Travel and Books Part 2: Clive’s Magnificent Trip Book

Clive's Magnificent Trip Book
Not Just an Ordinary Folder

Sydney, Sunday

In “Travel and Books Part 1:  Will There Be Room for Clothes?” I mentioned what I call Clive’s magnificent trip book.  It’s a black folder with plastic insert pages which he increases and decreases as needed.  Its contents are always changing, and it’s different for every trip. 

Clive uses a lot of computer technology to minimise paper.  He finds good maps and directions online, copies them to Word, deletes all extraneous information, adds personal notes such as telephone numbers of people we’re visiting, and prints highly-customised pages.  I’m always delighted when he produces another of his famous (in my eyes) Word documents.   They are useful and colourful, and an incredibly efficient use of space and paper. 

We purge much of this paper as our trip progresses.  We can print again for things we reuse, and we try to save only the best brochures and maps we pick up along the way as souvenirs.

Contents for the Journey

I love reading the trip book before we depart and during our travels.  Soon we will be leaving for a 3-month journey Getting to Paris:  The Long Way.

Here are the current contents of the trip book: 

  • Summary spreadsheet of itinerary
  • Airline e-tickets and itineraries (we’re definitely excited about flying Air France for the first time, between Singapore and Paris)
  • Eurostar itineraries from St. Pancras to Gare du Nord in October and again in November
  • Rental car confirmations for U.S. and England
  • B&B confirmation for Felixstowe, Suffolk, where Clive grew up
  • Hotel and motel confirmations for Stirling, Scotland, where we’ll spend a week of “just us” time in the middle of the trip
  • Famous Word document maps of walks around my mother’s house in New Jersey – we are determined this time to get outside and take short breaks from work that needs to be done there
  • Famous Word document directions from my mother’s house to various places we’ll drive while on the east coast of the U.S.:  my stepson’s house, my son’s new apartment in Washington, D.C., friends in Connecticut [nb on our last trip we acquired Tim our trusty TomTom, subject for another post, but we are still weaning ourselves off printed directions as backup]
  • Famous Word document summarizing top things to do for free in New York City, on the chance we actually take a day off from family responsibilities
  • Articles on the U.S. Electoral College and election process
  • Purchased street maps of Washington, D.C.
  • Brochure “Choose Suffolk,” with walks and other ideas about spending time in the county in England where Clive grew up
  • Copies of pages from the 1912 Suffolk street directory, which Clive made to give to a cousin in Felixstowe who is researching family history
  • Brochure “Walking in the Gipping Valley,” also in Suffolk
  • Famous Word document map and directions to visit one of Clive’s father’s cousins, an elderly woman who lives in the country; we will take Clive’s father there for a visit when we’re in England
  • British National Trust brochure, “In an artist’s footsteps … Flatford and Constable Country,” which I can’t wait to visit.  It’s just over the border of Suffolk, in Essex County.
  • Famous Word document directions from Ipswich in Suffolk, where Clive’s father lives in the house where Clive was born, to Stirling, Scotland, where Clive’s grandfather and great-grandparents were from
  • Internet information about Stirling
  • Famous Word document maps of the area in and around Stirling
  • St. Pancras station and London underground maps
  • List of favourite shops and table of French, English, and American sizes
  • Print-out of extra luggage tags, if needed
  • Print-out of Clive’s father’s wine preferences — he loves Sainsbury’s sherry
  • “Romantic Things to Do in Paris” – Paris is usually my department but Clive often finds gems such as this

I’m sure he’ll add a few more things before we leave Sydney.

More to come.

7 Responses

  1. Oh my word…what a long list!!!

  2. Fantastic! and as an American, I’m honored that your Brit Clive is interested enough in our electoral system to have elected to take some information on it!

  3. Thanks Kim! We have had fun discussing and comparing the political process of the U.S., Australia, and England 🙂

    I’m sure you and your hubby could do the same with France, Italy, and the U.S. 🙂

  4. You know, it’s quite funny. People often ask me if Marco and I think about going to Italy someday. But he left Italy for a reason. Despite the beautiful scenery, amazing culture, and of course the gastronomy!!, he is *very* disappointed in his fellow Italians for their lack of concern for the future. He sees people that only care about watching football, pretty girls on the television, etc., and don’t want to spend any time debating policies to lift Italy out of its political/economic decline. So while France drives him crazy sometimes (he is a proud Italian after all), it does at least have a polity that speaks up about what it believes (rightly or wrongly) is the way to a better future.

    In fact, it’s funny. The first time I ever went to his apartment, I saw something that endeared him to me immediately. Above his fireplace, in the *only* wall space available in the tiny apartment, was a framed copy of the Declaration of Independence that he had acquired on a trip to the States in the 1990s. That spoke volumes to me about his values and has continued to be true. He is a true European and hopes for a better future!

  5. Kim, that’s really impressive about your hubby’s interests and values. Sounds like you and Marco have a lot of similar discussions to the ones Clive and I have about different countries and their politics 🙂


  6. Clive’s organizational skills are impressive! I love it. It’s just the sort of thing I do….but I sometimes do wish my hubby was the same. It would be nice if someone else was the organizer now and then! You are blessed!

  7. Sara, thanks for visiting and for your lovely comment.

    It’s great you’re organised too! I am definitely blessed with Clive and his trip book (and for many other reasons!).

    Cheers and happy travels with your own trip book 🙂

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