trip folder.
    Then when we got home it was super easy to add them all up and get reimbursed.

  • Jenni

    We used Evernote throughout our recent honeymoon, it was so convenient to have all of our travel info in one easily searchable place! My tip is to make the important travel notes favorites, so they were available offline – especially great when traveling internationally without roaming data.

  • Kal

    Take photos of your luggage. (Add the brand/model, if possible.) Makes it easier to track if they get lost in transit.

    • Irina

      That’s an awesome idea, thanks.

  • Dayne

    Life saver! I scanned all my credit cards (front + back), passport, IDs, health insurance card, everything in my wallet before the trip. Turned out to be a good move: my purse was stolen in Spain and Evernote saved me! I had all the phone numbers to call and account numbers right on my phone.

    • Igor

      As much as I love Evernote (I’m using it since forever and have 23K notes) I would strongly advice not to use it to store such sensitive data as credit cards, etc. Try 1password for cards, passports, IDs.

      • Irina

        I second that. In the end of the day everything that is stored digitally can be retrieved by thieves easily. Buy a hidden money-belt and keep all your important belongings and photocopies there. No sensitive information should be stored online – even governmental internet sites get broken into after all.

  • Lisa Clark

    This is an awesome way to use Evergreen. Wish I had known this when I was abroad last year. Will definitely keep in mind when I’m planning my next trip…actually, I’ll just start now since I am always finding cool restaurants to go to and never end up saving them…thanks for the post!!

  • sjt

    Just don’t expect to do your trip planning (or any other collaboration) on your iPhone as there is no way to view shared notebooks on the iPhone.

    • Cass

      I just set up a shared notebook for planning a family reunion and my MIL is able to access it just fine from her iPhone 4 running iOS 5.0.1. Maybe this was a problem with earlier software versions but it appears to be working great now!

  • Lori

    I have been using Evernote to save my travel information for years. It is a huge help. I recently wrote about using technology to make travel easier. http://lorithayer.com/easy-travel-with-tech/

  • Fibo

    Will have to give it a try… so far used mostly paper notes and it does not end well always.

    Fibo

  • Dawn

    This is a very useful email. You got me excited about using Evernote more regularly. If you come up with any more ideas like this, send them my way.

  • Ron Wood ( ronwooduk )

    It’s great to get ideas on how to use Evernote. It is a very useful tool. I’m a very busy person and it’s easy to overlook some of the things that would make life easier. Your email has prompted me to start making better use of Evernote. Thanks for the tips and the reminder.

  • Damien

    I have just started an eco home improvement company EcoHa usin

  • TSerTheBSer

    We used Evernote to consolidate all our info for a trip to Boston this past spring into a “Boston 2011″ Notebook. Inside the Notebook, I set up a Note for each of these items: 1) to do list before leaving, 2) a separate note for each day, listing our plans and related documents [restaurant reservations, etc.], 3) web sites for research, 4) daily newspaper clippings [i.e., box score and summary of Opening Day at Fenway Park vs. the Yankees from the Boston Globe online], 5) Phone numbers and addresses of places we were going to, 6) flight info, 7) list of things to do the NEXT time we go to Boston and 8) mistakes we made so we won’t make them again. Now we have a record of all of this so we can reminisce and use it as a guide to our next trip. The trip notebook just keeps getting better and more complete with each successive trip.

  • Glen

    Problem is that when you roam outside of your own country, you are stuck with evernote since it has to access the web. You can ‘favorite’ certain notes so that they are stored locally on your phone, but its a pain to do this all the time. Awesomenote in combination with evernote seems the overcome this problem, since you can sync ANote and Enote, and the Anote files are all stored locally on the phone.

  • Goran H

    Evernote is awesome but it would be very nice with some feature to only upload via wifi since it would be extremly expensive traveling abroad and upload pictures daily with roaming charges. I heard they take over $100 per mb dataatraffic in turkey for example.

    • Orhan

      Where did you hear that?
      Data trafic is shown below:
      http://www.turkcell.com.tr/site/en/turkcellhakkinda/Sayfalar/konusma-mesajlasma/tourist-tariff.aspx

      According to this, 5 TL is for 1 mb and this is 2,7 US dollars.

  • Adam

    I was about to leave a complain about the check boxes but I just saw that the boxes work on the phone now as well as the computer. Awesome!

