Travel Tricks

Travel Tricks
On a plane

This is about travel planning. What are the tools we've developed over the years to help things go smoothly.


  • Why are you going? Any answer is acceptable other than "to escape justice."
  • This upcoming trip to Spain is to scout out other cities/types of cities that might appeal to us for our long-term live in Europe plans, and to celebrate our 30th anniversary of meeting.
On a boat.

Blocking out the trip

  • What direction are you going? Our current Spain trip is a big loop.
  • Decide before purchasing flights if you want to go in and out of one city or not.
  • Don't be afraid to fly. We've taken 11 hour train rides and overnight trains and ferries and trains on ferries and though we're glad to have had those experiences, any train ride over 5/6 hours deserves to be compared to a flight.
  • Additionally, we consider the bus, but Ginnie finds the bus difficult for more than 3 hours, so know the individual needs of the travelers. (To be transparent, we didn't ask for Yessa's input when we planned the 11 hour train ride on her birthday. Oops. Our bad.)
In a loop

Google Sheets

We make a Google Spreadsheet with all the details. Things that need resolution/booking are red. We change them to green once booked and confirmed. This sheet can be synced for use even if we're offline.

The master sheet

One main account

  • All our bookings are under one person's accounts. This means everything; train tickets, flights,, Airbnb, whatsapp. We learned from experience that having tickets or reservations split between people leads to confusion and frustration.
  • The details of how, when, and where each item was booked and confirmation codes are in the spreadsheet. This makes it easy for all travelers to access the information.
  • Ginnie used to print off all the individual confirmations and addresses, etc., but with the ease of consistent internet connection the last several trips, she no longer feels the need to do this.
In an airport.

Helpful tools

  • is great for getting a summary of the weather in each place you're going to be.
  • is a new discovery which summarizes sentiment about AirBNBs. What kind of people do they normally host? Spaniards? Germans? Americans? Are there any things to watch out for? Maybe we need to make sure we arrive with extra toiletries...
  • We are longterm Google Fi customers. One of the best features is instantly available no-hassle International data included (with the right plan). We know we'll land with our phones working from minute one. We have to remember to switch to the higher priced international plan just during the months we're overseas.
The Weather Year Round Anywhere on Earth - Weather Spark
Get monthly, daily, and hourly graphical reports of the average weather: daily highs and lows, rain, clouds, wind, etc. Great for event and trip planning!
Checkout Reviews - Airbnb & Vacation Rental Reviews
Check for annoying issues before booking your next vacation rental.
A Simple, Wireless Phone Plan With Unlimited Data - Google Fi Wireless
Make the switch to a wireless phone plan at an affordable price. Get unlimited data, international roaming, and more from your friends at Google Fi.
On a vaporetto


  • We pack light. This trip I am taking 2 of each necessary item of clothing, plus the clothes I will wear. We will purchase a CrossFit t-shirt or three from the places where we work out, and those can be layered if needed. I have never wished for more clothes, and have frequently wished I had fewer.
  • We travel with limited toiletries to last the flight and the first couple days. We are able to travel without medications but will take our jump ropes and a pair of workout shoes.
On a bus.

We've written iterations of this post many times over the years. As most of us do, we evolve in our thinking and learn about ourselves.

Good Choices

And So It Begins...


A Lightweight Traveler's Guide

What we know most; we wouldn't change any of these trips. The faults and mistakes and confusions, they all make great stories now. The experiences have made us who we are.

On a float.

FYI: Travel by float is the most inefficient way to get anywhere. But possibly the most fun.