Travel card

Here’s a simple addition to my HPDA that saves me a lot of time in airports and cabs. As my travel arrangements are being made, I add the flight, hotel, etc. information to a file called “travel.txt,” “trip.txt,” or something like that. The file is divided in sections by date, and each section include the information I’ll need on that date. Here’s one from a couple of weeks ago:

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Leave: US Airways 516
  6:00a Chicago (ORD)
  9:00a Philadelphia Int'l (PHL)

Return: US Airways 551
  4:40p Philadelphia Int'l (PHL)
  6:00p Chicago (ORD)

Alternate returns
  2:05p-3:22p US Airways 637 
  3:40p-4:57p United 759
  5:55p-7:18p United 1219 
  6:20p-7:36p American 2357
  8:00p-9:25p US Airways 762
  8:21p-9:35p American 1377

When all the arrangements are made, I print it on an index card, using the biggest font that will fit

HPDA travel card

and stick it in my tickler file for the day of travel. When the time comes to pack for the trip, I clip the card, printed side out, to the back of my HPDA, making it easy to find and refer to. (Actually, I usually clip it immediately under my four-up calendar, but the principle is same.)

This was a pretty simple one, because the trip was out and back in the same day. A card for a longer trip would have included (at least) the hotel name, address, and confirmation number. If I rent a car, it’s confirmation number is added, too. I don’t put phone numbers on the card, because they belong in my cell phone where they’ll be the most useful.

Of course, I used to carry all this information with me before I started using an HPDA, but it was usually on separate pieces of paper, printed from the emails or web pages that confirmed my reservations. These pieces of paper included a lot of extraneous information that made it harder to find the nuggets that were important. And even though I had the habit of keeping them in the same pocket of my carry-on bag, they weren’t nearly as handy as a card in my back pocket.

The Philadelphia trip card was the first one to which I added an “alternate return flights” list. Very nice to have at hand when you’re driving back to the airport and need to know which airline to go to to catch an earlier flight home.