  • Haavard

    Thanks for input. But, how about maps? That is maybe one of the most important items to bring along. And as we know, using Google maps online when abroad will “destroy” you financially cause of the roaming.

    Can Evernote help us out in anyway here? Linking to maps offline etc.

    • Floris

      I ran into this problem on iPad – found that you can “print to PDF” web content (including maps) that you will need offline. You can also take a snapshot of the screen by pressing power and home keys at the same time – this puts a picture in you photo app. Import to Evernote, make favorite… And you have the map when you need it.

    • Reignking

      The google maps app cache maps. I’ve got mine set up for my trip to France, and it has my map set up, cached, with everything I’ve starred (restaurnts, etc), metro lines, etc. It caches the most recent area you were looking at.

      Also, http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/download-map-area-added-to-labs-in.html

      But a little advance planning and “Download map area” can help. Before you take your trip, while you still have access to WiFi or data coverage, you can open up any Places page in the world, click “More” to get the Place page menu, and download Google’s maps for a 10-mile radius.

      • Barbara

        If you have an iPhone, try My Maps ($1.99) http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-maps/id321930101?mt=8. You can download your Google maps for offline use.

  • Martins Kikulis

    Love the Evernote features! I am starting to use it for more and more things…

  • Shannon O'Donnell

    I’ve been on the road for three years traveling around the world and am only sad that I just discovered EverNote earlier this year. So wonderful! I create snapshots of business cards for the people I meet on the road, my shot records, all of that—so love it for making my traveling life right at the tips of my fingers on my iPhone! :)

  • marc

    I wish Evernote would focus on providing more of these kinds of use-cases for their products. It is always difficult to integrate new technology, systems, or processes into ones life and routines and established ways.

    Along with prominent placement on the main page and in their emails, I would even choose to add/enable a button in the web-app that takes me to an archive or the most recent use-case for review. Maybe also provide more quantitative evidence for the benefit, e.g., realistic comparisons of time and difficulty of using Evernote vs. not suing Evernote.

    • Kasey Fleisher Hickey

      Thanks for the feedback, Marc!

  • Ginine

    Thanks for this article. It was really helpful and got me excited and reengaged with evernote again. I struggle to use it every day and in every way but this was a light bulb moment for a ton of applications!

  • Ben Sleeman

    I love Evernote! keeping track travel was always such a chore!!! Well done team!

  • Gio

    Hi,
    The last time I checked EverNote I got stuck on questions raised:
    1. Another password to remember
    2. Where is my information stored
    3. Will my stored info be used to profile me and/or sell or divulge that profile to interested parties.

    Hesitant!

    • Andrew Sinkov

      Great questions. Please read these posts by our CEO and CTO explaining our approaches to data protection, privacy and security:

      http://blog.evernote.com/2011/03/24/evernote%e2%80%99s-three-laws-of-data-protection/
      http://blog.evernote.com/2008/04/15/evernote-privacy-and-security/

  • Don Glenn

    Evernote was indespensible on a recent trip when we missed a flight connection and consequently missed our cruise ship. Having such items as the Cruise reservation number, airline flight info and the travel insurance documents on my phone meant that they were instantly available as we tried to retoute to meet the ship. When the agent gave us a 16 digit airline ticket number, I simply typed it into Evernote. The next day, we showed up at the counter and handed the agent the phone so she could call up the ticket. No more pockets of scraps of paper and a large folder of travel documents. They were all on the phone.

  • Don Glenn

    On a recent bus tour, we often stopped at a site with many similar looking busses. I used Evernote to save a picture of the front of the bus with the window sign and bus number. I could easily check this to be sure I was getting to the right bus.

  • Priscilla

    I used Evernote in my business trip last month. I created as share notebook. I wrote down all my flight, train, and hotel information there. Also i used to save some websites links and ideas when i made my planing. During my trip, i also used it to write my diary. I shared the notebook with my husband so he could see what happened to me. Since we were in very different timezone at that time, i think Evernote is really very very useful!

  • Jenny

    I also enjoy using Evernote for planning my trips. Last month I sent a trip itinerary to my travel agent in London and she booked the flights and hotels for me. It’s very convenient once the trips is set up. And as you said, you can read reviews while choosing restaurants or places of interest.

  • Erik Bremer

    Seems like I have to try Evernote in a more seroius way than before. Interesting.

  • Emma Bail

    This is a really very informative and helpful post.Thanks for sharing…